Welcome back to eIQ in 2017! Here are the news you should know for today.

1. Indonesian logistics startup Anterin opens new R&D centre in Jogjakarta

Indonesian on-demand logistics startup Anterin began the new year by announcing that it is opening new R&D centre in Jogjakarta, as a result of its partnership with local software developer company TLAB.

Currently only available in Jakarta, the company has eyes on a nationwide expansion this year.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Viettel pioneers free roaming in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam

Vietnam’s state-owned telecom Viettel will eliminate overseas roaming charges between its operators in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from January 2017.

Military-run Viettel posted revenue of $9.7 billion in 2015 with 13% year-on-year growth, and profits up 8% to $2 billion.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Wall Street stays bullish on Alibaba

Wall Street remains bullish about China’s internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd amid a spate of stock selling by its principal stakeholders in the past six months. Among the latest moves was the share sale plan adopted by Joe Tsai, which allows the firm’s executive vice-chairman to sell up to 6.5 million shares of the company’s stock through October.

“We believe that Alibaba is in the early stages of unlocking the value from what we view as its most valuable asset – a rich database that continues to accumulate from its well-controlled and extensive closed-loop ecosystem, through advances in data technology,” Morgan Stanley’s Grace Chen and her team said in a report in December.

Read the rest of the story here.


4. Maybank launches mobile money transfer service in Malaysia with Western Union

Maybank and Western Union have launched a digital remittance service in Malaysia via the Maybank2u (“M2u”) mobile banking app and Maybank’s website.

The service enables Maybank customers to transfer money to more than 500,000 Western Union® Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories. The money transfer service is available 24 hours a day and customers to transfer up to RM10,000 daily. Recipients will be able to receive money quickly after it is wired by the sender.

Maybank Group Head, Community Financial Services, Datuk Lim Hong Tat added that new service will help the bank to grow its digital transactions business.

Read the rest of the story here


5. Chinese retail is obsessed with Donald Trump

“This is the first time we’ve had a president who is a brand, and it’s not unusual to see various markets try to co-opt brands for their own success,” said Greg Portell, lead partner for consumer industries and retail practice at global consulting firm A.T. Kearney. “But China, in particular, is trying to capitalize on the Trump brand.”

“If you go back to what retailers are looking for in general, they’re looking to drive traffic and drive conversation. Selling products is almost secondary,” Portell noted. “In China, they’re achieving all the above.”

Read the rest of the story here

If you’re interested in reading more about how 2016 was for ecommerce in Southeast Asia, find out which articles were most popular on eIQ in 2016 here.

Alibaba saw record growth in Q2 2016 as the company’s Chinese retail marketplaces surged and revenue from its users on mobile overtook that of desktops for the first time.

The ecommerce giant reported revenue of $4.8 billion (RMB 32.2 billion), which is a 59% increase year-on-year — the highest growth since Alibaba went public in September 2014 in the largest US IPO in history.

While revenue growth was undoubtedly the highlight for Alibaba executives, the company’s net income dropped 76% year-on-year to $1.1 billion. Alibaba did note that non-GAAP net income increased 28% over the same period, while operating profit rose 71%.

Alibaba broke out increased financial data — including revenue and profit/loss — for business units like such as digital media, cloud computing, food delivery and more for the first time in response to recent FCC investigation of its accounting of affiliates like logistics firm Cainao, and Youku, Tudou.

Highlights of Alibaba Q2 results

The company’s China marketplaces pulled in total sales of $3.5 billion (RMB 23.4 billion), 49% higher than the same time last year.

75% of revenue came from mobile devices — $2.6 billion (RMB 17.5 billion) — up 119% year-over-year.

From the official press release,

China retail marketplaces had 434 million annual active buyers in the 12 months ended June 30, 2016, compared to 423 million in the 12 months ended March 31, 2016.

Alibaba’s affiliates are burning cash — per the chart below — but Alibaba is betting that they will supplement its core business in the future.

alibaba revenue q2 2016

“We’re starting to serve local consumers in Southeast Asia, a market with over 500 million potential consumers,”Alibaba Vice President Joe Tsai said. “That’s going to be a very important potential market for us.”

A version of this appeared in TechCrunch on Aug 11. Read the full article here or the full press release here.