Here’s what you need to know for today.

1. Alibaba’s revenue jumps 54%

The Chinese e-commerce giant reported net income of $2.47 billion with total revenue of $7.67 billion for its Q3 2016.

The primary source of revenue remains Alibaba’s core commerce businesses — its Taobao marketplace and T-Mall service for brands.

The firm is looking to plant further roots in China’s e-commerce industry by expanding its offline presence. That explains its $2.6 billion bid to fully acquire one of China’s prominent shopping mall and department store operators, Intime.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Alibaba’s local commerce platform, Koubei, raises $1.1 billion

Koubei, an Alibaba affiliate company focused on enabling local commerce, closed a $1.1 billion financing round this month. The funding was led by Silver Lake, CDH Investments, Yunfeng Capital and Primavera Capital.

What is Koubei?: Koubei is a joint venture founded in 2015 by Alibaba and Ant Financial, an Alibaba offshoot that manages its Alipay service and other financial tech initiatives. The idea behind it is to generate business for local retailers by bringing them online, while also offering new commerce opportunities for consumers.

Example?: Helping a local pizza chain reach new customers or making a pop grocer more accessible to people with limited time to go in person.

Read the rest of the story here


3. Walmart will cut 200 ecommerce jobs in the US

Tuesday’s cuts are intended to shift the retailer’s ecommerce staff toward more shopper-facing roles, said spokesman Dan Toporek. For example, sells millions more products than a year ago, requiring more employees that manage those items online, he says.

Read the rest of the story here.

SingPost ecommerce delivered positive sales growth in the last quarter by 30.9% to $248 million (S333.4 million), but saw a decrease in net profit by 23%.

The increase reflects expansion in cross border ecommerce activities, as well as the integration of new US subsidiaries TradeGlobal and Jagged Peak. Both of these companies run ecommerce fulfillment and logistics operations, acquired in November 2015 and March 2016, respectively. The company recently won Japanese fashion brand UNIQLO’s ecommerce business in Thailand.

Ecommerce related revenues more than doubled from $54.3 million to $122 million. They now make up 49.3 % of Group revenue, up from 28.7% last year. 

Ecommerce related revenues now make up 49.3% of the total Group revenue, up from 28.7% last year. 

Logistics revenue rose 11.9% to $116.7 million, with steady organic growth at Quantium Solutions and CouriersPlease, as well as the inclusion of a new subsidiary under Famous Holdings. Increased cross border ecommerce related activities led postal revenues to a 1.5% rise, indicating an increased demand of cross border services. 

Increased cross border ecommerce related activities led postal revenues to a 1.5% rise, indicating an increased demand of cross border services. 

Total expenses increased 33.6%, driven largely by growth in international mail traffic and ecommerce logistics volumes that reflect the change in the Group’s business mix.

Net profit attributable to equity holders declined 23.0% to S$35.9 million, due largely to one-off gains from the divestments of Novation Solutions and DataPost HK in the corresponding period last year.

From the SingPost Press Release:

Underlying net profit, which excludes one-off items, was down 11.2%, due to investments in business transformation. Rental income declined as the Singapore Post Centre (“SPC”) retail mall is being redeveloped, while depreciation charges were incurred for the Regional ecommerce Logistics Hub, which obtained a Temporary Occupation Permit in April 2016.

SingPost also continued to invest in ecommerce IT and operational capabilities. Mr Mervyn Lim, Covering Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are investing in our business transformation and that will take time to contribute materially to earnings. We are focused on executing our strategy to create value from our acquisitions and build an integrated global ecommerce logistics ecosystem. SingPost’s strategy to protect the postal core and grow its ecommerce logistics network remains on track.”

The good news will be welcomed by SingPost, following the company’s spell of negative headlines regarding internal investigation over board members, and the stepping down of Director Keith Tay in May.

Access the press release here

By Anutra Chatikavanij & Felicia Moursalien


In a record high, Facebook pulled in just over US$1 billion in revenue from the Asia-Pacific region, reports Tech In Asia.

The $1.03 billion figure for Q2 has more than doubled from the $431 million Facebook pulled in from the region exactly two years ago. Majority brought in by advertising and the impressive milestone was reached without any help from China’s vast population as Facebook is blocked there.

Facebook’s Data

  • Daily users in Asia reached 346 million
  • Monthly active users in Asia reached 592 million
  • Average revenue per user in Asia grew to $1.77
Source: Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook

Facebook and its brands’ global reach. Source: Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook

Facebook’s bottom line is benefiting from a lot of Chinese companies that are using its ad platform to reach customers around the world. 

Even Chinese state media is using Facebook as part of its soft power reach to the world.

The money Facebook makes from Europe has also doubled in the past two years, while in the US and Canada it has nearly tripled in the same period.

Facebook has made aggressive moves into Southeast Asia this year, choosing Thailand as the country to test its social commerce pilot project due to the popularity of C2C commerce in the country. The company has also announced the integration of ecommerce into Facebook Messenger in the form of Chat Bots; allowing users to communicate with brands and merchants on the chat platform, users can make payments and confirm delivery on the space as well.

2016 is shaping up to be a very good year indeed for Zuckerberg and co.

A version of this appeared in Tech In Asia on July 28.  Read the full version here.

The popular messaging service Line is now targeting a $1.14 billion raise in what could potentially be this year’s largest tech IPO, reports Bloomberg.

Line has set the price of its IPO at the top of the targeted range, and will also exercise an option to sell more stock as potential investors shrug off market volatility initially caused by Brexit.

The company announced that it will sell 35 million shares at $32 apiece (3,300 yen).

It will also sell 5.25 million shares through a greenshoe (a clause that allows underwriters to buy up to an additional 15% of shares at the offering price), boosting the total raised to $1.3 billion.

The shares will begin trading in New York on July 14 and the day after in Tokyo. The company’s New York traded stock was priced at $32.84 with Line selling 25.3 million shares in the US, including the greenshoe.

Line is clearly gearing up for a big battle with larger rivals such as Facebook and Wechat owned Tencent Holdings. The company is looking to expand its 218 million user base beyond its strongest markets in Japan and Thailand. An expansion to target more users in Asia and eventually the US is planned for the future. Line initially filed to go public two years ago, but held off in hopes of getting stronger reception from investors, a strategy which may have cost the company as Facebook took this time to begin infiltrating its sector around the same time the market for technology company IPOs cooled.

The company made $1 billion in revenue in 2015, but isn’t yet profitable. Almost 90% of its revenue comes from Japan, while more than 60% of income comes from games. Sales grew 40% last year to 120.7 billion yen, with games, streaming music and comics accounting for 41% of that. But Line chalked up a net loss of 7.6 billion yen in the period, according to its IPO filing.

No technology company has raised more than $150 million in an IPO this year.

A version of this appeared in Bloomberg on July 11. Read the full version here.

SingPost Warehouse Source: Bangkok Post, Thailand Post Logistics Unit Expected To Turn Profit

SingPost Warehouse, Source: Bangkok Post

The company’s logistics revenue is expected to reach THB 480 million, a 60% increase from THB 300 million in 2015.

“We also expect to break even this year, after facing a loss of 100 million baht last year, thanks to our cost-effectiveness strategy”, said Warakan Srinualnad, chief executive of Thailand Post Distribution, the logistics arm of Thailand Post.

Thailand’s logistics market has experienced an average annual growth rate of 15% per year, highlighting a growing need for high-class logistics service.

Thailand Post began its logistics operations in 2015, mainly serving the pharmaceutical industry, ecommerce and warehouse management. The company has nine of its own storage and distribution facilities in major provinces.

The company projects revenue from its medical and pharmaceutical services to account for 80% (THB 384 million) of the total this year. Ecommerce is set to account for 12% and its warehouse management service is set to generate 8%.

“Thailand Post Distribution expects revenue from its ecommerce service to surge to THB 58 million this year, as that market is booming,” comments Srinualnad.

A version of this appeared in Bangkok Post on June 24. Read the full article here.