Asia has Open Skies agreements but they are not as liberal as in Europe, said Tony Fernandes, CEO of AirAsia Group. Fernandes (left) is pictured with World Travel & Tourism Council CEO David Scowsill during a press conference in Bangkok on April 27, 2017. Dan Peltier / SkiftSkift Take: The low-cost, long haul model will come to Asia, says AirAsia's Tony Fernandes, if customers are willing to pay for it. Fernandes isn't shy about saying he's jealous about some of the moves Nor...
An Asian actress plunged herself into a contorted argument about racial purity by complaining that somebody chosen over her for a movie role was only half-Chinese. Jamie Chung, who will star in the upcoming X-Men TV series, was turned down for a lead role in feature film Crazy Rich Asians – apparently on the grounds that she wasn’t ethnically Chinese (Chung has Korean heritage). Upon learning that the male lead for the show was only half-Chinese – and also half white – she l...
Photo credit: David Mark/Pixabay. The news: A US private pension provider, the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), says it’s putting at least $275 million into a new fund by global investment firm KKR, called KKR Asia Fund III. That’s on top of the US$5.8 billion that have reportedly already been committed to the fund. KKR’s target for this third pan-Asian investment vehicle is to raise at least $7 billion. Why it matters: KKR is a private equity investor with stak...
A pet food company has recalled two kinds of canned dog food after a euthanasia drug was found in them in Texas. Party Animal Inc. said on Monday that lab testing of its beef and turkey and beef and chicken dog food found pentobarbital, a euthanasia drug used on animals and humans, in the food. The dog food in question had been manufactured and distributed in 2015, the company said in a statement. It requested customers and retailers to return cans from Lot No. 0136E15204 04, best by July 2019 a...
TransferWise CEO Taavet Hinrikus during a World Economic Forum event in Tianjin, China, in 2016. Photo credit: World Economic Forum / Sikarin Thanachaiary. Online money transfer startup TransferWise announced today it is setting up its Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore. The Singapore office will be in business by next week, starting with eight employees. The company hopes to have that number up to 30 by the end of the year. It will be hiring for a variety of roles including engineering, operations, ...
Photo credit: tykhyi / 123RF Stock Photo Since 2015, the prominence of expert stages at Tech in Asia conferences has been steadily increasing. They are filled with practical, how-to advice on everything ranging from brand strategy and revenue planning to corporate investment and stock option negotiation. Attendees love it – almost every session is standing room only. But we have frequently heard one particular point of user feedback. “Can we get the same content for startups past series A?...
Asia-Pacific benefits most from Chinese tourism. Pictured are Chinese tourists waiting to board a sightseeing boat at a pier at Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, Thailand. Athit Perawongmetha / ReutersSkift Take: China's neighbors stand to benefit most from hundreds of millions of Chinese tourists. But as the past few months have shown, Chinese demand can shift rapidly and drastically impact local tourism economies in the process. — Dan PeltierThe Asia-Pacific region claims 90 percent of the...
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has cut short the final leg of his Asia trip to race back to Washington, where the Trump administration faces a critical week on tax reform and a funding plan to keep the government running, an aide said on Sunday. Pence, who has been traveling in Asia to reassure allies and partners about President Donald Trump’s commitment to the region, had originally planned to spend two nights in Honolulu at the end of a trip that took him to South Korea, Japan, Indonesi...
From left to right: Y Combinator’s Kevin Hale, 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, and Movida’s Taizo Son taking a selfie on stage at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2014. Why are people upset over a US$400 juicer, and how is the Lazada-Alibaba tag team going to overtake Amazon? Why is Taizo Son moving to Singapore? Welcome to Last Week in Tech, where we look back at what happened in the tech and startup ecosystem in the last seven days. We’ve also collated a list of regional events to look forward to in the...
Netflix rival iFlix announced today it’s going to produce its own original content in the vein of its US-headquartered competitor. Its first original TV show is called Magic Hour and it’s a spin-off from an Indonesian film with the same name. iFlix is also planning a comedy series and has inked a deal with Malaysian studio Skop Productions to stream its movies less than a month after they’ve left cinemas. The studio will also produce a mini-series for iFlix. Netflix has been ...
An esports tournament. Image credit: Dota 2 The International. It may not be long before an athlete wins a gold medal at the Olympics – for playing a computer game. Competitive computer gaming, or esports, has turned from a fringe activity into a genre that’s getting millions of viewers and doling out millions of dollars in prize money. In Southeast Asia, it may be on the cusp of becoming mainstream. The Manila Major, a prominent Dota 2 competition, filled a stadium and had a US$3 mi...
KATHERINE LEUNG was hunting for birds—black-tailed godwits to be precise. Armed with a wide net, she stood at dusk amid the Mai Po Marshes, a wide expanse of mudflats, mangroves and shrimp ponds on Hong Kong’s border with mainland China, trying to nab a couple of birds as they came to roost after feeding. In her pocket were two tiny and expensive radio transmitters. An employee of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), which manages Mai Po, she was hoping to affix them to the backs of two god...
 Amazon isn’t in Southeast Asia yet — the e-commerce giant pushed back plans to enter early this year — but that isn’t stopping future rival Lazada teaming up with a range of companies to offer an Amazon Prime-style membership package in advance of the U.S. e-commerce giant’s arrival. Lazada, the e-commerce firm that is majority owned by China’s Alibaba,… Read More
Photo credit: Wikimedia. Budget airline AirAsia has bought a 50 percent stake in trip planning service Touristly in a deal worth US$2.6 million. The transaction consists of a convertible loan worth US$1.1 million, and a US$1.5 million asset injection involving the digital component of AirAsia’s inflight magazine, Travel 3Sixty. AirAsia hopes to grow its revenue by adding tours and activities. Kuala Lumpur-based Touristly will use the proceeds of the loan for “working capital and development,...
At the 2022 Asian Games, esports will become a medal sport thanks to Alisports, the sports subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba. In a partnership with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China will be a testing ground and almost certain confirmation for esports to finally have a shot at becoming a legitimate Olympic sport in the near future. Zhang Dazhong, the founder and chief executive officer of Alisports said, "together we will work on providing the spon...
A massive esports event. Photo credit: Sam Churchill.. Alisports, the sports affiliate of ecommerce giant Alibaba, announced that it’s partnering with the Olympic Council of Asia to bring e-sports to the 2018 and 2022 Asian Games, held in Jakarta and Hangzhou respectively. The Alibaba off-shoot is betting big on e-sports, or competitive computer gaming. It invested US$14.5 million to start the World Electronic Sports Games, an e-sports championship. It plans to put US$150 million in tota...
Image credit: zurijeta / 123RF Stock Photo. The first quarter of this year wasn’t rosy for Southeast Asian startups. The number of seed to series C startup deals has hit the lowest mark in three years. Spooked by devaluations in India and the US, investors tell Tech in Asia they’ve tightened their purse strings. “2016 was a reality check year for everyone,” Jeffrey Paine, managing partner of Golden Gate Ventures, tells me. According to Tech in Asia’s data, ecommer...
Here’s our newest round-up of the featured startups on our site this week. If you have startup tips or story suggestions, feel free to email us. Enjoy this week’s list! 1. MetroResidences | Singapore (Startup Profile) Singapore-based MetroResidences rents out fully furnished apartments to corporate travelers, offering up to a 40 percent discount on branded providers. The startup takes care of setting up and styling the apartments, as well as the viewing, leasing, and maintenance checkbox...
Asian countries escaped the currency manipulator label in the latest U.S. Treasury report, but remain wary of possible trade friction as President Donald Trump maintains his administration will seek to address trade imbalances. Trump has said some U.S. trading partners, particularly China, manipulated their currency, but has since backed off that claim and acknowledged that China had not weakened the yuan to make its exports cheaper. China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan remained on a list for sp...
Ahmed Shabana, founder or Parkpine Capital, prefers to keep it casual. Photo Credit: Ahmed Shabana. Ahmed Shabana can spot an opportunity. In 2006, while still in university in Cairo, he took his family’s pharma business online. Agzakhana became the first Egyptian online drugstore to use social media to reach customers. It delivered medicines across the Middle East. In 2013, while honeymooning in Bali, he sensed a new opportunity. With its positive economic outlook, unruffled by uncertainties ...