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Here’s what you should know today:

1. Uber is suspended for one month in the Philippines

The Philippines’ Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has suspended Uber’s operation for one month.

The suspension order came after Uber violated the order to not accept and activate new drivers into its platform that issued on July 26 as the agency ironed out issues concerning the ride-sharing industry.

The suspension took effect on Monday night and affecting thousands of Uber’s drivers. The LTFRB recommended that Uber extend financial assistance to its affected drivers as a “form of good faith.”

Read the full story here.

2. Singapore’s SingX raises $4.5M to expand in APAC

Online remittance startup SingX has raised $4.5 million in a pre-Series A round led by angel investors from Singapore and Hong Kong.

The fintech company will use the fund to scale up customer acquisition in Singapore and develop its platform, also expand its services to Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Australia.

SingX bypasses banks and offer cheaper and more intuitive costs to do remittance transactions. It targets white collar workers and SMEs, who have more leverage and are savvier financially.

Read the full story here

3. Recommended reading: Traditional retailers in the Philippines prepare for ecommerce trend

The traditional brick-and-mortar retailers’ position as a key node in the Philippines’ consumption-driven economy, they are in danger of being supplanted by ecommerce.

Although ecommerce only contributed 2% of the total retail, it’s getting a lot of buzz and continues growing because of a lot of innovation in the sector. However, this doesn’t mean the traditional retailers are completely in disadvantage.

“Shopping has always been a sensory experience. This is what we’ve always been good at. What we want [local retailers] to realize is that if you meld this expertise with the kind of information that people get from ecommerce, where all the information on a product is readily available from price to reviews, then they can do very well,” said Paul Santos, president of the Philippines Retailers Association (PRA).

Read the full story here.

 

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Financial comparison site Moneysmart raises $10m series B to grow into new markets

Singapore-based financial products and services comparison site Moneysmart has raised US$10 million for its series B round.

The round is led by Japanese web group Kakaku, which operates a number of consumer websites in sectors like shopping, travel, lifestyle, and real estate.

Moneysmart helps users compare 17 different personal finance products including credit cards, insurance, and loans. Site visitors can also read about various financial topics on the accompanying blog, maintained by full-time staff.

The startup competes with fellow Singaporean company GoBear, which also offers insurance, credit card, and loan comparison, and is present in six markets in Southeast Asia. Kakaku, a prominent Japanese online brand, sees Moneysmart as an opportunity to tap into consumer markets in Southeast Asia. “Our missions are very similar – help with people’s decision-making,” says Genta Sugihara, senior executive officer for Kakaku’s corporate development division.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. For retailers, Amazon is a true frenemy

“They buy from us, but they want to sell advertising to us as well,” said one brand marketer. “When you talk to them, you don’t know what their interest is.”

Amazon could be poised, according to Forrester analyst Collin Colburn, who published research on this in January, to take over search — a market Google almost wholly controls.

As consumer behavior shifts to be more specific, people will start searching on Amazon for specific needs. Amazon has created product display ads and other types of search products already.

At the same time, if brands want to be Amazon for the purpose of using only its marketing (which buyers and brands both say is good), then they also have to be on its marketplace. “Amazon is two-way relationship,” said one marketer.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Recommended Reading: Why Bike-Sharing (Ofo, MoBike) Is Nothing Like Didi and Uber (i.e., Ride-Sharing)

Basically, bike-sharing is nothing like Didi, Grab, Ola, Uber, AirBnb and the others. Its economics are far more like an on-demand rental business or a vending machine business (at this point. It could evolve).

But much of the current excitement seems to be because people think this business is like Didi. It’s just not. It’s a different thing.

Bike sharing is basically a traditional, vertically integrated b2c rental service. It is a traditional merchant business. Being bigger helps somewhat but it is still fairly easy for a new entrant to enter. All you would need is about 30,000 bicycles. That would cost about $2.5M. So this is a cheap and fairly easy business to enter, which will probably limit long-term profitability.

However, in the short-term companies like Ofo and Mobike should do really well. They are offering an innovative new service and are first-movers in a wide-open and massive market.

Read the rest of the story here.

Winding down from a crazy day? Why don’t you check out some of the top ecommerce stories of today?

1. Lalamove is expanding into food delivery, partners up with restaurants in Bangkok

Restaurants and food producers, who are invited to use Lalamove’s 24×7 dedicated courier service, will receive a stamp of approval with a ‘Lala Recommended’ graphic featured on Lalamove social media. Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Naspers-owned PayU buys Indian fintech startup for $130m in one of the biggest M&A’s in Indian history

Naspers-owned PayU today confirmed its acquisition of Indian payment gateway CitrusPay. The deal was closed for $130 million, making it one of the largest M&As in Indian fintech history. Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Post CEOs look to partner with ecommerce players

Indian Postal Services Board Chair Boyapati Venkat Sudhakar said the India Post’s reach in semi-urban and rural areas, where demand for ecommerce goods is high, made them an attractive partner to e-retailers. Read the rest of the story here.

 

4. How on-demand ridesharing can give e-commerce a necessary boost

Another advantage is lower cost of transporting bigger packages, as is the case with Deliveree. Most P2P courier services also offer an option for cash or card payment, which gives users some flexibility. Read the rest of the story here.

 

5. Facebook’s Chat Bot Will Soon Allow You To Book Flights and Hotels Within Messenger App

Users can scroll through a list of flights, consume and engage with different types of media and play basic games while still in the chat window. Read the rest of the story here.

Uber Technologies Inc. will sell its China business to Didi Chuxing, the dominant ride-hailing service in the country, reports Bloomberg. The deal ends a costly battle between the two companies, which competed for customers and drivers.

The valuation of the combined business will be $35 billion. Investors in Uber China, an entity owned by San Francisco-based Uber, Baidu Inc. and others, will receive a 20% stake in Didi and Uber will continue to operate its own app in China for now.

In addition to Uber selling its Chinese subsidiary, the complex deal involves Didi making a $1 billion investment in Uber. Both sides declined to comment.

Last year, China’s ride-hailing leaders Didi and Kuaidi joined forces. The merged company Didi Chuxing brought together backers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., the country’s most valuable internet businesses. Apple Inc. joined in this year with a $1 billion investment in Didi. Uber simply could not compete with the power house.

Both Uber and Didi have been spending significantly to compete in China. Uber has lost more than $2 billion in the country.

Getting to profitability is the only way to build a sustainable business that can best serve Chinese riders, drivers and cities over the long term. Neither Uber or Didi has turned a profit in China.

The purchase of Uber’s China business may complicate Didi’s alliance with other ride-hailing startups around the world. Didi had agreed to work with the US’s Lyft Inc., India’s Ola and Southeast Asia’s Grab to create a global force to take on Uber.

 The impending deal is a victory for Didi and underscores how the ride-hailing business favors domestic players.

While Uber will walk away from operations in China, it is taking a significant stake in the largest player in China. By recovering from its massive losses in China, the move will potentially help Uber clear the path for an eventual IPO. This deal shows that sometimes if you can’t beat them, it’s better to join them.

A version of this appeared in Bloomberg on August 1. Read the full version here.