Karbonn forays into mobile accessories business; eyes Rs 100 crore revenue

IndiaHandset maker Karbonn entered the mobile accessories business and said its revenues from this vertical may touch Rs 100 crore by March, 2016. Currently, the accessories market is dominated by grey market products which impact the functioning and efficiency of devices.  The move is aimed at offering consumers the choice of technologically superior mobile auxiliaries that are affordable, Karbonn Executive Director Shashin Devsare said in a statement.


Hon Hai’s China retail unit builds new brand for ‘makers’

China.gifA retail subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer better known by its trading name Foxconn, plans to open 20 stores in China for technology innovators known as “makers,” by the end of the year, a company executive said on Sunday. According to Wang Jung-ching, general manager of Big Cyber, a new retail brand under Hon Hai’s Cybermart consumer electronics chain in China, his firm will open new stores in Beijing and Guangzhou in April and May after already a first store in Shanghai.


Amazon launches designer store in India

IndiaBENGALURU: In a bid to move deeper into the apparel business, online marketplace Amazon has launched a designer clothing store. It has partnered with the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) to pick talent from fashion schools, as well as established designers to sell on the portal. “Fashion is one of our top three categories on Amazon and the challenge is to keep up with the growth,” said Vikas Purohit, head of fashion at Amazon India. Amazon says its fashion business has grown fourfold in three months.


Bharti Airtel partners Amazon for cloud services

IndiaNEW DELHI: Telecom major Bharti Airtel has announced partnership with Amazon Web Services to offer its cloud computing services to customers in India. “In line with this market adoption, we are excited to strengthen Airtel’s cloud services portfolio by adding Amazon Web Services to our growing list of cloud services providers. We are confident that this will help our global customers truly leverage the benefits of cloud,” Bharti Airtel’s Global Business CEO Ajay Chitkara said in a statement.


OLX Pakistan acquires local listings competitor Asani

PakistanOLX Pakistan, a subsidiary of the global online classifieds marketplace OLX, has confirmed rumors that it recently bought Asani, a local competitor trying to challenge its overwhelming dominance. In the last several days a notice on the Asani page had been informing users that they will soon be redirected to the OLX Pakistan site, but the company shied away from commenting publicly on the issue. Today, speaking to Tech in Asia, a public relations executive confirmed the acquisition and said, “We are entering into a joint venture with Asani to further build the classifieds market in Pakistan as a single business.


Amazon employee probed over child porn: Reports

JapanTOKYO: Japanese authorities are investigating a worker at Amazon’s local unit over claims he was involved in the sale of child pornography, reports said Thursday, marking another police probe into the US-based web retailer. The unidentified man, reportedly in his forties, posted a graphic picture book for sale that showed nude girls believed to be under 18, Jiji Press news agency and the Asahi newspaper reported, citing police sources. The temporary distribution worker, who was dispatched to work at Amazon Japan Logistics, an affiliate of the Japanese arm of Amazon.com, was in charge of product management and distribution, the reports said.


India’s online fashion sales may cross $35 billion by 2020

IndiaMUMBAI: The fashion business in India through e-commerce portals is expected to see a turnover of $35 billion by 2020, said Google’s director for e-commerce and online, Nitin Bawankule. “By 2020, India is expected to generate $100 billion online retail revenue out of which $35 billion will be through fashion e-commerce. Online apparel sales are set to grow four times in coming years,” he said at the India Fashion Forum. According to Google research, every third shopping search on Google is fashion-related and the queries on fashion are growing at 66% year-on-year.


Flipkart to cut dependence on WS Retail

IndiaNEW DELHI: India’s largest e-commerce company Flipkart.com is seeking to distance itself by more than an arm’s length from largest supplier WS Retail, which currently accounts for more than 80% of the platform’s total sales. The move to emulate Alibaba.com’s Tmall will allow Flipkart to focus better on the marketplace model. In the past few weeks, the site has told several companies and brands, which sell on the site through WS Retail, to sell directly to consumers through its marketplace in the coming months.


Everything you need to know about Indonesian telecoms and ecommerce

IndonesiaLast Thursday and Friday were important days for Indonesia’s tech scene. Macquarie Indonesia, the local branch of the global investment banking and financial services giant, held an invite-only conference for high-profile professionals in the telecoms and ecommerce spaces. No other press were allowed inside the venue at the Ritz Carlton, and the list of speakers included some interesting names, including Indonesia’s tech minister Rudiantara, CEOs from the top three telcos, and a slew of investors, VCs, and startup founders, among others.


Snapdeal may acquire GoJavas for Rs 200 crore

IndiaNEW DELHI: Online marketplace major Snapdeal is in talks to acquire logistics firm GoJavas in a deal estimated to be about Rs 150-200 crore, as it looks to further strengthen its delivery operations in the country.  According to sources, Snapdeal is expected to announce the acquisition of the former logistics arm of e-tailer Jabong in the next two weeks.  The deal size could range between Rs 150-200 crore, they added.


Amazon to enter mainland market through cooperation with Alibaba

China.gifIf you can’t beat them, join them. That’s what U.S. e-commerce company Amazon must have thought when it decided to set up a virtual storefront on competitor Alibaba Group Holding’s Tmall website. It is no secret that Amazon has struggled to expand its business in the world’s second-biggest economy, as Chinese consumers continue to make most of the online purchases through local e-marketplace channels like Tmall and Taobao.


10 ecommerce sites in Thailand you need to sell on right now

ThailandBesides the big players like Lazada and Tarad, ever wonder which are the top 10 ecommerce sites in Thailand? We pulled the data and came up with a list. The sites have to be located in and operating from Thailand and ranking is based on estimated desktop visits in January 2015 measured by SimilarWeb. Not included are service sites such as ticket and hotel reservations, communities, classifieds, forums, and global ecommerce platforms such as Amazon or Ebay.


In an unexpected move, Tencent opens e-store on Alibaba’s Tmall

China.gifIf you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em? That might be the case for Tencent when it comes to ecommerce. Despite a long-standing rivalry with Alibaba, the company has set up shop on Tmall, Alibaba’s online department store. As Techweb reports, the store contains a selection of Tencent or QQ-branded hardware, including a glucometer, a wifi dongle, a robot that can “chat” and play music, a bluetooth speaker set for kids, and a pairable projector and remote-control pen.


Snapdeal drums up custom in Slumdog’s Dharavi

IndiaFor viewers of Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire”, Mumbai’s vast Dharavi slum is a byword for poverty, but to online retailer Snapdeal.com it is a battleground for new customers and, it hopes, a source of better margins.  The company’s aspirations are backed up by serious investment from the likes of Japan’s Softbank Corp, which ploughed $627 million into Snapdeal last October, and could soon get a boost from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, which is in talks for another cash investment, a source told Reuters on Wednesday.


Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten leads $530M round in Lyft, takes 11% stake

JapanJapanese ecommerce conglomerate Rakuten has led a US$530 million investment round for Lyft, the San Francisco based ridesharing startup. TechCrunch  first broke the news of the round, and Lyft quickly confirmed it on its blog. Rakuten also told Tech in Asia that it is taking an 11 percent stake in the firm for US$300 million, and provided the following canned statement from CEO Hiroshi Mikitani:


E-commerce slowly escalates, from Myanmar

MyanmarCompanies are crowding in to online shopping in a bid to be Myanmar’s version of Amazon or Alibaba. With all the competition, though, it is increasingly difficult to stand out in an industry that is only now finding its feet. Zaw Gyi Mart has been around for two years, but counts only 10,000 total users since its inception, said U Zaw Min Aung, managing director of parent company Za Information Technology.


Amazon plans to invest Rs 1,155 crore to build its presence in India

IndiaMUMBAI: Amazon plans to invest Rs 1,155 crore to build its presence in India, a move that comes barely three months after the American e-commerce company raised Rs 610 crore, indicating the need to have deep pockets to survive intensifying competition in a market that has been driven largely by massive discounts.  In a filing with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) last week, the company said that it is raising the money through a rights issue to its parent.


Snapdeal, Alibaba in talks for $1 billion funding: Sources

IndiaSHANGHAI/MUMBAI: Alibaba is in talks with Indian online marketplace Snapdeal over a potential cash investment, a source familiar with the negotiations said, in what would be the Chinese e-commerce giant’s first direct investment in India.  Snapdeal competes in India with bigger rivals Flipkart.com and Amazon.com, and media reports have said it is seeking $1 billion in its latest funding round to fuel growth.  In October last year, Snapdeal secured a $627 million investment from Japan’s Softbank, itself an early backer of Alibaba.


China to start punishing Taobao shops with fake product reviews…if it can catch them

ChinaThe world of C2C ecommerce on sites like Taobao revolves around user-written product reviews. It’s one of the first things customers check before buying an item, and good or bad reviews also help determine where a shop’s products end up in the rankings when users do a search. That system has led to widespread fakery: merchants posting positive-but-fake user reviews on their own products.


SingPost and Trikomsel announce mysterious joint ecommerce venture in Indonesia

IndonesiaTrikomsel, one of Indonesia’s largest mobile device retailers, and SingPost, one of Asia’s biggest logistics providers for ecommerce, announced a partnership today to take advantage of the growing opportunities of ecommerce in Indonesia. The name – and even the exact nature – of the joint venture is still a mystery. However, the two firms are certain that they will create a company that acts as a partner for local brands and merchants in the ecommerce space.