Today’s Tech Headlines: Study shows upbeat impact on Indonesia by online lending

SEA With more than US$500 million being disbursed to almost 1.5 million borrowers through online lending platforms in Indonesia, a new study measures the impact that online lending might have on the l

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Today’s Tech Headlines: Study shows upbeat impact on Indonesia by online lending

SEA

With more than US$500 million being disbursed to almost 1.5 million borrowers through online lending platforms in Indonesia, a new study measures the impact that online lending might have on the local economy. (KrASIA)

In Indonesia, the once globally popular Blackberry Messenger (BBM) still sizable. The last publicised figure was 55 million active users. The app continues to launch new features, including mobile payments to stay relevant. Over the weekend, BBM announced the launch of a suite of instant games for Indonesia. Based on HTML5, they can be played from within BBM without having to download separate apps. Integrating instant apps moves BBM further along its path to becoming a feature-rich super app in the vein of WeChat. (Viva / link in Indonesian)

If Go-Jek wants to successfully grow its footprint in the Philippines, it will need to bank on digital payments. The Indonesia-based O2O company has expanded overseas to Vietnam and Thailand so far. (KrASIA)

Cradle, an agency under Malaysia’s Finance Ministry, said that it contributed RM3.4 billion (around US$824 million) to the country’s GDP between 2008 and 2016 via investments and job creation. The fund claims to have created 80,600 full-time jobs and attracted RM1.3 billion in private and foreign funds during the eight-year period.  (The Edge Markets)

Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation has invested in Lippo Group’s last-mile subsidiary Red Carpet Logistics (RCL) as part of a wider strategic partnership with the Jakarta-based conglomerate. One of RCL’s main competitors is ride-hailing firm Go-Jek. (Tech in Asia)

China

E-commerce giant JD.com CEO Richard Liu was briefly held in the US for sexual misconduct. The company maintains that the billionaire was falsely accused. He has been released, but the investigation remains open, says police. (BBC)

China’s biggest ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing and co-working operator WeWork have been said to be in talks with Indian budget hotel booking company Oyo Rooms’ China business. Oyo has been growing rapidly in tier 2, 3, and 4 cities in China, adding 50,000 rooms in a year. (KrASIA)

Apple Music has tapped on the potential of addictive short video app Douyin to boost its subscriber numbers in China. Users of Douyin who are also Apple Music subscribers can now listen to the full-length song with just a few clicks. (KrASIA)

Chinese on-demand service behemoth Meituan-Dianping has set an indicative price range of US$7.6 to 9 per share, translating to a valuation of up to US$55 billion. (Reuters)

Alibaba is close to launching an e-commerce JV in Russia through a partnership with local tech giant Mail.ru and RDIF, or Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, as China is exploring its vision of a “digital silk road” across Eurasia. Russia is one of the largest markets for Alibaba’s AliExpress, the cross-border e-commerce platform that sells products from China to elsewhere. (Financial Times)

Elsewhere

Google’s Chrome browser turns 10 this year. Built from taking part of Apple’s WebKit rendering engine and Firefox’s component, Chrome has grown to the most popular desktop browsers of the whole world, representing a close to 60% market share as of this August per StatCounter. (The Verge)

Y Combinator’s Paul Graham said he doesn’t like college-age and young founders. He thinks that those who start companies at too young an age are engaging in “premature optimization” and they really should is to “figure out what the options are, not picking one option and rushing with it”. He continues to warn that “starting a startup is like catching a dragon by the tail if it works. Be careful at what point you do that”. (TechCrunch)

The rumour for Apple trying to build up its own autonomous driving technology has been around for a while, and today Apple reported its first autonomous vehicles collision last week in California. Apple currently has 66 autonomous cars approved for the test in the State. Tim Cook said earlier this year that the company has a large project related to autonomy and AI. (CNBC)