KrASIA Weekly: Grab, Pinduoduo take on online fraud, Mobike retreats from APAC

The tech sector is getting more exciting, battling various kinds of challenges.

Photo credit: KrAsia

Hi there, it’s Robin.

This week we saw two tech behemoths fighting back against one stumbling block for online businesses – fraud. Scammers have demonstrated time and again their innate ability to game systems when there’s money to be made.

Grab is one of them, announcing the launch of a new anti-fraud technology suite in Indonesia this week. Grab and other ride-sharing platforms have struggled with instances of fake bookings and other fraud schemes with which some drivers try to skim off bonuses.

Chinese social commerce company Pinduoduo is fighting another type of crime: fake goods sold as the real deal on its platform. The company is now reportedly set to hire another 500 more staffers to tackle the problem of counterfeits.

Meanwhile, the bike-sharing industry is still in growing pains. After Ofo sacked its operations team in Singapore just before the Lunar New Year, more than 15 others from Mobike lost their jobs this week as the Chinese bike-sharing company pulls back to China. Some good news for a change from Hello Chuxing, previously HelloBike. The firm reports that its social credit scheme has helped significantly reduce the number of damaged bikes. Careless parking and vandalism are some of the problems the bike-sharing sector haven’t been fully solved.

For Mobike, its acquisition by the Hong Kong-listed Meituan-Dianping last year failed to turn the tides. Losses kept growing and ended up accounting for more than half of the US$1.27 billion of Meituan’s total losses in 2018.

Closer to home in Southeast Asia, things are picking up steam in Vietnam. The booming e-commerce market and rising middle class are luring e-commerce giants in. After Amazon, Alibaba has joined in the game with a strategy designed to help Vietnamese companies export their products globally.

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

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Southeast Asia

Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge, Jakarta: recap

Sea rakes in over $1.5b to boost its cash position

Live-video app Bigo already had to block 200,000 pieces of content in Indonesia

Vietnamese conglomerate VinGroup opens IoT research facility in South Korea

Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge, Kuala Lumpur: recap

RedDoorz on funding spree as it launches massive expansion plans

The Philippines’ largest telco takes a  multi-vendor approach to hedge ‘Huawei risk’

Singapore health service startup CXA Group seizes $25m in bridging round

Singaporean government begins granting e-money licenses to digital payment providers

Line drops $20m to produce first Thai unicorn

Indonesia’s Ovo acquires Taralite to step up lending services

Singapore invests close to $15m in world’s first e-waste recycling lab

 

China

Tencent Live tests live-streaming in WeChat

Alibaba augments its logistics arm by buying stake in STO Express

No class action against Tesla over drastic price cut yet, says Chinese Model X owner

New energy vehicles sales doubled in China in first two months of this year

Despite calls for Apple to shift production to US the firm’s Chinese supplier list keeps growing

Baidu’s mini programmes now have more than 150 million users  

Luckin Coffee’s $7.5 million bet to boost sales ahead of rumored IPO

SF Holding Shunfeng DHL Venture

Chinese smartphone shipments continue to dwindle, down 20% in February

Xiaomi-backed online broker Up Fintech significantly scales back IPO target

Tencent augments its retail arm with investment in neighbourhood fresh-food stores

Tencent-backed second-hand goods app gains traction with 50 million monthly active users in 2018

SoftBank will invest another $1.6b in Didi Chuxing

China’s leading wedding services app announces  $70 million Series D1 funding

Chinese consumers losing interest in iPhone, research shows

Luckin Coffee denies report claiming its non-executive chairman is asking for a bank loan in exchange for IPO mandates

The Chinese education ministry wants to clampdown on the proliferation of campus apps

Chinese fintech giant LuFax raises $1.3b, valued at over $39b

Momo predicts big growth in Eastern markets for its dating app Tantan

Despite vaulting growth in 2018, Pinduoduo books $1.5b net loss

Pinduoduo is setting up a new tech advisory board led by Baidu’s vice chairman Lu Qi

Huawei thinks it can beat Samsung and Apple to lead global smartphone shipments this year

Chinese Premier doubles down on the message that China won’t use Huawei to spy on other countries

Huawei prepares for possible US ban with in-house alternatives to Android and Windows

Downloads of Tencent game Honour of Kings down 55% in February

US security reviews holding back Chinese investment, says Baidu’s Robin Li

 

Insights/ Interviews

Community Group Buy – the next billion-dollar e-commerce industry

Edtech firms are filling crucial gaps in Southeast Asia

Oyo China CFO: We’ll have clear models for hotel operation and profitability

TNG Digital CEO Syahrunizam Samsudin: Understanding social impact

Vietnamese SMEs and startups are on track to make it big this year