Here’s what you should know today.

1. Uber posts $708m Q1 loss; finance chief departs

Uber has published its financial results for Q1 2017. While sequential revenue grew by an impressive 18% to hit US$3.4 billion for the quarter, the ride-hailing company also posted an overall loss of US$708 million.

Uber’s head of finance Gautam Gupta is quitting to join another San Francisco-based firm.

Despite the substantial losses, Uber’s Q1 results actually represent an improvement on the US$991 million deficit the company reported during the preceding quarter. Uber’s high profile presence but challenge in making profit in the long run represents a lot of struggles shared by many startups across the globe.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Mary Meeker’s latest trends report highlights Silicon Valley’s role in the future of healthcare

A few key insights from the report:

  • More of us are now downloading health apps and willing to share our health data, too.
  • Meeker’s report says a full 60 percent of us were willing to share our health data with Google in 2016.
  • In other good news, hospitals and doctor’s offices now offer patients access to their own digital data, as well.

Much of these insights aren’t all that surprising. Wearables are ubiquitous, there’s money to be made in disrupting old systems by making them digital and venture firms have poured a bunch of money into new health startups to do just that.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Michael Kors to Close 100-125 Stores

 Another victim of ecommerce disruption.

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd gave a bleak full-year forecast and said it would shut more than 100 full-price retail stores in the next two years as it struggles in its turnaround strategy.

Total sales fell 11.2 percent to $1.06 billion in the fourth quarter, while analysts had expected $1.05 billion. The company’s comparable-store sales fell 14.1 percent in the quarter, below analysts’ estimate of 13.4 percent.

Certainly, Michael Kors’ problems mirror those of a number of major American luxury brands, an issue outlined by Luca Solca, the head of luxury goods at BNP Exane Paribas, in a recent article for BoF.

“Today’s luxury market is about maintaining the illusion of exclusivity, while selling units by the millions. Shatter the illusion and brand cachet is lost,” Solca wrote. “America’s large luxury players [have been] sprinting to sell as much as possible, as fast as possible, then suffering the consequences.”

Read the rest of the story here.

1. Alibaba Group is now Asia’s richest company

Alibaba’s market value rose to US$261 billion in New York last week, overtaking Tencent’s US$255.98 billion capitalisation in Hong Kong on Thursday. Read the rest of the story here.


2. In Japan, You can buy a priest on-demand from Amazon

Proponents of obosan-bin argue that conventional temples already operate like businesses — just the kind that put a lot of blind pricing pressure on the customers they ask donations of. Read the rest of the story here.


3. Indonesia’s fast growing fashion startup Sale Stock is laying off over 200 employees

Most of the employees were from the customer service department. However, the company is still hiring for technical positions. Read the rest of the story here.


4. ShopBack Joins MDEC’s #MYCYBERSALE as official cashback partner

#MYCYBERSALE is Malaysia’s largest annual online sale event. The 5-day national event will see e-retailers like Groupon, Lazada, Zalora, Qoo10, Photobook Malaysia, and more to collectively customize their products as well as services to surprise shoppers with best value deals and up to 90% discounts. Read the rest of the story here.


5. Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors dominate luxury’s online market share

Consumers visited luxury brand Web sites a total of 185.2 million times in the last 12 months, a decrease of 11.2 percent year-over-year, according to a new report from PMX Agency. Read the rest of the story here.

Alibaba launches anti fake drive

Counterfeit designer products is a big problem in emerging markets, both online and offline. Alibaba takes drastic steps.

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba announced its new anti-fake drive to showcase the company’s determination in eliminating fake goods, reports Reuters.

Alibaba has recently been hit with controversy regarding the company’s stance on counterfeit products, resulting in its ejection from a US based anti-counterfeiting alliance weeks after its entry.

At an intellectual property conference on July 1, Alibaba announced a new online system that will help track and remove fake goods. This announcement follows its top anti-piracy official’s request for more active cooperation with designers and branded goods companies.

In the face of such a complex problem we can’t be complaining about each other, or criticizing each other…We have to have everybody involved and work together. – Jessie Zheng, Chief Platform Governance Officer, Alibaba Group.

This collaborative attempt follows not only the ejection from the anti-counterfeit alliance, but also a mutiny from luxury goods brands Michael Kors and Gucci. This is a positive move from the ecommerce giant, as it shows unity with global brands, and highlights their commitment in wiping out counterfeit products.

The online system, known as the “IP Joint-Force System” will streamline IP-related communications with brands and Alibaba in order to simplify the removal of listings of suspected counterfeit products. The online initiative is in line with founder Jack Ma’s insistence that “fake goods have no place on the site“. This is considered the company’s first active stance against counterfeiting, following a series of anti counterfeit rhetoric, and should be considered a positive turn of events.

This online initiative could possibly lead to a series of anti-counterfeit platforms from collaborators, with Alibaba inspiring the movement it started in the first place.

A version of this appeared in Reuters on July 1. Read the full article here.