A curation of the latest news in e-commerce, logistics, and tech in Southeast Asia and beyond.
February 2019 sees more strategic developments from Indonesia’s e-commerce and logistics players, a focus on inclusivity from the 2019 World Economic Forum, and signs of an economic slowdown in China’s tech industry.
Bukalapak to add Sharia-compliant investing feature, taking digital islamic finance closer to mainstream. This feature will allow users to invest and seek funding according to Sharia, where interest fees and businesses involved in gambling and alcohol are prohibited. A possible company that the e-commerce platform will collaborate with is Dana Syariah Indonesia, which provides Islamic financing services and investments for businesses and individuals. If this partnership goes through, Bukalapak will be the first e-commerce platform that offers financing that is compliant to Sharia law.
Indonesian airline Garuda in talks with Go-Jek to provide logistics support. These talks are in the advanced stage and the partnership is expected to be finalised in a few months, according to Garuda’s chief executive Ari Askhara. The partnership will help Go-Jek move its e-commerce goods around Indonesia’s 17,000 islands easier. Whether this partnership will address Indonesia’s logistics hurdles we mentioned two weeks ago remains to be seen.
In Making Digital Globalisation Inclusive, the hour long video discusses the issues that arose from rapid digitisation, such as skill shortages and mismatches, and how to bridge the gap by upskilling and lowering the skill barrier. The panelists also mention that it’s about how the technology is used, in order to take into account the low-to-middle income strata, and developing national policies that take digitalisation and globalisation into account to ensure that no one is left behind.
Is this the End or Beginning of Globalism? This 34-minute long panel discussion brings up the global state of uncertainty, with events such as Brexit and the US-China Trade causing the economy to slow down. The discussion also offers suggestions on what governments and big organisations can do to solve issues like putting policies in place for those who have or will lose their jobs from digitisation, ensure that economic policies don’t leave people behind and keep in mind other factors that affect economies like climate change and natural disasters.
For more info on what this means in Southeast Asia, read our commentary on Davos 2019.
China’s JD. com to lay off 10 percent of its senior executives this year, which is nearly 100 of its employees. This layoff is part of a larger trend where China’s tech sector is slowing down, with many startups competing for shrinking venture capital money and established tech players looking for different sources of revenue as growth plateaus. A JD.com spokesperson said that the company is looking to “maximise resources” and “provide equal opportunities for qualified talent and to ensure quality growth of the business in the future.”
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