Weekly Roundup: Asia Pacific

  • Weekly Focus: Alibaba Moves Into Smart Homes with Bluetooth Mesh

    Alibaba is back in this week’s focus with a new partnership that will see its A.I. Labs business unit work on an Internet of Things (IoT) project to bring more intelligence into homes.

    The Chinese e-commerce operator said it inked an alliance with Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek would develop a “unified connectivity protocol” aimed at making it easier for consumers to control their home devices through a single portal. This would enable them to bypass the need to manage multiple [...]


  • Weekly Focus: Alibaba Eyes Further Expansion of Physical Stores

    This week, Alibaba has announced plans to expand its network of Hema supermarkets with another 30 locations in Beijing, up from the current five.

    Scheduled to open by end-2018, the new physical stores would beef up deliveries for some 1.5 million residents in the Chinese city who, today, lived within three kilometres from a Hema store. This coverage meant they could receive their groceries 30 minutes after placing their orders, according to Alibaba.

    The Chinese e-commerce giant opened its first [...]


  • Weekly Focus: Alibaba Goes for Convenience, Convicts & Cars

    This week, we kick off the new year with a look at how Alibaba is adding merchants to its ecosystem by modernising China’s convenience stores as well as arming local prisoners with e-commerce skillsets.

    The Chinese online retailer runs a programme that aims to suit up mom-and-pop shops with the latest technology and data analytics, so these small retailers can streamline and automate their operations.

    Called Ling Shou Tong, or ‘integrated retail’, the initiative is Alibaba’s bid to bring China’s six [...]


  • Weekly Focus: Alibaba Rolls Out Auto Test-Drive Centres

    This week, Alibaba is back in the spotlight with a new service that lets its Tmall customers find and book cars for a three-day test drive.

    The Chinese e-commerce giant unveiled two facilities in Shanghai and Nanjing, due for launch in January, that they dubbed ‘Super Test-Drive Centres’.

    Designed to function like an automotive vending machine, Alibaba said the new service would enable its customers to browse, book test drives, and purchase a vehicle via the company’s Taobao mobile app.

    For instance, [...]


  • Weekly Focus: Lazada Hopes to Bask in Alibaba's Retail Light

    In this week’s spotlight, we check in on Lazada and its efforts to emulate the success of parent company Alibaba, as it wraps up its month-long online shopping festival on the 12th of December.

    Headquartered in Singapore, the Southeast Asian e-commerce operator first introduced its own 12.12 Online Revolution event in 2012 in the hopes of replicating Alibaba’s Singles Day festival, held annually on November 11.

    The Chinese internet giant had seen the online shopping bonanza expand each year, culminating to a [...]