Today’s Tech Headlines: Grab and Uber to pay US$9.5 million for their “anti-competitive merger”

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Today’s Tech Headlines: Grab and Uber to pay US$9.5 million for their “anti-competitive merger”

SEA

Southeast Asia’s social commerce is massive and is still growing. Simply selling through social networks like Instagram and WhatsApp is on the rise all across Asia. Facebook remains the most popular channel for people to sell items outside of China. (KrASIA)

In a move to deter anti-competitive deals, Singapore’s Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has fined ride-hailing companies Grab and Uber a combined total of US$9.5 million over their merger. Remedies and directions for Grab to follow were also given to “restore market contestability”. (KrASIA)

Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures has led a US$15 million pre-Series B round in Bangladesh ride-hailing firm Shohoz. The firm is looking to use the proceeds to boost its customer acquisition, retention, and also its vertical expansion efforts. (KrASIA)

Amazon to spend US$1 billion in Indonesia over the span of the next 10 years for its cloud business. The funds would be used to build the necessary infrastructure like the data centres. (KrASIA)

Out-of-home advertising tech company IDOOH Philippines will soon be launching its pilot project of bringing e-commerce and digital content to 100 in-vehicle screens through ride-hailing partners. The pilot will start October 1, 2018. (KrASIA)

“Don’t believe everything you see on the internet,” says Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Bitcoin scammers are using the names of PM Lee and his deputy to solicit bitcoin investments. (Bloomberg)

 

China

Google continues partnership with China on AI despite trade war. The company is not backing down from its continued engagement with the middle kingdom on AI, and has previously announced the opening of an AI centre in Beijing in December. (KrASIA)

Lion investors are usually well-respected for their positive spirit and influence. Some of them are known internet celebrities and they have great influence over entrepreneurs. And they are the kind of investors that backed the likes of Ele.me, Xiaomi, OPPO and ViVO. (KrASIA)

JD is set to increase the number of offline stores from just 2 to another 1,000 more over the next 3-5 years, and has signed agreements with 16 Chinese property developers. It is looking to ramp up its presence in China’s new retail space, following the positive response received from Alibaba’s Hema stores. (Caixin)

China is keeping the internet under tight control. More than 4,000 websites and online accounts have been removed during a 3-month campaign where there have been active clamping down of a range of illegal online activities from “spreading rumours”, pornography to gambling. (Reuters)

Beijing-based Bitmain has committed US$500 million to the Texas economy. It will be looking to sponsor NBA’s Houston Rockets as cryptocurrency goes mainstream. More cryptocurrency companies are now sponsoring the professional sports team, following a landmark deal in January this year. (SCMP)

The struggles of Ofo reveal one major tragedy in China’s startup ecosystem. As many startup companies in China lack a clear profit model, investors tend to rely on single-vote veto power to acquire at lower prices. (Tech In Asia)

The US police department has handed over the findings of its initial investigations to prosecutors, who are deliberating whether to bring charges against JD.com’s billionaire founder Richard Liu. Arrested on the suspicion of rape, he was released around 17 hours later. Here’s a timeline of the night of August 30 leading up to the alleged rape. (Reuters)

 

Elsewhere

AI is a checklist, not a wishlist. AI has matured enough for it to be warranted as become a mandatory item for business leaders and decision makers of businesses today. However, most of AI’s applications to date is still limited to processes, rather than at the business model level. (KrASIA)

Epic Games’ Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series is said to be a prelude for better things to come for Epic Games in the future. The overwhelming response it garnered had resulted in an eight-figure purse that way exceeded Epic Games’ previous haul. The viewers spent nearly 542,000 hours in total on Keem’s competitive series, according to data from Newzoo, a gaming research firm. (CNBC)

Pi Ventures, India’s homegrown VC, secures final tranche of ts first ever fund, bringing total fund size to US$31.3 million. And this represents a boost for India’s artificial intelligence and smart device startups. (Tech In Asia)

Airbnb is asking for a change in the SEC’s Rule 701. The company is now looking to give homeowners a chance at owning a piece of its business. However, this process has many possible complications, especially with Airbnb’s international businesses. This makes it a challenge to issue US-based equity. (TechCrunch)