Singtel names AT&T a new founding member of Global Telco Security Alliance

SINGAPORE (Mar 6): American telco conglomerate AT&T has joined the Global Telco Security Alliance – which was launched in April 2018 by four telecommunications operators around the world including Singtel – as an equal member of the group.

With this, the cybersecurity-focused alliance now has a total of five founding members, namely: Singtel (Singapore), AT&T (North America), Etisalat (UAE), SoftBank Corp (Japan) and Telefónica (Spain).

Grab vanquishes Uber with local strategy, billions from SoftBank

SINGAPORE (Mar 27): As Uber Technologies Inc. looked to conquer ride-sharing around the world, Grab was focused on serving the 620 million people that share its home in Southeast Asia.

Helped by the deep pockets of SoftBank Group Corp., Grab emerged the winner on Monday when Uber agreed to swap its business in the region for a 27.5% stake. The deal is a vindication for co-founder Anthony Tan’s strategy of tailoring services to local needs and working with incumbent taxi operators instead of against them.

Asean e-commerce poised for explosive growth on the back of China's tech dragons

SINGAPORE (Jan 31): The entry of Chinese tech giants into the Asean e-commerce scene could see explosive growth for online retailing in the region, according to Credit Suisse research.

While business-to-consumer (B2C) e-retailing, or e-tailing, has already expanded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% over the past five years, Credit Suisse notes that B2C e-tailing penetration is still less than 2% of total retail sales in Asean.

As 2017 sets, here are my observations about Asia tech: Bloomberg Gadfly

(Dec 28): I'm not feeling quite bold enough to make predictions about 2018. After all, a year ago I didn't get why bitcoin was worth US$1,000 (yeah, I know), or why Pokemon Go was so exciting.

Instead, here are a few of my observations about the Asian technology industry over the past 12 months.

Billionaire Taizo Son ditches Japan to start afresh in Singapore

Taizo Son

SINGAPORE (April 18): Singapore may have just added a new tech billionaire, but it had to lure him from Japan first.

Taizo Son, who built his fortune on hit smartphone game Puzzle & Dragons, has relocated to the city-state from Tokyo and plans to invest US$100 million ($140 million) in Southeast Asia within five years. The younger brother of SoftBank Group Corp.’s founder said in Singapore on Monday he’d become frustrated by regulation in Japan as well as the country’s education system.

Si2i to acquire e-commerce platform from Cayman Islands company


SINGAPORE (April 4): Affinity Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of telecom and IT service provider Si2i Limited, has entered into an agreement with SB ISAT Fund to acquire from it an e-commerce platform.

As payment for the acquisition, Affinity will be issuing 22,499,998 new ordinary shares its company to SB ISAT Fund at an issue price of 28 cents for each consideration share.

The transaction is dilutive of Si2i’s equity in Affinity, and will reduce the group’s stake in the company from 100% to 50% plus one ordinary share issued in the capital of Affinity.

Alibaba Cloud expands global footprint with 4 new data centres

SINGAPORE (Nov 21): Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm and a business unit of China’s Alibaba Group, says it aims to open four new data centres by end-2016 in the Middle East, Europe, Australia and Japan.

In a press release on Monday, the Singapore-headquartered company announced that the first of the four centres in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Middle East, commenced initial operations today. The opening was held in conjunction with technology enterprise YVOLV, which is a joint venture between Alibaba Cloud and Dubai-based holding company Meraas Holdings.

These 4 Asean postal companies get Nomura's stamp of approval

SINGAPORE (Oct 7): Asean courier service providers are about to get interesting with online retail sales poised to hit US$36.1 billion ($49.6 billion) by 2020, translating into a five-year CAGR of 23%.

Meanwhile, Asean postal volumes are also expected to triple by 2020, according to Nomura’s Global Market Research.

The impending explosion of online retail sales has already caught the eyes of regional players. Alibaba has invested US$1 billion for a majority stake in Singapore’s Lazada while Japan’s Softbank has raised its investment with Tokopedia in Indonesia.

Grab raises US$750 mil in latest fundraising round

SINGAPORE (Sept 20): Ride-hailing service Grab has raised US$750 million ($1.02 billion) in its latest round of fundraising, led by SoftBank as well as other existing and new investors.

This new round of fundraising has now expanded Grab’s cash position to over US$1 billion.

“This latest funding, the largest in the history of Southeast Asia consumer technology, strengthens our ability to pursue those long-term goals as we continue to build on our market leadership,” says Anthony Tan, group ceo and co-founder, Grab.


SoftBank to sell part of stake in China's Alibaba for US$7.9 bil

Masayoshi Son, Softbank

TOKYO (June 1): SoftBank said Wednesday it will sell at least US$7.9 billion ($10.9 billion) worth of its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, as the Japanese firm looks to pay down a whopping debt load.

The mobile carrier, led by colourful billionaire Masayoshi Son, first invested in Alibaba in 2000, which has since ballooned into what is now considered to be the world's biggest online retailer.

In recent years, SoftBank launched an acquisition streak that saw it pick up an assortment of firms, including its US$16 billion purchase of US-based mobile giant Sprint.

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