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Here’s what you should know today.

1. JD.id plans 5 new warehouses to strengthen infrastructure

Fresh off celebrating its first anniversary in Indonesia, the Chinese ecommerce giant JD.id is now planning to launch 5 new warehouses in the country.

It is also planning to launch new verticals on the site, including movie and plane tickets.

“What makes our business model unique is that we do more than just selling and buying; we also build an infrastructure. Promos and discounts are merely gimmicks, an entry point for customers to try shopping in our platform,” says Teddy Arifianto, head of corporate communication.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Singapore’s central bank is ready to use the blockchain for inter-bank payments

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that it has completed a proof-of-concept trial of using distributed ledger technology (DLT – of which the blockchain is a type) to power domestic inter-bank payments.

Next, MAS wants to try to improve investment trading and settlement periods with the help of DLT. It also wants to take payments using digital currency cross-border.

It is also currently talking to other countries to enable digital currency payments to be settled through central bank accounts.
Read the rest of the story here

3. Recommended Reading: What went wrong at BCBG Max Azria

By way of explaining its Chapter 11 protection filings, BCBG said on February 28 that online shopping and changing consumer tastes were responsible for its decline,

“Like so many other great brands, BCBG has been negatively impacted by the growth in online sales and shifts in customer shopping patterns and, as a result, has too large a physical retail footprint. In order to remain viable, the company — like so many others in its industry — must re-align its business to effectively compete in today’s shopping environment,” wrote spokesperson Seth Lubove in an email to RetailDive.

Another problem was that BCBG was overstored. It had approximately 600 boutiques around the world, and not the same margin they once did.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2016 has been somewhat of a definitive year for ecommerce in Southeast Asia. With the region poised to experience an ecommerce golden age, trends and predictions that will shape ecommerce in 2017 have been identified and there is no denying that the year will most likely bring significant milestones to the region’s development.

2016 certainly set things in motion: acquisitions, closures and entries were this year’s key themes. As the year draws to a close, we present the top 5 stories and briefs covered on eIQ that have made an impact on the development of ecommerce in Southeast Asia.

1. Battle of the giants

The first foray in a series of moves that would eventually complete Jack Ma’s trojan horse for Southeast Asia. In April, Alibaba made a $1 billion acquisition of Rocket Internet’s Lazada, effectively injecting much needed investment into the cash strapped marketplace, and hereby making an effective entry into the region.

This was followed by an announcement in November that Alibaba’s Ant Financial has invested in Thailand’s Ascend Money.

Amazon finally announced its entry into Singapore Q1 of 2017. Although a much covered angle in the media, these three stories have defined the majority of Southeast Asia ecommerce in 2016.

 

2. Indonesia’s Go-Jek, Singapore’s Garena & Grab are unicorns

After raising $550 million, Go-Jek is now valued at $1.3 billion, claiming unicorn status.

Singapore’s Garena has also maintained its status as Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup with additional funding that came through in September.

Grab also raised $600 million in funding making it another unicorn in the region.

 

3. Google and Temasek’s e-conomy SEA 2016 report

Arguably the most referenced report this year. Google and Temasek’s analysis of Southeast Asia’s ecommerce landscape has appeared in a string of interviews as references for research arguments and have shined a spotlight into the region’s developing landscape. Access the full report on eIQ’s reports section here.

 

4. LINE debuted as 2016’s largest technology IPO

The dual listing in New York and Japan occurred in July this year. The Japanese messaging app spiked 30% in market debut after opening at $42 per share in what appears to be the biggest tech IPO of this year.

The company is owned by Naver, a South Korean Internet company, who offered 22 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange and 13 million on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

But it hasn’t been all good news for Cony & Brown as news came out in October that the messaging app is struggling to acquire new users, barely moving beyond its 220 million monthly active user base.

 

5.  Goodbyes: Ensogo, Rakuten & Foodpanda

In June, Ensogo announced the closureof all business units in Southeast Asia. Following its shift from a daily deals website in 2013 to a mobile marketplace in 2015, the company was struggling to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.

Rakuten also announced the closing of its Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia marketplaces in February and sold back Rakuten Thailand to original founder, Pawoot Pongvitayapanu. The company did not give a reason for the closures, but announced that the moves are in line with a new roadmap.

In December, Rocket Internet declared that it was selling online food delivery startup Foodpanda to rival, Delivery Hero for $150 million. This announcement came after a string of rumors regarding the service provider’s performance.

The series of chain reactions that occurred have shaped Southeast Asia’s potential ecommerce boom. If these developments were anything to go by, we should be seeing all the puzzle pieces being placed together within 2017. For now, it’s a wrap for 2016!