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Asia Tech Review: August 6 2018

August 6 · Issue #81 · View online
Asia Tech Review
Welcome back,
Last week’s news was all about Google and its apparent plans to co-operate with the government in China to launch at least three new products: a censored search engine, a censored news app and a cloud computing service.
That sparked a backlash from Google – both internally and outside of the company – with one source telling The Intercept, which broke the first news, that the planned launch “will set a terrible precedent for many other companies who are still trying to do business in China while maintaining the principles of not succumbing to China’s censorship.”
As I said on Twitter, Google has done a lot more than most to help increase internet adoption in India, Southeast Asia and other markets through initiatives such as free WiFi, data-friendly apps, and even ‘lite’ versions of Android. Arguably this all serves the purpose of widening the market it can monetize, but the impact is positive for all. However, its seemingly financially-motivated return to China – and 180-degree flip on opposing censorship – threatens to remove any positive sentiment about its business and progress in Asia.
Right, let’s get to the rest of the news.
See you again next week,

Google is reportedly planning a censored search service in China
Google is also reportedly developing a news app for China
Finally: Google is reportedly planning to launch a China-based cloud business
Google struggles to contain employee uproar over China censorship plans
Starbucks partners with Alibaba on coffee delivery to boost China business
Congress passes bill forcing tech companies to disclose foreign software probes
Apple in touch with Chinese telcos on ways to cut spam
Tencent loses $143B in 2018 stock slump is merging into sister app TikTok launches first unmanned store outside of China
Virus cripples iPhone chipmaker TSMC plants
WhatsApp told to open office and hire local team before introducing payment service
Freshworks raises $100M at $1.5B valuation as it plans IPO
Swiggy and Zomato both in funding talks with SoftBank Vision Fund
Bus-sharing app Shuttl gets $11M Series B from investors including Amazon India
Ebix acquires two Indian travel and events companies for $14.2M
Sony can't stop making money from PlayStation
Nintendo is closing in on 20 million Switch sales to date
Sony’s mobile business is shrinking out of existence
Samsung misses estimates as S8 sales underwhelm
Southeast Asia
Grab picks up $1B more to fuel growth in post-Uber Southeast Asia
Go-Jek kicks off Southeast Asia expansion with Vietnam launch
Golden Gate Ventures hits first close on new $100M fund
Southeast Asia seek cybersecurity deal with Russia after series of hacks
Blockchain journalism project Civil launches $1M fund for 100 early-stage projects in Asia
Google is adding a new data center in Singapore
Interesting Reads
How countries like Bermuda, Malta or Gibraltar are wooing crypto companies link
Profile of Ctrip CEO Jane Sun link
A look at how SoftBank’s Vision Fund is run link
Profile of Beijing-based crypto fund FBG Capital link
The backlash against Dingtalk, Alibaba’s enterprise chat service link
A look at Luckin Coffee, the startup Starbucks is battling in China link
China is trying to stop an activist from speaking at a press event in Hong Kong link
China’s surveillance of Muslim Uyghurs even extends to religious pilgrimages link
Related: Insightful essay on life in China for Uyghurs link
People are increasingly sleeping in Hong Kong apparently due to rising housing costs link
Southeast Asia seek cybersecurity deal with Russia after series of hacks | Reuters
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