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Janio Bi-Weekly News Round-up | End-August 2019

Amanda Lim

A curation of the latest news in e-commerce, logistics, and tech in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Janio's Bi-weekly News Roundup

As we approach the middle of Q3, tensions have been causing ripples in the global economy and the eCommerce and logistics space, affecting the likes of Alibaba and Maersk. However, silver linings could be found in other developments within India and China.

Alibaba Postpones IPO Amidst Hong Kong Protests

Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba has postponed its up to US$15 billion listing in Hong Kong1 following the protests and political unrest. The listing was set to go live in late August 2019, but Alibaba’s spokesperson said that the decision for the delay was made due to the lack of financial and political stability.

If you’d like to catch up on the news surrounding the Hong Kong protests, here’s an article on what the protests are about2.

Maersk Flies Red Flag, But Opportunities Rise in India for Major Players

Maersk ties up with digital platform to drive into India’s trucking sector3. Despite the container company sounding the alarm on the US-China trade war3, Maersk still identified an opportunity for a partnership with India’s online marketplace, Blackbuck. This coincides with the Indian government’s ambitious reforms to reduce logistics costs by 9% of its GDP by 2022. The partnership is also in line with our earlier commentary that the 4 US-China Trade War will benefit parties outside of the two economic superpowers, and while our focus has been on SEA, it’s interesting to see India has been picking up steam.

In other news, India’s eCommerce space is also seeing some strategic movements. Amazon seems to be in talks over Reliance Retail5, Mukesh Ambani’s eCommerce arm. Ambani has been vocal in wanting a competitive edge over Amazon and Flipkart in India’s eCommerce, and these talks with Amazon are unconfirmed. Retail News Asia’s sources said that it’s not clear whether a deal will materialise, especially since Amazon is looking to “[neutralise] a major rival and [allow] itself to grow.” Based on our previous coverage on Ambani, we suspect that it’s a hard sell on Amazon’s part.

Chinese eCommerce Sites Sales Surpasses Expectations

Chinese eCommerce marketplaces have shown positive results in their latest sales numbers.

Pinduoduo dispels the myth that its shoppers are cheapskates6 in its latest report. The eCommerce platform has gained more customers from China’s most developed cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou, accounting for 48% of the total value of orders through Pinduoduo in June 2019. This is up from 37% in January, cementing their position as a serious contender for Alibaba and JD.com. Nevertheless, JD.com also boasted some good news on their sales numbers.

JD.com has beaten their previous estimates on Q2 sales 8. This announcement seems to run counter to previous news that China’s tech sector is slowing down. However, the eCommerce company did mention that they are diversifying their business to counteract slowing growth.

While the eCommerce giants continue to find other means to grow their company, it is quite likely that the giants will eventually take a hit from the ongoing trade war and global economic slowdown. However, how badly they will be hit remains to be seen.


That’s all for this news round-up! In the meantime, to stay updated with the latest news and our articles, consider signing up for Janio’s regular newsletter.

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If you’d like to find out more about how we can solve your SEA eCommerce cross-border delivery needs, come and have a conversation with us.



  1. Channel News Asia: Alibaba postpones up to US$15 billion Hong Kong listing amid protests
  2. The Guardian: What are the Hong Kong protests about?
  3. Theloadstar: Maersk’s digital drive into India’s trucking sector via tie-up with online platform
  4. Business Insider: The world’s biggest shipping company just put up a red flag that the trade war is crushing the global economy
  5. Retail News: Amazon in talks over Reliance Retail
  6. Tech In Asia: Pinduoduo’s latest results prove its ecommerce isn’t just for cheapskates, founder says
  7. Channel News Asia: Chinese online retailer JD.com beats estimates on strong sales

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