This week, Tech in Asia Jobs features tech startups that are hiring in Southeast Asia.Drop us an email at jobs@techinasia.com to find out how.Indonesian micro-retail startup, Warung Pintar, is on a mission to transform traditional offline retail stores into digitally-enabled, prefabricated roadside kiosks that are managed by micro-entrepreneurs.To help fuel their growth, Warung Pintar is hiring aggressively for 29 different positions.One of their interns candidly shared that his time at Warung Pintar has encouraged him to grow and learn, as well as to develop his skills and meet highly innovative people.If this sounds like an environment you’d love to join, take a look at some of the positions they are hiring for in their Jakarta office:
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Singapore- and Thailand-based blockchain startup Band Protocol has raised US$3 million in a seed funding round led by Sequoia India.Dunamu & Partners and SeaX also participated in the round.With the fresh funding, the startup wants to accelerate the development of its mainnet, which is the main blockchain network for transactions.It also wants to establish its go-to-market strategy for 2019 and expand its engineering team to support its solution launch later this year.“Because we are a protocol, we need to support other developers and enterprises who want to develop on top of our protocol, which will require a bigger team,” Soravis Srinawakoon, Band Protocol’s co-founder and CEO, tells Tech in Asia.Founded in 2017, Band Protocol enables users to create “token-curated” communities to solve problems like fake news and the misuse of user data.
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Xuexi Qiangguo, which translates to “study powerful country,” is now the most downloaded item on Apple’s domestic App Store, surpassing in-demand social media apps such as WeChat and TikTok (known as Weixin and Douyin, respectively, in mainland China).Released by the party’s publicity department in January, Xuexi Qiangguo mostly serves as a news aggregation platform for articles, short video clips, and documentaries about President Xi Jinping’s political philosophy.Officially called Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, this political theory was presented by Xi, 65, at the Communist Party Congress in 2017.“Study points” are earned by users who log on the app, read articles, make comments every day, and take multiple-choice tests about the party’s policies.That feature also offers a method to monitor the compulsory use of the app.The app allows users to send each other messages, which automatically disappear after being read – similar to Snapchat.
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According to financial data leaked from Didi Chuxing, the company sustained a huge loss in 2018, with losses of up to RMB 10.9 billion [US$1.6 billion] in the past year.Meanwhile, in 2018, a total of RMB 11.3 billion [US$1.7 billion] was spent on driver subsidies.The alleged leaked figures point to mounting losses for China’s top ride-hailing app, which took a US$369.5 million hit in 2017.Tech in Asia has reached out to Didi for comment We will update this accordingly once the company responds.The app had a nightmarish 2018 after two female passengers were killed by their Didi drivers.In both cases, Didi’s safety measures were found to be inadequate.
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This article is brought to you by Studios, Tech in Asia’s new advertising arm which provides integrated media, marketing, events, and design solutions to help brands expand their reach in the tech ecosystem.You can also sign up for Studios’ bi-weekly newsletter to have resources on marketing, sales, events and the latest tech updates delivered straight to your inbox.Video content was massive in 2018.According to the new Global Internet Phenomena Report by Sandvine, video streaming accounted for nearly 58 percent of the total downstream volume of internet traffic around the world.Always-connected devices driving video media in SEAThe smartphone boom in SEA is perhaps the single biggest factor driving video consumption in the region.
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2019 has been kind to us so far: revenue is growing, and we’re keeping operations lean and mean.TIA Subscription is also showing promising results.If you’re reading this note in full, I sincerely thank you for your support in making sure that we can continue to invest in quality journalism and exclusive content.In the interest of transparency, I want to keep you updated on a few things.First of all, I’m thrilled to share that Maria Li, an Apple and Deloitte alum, will be taking over from Andrew Wang as Tech in Asia’s new COO.This content is exclusive to subscribers.
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Police in Singapore have raided the local offices of Wirecard amid an investigation into alleged “accounting irregularities” at the German fintech firm, the Financial Times has reported.A spokesperson for the force told the newspaper that officers “raided the premises of Wirecard in Singapore today,” without giving any further details.Tech in Asia has reached out to Wirecard for comment, and will update this article as necessary.Earlier this month, the Times reported that an investigation by Singaporean law firm Rajah & Tann, commissioned by Wirecard itself, had uncovered evidence of “serious offenses of forgery and/or of falsification of accounts” in the German company’s operations in the city-state, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, as well as in its home country.However, prior to today’s raid a Wirecard spokesperson had referred Tech in Asia to the company’s February 4 investor conference call, in which CEO Markus Braun said that an internal probe carried out by the company’s compliance team prior to instructing Rajah & Tann “didn’t find any proof and any conclusive findings that any of these allegations were true.” He added that he “expect[s] this investigation to be finalised quite quickly.”The allegations at the center of the investigation were made by a Singapore-based employee, accusing a colleague of “mature compliance breaches,” Braun explained.
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In Cambodia, the average loan size is now among the highest in the world, with around 2 million borrowers owing a record US$2.8 billion.It’s not a healthy situation, with experts warning of a bubble in the Southeast Asian nation of 16 million.Despite this scenario, Yuta Nagano’s Cambodia-based microloans startup today secured funding to help it tap into this growing market for small loans.Nagano used to run a financial comparison site, so he’s familiar with loan-seeking Cambodians and knows that many people are locked out of the traditional banking system.“Unfortunately, more than half were rejected or gave up their application,” he says, recalling users who clicked from his site through to partner banks or microfinance institutions.That happened “because they lacked documents or collateral, or they just lived in a remote area [where] banks don’t operate,” Nagano tells Tech in Asia.
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Line Corporation, the company behind the dominant chat app in Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand, announced in a filing that it is investing US$182 million into Line Pay, its mobile payments subsidiary.No other details were revealed.The move cements Line’s ambition of being becoming the dominant WeChat-like ecosystem outside of China, though it faces stiff competition in Southeast Asia’s superapp sweepstakes from Go-Jek and Grab.The investment is significant considering it made US$1.88 billion in revenue (growing 24 percent year-on-year) and US$52.7 million in losses in 2018.Like WeChat, Line is building out a wide range of content to bolster its ecosystem.These include games, jobs, manga, and ecommerce services.
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Almost a third of e-hails made through Go-Jek’s app in Indonesia may be fraudulent, while 5 percent of Grab orders in the country could also be falsenew study claims.However, Grab told Tech in Asia that it has reduced fraud rates to under one percent of total orders.The new research was conducted by Spire Research & Consulting, a market research firm that’s part of Tokyo-based Yamada Consulting Group.It surveyed a (seemingly rather small) sample of 40 ride-hailing drivers and 280 consumers selected from across Indonesia, though it isn’t clear if its findings on fraud come solely from those respondents.Tech in Asia has contacted Spire for clarification on its research methodology and will update this article as necessary.This content is exclusive to subscribers.
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He aims to help foreign companies learn more about Indonesia’s tech landscape and strategic partners who can accelerate your growth in the country.Many entrepreneurs spoke of the allure of venturing into Indonesia due to its strong economic growth and the large number of internet users (143 million as of 2017).They built their companies, launched well-designed, mobile-friendly, and localized websites with credit card payment support, and expected the entire country to buy from them.Every market presents its own set of challenges.According to a 2017 KPMG report, businesses face the following challenges when expanding into Indonesia:A large unbanked population: Only 36 percent of Indonesians have a bank account and just around 1 percent own a credit card.
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This week, Tech in Asia Jobs features tech startups that are hiring in Southeast Asia.KeyReply specializes in AI virtual assistant solutions for enterprises and Natural Language Processing (NLP) products.Their chatbots span across multiple platforms including Facebook Messenger, website, SMS, mobile apps and more.Founded by 3 Singaporean entrepreneurs in 2014, they have since grown into a tightly-knitted team that spend weekends working on internal hackathons and evenings watching Westworld and other sci-fi shows together.If you’re interested in joining them on their quest to be the number one AI chat automation company in Asia, they’re currently looking to fill the following roles:TabSquare is a Singapore-based provider of AI-powered in-restaurant solutions.
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This week, Tech in Asia Jobs features tech startups that are hiring in Asia.Drop us an email at jobs@techinasia.com to find out how.GoodNotes is a top-rated app for digital handwritten notes on iPad and iPhone.It was created from the founder’s frustration of taking readable and reusable notes on his first iPad.Based in Hong Kong, the team is made up of talented individuals who have mostly built and launched their apps on their own time.If you’re an Apple fan, you’ll be pleased to hear that they combine leisure activities such as wine-tasting at Napa Valley with their annual trips to Apple Worldwide Developers Conference!
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Which investors are most active in Southeast Asia?Using Tech in Asia’s data, we’ve generated this constantly updated list of the VC firms that have invested in Southeast Asian startups in the past two years.We’re arranging firms by the number of deals they’ve done.We acknowledge that this tends to favor early-stage investment firms over others, so in the near future we hope to generate content that better conveys the impact of each firm.To keep things concise, we’re only featuring firms that have invested in three or more companies in Southeast Asia within the past two years.Each firm’s “ of startups invested” is also limited to the region and that time frame.
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Do you remember a social app called Tsu?And there might be one reason behind that: Facebook.In 2015, Facebook blocked all links to Tsu’s website and even to articles about the platform.With more than 1 billion monthly active users, the Tencent app lets people chat, pay bills, play games, shop, and access government services – without ever leaving WeChat.The first victim of WeChat’s purge was Duoshan, a Snapchat clone made by Bytedance – the company behind TikTok.Other apps include Liaotianbao, a new version of Bullet Messenger, which was once hailed as a “WeChat killer” (didn’t keep that nickname for too long), and an anonymous app called Toilet – which, believe it or not, is already famous because of its controversial founder.
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But what if that customer later signs up for another account using a new phone number?Didi Chuxing is China’s largest ride-sharing platform, offering taxi, carpooling and other transport services.Having driven Uber out of China in 2016, Didi is actively growing its international footprint through various partnerships.The Chinese ride-hailing giant is currently running an online poll about the idea: Should passengers be required to register with their real names and national ID?At least two female riders on its Hitch service (a carpooling function similar to UberPool and Lyft’s Share Rides) were raped and killed.It looks like many of those who responded to the poll support introducing real-name registration.
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You run out of toothpaste, so you decide to buy a new tube at the commissary.But wait, you don’t have enough cash.There might be money in your electronic wallet.Digital payment is ubiquitous in China, especially now that the technology is (literally) going behind bars, forming part of the Beijing government’s plan to build what it calls a “smart prison.”Using Alibaba’s payment app Alipay, family members can now pass money to a prisoner.Once it’s verified, the inmate can receive a maximum of 1,000 yuan (around US$147) each month from a relative.
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To get more news from Tech In Asia, sign up for our newsletter here.The idea of anonymous social networks is apparently coming back in China.Toilet (yes, that’s the app’s real name) allows users to post a topic or question and invite other anonymous users to join the conversation.But one of the reasons the anonymous app is drawing plenty of attention is the identity of its maker: Wang Xin, the CEO of once-popular streaming site Kuaibo, who served three and a half years in prison because Kuaibo gave users access to porn.His new app touts itself as an answer to WeChat’s famous Moments news feed.After the app’s official launch yesterday, download links disappeared from the website, being replaced by a message saying servers are overwhelmed.
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The New York Times story came a week after the South China Morning Post reported that the University of California, Davis sent a warning to students to avoid “unfavorable political statements or postings on social media” when traveling to China.After all, Twitter is readily accessible to travelers through data roaming on a foreign SIM card – despite the fact that it’s officially blocked in China and inaccessible to locals without a VPN service.(Though, funnily enough, most state-run Chinese media outlets have official Twitter accounts – to broadcast stories to readers living outside the country, of course.)The current crackdown also seems targeted at local critics of the government: Chinese citizens living in China.In contrast, foreigners, including reporters living and working in the country, seem to be free to voice criticisms of the government on Twitter.We spoke to several foreign nationals living in China – from businesspeople to students and writers.
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Job and recruitment site Glassdoor announced today that it’s entering the Singapore market.The US-based company will first focus on raising awareness for employees and job seekers through public relations, social media, advertising, and word-of-mouth activities, along with launching its “Best Places to Work” awards in the country.Glassdoor tells Tech in Asia that it’s “inevitable” to open an office in Southeast Asia, saying that Singapore is a front-runner for a regional hub.“Singapore is a really interesting market for us because visits from people here are already relatively high for the size of the country, which suggests there is a strong appetite for our jobs, reviews, and insights,” says Glassdoor.According to the company, roughly 900,000 Singaporeans visit the site per month, and they’re expecting this to increase “quite considerably” based on their experience launching in other markets.The company also says Singapore would be an ideal hub in the region because a lot of major employers in the city-state are already Glassdoor customers in other markets.
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