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Today’s Tech Headlines: Singapore’s ambitions to be the lead ‘Smart Nation’ saw a setback last week

Written by Robin Moh Published on   5 mins read

All you need to know about what happened in the tech world today.


Vietnam’s realty portal Homedy raises funding from Genesia Ventures. This is Homedy’s second funding round from Japanese early stage investor Genesia Ventures. Following this fundraising, the startup aims to focus on big data & mobile app, develop its real estate portal platform and expand to foreign markets. (Deal Street Asia)

Crypto has become just another asset – These Malaysians want to make it a real currency again. Everus is a company in Malaysia that specialises in blockchain technology. It is introducing EVR – a cryptocurrency based on Ethereum blockchain, looking to make it become a proper currency to be used in everyday situations, unlike the other cryptocurrencies out there. (Vulcan Post)

My baby monitor started a cyberattack? IoT industry suffers from security growth pains. There is currently no established internet of things (IoT) security standards. Singapore recognises that steps need to be taken in place to ensure minimum standards of protection. (Channel NewsAsia)

In ‘Smart Nation’ Singapore, a shift to ‘Smart and Secure’. Singapore’s ambition to be the leading ‘Smart Nation’ saw a setback last week when 1.5 million non-medical records and 160,000 prescription histories were stolen from the country’s national healthcare group SingHealth. (KrASIA)



China Tower taps Alibaba, ICBC, Hillhouse as cornerstone investors in US$8.7 billion IPO. The former has committed $100 million, while the latter has bought $50 million. The others are QZ Management, Sinomach and SAIC Motor etc. This is the biggest such sale globally for far this year. (SCMP)

How Hellobike is beating Ofo and Mobike in China’s smaller cities? Hellobike has racked up more than half of the users in second and third-tier Chinese cities, according to data from monitoring firm Trustdata. Since 2017, with top-tier Chinese cities hitting a saturation point, many bike-sharers started to focus on lower-tier Chinese cities.   (Tech In ASIA)

Chinese tech giants remain unfazed by challenges in their US ambitions. Alibaba and Tencent are both looking to expand their mobile payments footprint in the US, despite the possibility of US merchants getting warier alongside with the ongoing trade war. (KrASIA)

How ZTE ended up in the middle of US-China trade war? Many things like the pride of the country, jobs for the people and money could be at stake, even as the telecommunication giant ran into trouble for violating U.S laws. (Bloomberg)

China’s JD.com plans to move into Europe, with an aim to finalise its strategy by the end of this year. The company is investing heavily into logistics and offline retail to expand beyond its base in China & Southeast Asia to establish a meaningful presence in the U.S & Europe. (Reuters)

In Alibaba’s early days, Jack Ma never hired the best candidates for the job. Here is why: during the dot-com boom, China’s skilled employees constantly jumped ship to rival ventures. The cost of talent started to spiral upwards, including for the software developers, web designers, and project managers that Alibaba would need to build up its offerings. (Tech In Asia)

China’s mobile payment platforms are transforming online marketing. Mobile payments have become more than another way to pay. It has evolved into the contact point for consumers and businesses. China is now at the frontline of designing new marketing channels, as well as collecting data via mobile payments. (Technode)

Pinduoduo sued in NY for counterfeit goods before IPO. Backed by Tencent Holdings & Sequoia Capital, this Chinese e-commerce app is accused in a New York federal court over alleged counterfeit listings by the U.S diaper maker Daddy’s Choice right before its Nasdaq public float. (KrASIA)

Tencent-backed Douyu plans for $600-$700m US public float. This rumoured transaction follows previous media reports that the firm was planning for an IPO in Hong Kong. (KrASIA)

Meili Inc files for $500m US public float at $4B valuation. This Tencent-backed online fashion retailer is targeting to list in H2 2018 in the US, with the perception that US investors will be more familiar with its Chinese e-commerce model on the basis of predecessors such as Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com Inc. (KrASIA)


Rest of Asia

A Japanese startup has ambitious plans for on-demand meteor showers. This Tokyo-based startup is hard at work developing a system that would deliver ‘shooting stars on demand’. (TNW)

Korea’s Naver and Kaokao expand AI music platforms. Korea’s IT companies are getting increasingly focused on advancing their music service platforms via different strategies and technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) to maximise tailored services for individuals. This music stream market has the potential for massive growth globally and can be expanded to various platforms such as cars and smart home packages featuring the internet of things technology. (The Korea Times)



Snapchat will shutdown Snapcash, forfeiting to Venmo. The company will abandon the peer-to-peer payment space on August 30th, bringing an end to its 4-year partnership with Square to power the feature for sending people money. (TechCrunch)

Tesla asks suppliers for cash back to help turn a profit, an appeal that reflects the auto maker’s urgency to sustain operations during a critical production period. The memo, sent by a global supply manager to a supplier last week, described the request as essential to Tesla’s continued operation and characterized it as an investment in the car company to continue the long-term growth between both players. (WSJ)

Amid earnings and regulatory scrutiny what will be the latest FAANG standing? Google parent Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon are set to report on their quarterly results this week, even as tech regulation was back in the spotlight just last week. (CNBC)

PayU acquires Zooz to take on international payment services. The payment division of Naspers, PayU has bought Zooz, an Israel -based startup. PayU has spent up to $350 million to date in investments and acquisitions. (TechCrunch)

Xiang He, a California-based venture capital firm, is raising $350 million to invest in China’s technology, media, and telecommunication (TMT) space. (Deal Street Asia)



Apple fixed the Macbook keyboard, but its only for Pros. The new Macbook Pro looks virtually identical to last year’s model, but Apple is calling this its third-generation ‘’butterfly-keyboard’’, saying that the big difference is that it’s quieter. (WSJ)


Good News Bad News

Blockchain can revolutionize education next. A perennial problem with certifications is that no one knows how to verify them. With fake degrees that can be easily bought from eBay, using paper to prove one’s credentials seems like an antiquated system. Lots of tedious work has to be done – from contacting universities directly and the need to contact national registrars to validate applicant’s transcripts could be eliminated with the blockchain. MIT give their graduates access to their certificates via an app called Blockcerts, is an example of ongoing experimentations. (Tech In Asia)



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