Asia news roundup: Peng leaves Ant to focus on Lazada, Iflix quits Singapore, and more
Here’s a wrap of the day’s news.
New Lazada CEO steps down as Ant Financial chair (Singapore). Lucy Peng is leaving her position as executive chairman at Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial to focus on her new role as CEO at Singapore-based ecommerce firm Lazada. This announcement comes after Alibaba’s additional US$2 billion investment in Lazada last month, at the same time that Peng took over top spot from founder Max Bittner. Ant Financial’s CEO Eric Jing will take on the vacant chairman role at the Chinese company. (The South China Morning Post)
Delivery and logistics
Ola in private talks to buy more food-tech companies (India). The transport company has reportedly held talks to acquire at least two more food-related startups, including Freshmenu, a private-label food maker, following its acquisition of Foodpanda’s India business late last year. The firm may seek to raise funds for Foodpanda later in 2018. (Livemint)
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
Coinbase to halt Xfers-trading on its platform (Singapore). The digital currency trading platform announced over the weekend that from 15 May it will put a pin in the buying or selling of digital assets via Xfers, a Singapore-based payment processing gateway that allows users to trade assets via their credit cards and bank accounts. Coinbase said Xfers cannot handle anticipated growth in its current form. The company did not specify a time period for the pause. (Coinbase)
Media and entertainment
Iflix shutters doors in Singapore (Malaysia/Singapore). The video-streaming firm will close down its five-man-strong digital team in the city-state and move it to Malaysia, its home market. The firm claimed it is speaking with members of the Singapore team about relocation possibilities. Iflix’s streaming services are not available in Singapore. (Mumbrella)
Health and well-being
AI-driven medtech startup gets fresh funding (Singapore). SGInnovate, a government-owned company that invests in “deep tech” startups, said today that it has invested in NDR Medical Technology, a firm that uses AI and robotics to augment surgical procedures. The firm did not disclose the amount invested, but said the startup will be piloting its product soon, with a commercial application slated for launch in 2020. (SGInnovate)
Travel and hospitality
Third-party travel sites eyed by competition watchdog (Singapore). The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore announced that it will begin market studies into the workings of online travel booking sites and how they handle users’ personal data. The agency will focus on flight and hotel bookings via sites like Expedia and Trivago, due to the burgeoning popularity of these services, and partner the Personal Data Protection Commission to review data protection issues. (Today)
Investors, incubators, and accelerators
Second edition of DBS Fintech Accelerator kicks off (Hong Kong). The Singaporean bank, together with Hong Kong VC firm Nest, selected six firms to participate in the second edition of its accelerator program which targets late-stage startups. The programme includes mentoring and networking opportunities for the startups. (e27)
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