Tech in Asia weekly briefing︱June 2nd

East Asia

🇨🇳 Mainland China

  • JD.com and Kwai, Alibaba’s and TikTok’s biggest competition in China, announce strategic e-commerce partnership
  • Chinese netizens debate how to navigate the Huawei semiconductor ban, including catching up in semiconductor technology and raising the next generation to be more active in global governance
  • Electric vehicle maker Nio announces 5% gross margin target for Q2
  • Video sharing website Bilibili plans to launch a remote sensing satellite in June to produce science content

Hong Kong

  • The Hang Seng index will allow companies with primary listings overseas and those with dual-class shares to be included in the index – Alibaba, Xiaomi, and Meituan are set to benefit from the changes
  • Internet giant NetEase looks to raise up to $3.2 billion when it debuts in Hong Kong on June 11
  • Travel booking platform Klook launches Klook Home, a new service that lets users book home-based experiences

🇯🇵 Japan

  • Japan enacts law toughening regulations on tech giants
  • “Super City Law” passes, easing regulations to use AI and automated driving technology to build smart cities
  • As Japan’s state of emergency is lifted, many question whether going to the office to work is necessary, which is being dubbed the “don’t want to go to work syndrome”
  • The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications warns Docoomo for excessive smartphone discounts
  • AR advertising company YONDE begins offering AR property viewings using smartphones. Making a 3D model costs around ¥250,000 per room
  • Crowdfunding begins for sexual VR experience X-Oasis, which will provide its services for ¥7,000/40mins

🇰🇷 South Korea

  • Bank of Korea releases a report on the international development of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs)

Southeast Asia

🇮🇩 Indonesia

  • E-commerce giant Bukalapak and ride-hailing giant Grab team up to support kiosk businesses

🇲🇾 Malaysia

  • Insurtech startup PolicyStreet raises $1.8 million in series A investment

🇸🇬 Singapore

  • E-scooter startup Beam raises $26 million in series A funding
  • Fintech firm GoBear to receive $17 million in new investment to speed up its transformation into a fully-fledged financial services platform
  • Cancer diagnostics company Endofotonics raises $8.5 million in series B funding
  • AI and data platform Sentient.io receives undisclosed series A financing from Singaporean and Japanese investors to expand abroad

🇵🇭 Philippines

  • The Ministry of Health will request to use Apple-Google contact tracing technology for the app StaySafe.ph
  • Salary-on-demand platform raises an undisclosed amount of seed funding

🇹🇭 Thailand

  • Thailand’s largest cell network AIS pulls a database that was spilling billions of real-time internet records of millions of Thai internet users
  • Australian blockchain firm Power Ledger announces a partnership to develop a digital energy platform in Thailand that includes peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading

🇻🇳 Vietnam

  • Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc orders the strengthening of e-government and digital payments
  • Audiobook and podcast startup Voiz FM receives undisclosed seed funding from 500 Startups Vietnam

South Asia

🇮🇳 India

  • Google and Microsoft reportedly considering stakes in Indian telecom companies following Facebook’s investment in Jio Platforms
  • India makes source code of contact tracing app public and opens a bug bounty program
  • TikTok faces criticism in its biggest overseas market after unearthed videos that promote violence, animal cruelty, racism, child abuse, and objectification of women – the all slumped from a 4.5- to a 1.2-star rating in the Google Play Store
  • Sources say ByteDance plans to set up a second entity in India
  • Indian antitrust watchdog to probe Google over its payments app for search bias and abusing its dominant position

🇵🇰 Pakistan

  • Intelligence services deploy terrorist surveillance technology to track COVID-19 patients and who they come into contact with 

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