Asia

Spotify launches in Thailand to continue its Asia push

 While talk of Spotify’s apparent upcoming IPO continues in the U.S., the music streaming service is furthering its coverage of Asia after it launched its service in Thailand. Spotify Premium, which counts over 60 million paying users, will cost 129 THB in Thailand. That’s just over $4 and in line with its pricing across Asia. Customers in the U.S. and UK will be aware that it… Read More

Auto giant Continental buys Singapore-based Quantum Inventions for $29M

 German automotive giant Continental is furthering its push into the future of transportation after it got its check book out to acquire Quantum Inventions, a Singapore-based company that specializes in mobility data services. The deal was announced in June with little fanfare and it is officially undisclosed, but a source told TechCrunch that it is around the SG$40 million mark —… Read More

Prisma shifts focus to b2b with an API for AI-powered mobile effects

 The startup behind the Prisma style transfer app is shifting focus onto the b2b space, building tools for developers that draw on its expertise using neural networks and deep learning technology to power visual effects on mobile devices. Read More

Messaging app Line adds livestreaming for group chats

 In the latest update to its messaging app, Line has added a livestreaming feature which can be used in group or multi-person chats of up to 200 people, called Chat Live. Read More

Alipay partners with Yelp to continue its pursuit of Chinese tourist money

 Ant Financial, the Alibaba affiliated valued at $60 billion, is continuing to follow Chinese tourists and their wallets overseas after it inked a deal with Yelp in the U.S.. The partnership allows Alipay users — and there are over 500 million registered in China — to make payment through the service when they use Yelp for restaurant bookings. The launch initially covers… Read More

Uber suspends its service in the Philippines following ban over unregistered drivers

 Uber has suspended its services in Philippines after the national regulator banned it from operating for one month. The country’s Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ordered a cease and desist against the U.S. ride-hailing firm on Monday over its apparent flouting of a ban on new drivers. The company initially lodged an appeal and continued with its service,… Read More

Beijing’s public transport system gets an app for paying fares — but Apple isn’t invited

 Apple continues to be locked out of China’s massive mobile payments space. The latest reminder came this week when Beijing’s transportation system opened up to smartphone payments… via an Android app. Already Tencent’s WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay services dominate China’s mobile payment space, which is estimated to have processed $3 trillion last year,… Read More

In India, an Uber for farm machinery aims to make a difference in rural areas

 Uber has inspired countless businesses to adopt its asset-light and on-demand approach to their industries. The examples are countless. Food delivery, dry cleaning, jet planes, home services rental bikes, or even phone chargers to name but a few — but how about farming equipment? That’s the case in India, where a startup called EM3 AgriServices is helping rural farmers literally… Read More

Indian messaging app Hike acquires hardware startup Creo

 India-based messaging app Hike is back on the acquisition trail after it picked up Creo, a hardware company that previously released smartphones, streaming devices and an operating system. The price of the deal is undisclosed. Hike released a sho...

FlySpaces, an Airbnb for office space in Southeast Asia, raises $2.1M

 Now is a good time to be in the co-working industry in Southeast Asia, it seems. Barely days after WeWork announced plans to enter the region, which is home to over 600 million people, through the acquisition of Singapore startup Spacemob, now a company that operates like an Airbnb for office space rentals has raised money. FlySpaces, a startup headquartered in the Philippines, raised $2.1… Read More

Toyota, Intel and others form big data group for automotive tech

 A collection of prominent names in the tech industry have teamed up with Toyota to work on developing big data systems to support self-driving cars and other future automotive advances. Denso, Ericsson, Intel and NTT Docomo joined hands with the Japanese car giant to announce the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium today. The group said it has plans to add “relevant global… Read More

China’s top social networks face investigation for hosting porn and illicit content

 China continues to crack down on online media after the government announced that it is investigating three of the country’s most influential social networks for hosting illicit content. The Office for Cyberspace Administration is looking into content on chat app WeChat, micro-blogging platform Weibo and web forum Baidu Tieba, each of which stands accused of failing to stamp out… Read More