Today’s top tech news, June 18: Jack Ma meets Mahathir, Google makes China e-commerce play

Kevin McSpadden
Today’s top tech news, June 18: Jack Ma meets Mahathir, Google makes China e-commerce play

Plus, Grab raises US$370 million debt financing and Foxconn eyes Thailand


Jack Ma meets Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to discuss future — [Channel News Asia]

Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma met with the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, in a meeting that Ma had been working to create since the opposition took power back in May.

According to ChannelNewsAsia, during the meeting, the two discussed means to help pull Malaysians out of poverty and support small businesses.

Alibaba had gotten very close to Malaysia’s previous government and it remains unclear if the cozy relationship will continue under Mahathir. It is a core contributor to the Digital Free Trade Zone, which is meant to create a logistics hub in the Klang Valley.

Google invests US$550 million into — [e27]

With the goal of combining’s logistics network and Google’s core technology, the online search giant announced plans today to invest US$550 million into the Chinese e-commerce company.

The goal is to create a “global retail ecosystem” which will leverage on Google Shopping and’s global network. Eventually, the two sides want to have a retail offering that spans from the US, to Europe and into Southeast Asia. stock jumped 3.6 per cent in after-hours trading. Google’s stock was not impacted.

Foxconn eyeing investment in Thailand Eastern Economic Corridor — [BangkokPost]

Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturing giant, is reportedly keen to invest in the Thailand Eastern Economic Corridor, according to the Bangkok Post.

The corridor is a development plan that is worth hundreds-of-millions of dollars in the general area surrounding Bangkok. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, gave permission to high-level oversight committees to facilitate Foxconn’s potential investment.

Part of the strategy is to attract smartphone factories for companies like Huawei, who would then attract larger manufacturers like Foxconn and create a circle of incentives for other companies.

Razer leads US$3.3 million share-placement purchase from eSports Mogul — [e27]

eSports Mogul raised US$3.3 million in an oversubscribed share placement in an investment that was led by Razer and saw significant investment from Cloud Alliance.

eSports Mogul is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange which is why it can pursue the private placement strategy. The company is an online platform for eSports tournaments and it plans to use the money to invest heavily in its mobile app.

The company also announced an increased strategic partnership with Razer to help proliferate the Razer zSilver online credit system across the world.

Grab raises US$370 million in asset-backed debt deal to grow fleet — [DealStreetAsia]

The Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab has closed a US$370 million debt financing deal facilitated by a syndicate, according to DealStreetAsia.

The deal is part of a larger US$700 million debt financing plan and the goal of raising all this cash is to grow the company’s fleet of vehicles.

The debt-financing announcement comes just days after the ride-hailing company revealed a US$1 billion investment from Toyota.

HSBC was the structural advisor of the syndicate.

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