Tech in Asia — Mercari is Japan’s youngest unicorn and first tech company pegged with the title since 2008. Lately it’s been busy shining its horn to charge into the US ecommerce market. Unlike most Japanese companies, Mercari is focusing 90 percent of its resources on the States, said co-founder and CEO Shintaro Yamada on stage today at Tech in Asia’s Tokyo conference.
Tech in Asia — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s financial affiliate is planning to purchase a 20 percent stake in Thailand’s Ascend Money in a bid to become a key financial services player in Southeast Asia. An investment into Ascend Money, parent of True Money and Ascend Nano, would help Ant Financial expand its online payments and small loans business in Southeast Asia.
Barrons — Amazon.com has said it plans to expand its e-commerce empire to Indonesia, with a $600 million investment for the first year. It makes perfect business sense. E-commerce sales in Indonesia are only about $3.2 billion, a tiny fraction of the $150 billion retail market. Indonesia is also the world’s 4th most populous country with a population of 250 million.
Mobile World Live — Online retail giant Amazon is partnering with India’s second largest operator Vodafone to sell handsets at the operator’s retail outlets in a move to boost its offline presence in the country. The two firms starting selling handsets available on Amazon at 40 Vodafone shops in Bengaluru, the Economic Times said. The idea is to attract buyers, who are reluctant to shop online, to brick-and-mortar stores.
Times of India — BENGALURU/MUMBAI: As the Seattle-based e-commerce juggernaut Amazon closes in on the pole position of the Indian e-commerce market, its founder & CEO Jeff Bezos has announced that his company will pump in an additional $3 billion investment into India, taking its total capital commitment here to $5 billion.
Asia Times — Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon.com, announced on Tuesday, that his company will boost its investment in India by an additional $3 billion, on top of the $2 billion investment announced in 2014, for a total of $5 billion. Bezos made the announcement before India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the CEO Roundtable of the U.S.-India Business Council’s (USIBC) 41st Annual Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.
Datacenter Knowledge — (Bloomberg) — Alibaba Group Holding said that revenue growth will accelerate this fiscal year as China’s largest e-commerce company provided its first financial forecast since going public in 2014. The company predicts sales will rise at least 48 percent in the year ending March 2017 as it pushes into new markets and businesses beyond e-commerce.
Tech in Asia — For years now, ecommerce’s bloody fight in India has been a story that revolved around gross merchandise value (GMV), the number of sellers, and the amount of stuff each website listed on their platforms. Flipkart and Snapdeal, the two biggest Indian ecommerce sites, have had their own conflicts as they one-upped each other on GMV targets and otherwise, while dropping the ball on customer care.
Times of India — BENGALURU: Amazon has invested an additional Rs 1,350 crore (about $200 million) in its India unit this year, stepping on the pedal as it seeks to accelerate the momentum gained in the past 18 months. The latest investment in Amazon Seller Services, disclosed in regulatory filings on May 31, takes the total capital infused into the main India unit since early 2015 to Rs 8,618 crore.
Times of India — NEW DELHI: Amazon India has silently upgraded its return policy for electronic items. As per the new , electronics are no longer eligible for refunds. However, customers can still get defective items replaced. It is important to note that this is applicable only for products that are fulfilled by Amazon. For items that are seller-fulfilled, it is up to the seller to issue refunds for items that can’t be repaired or replaced.
Live Mint — Bengaluru: Nearly nine years after starting out, squaring up against two of its role models and making some costly missteps along the way, Flipkart Ltd, India’s largest e-commerce firm, finally seems to have a blueprint of what its business model will look like.
Deal Street Asia — Every week, Amazon India country head Amit Agarwal and his senior leadership team get into a room at the company’s headquarters in Bengaluru to discuss the previous week’s performance. The meeting starts off with a customer call, what Amazon calls, “the voice of the customer”. Things usually get ugly.
Enterprise Innovation — Indian eCommerce marketplace, Flipkart, will collaborate with MapUnity, a Social Technology Lab, known for developing a variety of platforms for urban management, safety and transport. The collaboration may see Flipkart’s Mapping business – Flipkart Maps – taking a more central role in the company’s business schemes.
Channel News Asia — HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s securities regulator said that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd breached takeover rules in the purchase of a healthcare firm in 2014 because it also bought a company owned by the brother of the healthcare firm’s vice chairman on “favourable terms.” Alibaba agreed to buy a stake in CITIC 21CN, now known as Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd, for US$170 million two years ago.
ATimes — Fitbit Blaze will have features such as PurePulse continuous, wrist-based heart rate trackin, SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition and automatic sleep tracking. As part of ‘China is Getting Fit’ campaign, Fitbit and Alibaba joined hands to organize a major health and fitness event, educating consumers about how technology can help them stay healthy.
Tech in Asia — SingPost, Singapore’s national mail carrier which is rapidly diversifying its business, has posted record highs in annual revenue and net profit, driven by its ecommerce and logistics activities. Its 2015 revenue hit US$840 million, up 25 percent year-on-year. Net profit jumped 58 percent to US$181 million. Growth in its ecommerce and logistics revenue outpaced overall growth, soaring 60 percent and 35 percent to US$300 million and US$457 million, respectively.
ZDNet — Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba and Japanese telecommunications provider SoftBank have formed a joint-venture cloud services company called SB Cloud to bring Alibaba Cloud’s technology and solutions to Japanese businesses. SB Cloud will be headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo, and will open a datacentre to offer Alibaba’s cloud security services, data storage, processing solutions, and middleware offerings.
Forbes — Alibaba‘s cloud computing and internet infrastructure business has been witnessing tremendous revenue growth over the past few quarters. For Q4 2016, this segment registered a 175% year-on-year revenue growth and this figure was 138% for the fiscal year 2016.
Asia One — Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba beat sales estimates with 39 per cent growth year-over-year for the quarter ending in March, the company said Thursday. The company’s explosive growth showed no signs of slowing despite the overall slowdown in China’s economy.
Barrons — Shares of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (BABA) are up $3.20, over 4%, at $79.02, after the company this morning reported fiscal Q4 revenue that topped analysts’ expectations, but missed on the bottom line. Revenue in the three months ended in March rose 39% year-over-year to $3.75 billion, or 24.18 billion Renminbi, yielding EPS of 47 cents a share. Analysts had been modeling $3.58 billion and 55 cents a share.
Forbes — Alibaba Group’s reported its fiscal fourth quarter earnings results on Thursday that saw the Chinese internet ecommerce giant top sales forecasts, showing year-on-year (y-o-y) revenues up 39%. But with its profits falling short of analysts’ and The Street’s expectations, the question remains is the stock a buy at below the $100 mark and at current levels?
Nikkei — HONG KONG — Alibaba Group Holding seems unhurt by a wider economic slowdown in China as the e-commerce giant reported a 39% rise in its fourth-quarter revenue, boosted by growth in online transactions. Turnover beat analysts’ forecasts to reach 24.2 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) in the three months ended in March, the company said on Thursday. Net profit surged 85% to 5.3 billion yuan on the year, driven by gains from the disposal of investments and businesses.
Nikkei — HONG KONG — China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding is set to provide venture capital for GoGoVan, an online logistics platform based in Hong Kong. Through its Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, a not-for-profit initiative launched last year, Alibaba joins private equity firm New Horizon Capital, venture capitalist Hotung Investment Holdings, and media heavyweight Singapore Press Holdings, along with existing investors, in GoGoVan’s third injection of investment capital, also known as “Series C”, completed on Thursday.
Washington Post — Alibaba Group posted a 39 percent surge in revenue as China’s dominant e-commerce operator shrugged off a slowing economy with promotions to woo cash-rich consumers. Asia’s largest Internet company posted better-than-expected sales of 24.2 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) in the March quarter and said it will start providing annual forecasts.
Nikkei — HONG KONG — A financial affiliate of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding has received $4.5 billion from state-backed investors, in a fundraising round said to be the biggest ever for a privately held Internet company.
Enterprise Innovation — The New Zealand’s government’s international business development agency, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), recently signed an agreement with the Alibaba Group to strengthen trade between China and New Zealand. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, and Alibaba Group’s Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma witnessed the signing ceremony held recently in China at an event hosted by the China Entrepreneur Club.
Enterprise Innovation — The retail sector experienced almost three times as many attacks as those in the financial sector, new research published in the NTT 2016 Global Threat Intelligence Report reveals. The finance sector topped of the list of cyberattacks on organizations in the 2015 report. This year, cyberattacks on financial industry dropped significantly to fourteenth position.
Times of India — NEW DELHI: Leading ecommerce companies may not be able to comply immediately with the recent stipulation to cap any vendor on their platforms at 25% of total sales. They will only be able to do so after the current financial year ends, said people aware of the matter.
JD Worldwide, the cross-border online shopping platform of JD.com, reached a strategic cooperation agreement with Japanese daily commodity and cosmetics group Kao. Kao’s official flagship store owned by JD Worldwide will be formally launched in early May 2016 and all the products will be directly supplied by Kao Group. Full financial terms of the deal were not released.