[1.3] Morning Round-Up: Is Thailand Ready for The Digital Era?

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Welcome back from the holidays, here are the latest ecommerce headlines to keep your mind refreshed for 2017:

1. 2016 WeChat Data Report reveals some interesting numbers

  • 768,000,000 daily logged in users
  • 35% YoY growth
  • 50% of users use WeChat 90mins a day
  • 67% YoY of total messages sent per day

2,350,000,000 ‘red packets’ (money) were sent over Lunar New Year’s Eve

As chat and mobile adopting grows in Southeast Asia, it is expected that more brands will begin selling on these platforms such as LINE. Consumers are already familiar with sending money through chat apps, why wouldn’t they feel comfortable making a purchase?

Find the rest of the report here.


2. Alibaba’s on-demand services arm, Koubei, raised funding?

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s on-demand services unit is close to securing $1.2 billion of funding for expansion after getting backing from first-time investors including Silver Lake Management and China’s sovereign wealth fund, people familiar with the matter said.

The latest round for Koubei, which deals in local services such as food delivery, will surpass a $1 billion target with backing from China Investment Corp., according to the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. The round also includes Yunfeng Capital, a fund backed by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, and values the two-year-old startup at about $8 billion, they said.

Koubei was set up by Alibaba and its financial services affiliate Ant Financial to compete with Meituan Dianping, a company valued at $18 billion in 2015 that deals in businesses such as movie ticketing and group-buying discounts. O

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Thailand 4.0, are you ready?

The government launched a new flagship policy called Thailand 4.0 that will be the master plan to free Thailand from the middle-income trap, making it a high-income nation in five years.

Thailand 4.0 has in fact become the buzzword among Thai businesses, recognised as a new engine of growth that will drive the country’s economy forward through high-tech industries and innovations that will push Thailand to produce high valued-added products and services.

Chen Namchaisiri, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI):

“The hardest thing is how to change the attitude of the Thai people and also the Thai industry. It is difficult to make them see that they need to be high-tech.”

Mr Chen said the government should support the development of online facilities in order to help expand ecommerce, e-payment, e-learning and e-documents, which will lead Thailand into a fully online platform to meet the 4.0 era.

Read the rest of the story here.

Thanks for joining us for the new year. If you enjoy reading insight articles, head to our Research & Insights section here.