Twitter confirms upcoming office in Indonesia

Indonesia is an attractive emerging market for many tech companies due to the large number of young consumers and the slowly expanding middle class. Along with its good internet penetration, Indonesia could become an important technology market in the future. Following Facebook’s and Apple’s moves to open representative offices in Indonesia, Twitter revealed today that it also plans to do just that.

http://www.techinasia.com/twitter-office-indonesia-confirmed/

WeChat and Alipay ramp up ecommerce race with new features for online and offline merchants

Tencent today announced a suite of new features for businesses to better engage customers through their public WeChat accounts, according to TechNode . One day earlier, Alibaba’s mobile Alipay Wallet released over 60 new APIs for third party developers to build online storefronts, according to the company’s official English-language blog .

http://www.techinasia.com/wechat-alipay-ramp-ecommerce-race-features-online-offline-merchants/

Line takes aim at Rakuten and Amazon, to launch five new ecommerce services

Line, the messaging app that has nabbed 490 million registered users in three years, announced its plans for becoming a major player in the ecommerce industry at a news conference in Tokyo today. The strategy marks an interesting inflection point for Line. The service gained popularity for it’s colorful stickers, grew its revenue base with mobile games , and now has its sights set on ecommerce.

http://www.techinasia.com/line-mall-challenges-rakuten-amazon/

Hike gets fresh $65M funding to take on WhatsApp in India

Free messaging app Hike, the Indian answer to WhatsApp, Line, and WeChat, has just raised its largest round of funding: US$65 million led by Tiger Global Management. Bharti SoftBank (BSB), a joint venture of Bharti Enterprises and Japan’s Softbank Corporation, also participated in the latest round. Earlier, Hike had raised US$7 million in 2013, and another US$14 million in April 2014 from BSB.

http://www.techinasia.com/hike-raises-65-million-funding-tiger-global/

Instant messenger app Hike gets $65 million from Tiger Global, other investors

NEW DELHI: About a decade and half after Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel raised $60 million from Warburg Pincus, Hike, the instant messenger app company founded by his son Kavin, has raised $65 million from foreign investors led by New York-based Tiger Global.  “I raised my first $60 million at age 42, Kavin has done it at 26. Sign of a changing India. A youthful and tech savvy India. A big congratulations to Kavin and his stellar team at Hike,” Sunil Mittal told ET.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/instant-messenger-app-hike-gets-65-million-from-tiger-global-other-investors/articleshow/40959805.cms

Wipro expects to land bigger social, mobility, analytics and cloud technology deals

MUMBAI: Bangalore-based IT firm Wipro expects to land bigger deals for solutions based on digital technologies like social, mobility, analytics and cloud, a sign that companies are willing to increase their spend on these discretionary areas.  “While our sweet spot is deals in the $2.5-3.5 million (Rs 15-21 crore) range, we are seeing deals worth $5-10 million (about Rs 30-60 crore) in the pipeline,” Jeff Heenan-Jalil, global head of Wipro’s advanced technology solutions unit said in an  ..

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/wipro-expects-to-land-bigger-social-mobility-analytics-and-cloud-technology-deals/articleshow/40630105.cms

Social Media Impressed With PM Narendra Modi’s Speech

NEW DELHI: Indians took to the social networking site Twitter in large numbers impressed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden speech on the country’s 68th Independence Day.Reacting to Modi’s speech from the Red Fort here, @PriyalGuliani wrote: “I liked this speech… Rape…cleanliness.. equality ..communal violence .. development.” Another Twitter user, @sanjeevsanyal said: “Wow, what a speech! PM Modi lays out a clear, actionable vision for India. Now over to implementation.”

http://www.siliconindia.com/news/technology/Social-Media-Impressed-With-PM-Narendra-Modis-Speech-nid-171119-cid-2.html

$12M in sales for user-generated stickers on LINE

Line’s DIY sticker shop is proving to be a respectable hit. The company behind the popular messaging app is reporting that user-created stickers hit JPY 1.23 billion (just under US$12 million) in sales for the three-and-a-half month period ending August 7. While that is still a small fraction of LINE’s overall revenues – US$177 million from April to June 2014 – it still shows remarkable growth.

http://www.techinasia.com/line-user-made-stamps-12-million-revenue/

Social media, real-time analytics useful for building smarter cities – India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: In order to deliver the government’s vision of transforming India into a superpower by empowering, connecting and binding Indian citizens, Dr Arvind Gupta – national head – Information and Technology, Bharatiya Janata Party elaborated the need to focus on leveraging Information Technology to build Smarter Cities in India. Dr. Gupta emphasized his views during an address on Urban Matters at the SAP Forum for Public Services in New Delhi, August 13, 2014.

http://www.ciol.com/ciol/news/218973/social-media-real-analytics-useful-building-smarter-cities

WhatsApp, Hike, and Skype could be forced to pay up in India

Telecom companies in India are in a time warp. They want the Telecom Regulatory of India (TRAI) to bring back the revenue they’re losing out as smartphone users shift en masse to free messaging and calling apps. “They [telecom service providers] wanted discussion on treatment of OTT (over-the-top) services like WhatsApp, Skype, and others which are actually cutting in to their revenue,” TRAI Secretary Sudhir Gupta said at a seminar this week in New Delhi, reports PTI .

http://www.techinasia.com/whatsapp-hike-skype-forced-pay-india/

China tightens controls on Internet messaging apps

BEIJING: China is banning users of Internet messaging services from posting political reports without permission, and demanding they promise to “uphold the socialist system”, state media said on Thursday (Aug 7). China tightly controls the Internet, but its online population of 632 million has used messaging applications to push the boundaries of the ruling Communist party’s restrictions on free speech.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/technology/china-tightens-controls/1301788.html

Life beyond WeChat and Weibo: 15 niche social networks in China

WeChat and Weibo are huge in China, each with more than half a billion registered users. But their respective might in messaging and microblogging hasn’t stopped entrepreneurs from building niche social networks for all kinds of specific groups of people. China’s netizens have, in turn, flocked to these fun and hyper-focused new apps.  They’re not meant to replace WeChat or Weibo – indeed, many of these specialist social apps integrate with the country’s top social networks.

http://www.techinasia.com/15-specialist-social-media-apps-china/

Rakuten: Viber has 608 million registered accounts, is the future of our company

Rakuten (TYO:4755), the Japanese ecommerce conglomerate, held an earnings call today that contained some huge Viber news amidst a sea of big profit announcements. In case there were any doubts, the company’s strong position in the Japanese economy was as apparent as ever – about US$1.38 billion in revenue and US$222 million in operating income for the firm’s second quarter of 2014.  Even more impressively, Rakuten was able to show that analysis of its ecommerce data can be used to accurately predict the Japanese government’s own statistical assessments of Japan’s economic health.

http://www.techinasia.com/rakuten-viber-608-million-accounts/

Line sends message to chat rivals with possible Tokyo listing

TOKYO, Aug 3 — A messaging app launched in the aftermath of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Line is moving towards a possible dual listing in Tokyo and New York as it jostles for space in an increasingly crowded and imaginative market. Combining instant messaging with shopping, gaming and other features such as letting users send each other cute cartoon “stickers”, Line is hugely popular in Japan, particularly among teenagers.

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/tech-gadgets/article/line-sends-message-to-chat-rivals-with-possible-tokyo-listing

Wassup WhatsApp? Viber claims an early lead in Myanmar with 5 million registered users

Viber is claiming an early lead ahead of all its messaging app rivals in the newly opened up country of Myanmar. Viber said today that it now has five million registered users in Myanmar. “The growth rate is exceptional and we are thrilled that Myanmar mobile users have joined the Viber family,” said Talmon Marco, Viber’s CEO in an announcement. It comes a day after Marco appeared by video link (using Viber?) at a company event in Yangon, the former capital that remains Myanmar’s cultural hub.

http://www.techinasia.com/viber-5-million-users-in-myanmar/

Instagram Launches Bolt, a Snapchat Look Alike, Outside U.S.

Instagram has launched an app designed after Snapchat. The online mobile photo and video sharing and social networking service released an app called Bolt on Tuesday. It’s Instagram’s first venture into speedy and ephemeral one-to-one video and photo-messaging. The company launched Bolt on Android and iOS in New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa. Technology website TechCrunch said Instagram is testing the app in these English-speaking and Instagram-fluent countries before rolling it out in the United States.

http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/5354/20140731/instagram-bolt-photo-sharing-video-sharing-app-android-ios-snapchat.htm

Facebook has 25 million users in Vietnam

A report by Epinion on the number of Facebook users in Vietnam includes results of a survey that the agency conducted last month based on online interviews with over 1,000 Vietnamese people aged over 18. The report indicates 97% of respondents have Facebook accounts to contact their friends and relatives, share experiences and market products and services. Tran Lien Phuong, research director at Epinion Vietnam, said social media in Vietnam is growing fast, with Facebook seeing the number of subscribers doubling each year.

http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/science-it/103044/facebook-has-25-million-users-in-vietnam.html

In just 2 weeks, WeChat users book 5,000 Singapore cab rides on EasyTaxi

Just over two weeks ago, cab-booking app EasyTaxi started taking orders within the WeChat messaging app. How’s that working out so far? Joon Chan, EasyTaxi’s regional manager and director for Southeast Asia, tells Tech in Asia that 5,000 rides have so far been taken by people who booked in WeChat. Joon describes the WeChat tie-up as a “fantastic partnership.” It’s only available in Singapore at the moment ahead of rolling out across EasyTaxi’s other markets in Asia. To use it, a WeChat user must first search for the EasyTaxi ‘official account’ in the messaging app (called ‘EasyTaxiSGP’).

http://www.techinasia.com/5000-rides-booked-wechat-taxi-booking-with-easytaxi-in-singapore/

Line revenues spike 25% to US$177M as the company shotguns towards IPO

When Japanese messaging app Line reveals its quarterly revenues, we know what to expect – growth, growth, growth. The quarter ending in June 2014 is no exception, as today the company revealed revenues for the app hit JPY 18.2 billion (about US$177 million), up 25 percent from the previous quarter and 146 percent year-on-year. As usual, the company hasn’t provided details regarding profits or losses, so there’s no telling how the growth may or may not compensate for the ad dollars the company is throwing in markets all over the world.

http://www.techinasia.com/line-revenues-spiked-25-us177m-company-shotguns-ipo/

Chinese users tire of older social networking sites

Social networking sites in China that are modeled on Facebook are having a hard time holding on to users, with customers like Beijing resident Shi Yunfeng, drifting away to newer services. “The user activity has been declining,” the 29-year-old said of Renren, a social networking site launched in 2005 and once known as the Facebook of China. Renren has grown stale among Shi’s friends, who generally only use it to keep in touch with old classmates. “My friends don’t really use Renren very much anymore,” he said. “Now and then I’ll look at Renren, but it’s never for anything really important.”

http://mis-asia.com/resource/internet/chinese-users-tire-of-older-social-networking-sites/