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Daily Briefing

In Brief

Oct 5, 2018 by The Passage Team
In Brief

Amazon doubles US wages

Source: Business Standard

Online retail giant Amazon announced on Tuesday that it would increase the minimum wage of all its US employees to USD 15 per hour from the current USD 7.25 per hour. The move has been welcomed by the Trump Administration and US lawmakers as a significant step that benefits workers.

Effective November 1, the new wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees, as well as over 100,000 seasonal employees who will be hired at Amazon sites across the country this holiday.

"We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO.

Tencent Music files for US IPO

Source: Reuters

Tencent Music Entertainment Group, the online-music arm of China’s largest social media company, filed for a US listing on October 2. Trading under the symbol “TME”, this could be the biggest US IPO by a Chinese company.

Tencent Music includes Spotify-like digital streaming apps QQ Music, Kugou and karaoke app WeSing, and is seeking a valuation of about USD 25 billion, according to Thomson Reuters IFR. The company set a placeholder amount of USD 1 billion to indicate the size of the IPO and the final size could be different.

Tencent Music’s biggest shareholders include its parent Tencent (0700.HK), which owns 58.1 per cent, and Spotify, which owns 9.1 per cent in the company. Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs (Asia), JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are some of the lead underwriters for the public offer.

Tesla worried by China tariffs

Source: SCMP

Tesla announced record quarterly car production on October 2 but warned of major problems with selling cars in China due to new tariffs that would force it to accelerate investment in its factory in Shanghai.

Tesla said the combination of tariffs and transport costs was hurting its sales in the world’s biggest electric car market. Amid the worsening of US President Donald Trump’s trade war with China, Tesla said it was speeding up construction of its Shanghai Gigafactory but provided no details.

Tesla delivered 83,500 cars, including 55,840 Model 3 sedans, which topped Wall Street forecasts. The figures announced on Tuesday did not specify profit margins for the new car, although Tesla sold mostly higher-priced variants.

Walmart to increase private labels

Source: Business Standard

Walmart India, which runs 22 Best Price wholesale stores since its second entry into the country in 2018, is planning to increase the share of its private labels to 10 per cent by next year as it plans to tap the Flipkart platform.

The company opened its 22nd store in Ludhiana late last month, which is the sixth in the state and the second in the Punjab city. The firm will have 30 stores in India by the time it completes a decade of its India entry next year.

Globally, the retail major, which is bigger than Boeing, Coca-Cola, Facebook, and the Google parent Alphabet in total sales, nets around 20 per cent of its top line from private labels, which are low-priced but high margin items while from a volume perspective it is around 25 per cent, which it has already achieved in the country as well. Walmart India closed fiscal 2017 with a top line of Rs 36.09 billion, up around 14 per cent.

Paytm Mall beefs up leadership team

Source: Economic Times

Paytm Mall said it has hired more than half a dozen top executives to its leadership team ahead of the festive season as it prepares to fight giants Flipkart and Amazon.

The Alibaba-backed company has roped in the likes of Srinivas Mothey from Giftingnation, Milind Pathak from Httpool, Nikhil Dhoka from BrownTape, Utkrisht Kumar from Hopscotch and Rohan Chhazed from ZoomCar, among others.

“We are strengthening our business team to expand our operations, build innovative solutions and offer more consumer-focused products & services,” said Amit Sinha, COO, Paytm Mall.

Swiggy tests waters in corporate catering

Source: The Economic Times

Food-delivery platform Swiggy is testing waters in the fast-growing corporate catering market as it seeks avenues to improve its frequency of orders and strengthen customer stickiness.

The Naspers-backed firm has begun piloting a business-to-business food-aggregation offering loosely called Swiggy Café or Swiggy Food Court that digitises corporate cafeterias, according to three people aware of the development. The offering is being tested at two corporate parks in Bengaluru.

Swiggy Café/Food Court allows employees to use the Swiggy app to order lunch from select cafeterias in corporate hubs where the pilots are on. Swiggy Café/Food Court works with vendors to map the flow of incoming orders and intimates customers when their order is ready, thus cutting waiting queues and making the order flow more manageable.

Singapore logistics sector bets on tech

Source: The Strait Times

Singapore's logistics sector is stepping up its technology adoption efforts, with a three-year plan outlining ways for various stakeholders to digitalise their processes and collaborate with each other.

The industry-led roadmap, developed by the Singapore Logistics Association (SLA), was announced on Wednesday by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon at the Singapore Logistics Forum 2018. Under this plan, platforms will be established to showcase innovative technology and digital applications in logistics.

The plan also involves piloting proof-of-concept projects through the Centre of Innovation Supply Chain Management @Republic Polytechnic (COI-SCM@RP) and other partners, as well as driving the adoption of automation.

Deliveroo launches subscription model

Source: The Strait Times

British online food delivery platform Deliveroo this week launched Deliveroo Plus in Singapore, a new service that lets customers pay USD 10.90 monthly to enjoy unlimited free delivery and exclusive discounts.

It is a move that sees the on-demand food delivery platform move into the subscription business, a model that allows for recurring revenue. Deliveroo hailed Plus as the "latest by Deliveroo to make food delivery more affordable and to expand its customer base". Customers will save the usual USD 3 delivery fee on every order when they sign up for Deliveroo Plus.

They can apply for the service on their basket at checkout or in the "Account" section of the app and website, said Deliveroo. Deliveroo Plus customers in Singapore will save more than USD 4 a month, given that more than half of Singapore's food delivery app users order more than three times a month, according to Deliveroo.

The Passage Team

The Passage is committed to creating in-depth content over technology industry across Asia with a focus on emerging startups in the technology, healthcare, education, food, tech, travel & mobility segments.

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