Here’s what you should know today.

1. Nike will soon sell you shoes on Instagram

Nike revealed its plan during an earnings call last week. It’ll join other select brands like Kate Spade and Warby Parker in using Instagram-style posts to advertise its products and make it simple for people to buy them.

Partnering with the social media platform seems like a sensible strategy for a brand that seeks to reach young consumers. Instagram’s popularity with “tweens” and other highly sought-after demographics is fairly well established at this point.

Nike has been zoning in on digital sales, most recently confirm that it will soon sell on Amazon.

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2. Amazon adds South Korea to international expansion plans

Amazon is poised to disrupt South Korea’s ecommerce, the seventh largest market globally and the third largest in Asia.

A great majority (60%) of online shoppers in South Korea use mobile to get online. These days, beyond Amazon, e-commerce in the country is dominated by daily deal site WeMakePrice, eBay-owned Auction Co and 11Street.

Some observers believe Amazon is more likely to expand into large markets with fewer logistical barriers, as with its March acquisition of Middle East e-commerce marketplace Souq for an undisclosed sum and its recent move to set up operations in Australia.

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3. Gucci now lets consumers in China shop its collections online

Gucci revealed to its Chinese fans this week it’s now giving shoppers in China access to purchase its full range of fashion, handbags, accessories, and jewelry directly from its online store.

Gucci’s revamped ecommerce site, which heavily focuses on visuals and product story-telling to engage the consumer, lets shoppers make purchases online using localized forms of payment, including Alipay and WeChat.

On WeChat, Gucci has been leveraging the platform’s online-to-offline capabilities to grow its following and learn more about its customers. This year, the brand has hosted several events across Asia, including the recent art exhibition “Blind for Love” that gave Gucci fans a look into the world of the brand’s creative director Alessandro Michele.

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1. Grab is adding Myanmar’s Wave Money to its mobile wallet

Ride-hailing and mobile payments startup Grab is partnering with Wave Money in Myanmar.

Drivers will be able to sign up for e-money accounts that let them cash out their daily earnings at one of Wave’s 9,000 shops across Myanmar, Grab said in a statement.

Grab also plans to integrate Wave Money’s digital wallet with its own wallet, GrabPay, so that passengers in Myanmar can use Wave Money’s ecash to pay for Grab rides.

Grab’s strategy of choosing to pair up with local payment options, such as Kudo in Indonesia and now Wave Money in Myanmar shows how importance catering to local tastes are.

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2. TenX raises roughly $80 million for cryptocurrency payment system for everyday life

the company is proud to report following a 1 million USD seed round at the beginning of 2017 with famous lead investor Fenbushi.

TenX completed a successful token raise over this past weekend on June 24, 2017, 1 pm UTC. It exchanged an equivalent of 245,832 Ether (valued at roughly 80 million USD at the time of the swap) to the company’s PAY tokens at a rate of 350 PAY tokens per 1 Ether (with a 20% bonus during the first 24 hours).

The PAY tokens will provide access to part of TenX’s revenue of their already live payment service and also serves as a loyalty program to its own users.

During the token swap, TenX accepted one of the most diverse ranges of tokens any company has ever provided. In addition to Ethereum, also ERC20 tokens, Bitcoin, Dash, and Litecoin were accepted.

3. Bangkok based Digio gets series A investment

Among the participants in the round was InVent, a VC arm of telecoms-focused holding company InTouch.

Bangkok-based Digio – which aims to turn your smartphone into a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) system – counts payments giants Mastercard and Visa among its partners, as well as big tech corporates including Epson and Samsung.

It develops a range of products, including a device that allows vendors to take card payments on their smartphones, an ewallet, and a secure solution for receiving customers’ signatures electronically.

Digio’s founder and CEO Nopphorn Danchainam said that Digio’s system can now accept payments from third-party ewallets, including Alipay and WeChat Pay.

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1. Google is slapped with $2.7 billion antitrust fine by EU 

The European Commission – the European Union’s top administrative body and antitrust regulator – has fined Google US$2.73 billion for anti-competitive business practices.

The Commission found that the US company’s web search function gave undue prominence to its own price comparison service in search results.

The Commission has demanded that Google end this conduct within 90 days, or face additional penalty payments of up to 5 percent of the average daily global turnover of its parent company Alphabet.

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2. Indonesian ecommerce site Alfacart drops third-party sellers

Alfacart, the ecommerce endeavor of major Indonesian mini market and convenience store chain Alfamart, is changing its business model. As a result, Alfacart’s entire C-level management will resign.

What’s certain is that Alfacart will no longer operate as a marketplace after the change. It will only sell products already available in Alfamart’s own product assortment. That’s mainly groceries and everyday household items.

Mini markets work well in Indonesia. Growth of such retail locations is outpacing that of larger stores, according to rating agency Fitch.

Indonesia Stock Exchange-listed Alfamart operates more than 12,000 stores (link in Indonesian) across Indonesia and the Philippines.

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3. Online accounted for over 17% of China’s total retail sales Jan-May 2017

China’s total retail sales of consumer goods reached 2,945.9 $430.8 billion in May, up by 10.7% YoY. Online retail accounted for over 17% of total retail sales from January to May.

The retail sales of consumer goods in China’s urban areas was 2,536.0 billion yuan in May 2017, up by 10.4% YoY while that in rural areas was 409.9 billion yuan, up by 12.7% YoY.

 Of the online retail sales of physical goods, food, clothing and other commodities went up by 21.5%, 20.6%, and 29.2% respectively.

This puts China’s ecommerce market and potential at a much more developed landscape than other Asian countries, namely Southeast Asia’s developing markets. Brands in China have potential to capture a nationwide audience of both urban and rural shoppers who are discovering brands on WeChat and Tmall, whilst also being very receptive to online payment platforms.It seems that ecommerce in China can only get bigger in size and value.

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1. Airbnb’s Chinese rival Tujia widens the war to Asia

Airbnb is doubling down on China this year, where it has been slow to expand. But it faces a strong rival there, Chinese unicorn Tujia which lists over 400,000 properties.

There’s also the convenience of integration with Chinese mobile payment systems like Alipay and WeChat Pay. For example, almost one-third of Thailand’s foreign tourism revenue came from Chinese travelers last year, and WeChat Pay has partnered with banks and mobile payment services in Thailand to make local shopping convenient for its users.

These regional markets are where Tujia feels it will have an edge in competing with Airbnb. It is building up teams in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. And it has already signed up nearly 40,000 properties outside China.

This also opens up many opportunities for Southeast Asian markets to explore payment integrations, services and more to serve the influx of Chinese visitors.

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2. Malaysia officially launches digital free trade zone

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak officially launched the country’s Digital Free Trade Zone at the Global Transformation Forum 2017.

A major goal of the DFTZ is to become an ecommerce hub, in which SMEs and startups can build regional fulfilment centres (as Alibaba plans to do in the near future).

The Prime Minister spoke about a need for Malaysia to embrace ecommerce. To facilitate development, the government will reduce tariffs on goods priced over $112. Najib said wants to make sure the cost of fixed broadband is cut in half and internet speed is doubled by the end of the year.

In conjunction with ‘strategic partners’, Catcha Group will be the master developer, and a main investor, in a project called Kuala Lumpur Internet City (KLIC).

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3. Yoox Net-a-Porter shares jump on Alibaba interest

Shares in Yoox Net-A-Porter were up almost 8 percent on Monday as traders cited reported interest from Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group.

“There are reports Alibaba is interested in buying a stake in Yoox,” one of the traders said.

A report on Chinese fashion website said the Chinese conglomerate had contacted Yoox Net-a-Porter over capital cooperation, adding it did not rule out buying shares in it.

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1. Catcha-backed Frontier Digital injects $3.5m into two online classified sites

Frontier Digital Ventures, an operator of online classified businesses backed by Patrick Grove’s Catcha Group, today announced it snapped up stakes in online classified sites Autodeal in the Philippines and Propzy in Vietnam.

Frontier invested $2.3 million in Autodeal, which is engaged in car listings, and $1.6 million in Propzy, a real estate marketplace, for a total of $3.5 million.

Founded in 2014, Autodeal helps buyers compare new and used vehicles, find promos, and connect with car dealers, with roughly 1.7 million site visits in the Philippines per month. The company will leverage Frontier’s expertise to gain a foothold in the used car market by 2018, and focus on expanding revenue streams, including car financing through its portal.

Propzy, on the other hand, facilitates real estate sale and leasing transactions in Vietnam, listing only properties from the portfolios of certified real estate agents.

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2. WeChat Pay, Alipay North American expansion presents golden opportunity for retailers

The move comes at the behest of Citcon, a cross-border commerce company, China Luxury Advisors and The Momentum Group, a marketing agency that works with WeChat. Together, the three are hoping that Chinese travelers will soon be able to use WeChat Pay and Alipay while abroad in the United States, easing the purchase of international luxury goods.

“Chinese travelers are already the highest spending international tourists in the United States – having spent more than $27 billion in the U.S. in 2015, and this number is expected to continue to grow rapidly,”said Renee Hartman, co-founder of China Luxury Advisors.

What makes Chinese luxury consumers so interesting is that few are actually purchasing their luxury goods in China. Due to China’s strict laws on imports and what stores can open shops within its borders, many affluent Chinese get their luxury goods while abroad.

Now, WeChat, TMG and Citcon are working to make WeChat more usable outside of China and specifically in the U.S. When the plan comes through, Chinese consumers will be able to more readily make in-store retail purchases at luxury boutiques through the use of WeChat and Alipay.

Alipay has also seen integration with international luxury retailers. LVMH-owned travel retailer DFS Group is furthering its partnership with Ant Financial’s Alipay by giving exclusive promotions to customers checking out with the mobile payment method.

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3. Recommended Reading: The incredible rise and fall of J.Crew

A few years ago, J.Crew seemed invincible.

Now, the brand is watching its sales plunge, and within the last two months, has announced the departures of the very people who engineered its success. In April, Jenna Lyons, the company’s iconic creative lead, left. Then just yesterday (June 5), CEO Mickey Drexler revealed he would be stepping down.

But there’s no denying that together they defined a moment in the way Americans dressed, and that Drexler did what he was hired for, which was restore J.Crew to relevance and make it a financial success.

Here’s what you should know today.

1. EngageSpark raises funding to reach the world’s offline people through the phone

Philippines-headquartered EngageSpark announced today it has raised an undisclosed amount in a funding round led by 500 Startups.

EngageSpark builds software to help companies reach clients and audiences through phone and SMS campaigns.

Its clients can create phone surveys, pre-recorded messages, interactive telephone services, automatic replies in audio or text, and more. The idea is to reach people who aren’t online all the time, either because they don’t have the infrastructure or because they can’t afford mobile data plans.

“This funding will help us scale our traction and platform to new markets,” says founder and CEO Ravi Agarwal in a statement. The startup will focus on more marketing and sales personnel and further development of its tech. It’s the first external funding the company has raised.

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2. Carnival Corp introduces Alipay onboard to facilitate Chinese tourist spending

Carnival Corporation is introducing Alipay mobile payments onboard all of its Asia-based ships, enabling Chinese tourists to seamlessly pay for onboard shopping, services, and experiences with their smartphones.

Carnival Corp’s Costa Serena—which sails under the Costa Cruises brand out of Shanghai—will be the first ship with Alipay integration offered onboard.

The onboard integration will allow Chinese tourists to pay for all their onboard spending with Alipay, making Costa Cruises’ entire Asia fleet compatible with China’s leading mobile payment solution. Instead of directly paying for shopping, activities, excursions, food, and drinks with Alipay, onboard spending will be added to each guest’s cabin folio—a tab which is cleared on a nightly basis with Alipay.

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3. Alipay Hong Kong taxi payments could be its best feature

Alipay announced the launch of its Hong Kong version e-wallet Alipay HK, which is the first time for this Internet payment service provider to launch an overseas version app.

Alipay HK will gradually launch more functions like mobile phone fee recharges; payment for water, electricity, and gas bills; online transfers; taxi payment; and insurance payments.

The taxi payments are of special significance. Currently the Octopus payment card in Hong Kong is ubiquitous and can be used for both public transportation and retail payments. But Octopus cannot be used for paying of taxi trips.

Octopus had a small, brief test of taxi payments a few years ago, but it failed to launch the service in Hong Kong. If Alipay could overcome the taxi payment obstacle, it could grab a new, underserved market.

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