Weekly Roundup: Asia Pacific

  • Weekly Focus APAC: JD.com Launches Smart Logistics Lab & Parcel Delivery Service

    In this edition of Weekly Focus APAC: JD.com Launches Smart Logistics Lab & Parcel Delivery Service; Lazada Singapore Customers Can Collect Purchases at 7-Eleven; and Nets Lets Businesses Collect Invoice Payment Electronically.

    JD.com Launches Smart Logistics Lab

    The Chinese e-commerce giant has launched a research facility to develop new technologies in urban logistics that can support smart cities in China.

    Located in Xiongan, the new Urban Smart Logistics Institute will focus on planning for urban logistics hubs, design for urban logistics systems, [...]


  • Weekly Focus APAC: Honestbee Unveils Singapore 'NewGen Retail' Store

    This week, online marketplace Honestbee has opened up a dining-cum-grocery store in Singapore that is closely integrated with modern technologies to offer “a multi-sensory” shopping experience.

    Spanning 60,000 square feet, Habitat by Honestbee is touted as a “full supermarket, speciality fresh grocer, online fulfilment centre, and experiential dining destination” all rolled into one location.

    It marks the first time the Singapore-founded company has ventured into the brick-and-mortar retail space, three years after it first began offering online food delivery services. It [...]


  • Weekly Focus: Grab & Fave Look to Grow Platforms Through New Partnership

    This week, Grab and Fave have formed a new partnership that aims to grow the companies’ online platforms and services in Singapore and Malaysia.

    Under the alliance, daily deals site Fave would integrate GrabPay and GrabFood on its platform, enabling its merchants to access Grab’s e-payment and food delivery services.

    Grab also would integrate the Fave mobile deals on its app and enable its GrabPay users to purchase Fave deals. This would be facilitated through GrabPlatform, which is a suite of APIs [...]


  • Weekly Focus: JD.com Formally Unveils Thai Site with Joint Venture

    This week, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has officially launched an e-commerce site in Thailand alongside local retail group, Central Group.

    The new addition is part of JD.com’s efforts to expand its presence in Southeast Asia, where it currently operates an e-commerce site in Indonesia and has invested in Vietnamese business-to-consumer e-commerce operator, Tiki.

    The Thai platform, called ‘JD Central’, had been running in beta since 18 June, offering products across various categories, including electronics, fashion, home appliances, books, processed foods, and cosmetics, [...]


  • Weekly Focus: JD.com Expanding Supermarket Chain & Opens Up in Seoul

    This week, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has unveiled plans to expand its network of fresh food stores, 7Fresh, across China as well as made its foray into the Korean market with a new office set up in Seoul.

    JD.com said it inked agreements with 16 real estate companies to facilitate the expansion of its supermarket chain, which was launched earlier this year, into Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Chengdu. The partners included China Poly Group, Vanke, and Yuexiu Property.

    Fresh produce accounts [...]


  • Weekly Focus: Singapore Electronics Retailer Looks to QR to Ease Payment

    This week, Singapore electronics retailer Audio House has rolled out a new payment system that lets customers scan QR codes to complete their purchases; and they can do so using their own banking apps.

    Audio House said it had adopted NETS QR payment platform, enabling shoppers to select the payment mode at the cashier and scan the QR code displayed on the terminal to initiate the payment process.

    Developed by payments vendor Network for Electronic Transfers of Singapore (NETS), the QR platform [...]


  • Weekly Focus: Alibaba Begins One-Year Succession Plan as Jack Ma Preps Departure

    This week, Alibaba Group has unveiled a one-year leadership succession plan as its executive chairman, Jack Ma, prepares to leave the company he co-founded and hand over the reins to current CEO Daniel Zhang.

    Ma, whose face and name have become synonymous with the e-commerce giant, will remain in his role until 10 September next year to ensure a smooth transition to Zhang, according to Alibaba.

    The announcement, which was released on 10 September when Ma celebrated his 54th birthday, also revealed [...]


  • Weekly Focus: JD.com Extends Shopping Platform to Hotel Rooms

    This week, JD.com has teamed up with several hotels to showcase its technologies and marketplace products, enabling guests to purchase items they find in their rooms.

    Selected rooms at these partner hotels including Wanda, Sheraton, Beijing 5L, and Greenland, would be suited up with products identified to be popular amongst travellers, such as power banks to charge their devices, a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush, and JD.com’s smart speaker cum personal assistant device.

    The Chinese e-commerce giant said it introduced the programme [...]


  • Weekly Focus: Google Rebrands Payment App in India; Expansion Plans Underway

    This week, Google has unveiled a rebranding of its digital payments service and plans for further expansion of the platform in India, where consumers have made more than 750 million transactions with the app.

    Called ‘Tez’, when it was launched in the country last September, the payments platform since has chalked up more than 22 million users – including 1.2 million local businesses – each month, according to Caesar Sengupta, Google’s general manager for payments and the company’s next billion [...]


  • Weekly Focus: JD.com Opens Up Blockchain Platform

    This week, JD.com unveils a new blockchain platform that it says is aimed at helping companies access and develop their own applications on the technology to better secure their operations.

    The new platform allows businesses to create and modify smart contracts as well as streamline operations, such as track-and-trace movement of goods, transaction settlement, and authentication of certifications. It also will enable businesses that lack the necessary capabilities to access and tap blockchain technology for their own applications, according to [...]