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KrASIA Weekly: Grab is piling on features for its Singapore users

Written by Robin Moh Published on   3 mins read

More and more services for the Grab user in Singapore and the greater region.

Hi there, it’s Robin from Singapore.

After announcing additional payment features in Singapore last month, Grab is adding a bunch of new options for its users in the city-state. These will let them watch videos on-demand, book travel accommodations, plan their daily commutes, and book movie tickets all in one app.

The new features are offered in partnership with other startups, like Hooq for video on demand and Booking.com for hotels. This seems to be an important strategy for both Grab and Go-Jek as they compete to become regional super apps. Grab also struck up a strategic deal with logistics company Ninja Van, looking to expand on its logistics service offerings, and grow its logistics capabilities.

Meanwhile, the Singapore-headquartered online grocer Honestbee appears to be facing trouble. Its Philippines operations and food delivery verticals in Hong Kong and Thailand have been suspended. Meanwhile, HappyFresh, a competitor, raised more funds this week.

In Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest market, the e-commerce sector is showing signs of change. Go-Jek, best known for its on-demand motorcycle taxis and food delivery, is also stepping into e-commerce through a tie-up with partner JD.id to launch Go-Mall.  And online marketplace Tokopedia has ventured into social commerce, adding new features that will give users a shot at becoming the next big “influencer.”

In China, the weakening internet sector does not appear to have stifled the ambitions of the larger Chinese tech firms. Luckin Coffee, for instance, has filed for a New York IPO this week, as has game live streaming app Douyu, which is looking to raise USD 500 million at the New York Stock Exchange soon.

But there’s also a growing awareness that some of China’s tech giants may be abusing their dominant position. Monopolistic behavior by Tencent, which owns the ubiquitous instant messenger WeChat, is facing increasing scrutiny. One Chinese lawyer brought a lawsuit against the firm, accusing it of limiting his freedom to communicate by preventing him from sharing links from rival platforms on WeChat.

Read on to discover more interesting stories from last week, and feel free to tip us if you have news tips or just want to talk with us. Email us at [email protected]. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Here are some stories you shouldn’t miss.

Southeast Asia

President of the Philippines expected to sign bill that provides startup incentives

Vietnamese video live-streaming app Uiza raises USD 1.5 million

Go-Viet appoints new general manager

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority terminates Ofo’s licenses

GFC, 500 Startups invest USD 1.2 million in Singaporean agritech startup Glife

Indonesian taxi operator Blue Bird launches its first electric taxi fleet

Indonesian e-procurement site Mbiz adds marketplace for MSMEs

Indonesian logistics startup Sicepat raises USD 50 million Series funding

Singaporean YC-alumnus SalesWhale secures USD 5.3 million Series A round

Indian e-sports startup Mobile Premier League bags USD 35.5 million funding led by Go-Ventures

Thailand to build a fully native e-commerce platform to rival foreign incumbents

The Philippines introduces its legal framework to regulate digital payments

Indonesian live auction platform WowBid raises USD 5 million



A Tesla Model S apparently set itself on fire in a Shanghai garage

Samsung cancels launch for the Galaxy Fold in China

Huawei records 39% quarterly revenue growth against odds

China’s gaming market to get a boost as national regulator issues new rules for game approvals

JD Logistics expands next-day delivery to 300 Chinese cities with upgraded express air service

Indian supreme court issues ultimatum on TikTok ban

Tencent leads series C round in Tangdou, an app for Chinese women who like to dance

A Nio car caught fire while being repaired in China

Tencent pilots new anti-game addiction program that will lock out young gamers

Tencent-backed real estate platform Beike announces ambitious growth plans amid legal row with rival

Huawei to move 20,000 staffers from its carrier business to consumer business group, sources say

Tencent Trusted Doctors raises USD 250 million, bringing valuation past USD 1 billion

Xiaomi aims for greater offline influence in India

Douyin extends video time limit to one minute for all users

Live streaming app Inke turns on parental control

Meituan unites with small ride-hailing players to take on Didi


Insights/ Interviews

Dan Lynn of Zuzu Hospitality Solutions, Nailing two markets: Startup Stories

About 80% of smart wearables are made in Shenzhen: report

In the fallout of China’s ‘capital winter’, VC funding plummets in Q1 2019

How nimble startups stay afloat: Venture Voices

Diajeng Lestari of Hijup on bringing positive changes: Women in Tech

Alibaba Cloud takes 19.6% in Asia Pacific market, beats Amazon and Microsoft combined

China household consumption up 8.3% in Q1 2019

China’s digital radio and television sectors show impressive growth in 2018


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