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KrASIA Weekly: Indonesia votes, China debates “996” work culture

Written by Khamila Mulia Published on   3 mins read

Here’s this week’s summary.

Hi there, its Khamila from Jakarta.

It’s been a special week here in Indonesia as we held general elections on April 17. The vote was described as the most complex election in the world as citizens had to choose candidates for five levels of political office on the same day. The process took place safely and orderly, with over 70% of the adult population joining in. After casting their votes, citizens proudly shared their “blue-inked finger” on social media platforms. The ink makes it easy to recognize those who have voted.

Changes in government will affect all industrial sectors in Indonesia, including the digital field. We spoke to several industry players about their expectations. They argue that the incoming government needs to work harder to improve broadband infrastructure, guarantee consumer protection, improve the IT Law, and add incentives to foster the domestic market.

During the Indonesian elections, smart initiatives from independent institutions such as KawalPemilu showed us how technology can be used for public good. The project, initiated by a group of IT experts, uses crowdsourcing to provide an alternative vote count that’s transparent and based on independently collected data.

While the country is holding its breath until the official results are announced, one former leader, BBM—once the most popular messaging app in Indonesia—had to acknowledge that is has been dethroned. The app is shutting down on May 31.

Across the narrow sea, in Singapore, the country’s tourism board announced two strategic partnerships with China’s Alibaba Group and Indonesian travel tech unicorn Traveloka to promote Singapore as a tourism destination and to learn more about travelers’ consumption behaviors once they arrive in the nation-state.

In China, this week we saw a heated discussion about the controversial “996” overtime culture that pushes employees to work from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., six days a week. Chinese tech workers are starting to question the dogma that only long hours can lead to success. But when even the richest tech mogul in the country Jack Ma speaks out in favor of “996” there’s a long road ahead before minds change.

A hubbub also occurred at JD Logistics when the company piloted a new pay structure, where couriers are offered performance-based compensation instead of a base salary plus bonuses. On top of that, the company’s founder Richard Liu is in the headlines again after a woman filed a lawsuit against him in the US, accusing him of raping her last year. Criminal charges against Liu were dropped four months ago, but JD will have to deal with more uncomfortable media attention from the ongoing civil lawsuit.

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

Here are the stories that you shouldn’t miss from this week:


Luckin Coffee raises USD 150 million in Series B+ round, taking valuation to USD 2.9 billion

Chinese property-management SaaS vendor Qinlin Technology closes Series B round with funds from JD.com and Xiaomi

China’s Beidou navigation system to go global and create $300 billion market by 2020

P2P lending platform Dianrong seeks USD 100 million investment

Tesla’s Chinese challenger Enovate Motors closes Series A round at USD 134 million

Ericsson under anti-trust investigation by Chinese government as 5G competition heats up around the globe

Chinese IT security firm 360 plans bold moves into enterprise-level security software

Tencent sues WeChat red packet-grabbing software developer

T-Mall to add 2,000 maternal and child brands in 2019

Southeast Asia

Acquisitions are a way to grow: Carousell co-founder and CEO Quek Siu Rui with an outlook post-Naspers deal

Hitesh Chawla of SilverPush, Immersion in the market: Startup Stories

Grab opens two new ‘cloud kitchens’ in Central Jakarta

Investing for social impact: Venture Voices

Huawei will launch its cloud and AI business in Singapore

RHL Ventures sets up new fund to support early-stage Malaysian startups

A mission to help struggling moms: People of Digital Economy

Connecting through timeless stories: People of the Digital Economy

After failed revival, Blackberry messenger shuts down in its last stronghold Indonesia


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