Line’s new ecommerce app for Thailand is the scruffy cousin to its shopping app in Japan

Thai shoppers, rejoice – popular Japanese chat app Line, which has 24 million registered users in the Land of Smiles, just rolled out a standalone ecommerce app specifically for its fans in Thailand. The move follows the company’s release of a similar app for Japan last March. We took that app for a test drive but couldn’t really get more than a superficial understanding of what it was about due to this writer’s inability to read Japanese. Luckily, however, Thailand’s Line Shop is partially in English, so it’s time to jump iTunes’ fence again and go for a spin.

http://www.techinasia.com/lines-new-ecommerce-app-for-thailand-is-the-scruffy-cousin-to-its-shopping-app-in-japan/

Jack Ma: The C2B business model is an “undeniable trend”

Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank empire has been getting a lot attention in recent months, with a US$20 million splash of venture funding for the Phillipines, the debut of Pepper, the family friendly robot, and, the impending financial windfall from Alibaba’s IPO. Today, at the SoftBank World 2014 event, Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, talked about Alibaba’s business philosophy and the coming shift of Customer to Business (C2B) corporate strategies.

http://www.techinasia.com/jack-ma-softbank-world-alibaba-business-model/

Amazon Shuffles Executives In China

Amazon announced that Doug Gurr will replace Steve Frazier as the new president of Amazon China. Meanwhile, Frazier will be transferred back to the Seattle headquarters and continues to work as global vice president of the international business unit. Frazier was leading Amazon’s Chinese Internet retailing business in the past two and half years. In the future, he will be responsible for business expansion in international markets, including supporting the Chinese business.

http://www.chinatechnews.com/2014/07/06/20693-amazon-shuffles-executives-in-china

Flipkart launches budget smartphones, beats Google and Mozilla to the punch

The budget smartphone market in India keeps getting more crowded by the day. Just a week ago, Google announced plans to build and sell affordable Android One smartphones in India in partnership with local phone makers. But before Google’s phone could arrive, Indian ecommerce leader Flipkart has pressed ahead by launching a range of budget smartphones, starting at INR 2,699 (about US$45), in partnership with smartphone maker Karbonn.

http://www.techinasia.com/flipkart-android-mozilla-smartphone/

Rakuten just launched a $100M fund for startups. Here’s why the company is more than just “Japan’s Amazon”

As Alibaba prepares for its IPO and Tencent aggressively pushes its WeChat messenger all over the world, it’s easy for folks in the west to forget that there’s another Asian internet giant gunning for a broader global presence – Japan’s Rakuten. Founded in 1997, the Tokyo-based firm earned a name for itself domestically with Rakuten Ichiba, a marketplace that sells virtual store space for vendors looking to reach online customers. Rakuten Ichiba’s success helped it gain the reputation as “Japan’s Amazon,” the firm quickly proved to be about more than ecommerce – it successfully branched into the banking, securities, and travel industries. It even created a juggernaut baseball team in northern Japan.

http://www.techinasia.com/rakuten-just-launched-a-100m-fund-for-startups-interview-saemin-ahn/

In a challenge to Samsung, Micromax, and Amazon, Indian estore Flipkart launches its own tablet

Perhaps inspired by arch-rival Amazon, India’s top ecommerce store today unveiled its own-brand tablet. The Flipkart Digiflip Pro XT712, despite the awful, convoluted name, is a simple and affordable gadget that seems designed to help people spend more money on Flipkart from their mobile device. The new Flipkart Digiflip – let’s stick with that abbreviated name for now – costs Rs 9,999 (US$160) and is now on sale exclusively from the Flipkart estore. It comes, the company says, with “shopping benefits” worth over Rs. 5,000 (US$83) and complementary ebooks worth over Rs. 2,000 (US$33).

http://www.techinasia.com/india-flipkart-launches-digiflip-pro-xt712-tablet/

iBuy Group Ranked Number One E-Commerce Player in Southeast Asia

SINGAPORE — (Marketwired) — 06/23/14 — iBuy Group, the parent company of DEAL.com.sg, has emerged as the number one e-commerce player in Southeast Asia, based on turnover, according to a ranking by Business Insider Singapore, the Singaporean edition of a leading business and technology news website. iBuy Group, topped four other ecommerce sites to emerge as the winner in the ranking, with a turnover of S$153 million.

http://www.sys-con.com/node/3110162

Asia Pacific’s Top 500 Retailers See Drop in Traditional Retail Sales, Growth in Internet Retailing

SINGAPORE — (Marketwired) — 06/22/14 — Euromonitor International and Retail Asia are pleased to announce the launch of the eleventh edition of the Retail Asia Top 500 Retailers Ranking, listing the largest retailers in the region. The retailers on the Retail Asia Top 500 Ranking had total combined revenue of $1.035 trillion, down nearly 3 percent from the previous year, due to a weakening yen. The decline in combined sales primarily was caused by the weakening exchange rate of major Asian currencies against the US dollar, which was the common denominator used for the Top 500 ranking.

http://www.sys-con.com/node/3110050

Walmart to join ecommerce war in India with launch of online marketplace in July

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) will launch a business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce site in Lucknow and Hyderabad in the first week of July, Reuters reports today. Krish Iyer, India Walmart president, told Reuters that sales through the firm’s ecommerce service will be available only to its trader members, who are owners of small businesses that purchase from the company’s Best Price Modern Wholesale stores across India. That could change later once India relaxes regulations on foreign firms involved in ecommerce, allowing Walmart to open its estore to all consumers.

http://www.techinasia.com/walmart-ecommerce-india/

Alibaba launches US shopping website

SAN FRANCISCO: China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba has launched an American shopping website as the company continues a deal binge ahead of a widely anticipated US listing. The online shopping site, called 11 Main opened on a beta, or test, basis for consumers and is invitation-only in terms of the merchants it features, the site said in a statement.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/technology/alibaba-launches-us/1145612.html

TAITRA, Amazon sign a memorandum of understanding on close links

TAIPEI–The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the country’s major trade promotion body, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Monday with Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest online retailer, to forge a partnership agreement. Following cooperation with eBay Inc. and Newegg.com Inc. of the United States, along with Japan’s IPROS Corp., the signing of the MOU marks TAITRA’s latest efforts to promote e-commerce platforms, expand overseas markets and boost exports.

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/business/asia-taiwan/2014/06/10/409808/TAITRA-Amazon.htm

Who’s China’s top retailer? It’s actually an ecommerce site that doesn’t own a single store

Alibaba’s Tmall, China’s largest online retail marketplace, beat all traditional retail giants to head a new list of China’s top retailers. It was compiled for the 9th China Retailer Conference. Compared to the list’s rankings for 2012, Tmall surpasses electronics retail chain Suning (SHE:002024) for the first time and leaps to first place with a turnover of RMB 347 billion (US$55.5 billion) in 2013. Suning is one of the largest traditional retailers in the country, covering brick-and-mortar stores in over 700 cities in China as well as a fast-growing ecommerce site.

http://www.techinasia.com/alibaba-tmall-heads-list-china-top-100-retailers/

One week after its IPO, Chinese ecommerce firm JD hops on the WeChat train

About two months after Tencent (HKG: 0700) purchased an 18 percent stake in it, Chinese ecommerce site JD (NASDAQ: JD) has finally been integrated into WeChat (or Weixin, as it’s known domestically), Tencent’s monster messaging app. Technode reports that a new “Shopping” tab appears under the app’s “Discover” page.

http://www.techinasia.com/chinas-wechat-messenger-adds-jd-shopping/

Flipkart raises $210 million one week after acquring India’s biggest online apparel store

Just one week after acquiring India’s biggest fashion and apparel estore Myntra, the country’s biggest online marketplace Flipkart has raised US$210 million in funding. The investment is led by Russia’s DST Global, followed by existing investors Tiger Global, Naspers, and Iconiq Capital, according toNextBigWhat. This bring’s Flipkart’s total funding to date to US$750 million, the highest of any Indian startup. It’s previous round closed out at US$360 million in October.

http://www.techinasia.com/flipkart-raises-210-million-week-acquring-indias-biggest-online-apparel-store/

Here’s our roundup of Alibaba’s investments in US-based companies

Stock market speculators are salivating over Alibaba’s eventual IPO later this summer, but it’s far from the first appearance China’s ecommerce leader has made in the US. Alibaba has invested almost US$1 billion into American tech firms, both within the ecommerce sector and outside of it. The company even has a special investment office based in San Francisco, where it scouts out promising startups to support.

http://www.techinasia.com/heres-roundup-alibabas-investments-usbased-companies/

Ahead of Flipkart and Myntra merger, India’s Snapdeal rakes in $100 million from 5 new investors

With Indian ecommerce leader Flipkart and the country’s number one online apparel shop Myntra on the verge of announcing their merger, the former’s biggest rival is upping the ante. EBay-backed Snapdeal yesterday revealed another US$100 million funding round from five new investors: Premji Invest, Temasek, BlackRock Inc, Myriad, and Tybourne, according to NextBigWhat.

http://www.techinasia.com/flipkart-myntra-merger-indias-snapdeal-rakes-100-million-5-investors/

Alibaba rival JD set for US IPO today, prices shares at $19 to raise $1.78 billion

Another week, another Chinese tech IPO. The latest one lined up to hit US markets is JD, the estore that’s a close rival to Alibaba’s Tmall and other general ecommerce sites such as Amazon China. JD goes public today upon opening of Thursday’s trading. The company has just priced its shares at $19 each, which is above the initial $16 to $18 range it advised a few days ago, reports CNN Fortune. If it debuts at that price, JD will raise $1.78 billion from its listing.

http://www.techinasia.com/china-jd-ipo-today-sets-19-dollars-share-price/

As world awaits Alibaba IPO, China’s ecommerce spending grows to $74 billion in Q1

The world is waiting for Alibaba to hit Wall Street this summer as its IPO will likely be bigger than Facebook’s. That means China’s ecommerce market matters more than ever. New figures out today show that spending on China’s ecommerce sites keeps growing, hitting a grand total of RMB 446.44 billion (US$74.03 billion) in Q1 2014 – which is up 27.6 percent on the same time a year ago.

http://www.techinasia.com/china-ecommerce-spending-hits-74-billion-dollars-q1-2014/

Two of India’s biggest ecommerce giants, Flipkart and Myntra, complete merger: report

After months of rumors, the merger between two of India’s biggest ecommerce companies, Flipkart and Myntra, has been completed, according to NextBigWhat. Neither company has confirmed this officially. The two will keep operating as separate entities. Flipkart is the biggest general online marketplace in India, while Myntra is the biggest apparel-focused estore. Myntra raised US$50 million from its latest funding round back in February. Techcrunch reported last month the deal values Myntra at US$330 million, but the acquisition was delayed due to some regulatory bottlenecks.

http://www.techinasia.com/indias-biggest-ecommerce-giants-flipkart-myntra-complete-merger-report/

Could Alibaba be making a play for Vancouver?

Amid rumours e-commerce giant Alibaba is looking to expand into North America and set up shop in either B.C. or Oregon, experts say the Chinese company may not have such an easy time making inroads here. Alibaba filed documents for an initial public offering in the U.S. last week, signalling it may be ready to launch business on this side of the Pacific.

http://www.biv.com/article/20140515/BIV0112/140519947/could-alibaba-be-making-a-play-for-vancouver