Here are the headlines you should know today.

1. Amazon to collect sales tax nationwide in the US in April 

Amazon will begin collecting sales taxes from all states with a sales tax as of April 1, 2017. Amazon won’t collect sales tax in Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Montana and New Hampshire. Those states do not have a state sales tax.

Collecting sales tax on online purchases has been a controversial subject for years. Companies which make sales over the internet are still subject to the same sales tax collection requirements as offline stores.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. B2B/G ecommerce platform Mbiz raises Series A

The company has closed its Series A round, led by Japanese leasing company Tokyo Century Corporation (TCC). Though the exact number was undisclosed, co-founder Ryn Hermawan said that it has put the company’s valuation to $75 million.

Backed by Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group, the launch of Mbiz followed the earlier launch of MatahariMall, the group’s B2C marketplace.

Mbiz itself is an e-procurement and e-catalogue platform which aims at blue chip companies as its main target market. Its purpose is to simplify the procurement process for businesses.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Indonesia’s Bukalapak will hopefully be profitable by the end of 2017

Bukalapak, Indonesia’s third largest player in the marketplace landscape hopes to become profitable by the end of this year.

Bukalapak is among the larger C2C ecommerce platforms that focuses on helping small and medium enterprise go online. The company was rumored to be gearing up for an IPO back in 2016, it remains a long time goal.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you should know.

1. Didi rumored to gain payment license through acquisition of 19Pay

local payment news site Paynews is reporting that Didi will fully acquire 19Pay for $622 million, but the deal is still under discussion and Didi should take over the company by July.

Like many other companies that have invested heavily in payment companies, Didi’s motive behind his deal is loud and clear: to have its own payment license.

Given payment license was the primary object of this deal, Didi’s interest of maintaining 19pay’s current business was minimum.

The acquisition is a further indicator for the company’s plans in expanding into the financial sector, which has become a must-have business of nearly every major Chinese internet company thanks to the proven model and promises of higher margin.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Millennials buy clothes from Amazon

The data from Slice indicated that the 18-to-34-year-old demographic purchased 16.6% of its clothing on Amazon, double the online millennial purchase volume of runner-up Nordstrom, which saw 8.1% of online apparel sales go to millennials.

According to a report by Cowen & Co., Amazon’s clothing and accessory sales are projected to rise some 30 percent this year to hit $28 billion.

Amazon’s share of millennial apparel dollars could inflate even further in the next few years as the online retail giant continues its private-label push.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Mitsui aims for a slice of Southeast Asia’s retail market

Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. looks to tap into Southeast Asia’s booming retail market using information and communications technology.

The company also hinted at deepening Mitsui’s partnership with Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group. Mitsui holds a stake in the Lippo unit that runs Indonesian ecommerce site MatahariMall.

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

Welcome back from the weekend. Here’s what you need to know.


1. Jack Ma not canceling on Indonesia

“We acquired Lazada so that we can be in Indonesia as well as five other Southeast Asian countries. Obviously Indonesia being the largest market.” Said Joseph Tsai, vice chairman of Alibaba.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Lippo Group betting on e-money for digital age

Indonesia’s Lippo Group is turning ecommerce, electronic money and other information technology-related enterprises into a new pillar of its business, closely monitoring spending trends to gain a better foothold in the greater Southeast Asian market.

Read the rest of the story here


3. China Singles Day: a retail goldmine

Chinese retailers are outperforming the global competition, with an average time of 3.4 seconds before their websites become usable for Chinese customers (compared to 7.7 seconds for global retailers).

H&M stood out as a shining light amongst the global retailers; with an average time of just 2.4 seconds before customers could start interacting with its website from China.

Read the rest of the story here. 

Ride-hailing app Grab in collaboration with Indonesia’s Lippo Group will build a mobile payments wallet, reports Tech in Asia.

A Grab spokesperson said that the first stage of the rollout will begin in the fourth quarter.

“Lippo Group will develop a universal payments platform that enables Indonesians to top up an emoney account and use it to pay digitally at Lippo companies. Grab will integrate the payments platform into the Grab app as a mobile wallet option within GrabPay, enabling any mobile user to use the Grab app to pay for not only their daily transport needs, but also other lifestyle services.”

Indonesia’s digital payments landscape is notoriously fragmented. Each major bank is working on its own virtual wallet, roping in its network of vendors, but leaving consumers overwhelmed with options.

The Grab spokesperson comments, “the payments platform will initially be available for use at Lippo Group companies and to pay for Grab rides in Indonesia.”

This means that over 50 million existing customers from the two companies will be able to pay via their mobile phones for a full suite of services from Lippo’s retail companies.

The two companies sealed the terms of the joint venture in March. Lippo invested in Grab as part of the deal.

A version of this appeared in Tech in Asia on July 22. Find the full version here