Here’s what you should know.

1. BBM parent Emtek boosts payments tech with 2 acquisitions

 Indonesian media conglomerate Emtek, which develops the popular Blackberry Messenger (BBM) app in the country, has snapped up shares in payment companies PT Espay Debit Indonesia Koe (EDIK) and Doku.
Emtek plans to develop BBM into a versatile ecosystem for shopping and services
Both EDIK and Doku own emoney and money transfer licenses from Indonesia’s central bank, which are necessary for ewallet services that let users send money to peers and cash out.

The deal comes on the heels of Emtek’s plans to develop BBM into a versatile ecosystem for shopping and services, similar to Tencent-owned WeChat.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. SingPost revenue rises 17.1 per cent for the full year, net profit falls 86.6 per cent on impairment charges

Revenue for the year rose 17.1 per cent to S$1.35 billion, mainly from the inclusion of SingPost’s US ecommerce subsidiaries.

Net profit attributable to equity holders decreased 86.6 per cent to S$33.4 million, reflecting a 24.7 per cent decline in underlying net profit and exceptional items.

Mr Simon Israel, Chairman of SingPost, said, “It is unfortunate that such a significant impairment to the TradeGlobal acquisition has to be made so soon after the transaction. A turnaround plan is being executed with the objective of recovering as much value as possible for shareholders.”

Read the entire report from SingPost here


3. Recommended Reading: Is the Amazon effect overrated?

“In speaking with a few retail CMOs at the Forum they told me that Amazon can never duplicate one of the biggest things brick & mortars have going for them: the in store experience. To a person they all believe that there’s nothing that can substitute for that real life, person-to-person exchange.”

Read this post by Steve Olenski, Forbes contributor here


Here’s what you should know.

1. Alibaba eyes Thailand for trade center launch

The Chinese ecommerce giant is planning to set up a regional electronic-trade centre and logistics system here to link Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) markets.

Alibaba Group planned to use Thailand as an ecommerce park – the base for product distribution to CLMV.

Alibaba Group, which is considering whether to set up its offices and warehouses in the EEC or at Suvarnabhumi Airport, has been encouraged to locate in the ECC, as its transportation facilities will be good after the expansion of U-tapao International Airport in Rayong province.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Alibaba reportedly in partnership talks with Indonesia’s Emtek Group

Chinese internet giant Alibaba is reported to be in talks for setting up a joint venture with Indonesian media and tech mogul Emtek Group.

The partnership may open doors for Alibaba’s investment in Indonesian ecommerce platform Bukalapak, which Emtek holds a significant share in.

Emtek Group’s subsidiary PT Kreatif Media Karya also owns the license to develop the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) app, which remains one of the most popular messenger platforms in the Indonesian market.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Singapore stock exchange inks partnership with P2P lending company

The agreement that can be considered unique to our modern economy is an MOU signed with Crowdo, a regional lending platform with P2P and equity crowdfunding options.  The company has two separate branches in Malaysia and Indonesia.

From the perspective of SGX, the motivation for these agreements is to build an infrastructure to educate companies on ways they can access capital.

Read the rest of the story here.

Before you start the day, here are the ecommerce headlines you should know.

1. BBM partners with Bukalapak to launch BBM Shopping in Indonesia

BBM has now officially announced a new partnership with Bukalapak, one of Southeast Asia’s largest ecommerce marketplace, to launch BBM Shopping in Indonesia. The new offering will be powered by BBM Checkout, which, securely stores payment credentials and shipping information after the first purchase.

Read the rest of the story here


2. Tokyo Century plans to launch an online lending platform in Indonesia with local partners by next year

Tokyo Century will partner with affiliates of Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group, including online shopping operator Global Ecommerce Indonesia for the joint venture. The Japanese company plans to buy stakes in its partners, spending a total $100 million.

Their target borrowers will be mainly small to midsize businesses who run shops on the, GEI’s ecommerce platform, as well as the mall’s individual customers. Lending can be applied for on smartphones and other devices.

Read the rest of the story here


3.  Amazon launches ‘Amazon Launchpad’ in India

Through Launchpad, first unveiled in 2015 and now available in seven regions, Amazon partners with startups and sells their products on its giant ecommerce platform. Additionally, Amazon also helps startups market and promote their products.

The program will also enable Indian startups to sell their products oversees, said Amit Agarwal, Vice President and Country Manager for Amazon India. The India Launchpad portal is live with products from over 400 startups, of whom 25 are India-based.

No word on whether this will also be implemented in Singapore, Amazon’s latest entry target.

Read the rest of the story here


4. Amazon just opened a grocery store without a checkout line

Leveraging technology akin to self-driving cars, Amazon Go just opened the doors on its first checkout-free, cashier-free and line-free grocery store in Seattle. Amazon’s calling it “just walk out technology.”

Read the rest of the story here

Here are some of today’s biggest ecommerce news.

1. BlackBerry Messenger reveals its plan to fight back in Indonesia

With help from Emtek, BBM is revamping itself by inserting multiple integrations: ecommerce, entertainment, and consumer service, while still keeping its identity as a chat app. It’s adapting an app-within-an-app model.

BBM will serve as the main social platform for people to purchase items from Bukalapak, reserve plane tickets from Reservasi and more.

Read the rest of the story here


2. In China, WeChat wants to kill app stores

WeChat’s newest feature – dubbed “Mini Programs” – allows users to access and utilise an array of apps within the messaging app itself. WeChat parent company Tencent, China’s social media and gaming giant with a valuation of US$239 billion, will be the gatekeeper of these apps.

Read the rest of the story here

3. Singapore ecommerce platform ‘The Fifth Collection’ raises $1.4 million to sell luxury branded goods. 

Calling itself a ‘re-commerce platform’, the money will be used to grow the team and invest in operations, marketing and technology. It also will help finance avenues to help grow sales.

THE FIFTH COLLECTION is a marketplace platform for luxury-goods sellers to upcycle their offerings through a trustworthy platform and for buyers to find high-end products that have been certified and vetted.

Read the rest of the story here


BlackBerry enters ecommerce in Indonesia

BlackBerry’s First Lifestyle Store Was Launched In Jakarta. Source:

BlackBerry has announced its ecommerce plans for Indonesia. Following a recently announced partnership with Emtek Group, Indonesia’s leading media content company, BlackBerry Ltd. is planning to turn BBM messaging app into a one-stop shop for video views, celebrity updates and online shopping .

BBM currently has 60 million active users monthly in Indonesia. A partnership with Emtek will allow the company to develop new BBM applications and services for Android and ioS smartphones as well. Emtek’s digital content arm, KMK Online will also establish an office in Toronto to work closely with Blackberry on the new partnership.

The partnership will also grant BBM with Emtek’s portfolio of assets, which will help facilitate the growth of BBM’s commerce and content branches. Indonesians who use BBM will be able to stream content (music and videos), shop through the app with added ecommerce functions and have access to Omni-channel capabilities such as booking movie tickets and manage health services. BBM will also add an e-payment platform, where users will be able to process payment and make money transfer.

This could prove to be a very smart move for BlackBerry, as the company’s handset sales and stocks continue to decline, according to Bloomberg. An attempt to widen its services in Indonesia, where its product is  most popular, could be the first step in BlackBerry’s plans to regain some of its global popularity.

BlackBerry’s stock price fell 5.6% to $6.30 following the global market’s reaction to Brexit. The company is in need of sustainable revenue, and service expansion in Indonesia, with 60 million users out of its 90 million users worldwide, seems like the company’s best move this year.

This post was written by Niki Chatikavanij on June 29.


WeChat is struggling in countries beyond China. Despite global ambitions since 2013, investing in big scale marketing strategies such as signing up soccer star Lionel Messi and infiltrating India, and differentiating themselves from Whatsapp, the global push has not amounted to much.

“The network effects of chat apps like WhatsApp and WeChat is what drives adoption; if your friends are users of a particular chat client, you’re more likely to use that client to stay in touch with them,” says Sarah Matthews, associate content marketing manager at US-based Jana, makers of an Android app store aimed at emerging markets.

This means that in Thailand, the majority of people use LINE and Whatsapp, and BBM one of the most popular chat apps in Indonesia. What also hinders Wechat’s growth is ‘The Facebook Trifecta’, consisting of Whatsapp, Facebook and Facebook Messenger. This applies to India, as they are the top picks for communication methods right now. Wechat is also trailing behind The Facebook Trifecta in Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines and Mexico, all the countries Wechat was aiming at.

They have to go back to the drawing board to figure out the next step for global expansion, if the trifecta can be beaten, that is.

Read the full article from Techinasia here