Here’s ecommerce news you should know:

1. Six out of 10 Filipino prefers e-payment than cash

In the recent survey conducted by global payment company Visa, Filipino showed a big improvement on the electronic payment system.

Six out of the 10 respondents said they prefer electronic payments rather than paying in cash. 71% of Filipino also shop online at least once a month.

The survey was done online and participated in equally by about 3,000 persons aged 18-55 years old from six Asian countries namely the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Read the full story here.

2. Google is testing a data-friendly version of its mobile app

The lite version, which essentially a modified version of the Google search app, will be optimized for those using poor quality connection, with limited mobile data allocations, or in possession of a smartphone with little internal memory.

The search company is currently piloting such version in Indonesia.

Beyond the apps, Google also putting serious focus on developing services that are optimized for emerging markets, including the lightweight version of Android, Android Go.

Read the full story here.

3. Recommended reading: Alibaba is a better investment than Amazon

Despite Amazon’s strong growth of over 30% with its stock bouncing around $1000, an analyst said Alibaba would make a better investment than Amazon, as the Chinese company sees its revenues increased from $992 million in 2011 to $23.5 billion in 2017.

Read the full story here.

Here’s what you should know today:

1. Amazon Prime Now launched in Singapore offering two-hours delivery

Amazon officially launched its service in Southeast Asia starting with Singapore. The company is also rolling out its express, same-day delivery Prime Now services.

The service will see Singaporeans get their orders delivered as fast as one-hour in some areas. The app is available for download in Singapore both on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App store.

Prime Now is a part of Amazon Prime membership but Amazon is making this available for non-members in Singapore for a limited period of time.

Read the full story here.

2. Didi combined valuation with its allies in Asia is likely worth more than Uber’s

Valued at $68 billion, Uber still holds the title of the world’s most valuable private tech company. But the number two Didi Chuxing is catching up, especially with its latest investment in Grab.

Didi and Grab latest valuations combined are worth $48.5 billion.

If you add the latest valuation of Didi’s allies in Asia like India’s Ola ($3.6 billion) and Lyft ($6.9 billion) the combined value of the firms already exceeds Uber’s.

Read the full story here

3. Visa opens new data center in Singapore

Global payments company Visa is expanding its transaction processing capabilities by opening the new data centers in Singapore and the U.K.

The new global processing hubs will increase the speed, resilience and geo-diversity of Visa’s infrastructure. The Singapore and UK data centers will complement Visa’s existing processing facilities in North America.

“With our technology investments in Asia and Europe, we’re scaling up our infrastructure to meet the explosive growth in digital and mobile payments, while maintaining the secure, convenient and always-on service that our clients and partners expect.” said Rajat Taneja, executive vice president of technology at Visa.

Read the full story here

Here’s what you should know today:

1. Google Lounge is launched in Indonesia for budding entrepreneurs

Google for Entrepreneurs and KIBAR announced the opening of Google Lounge in Central Jakarta. Sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs, it’s providing financial support and Google’s resources to strengthen the startup ecosystem in Indonesia.

KIBAR and Google for Entrepreneurs will create a series of programmes to empower Indonesian members. Google Indonesia is committed to training up to 100,000 mobile developers.

The collaboration complements Google’s broader efforts to invest in the startup and developer ecosystem. The government also supports the collaboration and encourages startups to join in and contribute to nation’s growth in digital and creative economy.

Read the full story here.

2. Tokopedia accidentally confirms the fundraising rumor

After keeping mum about rumors relating to the potential of JD’s investment, Tokopedia’s Founder Leonitus Alpha Edison and Vice President Amit Lakhotia accidentally revealed to DealStreetAsia that they are indeed in talks with potentials investors.

They then hastily clarified, “Well, everybody is fundraising. Everybody is talking to VCs right now.”

Tokopedia is the first Indonesia’s tech company valued over $1 billion and has raised around $250 million. The company records more than 7.5 million transactions monthly and rank #8 in most popular sites in Indonesia.

Read the full story here

3. VISA signs MOU as the payment partner of Phuket Smart City 

VISA Thailand has signed MOU with Phuket City Development (PKCD) as the official partner of Phuket Smart City to develop payment solutions for both residents and tourists on the island-province.

PKCD was founded by local businesses in September 2016, with initial investment from 25 prominent Phuket families. The province is among the first in Thailand to embrace the Smart City concept

The project aims to transform Phuket into a fully integrated digital economy, assisting business owners, managers, start-up entrepreneurs and residents in the transition.

Read the full story here

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Alibaba taps user data to drive growth spurt

Earlier this month, it forecast annual revenues would increase 45 to 49%, besting analysts’ consensus estimates by 10 percentage points and adding $42.25bn to its value — almost an entire Barclays bank — the following day.

“Alibaba is evolving into a big data conglomerate,” enthused Jessie Guo, analyst at Jefferies.

Alibaba’s vertically and horizontally integrated services span shopping, movies, finance and logistics, all collecting information on people’s spending, location and viewing.

Once refined, the data are fed back to merchants, who in turn can better target their goods and sell more over Alibaba’s ecommerce platforms.

At the other end, data are routed back to merchants and, in turn, manufacturers, to tell them what items are in demand. Alibaba uses predictive data ahead of its mammoth annual Singles Day shopping frenzy to let merchants know where they should be warehousing goods the day before.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. A timeline of’s long march into luxury and fashion, China’s second-largest ecommerce company, just announced to the public an ambitious plan to advance its position in the flourishing luxury and fashion industry through a $397 million deal with the global luxury e-tailer Farfetch.

In recent years, with the maturing of the fashion industry in China, and rival Alibaba aggressively entering the field with strategic deals with luxury powerhouses Louis Vuitton and Burberry,’s embrace of the fashion and luxury industries was maybe only a matter of time.

In February 2017, the company created a new online channel named “JD Fashion” which sells products from big-name brands like Armani, Swarovski and Zenith. In June 2017, the company launches its “white glove” delivery service that has men in tuxedos bringing customers their orders.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Visa: Thai people are using more e-payment options, less cash

A recent survey from Visa has shown that Thai people are gradually carrying less cash around, and adopting digital forms of payment as they are starting to see it as more convenient.

73% of respondents in the Visa survey has stated that they use different forms of e-payment. This covers credit cards, debit cards and mobile payments.

It was found that millennials were the group most likely to use online payments (83%), and 60% of them said that carrying around too much cash is not safe.

Visa’s PayWave contactless payment is filling this interest, and users can tap their device at supermarkets and restaurants nationwide.

Read the rest of the story here


Here’s what you should know today.

1. Mastercard, UnionPay and Visa make e-payments in Thailand easier

Mastercard, UnionPay International and Visa today introduced a Standardized Quick Response (QR) Code for payments, accelerating Thailand’s transition to a cashless society.

The Standardized QR Code supports the Bank of Thailand’s cashless agenda to drive innovation and security in payments.

Merchants will only need to display one QR code at the storefront or through the acquiring bank’s mobile application. In the future, Thai consumers will benefit from being able to make QR code based payments when traveling outside of Thailand.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Amazon is putting a homeless shelter inside its new Seattle office building

In 2016, Amazon bought an old motel in downtown Seattle, Washington, and turned it into a temporary shelter for the homeless.

The lease only extends through October 2017, when the building will be demolished to make way for two new Amazon office towers. But now, Amazon will give the shelter a permanent home.

The project — which will cost tens of millions of dollars — is one of Amazon’s biggest philanthropic ventures to date, according to The New York Times. Moving Mary’s Place into its new office building could help Amazon’s reputation, especially in Seattle.

In recent years, anti-gentrification activists have criticized the company for driving up real estate costs and making downtown less diverse.

Read the rest of the story here.

3. Recommended Reading: five years in, Birchbox Man is boosting education and interest in men’s grooming 

 After selling monthly subscription boxes full of sample beauty and skin care products to women for a little over a year, Birchbox heard from female customers that the men in their lives had voiced interest about a similar product model geared towards men’s grooming.

Since, the men’s business has grown 15 times its size in the first year.

It has also found that its Birchbox Man customers are likely to spend more and convert faster once they’ve started receiving subscriptions than women.


Here’s what you need to know today.

1. How will Amazon will take a stab at Google’s ad business?

Amazon has articulated a strategy for its advertising business at an internal event. It promises advertisers the chance to target Amazon buyers who are ready to purchase something. This makes it instantly intriguing for advertisers, as the chance of conversion is higher than with Google.

The ecommerce giant is betting on a strategy of using ads as an additional revenue stream to lower the price of the goods it sells

As of late, Amazon has even started placing ads directly on Google to promote products on its marketplace.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. PayPal extends partnership with Visa to expand into Asia Pacific

PayPal Holdings Inc. and Visa Inc. said they are extending into the Asia-Pacific region a partnership that currently covers only the U.S.

The collaboration will allow users of PayPal and Visa cards to choose either mode of payment.

PayPal had sparred for years with credit-card firms for control over online and in-store transactions.

The payment firm last year shifted its strategy to become a global digital platform that works with banks, card issuers and ecommerce companies including Alibaba Group. PayPal is also looking to increase usage of digital payments in developing Asian markets such as India and Indonesia, as the two countries are very mobile dependent, a third of PayPal transactions come directly from mobile.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Latest retail casualty: Ralph Lauren

The luxury brand is closing its iconic Polo store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue as it looks to kickstart a tentative turnaround.

The latest moves will save Ralph Lauren about $140 million a year but the company will incur some $370 million in one-time restructuring charges.

The moves come on top of 50 store closures last year, a decision stemming from dwindling sales at its own stores as well as at the department stores like Macy’s that carry its products.

Ralph Lauren reported early this year that net revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31, which included the holiday shopping season, fell 11.9% to $1.7 billion. The fashion house’s chief financial officer, Jane Nielsen said in a statement that the closing was aimed to free up the company to explore other retail concepts.

Read the rest of the story here.