Author: Jon Russell

This startup is bringing Alipay-style QR code payments to Indonesia

TECHCRUNCH The growth of digital payments and banking in China, where it has become mainstream and spawned numerous on-demand industries, is inspiring companies to pursue similar opportunities across. Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest population and Southeast Asia’s largest economy is a primary focus for many. Beyond bigger players such as Alibaba, which has a joint fintech venture and other investments in the country, and ride-sharing firm Grab, which is developing a platform of financial services, smaller players are seizing the opportunity to make a dent in Indonesia, where credit ownership is low and many of the 260 million population don’t even...

Read More

Samsung’s Bixby assistant is now available for Galaxy S8 owners worldwide

TECHCRUNCH Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant is now global after it expanded into over 200 countries today. Bixby is Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and other virtual assistants. It got off to a bumpy start when it didn’t ship with the launch of the Galaxy S6, Samsung’s top-of-the-range device for this year, in March. Samsung rolled out a ‘preview’ version in June, before the full version with voice-control went live for Korea and then U.S.-based users in July. There is a limitation to this global rollout, since it will only be available to those who own the Galaxy...

Read More

Spotify launches in Thailand to continue its Asia push

TECHCRUNCH 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 is substantially cheaper than what they pay, but Spotify has opted for local pricing worldwide. Interestingly, Spotify will introduce daily and weekly packages to boost its potential in Thailand, where revenue from online...

Read More

Hackers nab $500,000 as Enigma is compromised weeks before its ICO

TECHCRUNCH The ICO hackers are at it again. Enigma, a de-centralized platform that’s preparing to raise money via a crypto token sale, had its website and a number of social accounts compromised with the perpetrators netting nearly than $500,000 in digital coin by spending out spam. Enigma, which was started by a group of MIT graduates, did not lose any money from the attack. Whoever orchestrated it grabbed money from the Enigma community, people who joined the company’s mailing list or Slack group of over 9,000 users to learn more about its ICO in September. The hacker posted Slack messages,...

Read More

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

TECHCRUNCH 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 — that works out to around $29 million. That’s a pretty significant exit — both in name of acquirer and deal size — for Southeast Asia’s nascent yet promising tech ecosystem. You’d be hard pressed to call Quantum Inventions a startup,...

Read More

New Apple videos explain how iOS 11 and its multi-tasking features work on the iPad

TECHCRUNCH iOS 11, the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system, is quite the game-changer for iPad owners. We wrote that the software effectively turns an iPad into a mobile computer through a number of new features that go beyond previous limits with a focus on multi-tasking. The new iOS is currently in beta, but when it is released to all it will bring a very different experience to millions of Apple customers. So it’s helpful that Apple itself has a released a series of videos that guide you through the new feature additions, some of which are not straightforward, with relative...

Read More

Cloudflare CEO calls for a system to regulate hateful internet content

TECHCRUNCH Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince has called for the implementation of a framework to govern how the internet’s gatekeepers deal with cases like The Daily Stormer. This comes after a number of tech companies have revoked support for the neo-Nazi website for its close association with the violent far-right demonstrations in Charlottesville. Seven-year-old Cloudfare took the step of cutting support for The Daily Stormer website on Thursday, which is notable as it’s the first time it has ever removed a customer from its service. Far from energized by the decision, which saw Cloudflare follow in the footsteps of Google,...

Read More

Alibaba leads $1.1B investment in Indonesia-based e-commerce firm Tokopedia

TECHCRUNCH Alibaba has continued its push into Southeast Asia after it led a $1.1 billion investment in Tokopedia, an e-commerce firm based in Indonesia. A valuation for the deal was not announced, but the companies did say that Alibaba has become a minority shareholder. Tokopedia, which was founded in 2009, operates a marketplace that allows small retailers and large brands to sell to consumers in Indonesia, which is Southeast Asia’s largest economy. The company previously raised $100 million from SoftBank and Sequoia in 2014 and it said that its existing backers — which include East Ventures, CyberAgent and Beenos Partners...

Read More

Right Now in Politics