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Asia Tech Review: February 19 2018

Welcome back,Happy Chinese New Year to those who celebrated it. The holiday period means less news th
February 19 · Issue #62 · View online
Asia Tech Review
Welcome back,
Happy Chinese New Year to those who celebrated it. The holiday period means less news than usual, but still a couple of items stood out.
WhatsApp’s new payment system has been widely heralded by users for making things simple, but the founder of India’s largest digital payment startup has criticized the company for not adhering to existing rules and created a closed ecosystem that doesn’t work with other services.
In Southeast Asia, a CNBC report suggested Uber is keen to exit the region through a sale to Grab. In a long note below I explain that I think these are investor leaks designed to push an agenda and not necessarily representative of what is happening/planned. Then again, the deal has logic to it, and it could happen despite what I said.
ATR was included in a list of notable Asia-focused newsletters from Splice – lots of other great suggestions here, too. 
For more regular updates and general about tech in Asia, join more than 200 ATR readers in the Telegram group:
See you next week,

Baidu bounces back and plans IPO for video business
Alibaba signs deal with Disney to stream its animated shows on Youku
WeWork rival Ucommune raises $17.5M’s logistics business raises $2.5B
Top US intelligence tell Americans not to buy Huawei or ZTE phones
688 million people used WeChat hongbao on Chinese New Year's Eve
HTC smartphone president resigns
Walmart wanted to buy Flipkart, but SoftBank opposed to sale
Paytm CEO criticizes WhatsApp for trickery
UPI transactions pass $150M per month
Digital spending by Indians to hit $100 billion by 2020: Report
Paytm launches physical retail store
Fraud allegations shake Ola; company HR and admin head being investigated
Zoomcar raises $40M led by Mahindra & Mahindra
Lendingkart raises $76 million
Kakao’s games business lands $130M from Tencent and others
Kakao buys carpool startup Luxi for $25M
Southeast Asia
Uber is reportedly keen to sell its Southeast Asia-based business to Grab
Vynn Capital plans $40M startup fund for Southeast Asia
Ex-Grab CTO's insurance startup lands undisclosed Series A
New project outfits Indonesia’s street vendors with free Wi-Fi and smart tech
Thai central bank bans banks from cryptocurrencies
Interesting Reads
Interview with a former member of North Korea’s hacker army who lived in China earning money for the state link
FT’s top-1000 “high-growth” companies in APAC link
A look at e-commerce in rural China link
Hong Kong’s anti-crypto investment ads are on public transport stations link
WhatsApp’s payment feature has potential to disrupt in India link
The impact LeEco’s demise on Hanford, the city it earmarked as US manufacturing base link
One crypto post >> “Why decentralization matters” link
And, outside of Asia >>How a Chinese casino firm corrupted a small US island in the Pacific link
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