Category Archives: Singapore

(My take) Can Blockchain Boost E-Commerce? A Singapore Company Says It Can – Bloomberg

First off I didn’t know they were #1 in Singapore – congrats.

I didn’t know about this , till I heard them shilling for coins on the radio.

It’s interesting but not sure it will work. We will have to wait and see.

Then this article comes out.

Can Blockchain Boost E-Commerce? A Singapore Company Says It Can – Bloomberg

What I don’t get is this:

Ku says blockchain makes it cheaper to run an online marketplace which lets him remove the fees he currently charges merchants to sell products on the site. That, he says, should attract even more sellers. Ku is also creating a payment system based on the technology that will help attract new shoppers in a region where cash still predominates. So far, the response has been positive: Three months in, he says, more than 5,000 merchants have registered 2.3 million or so products on QuuBe. 

Of course CEO’s will say anything but where is the concrete example of how blockchain will make anything he is talking about cheaper?

I don’t get it.

Why doesn’t the reporter clarify or ask for examples?

Maybe it relates to this:

The technology automates certain e-commerce transactions and processes that typically require humans. That’s why Ku can eliminate merchant fees and make it easier for anyone to set up an online shop. Blockchain also enhances trust among participants because they can more easily trace transactions from start to finish. 

In theory he is saying that blockchain will mean less bodies. That saves money if true but I don’t see how it works in practice to be honest.

Then this:

Meanwhile, the ledger offers an alternative, more secure payment method in a region where many shoppers lack access to financial services. Buyers and sellers use tokens called Q*coins, which are stored in a digital wallet in the QuuBe app. Q*coins are pegged to the U.S. dollar and fully convertible with no extra fees. As more of the tokens circulate, Ku says their value will appreciate—giving merchants another way to profit.

I always find it funny when people say crypto will help the unbanked. Really? How do the unbanked buy their crypto?

The main heading on their site is using your UOB card to buy tokens. Not sure that a UOB cardholder is an example of the unbanked.

I guess they can offer the ability for you to walk into 7/11 and buy coins but I wonder with it pegged to the USD what currency exchange bath you are taking.

Then it ends with:

But Ku is convinced blockchain will give him the necessary edge to compete and avoid getting into a cash-burning war of attrition. “I want to show that we can prevail by using technologies,” he says, “not by throwing money around.”

Still want to know what edge it gives him and how it saves him money. The article never really answers that.

Good times and I will admit to cheering him one since we need the competition.

Singapore Isn’t Waiting for Facebook to Crack Down on Fake News – Bloomberg

I don’t have opinions on this but it feels like an overreach.

However it is sad the big platforms have let this happen to the point that the governments want to step in.

My guess is we are gonna hear a lot more about this in Singapore and other countries.

Singapore Isn’t Waiting for Facebook to Crack Down on Fake News – Bloomberg

Key Insights into Singapore’s Ride-Sharing Market Landscape

Key Insights into Singapore’s Ride-Sharing Market Landscape

Seriously – can any one of these so-called reporters try this stuff out and report on actual experience versus what the companies say they do?

Apart from Grab and GoJek the rest of these are a joke. Comfort is it for Taxis.

Ryde – never got it to work.

TADA – it’s a crypto play masquerading as a car service. Tried 5 times. Booked one ride – the rest the driver cancelled on me.

Kardi – never heard of it.

Urge – never heard of it

The pool of drivers and cars is the same.

My guess is none of these other players will ever make it.

Sea is raising up to $1.5B for its Shopee e-commerce business in Southeast Asia | TechCrunch

Well this is a battle to watch.

Since Amazon Prime showed up that’s pretty much where I get my stuff – apart from going to the store or the wet market. Yes – that’s still a thing in Asia and I love it.

I get the other stuff I need from iHerb which has great prices and ships for free to Singapore. Can’t beat it.

I still very rarely wonder in the untamed marketplace that is Lazada or Shopee. I have tried them both for some weird stuff I couldn’t get elsewhere but generally are disappointed with the quality of it. For sure though the marketplace model of each holds very little interest from me so I am always amazed at the numbers for these products but of course not a lot of profit yet.

Then add in the while Carousell and Facebook stuff for lots of other P2P transactions which our family has used way more than Shopee or Lazada but both could be done so much better. I actually there is some opportunity in the P2P space being done right but maybe Carousell and FB are just too big now.

Anyways – welcome to SEAsia! Its gonna be a crazy next 10 years!

Sea is raising up to $1.5B for its Shopee e-commerce business in Southeast Asia | TechCrunch

Alibaba Bets on Frenchman to Lead High-Stakes Southeast Asia Expansion – Bloomberg

I’m not a huge fan of the product but I use it from time to time and it works, but let’s admit that Singapore is easy.

I used to use redmart but saw no reason to when amazon prime arrived. Personally I think it’s a mistake that they are rolling redmart into the platform but I am sure they have their reasons.

All that aside I think appointing Pierre is the right move and good to see Alibaba learning a trick or two. Pierre has the history and knows what he is doing. The competition will be stiff but I think having a founder in charge is a better look versus what it looked like Alibaba was planning to do.

Congrats and good luck!

Pierre Poignant will have to vanquish well-funded regional rivals if he is to achieve Alibaba’s vision of becoming a global player.

— Read on