Here’s what you need to know this morning.

1. Rakuten leads $1.25M funding round for ShopChat

US-based chat-commerce solutions ShopChat debuted today with a $1.25 million funding led by Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten.

ShopChat is a “mobile shopping keyboard” that allows users to shop in ecommerce platforms while engaging in conversations inside a messenger app. ShopChat allows users to share the products that they are about to purchase with the people they are having conversation with, and shop directly without having to open a mobile app.

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2. Malaysia’s ecommerce adoption rate among SMEs to grow to 50% by 2020

Ecommerce adoption among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is expected to grow to 50% by 2020 from 32% in 2016, driven by the sector’s increasing interest in online business.

The industry is poised to grow 11% per annum by 2020, accounting for 6.4% of gross domestic product

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3. Recommended Reading: Mobile advertising in APAC still dependent on banners

Across APAC, the mobile advertising inventory is shared almost equally between mobile apps (51%) and the mobile web (49%).

In Indonesia, 91% of all ads were over mobile apps

Advertisers desperately need returns from their advertising investments in order for the ecosystem to sustain. That can only happen if advertisers shift to alternate channels of advertising.

Asia Pacific is expected to see an 8% annual growth in mobile internet users over the next several years.

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4. Recommended Reading: How beauty brands are leveraging from WeChat in China?

The evolving role of WeChat from a content-heavy platform to one that is more dynamic is not restricted to beauty brands, but also evident among luxury brands.

For example, digital research firm L2 cites how Chanel saw a successful launch of its new version of its signature N°5 scent last year by turning WeChat into a social commerce site.

In 2017, if beauty and luxury brands hope to continue to benefit from WeChat, it is time for them to recognize that the app is not a mass communication platform, but instead ideal for one-on-one communication, but ideal for commerce.

Read the rest of the story here.

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