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Asia Tech Review: April 25 2016

Welcome back! Plenty of news from Asia this week, I'm also throwing in some reading around bots. If y
April 25 · Issue #6 · View online
Asia Tech Review
Welcome back!
Plenty of news from Asia this week, I’m also throwing in some reading around bots. If you follow tech news – and I assume you do since you subscribe to this email – you have probably heard that bots will replace apps, are the new app store, or other such talk. I’m a little more skeptical. I haven’t written anything on this yet, but my supplementary reads this week might give you an idea of why I’m not following along with the bot revolution yet, despite the undoubted potential.
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Apple says it refused China’s request for its source code
Apple's iBooks and iTunes movie services mysteriously suspended in China
Baidu is building a 100-person autonomous car team in Silicon Valley
Baidu’s video business goes independent and raises $155M
Tencent launches enterprise version of WeChat
Ctrip invests $463M in China Eastern Airlines
Drone maker DJI admits it may share user data with Chinese government
Udacity brings its online learning services to China
Parts of India are testing a ban on surge pricing in taxi apps
PepperTap shuts grocery delivery operations and lays off 150 staff
Alibaba’s UCWeb announces $20M for India’s game developers
Airbnb partners with Times of India
Indian home rental platform NestAway gets $30M led by Tiger Global
1mg gets $16M to make India’s health industry more transparent
SoftBank investors call for internal probe of COO Nikesh Arora
Southeast Asia
Ninja Van raises $30M to build a regional logistics network in Southeast Asia
Rocket Internet’s Zalora loses co-founder and MD amid uncertain future
Go-Jek goes from two to four wheels with launch of Uber rival
Interesting Reads
Good post on something many people miss: WeChat’s success for brands is about convenience not bots or (this stupid phrase) “conversational commerce” link
Good A16z podcast on what bots are and (importantly) aren’t/won’t be link
Moar on bots from Bloomberg: Many acclaimed AI/bot startups are in fact actually staffed by humans link
Finally on bots: “Facebook Chatbots Are Frustrating and Useless” link
Explained: The surprisingly simple way hackers made off with nearly $1 billion from a bank in Bangladesh link
WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption but terrorists and others might not flock to use it like you think link
Twitter’s new China head was a People’s Liberation Army engineer who worked on military security link
Interesting interview with the founder of Blendle, a company that lets you pay to read individual news stories rather than buying a subscription link
Vox Media podcast with Ben Thompson, one of the sharpest tech minds on the internet link
And Finally...
Burma has its first Pulitzer Prize winner link
That's All For Now, See You Next Week!
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