Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group bets big on ecommerce with US$500M launch of MatahariMall

IndonesiaIndonesia’s Lippo Group announced today the launch of its massive ecommerce venture MatahariMall – the online version of one of the nation’s biggest mid-priced department stores. Lippo Group is one of the archipelago’s largest and richest conglomerates, and has invested US$500 million into the initiative. Lippo plans to spend the money over the next two to three years in hopes that the site can create US$1 billion in sales.

Snapdeal’s CTO Amitabh Misra quits, may turn entrepreneur

IndiaNEW DELHI: Snapdeal chief technology officer Amitabh Misra has quit the New Delhi-based online marketplace, and is likely to start his own entrepreneurial venture. Misra, who joined the company in 2011, and held the role of senior vice-president — engineering, spearheaded the company’s efforts in creating and building its information technology infrastructure and backend systems.

How Line is turning Instagram into an ecommerce app in Thailand

ThailandLine and Instagram stand out as two of the hottest social apps in Thailand. Line is the dominant messenging platform in the nation, with over 33 million registered users. Messaging with Line has become so quotidien – one entrepreneur told me about how her mother operates several Line groups for her various circles of friends – that the app has emerged as arguably the most trusted channel of interaction outside a physical encounter.

Not satisfied with Monster Strike, Mixi acquires Japanese fashion startup

JapanMixi is showing interest in the world outside Monster Strike, the game that saved the firm and turned it into a billion dollar company. Today, Mixi announced it acquired Muse & Co., an ecommerce site targeting high-end shoppers. The Bridge is reporting an acquisition price of JPY 1.76 billion (US$14.8 million).

E-commerce gains popularity in Singapore: FedEx Express

SingaporeE-commerce is gaining popularity in Singapore, revealed a recent study titled “Seizing The Cross-Border Opportunity” by global transportation company FedEx Express. Out of the 9,006 global online consumers surveyed, one fifth of the Singaporean respondents said that they allocated up to half of their monthly discretionary spending for online shopping. Clothes and clothing accessories were found to be the most popular items bought online in Singapore (61 percent), followed by consumer electronics (33 percent).

Amazon India hosts ‘Golden Ticket Sale’ of Yu Yureka smartphone for select customers

IndiaAccording to the website, registered customers will receive an email from informing them of their access to the sale. The ‘overwhelming response’ from the customers had earlier forced Micromax subsidiary Yu Televentures to close the  registrations for the first sale of its Yureka smartphone early.

Snapdeal acquires luxury goods portal Exclusively

IndiaNEW DELHI: Expanding its presence in the high-end fashion segment, online marketplace Snapdeal has acquired luxury fashion portal for an undisclosed amount. With this acquisition, the city-based firm that gets a little over $1 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) from its fashion business expects this figure to touch $2 billion by the end of the current calendar year.

Snapdeal eyes $5 billion valuation

IndiaMUMBAI | NEW DELHI: Snapdeal is looking to raise funding of at least $400 million (Rs 2,500 crore), just four months after SoftBank led an investment round that made the Japanese conglomerate the largest shareholder in the Delhi-based online marketplace. Two people aware of the negotiations said Jasper Infotech, the owner of Snapdeal, is seeking a valuation of $5 billion and has initiated talks with several investors, both financial and strategic.

Snapdeal to soon announce an acquisition

IndiaMUMBAI: Snapdeal’s founder and chief executive Kunal Bahl said the e-commerce major is close to announcing an acquisition, which will play the role of an enabler for the platform. “You will see us make some acquisitions, some may be announced soon,” Bahl said while speaking at the annual NILF here. Bahl, however, refused to give any indication on the ticket size or on the target company, limiting himself to saying that this will be an “enabler” in the larger scheme of things at the online seller.

Flipkart eyes $8 billion sales in 2015

IndiaNEW DELHI: Homegrown online marketplace Flipkart is eyeing sales worth $8 billion (about Rs 50,000 crore) in 2015 in terms of total value of goods sold, more than double of $3 billion clocked last year.  Increasing internet penetration and online shopping by youngsters helped the e-commerce firm hit a gross merchandise value (GMV) of $1 billion in March 2014.

Amazon outbids Myntra, Snapdeal to bag title sponsorship of fashion week

IndiaNEW DELHI/KOLKATA: Amazon India has bagged the title sponsorship of the India Fashion Week, replacing Wills Lifestyle, as India’s deep-pocketed e-commerce companies increasingly snap up title sponsorship of major television shows, fashion and sporting events to increase their visibility. Amazon, which has ambitious plans for India’s booming online fashion industry, beat peers such as and Myntra to bag the sponsorship of the prestigious bi-annual event organized by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), two people familiar with the development said.

Alibaba’s global-facing ecommerce site AliExpress launches localized Indonesian service

IndonesiaAlibaba announced today that AliExpress, the company’s global-facing ecommerce site, has localized for better service in Indonesia. While has been active for some time (Tech in Asia spotted it back in October), today marks its official coming out party in the eyes of the company.

Ecommerce services for payment to start

MyanmarWhile services like US-based PayPal and China’s AliPay are making it easy for seamless e-commerce around the world, Myanmar is still a cash-based society, with few of the solutions that has helped drive online shopping in the rest of the world. The Myanmar Payments Union, an enterprise owned by the domestic banks, is planning to launch a service allowing for online payments. It is already working with Cooperative, Myawaddy and United Amara, and is actively attempting to recruit more banks to take part in the service, said MPU chief executive U Zaw Lin Htut.

Myntra planning to shut down its website by year-end

IndiaMUMBAI: At a time when fashion sales at Flipkart and Myntra have collectively crossed the billion-dollar mark in run rate, Myntra may look to phase out its web presence completely in a strong testimony to the exponential growth of mobile internet in the country. This will be the first such instance of a mainstream online retailer morphing into a mobile-only player as internet usage over smartphones surges in India.

Jack Ma: ‘Taobao doesn’t have fake products, they’re just web products’

ChinaAlibaba’s ongoing kerfuffle with the government over (among other things) the presence of fake/counterfeit products on its ecommerce platforms just won’t seem to end. But the latest twist is a speech Alibaba founder Jack Ma gave in Hong Kong, recorded in the Beijing Times, in which he says they’re not fakes at all.

Singapore holds 72-hour online shopping festival

SingaporeFrom 2 to 4 February, Singaporean e-shoppers were treated to big discounts in a 72-hour shopping e-commerce festival that also saw companies like Google, DBS, SingPost and SRPING Singapore collaborating with retailers and businesses. The pre-Chinese New Year online shopping fest brought deals from over 60 brands onto a common platform where shoppers can avail of deals including up to 75 percent off travel deals, up to 70 percent off beauty products.

Line gets into groceries with launch of online supermarket for Southeast Asia

JapanLine, the popular messaging app with 181 million monthly active users at the last count, is set to launch online grocery deliveries across Southeast Asia. Line’s new online supermarket service launches first in Thailand on February 4. It promises discounts on some everyday groceries that people need to stock up on often, such as bottled water, coffee, and instant noodles. There’ll be free delivery for Thai shoppers.

Astro launches home shopping JV, takes the plunge into e-commerce

MalaysiaASTRO Malaysia Holdings Bhd has announced a joint venture with South Korean multimedia retailer GS Home Shopping Inc which has launched Go Shop, a new 24-hour shopping service available on Astro TV (Channel 118), Astro On The Go, as well as web and mobile platforms. Go Shop is Astro’s first foray into e-commerce, the company said in a statement. It follows other big names such as Philips and Celcom which have also formed e-commerce partnerships over the last year.

Fake goods: Alibaba promises tougher scrutiny

ChinaThe head of China’s commerce regulator met with Alibaba Group Holding chairman Jack Ma to discuss combating fake products, the official Xinhua news agency reported, with the two adopting a conciliatory tone after a row over illegal business on the internet company’s platforms. The meeting took place the same day the regulator, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), backtracked on an earlier report that had excoriated the Chinese online commerce company for not doing enough to suppress counterfeiting on its websites.

Alibaba founder and top China regulator meet after fakes row

ChinaBEIJING — Alibaba founder Jack Ma has met with the head of a powerful Chinese regulator, days after authorities accused the e-commerce giant of allowing “illegal” actions on its multibillion-dollar online shopping platform. The meeting Friday between Ma and State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) director Zhang Mao may signal a de-escalation of the dispute, which saw the regulator deliver an unprecedented public dressing-down of the prominent Chinese firm.