Today’s top tech news, September 3: JD.com Founder arrested and released, Indonesia wants Alibaba to help boost exports

Kevin McSpadden
Today’s top tech news, September 3: JD.com Founder arrested and released, Indonesia wants Alibaba to help boost exports

Also, SupplyCart raises US$2 million and Grab trying to raise another US$ 1 billion

JD.com CEO arrested in America over criminal sexual assault probe — [South China Morning Post]


Richard Liu, the Founder and CEO of JD.com, was arrested for a criminal sexual assault probe in the US state of Minnesota over the weekend. He was subsequently released and the company said he was falsely accused and the matter was resolved fairly quickly.

The investigation is still ongoing but he is not in custody and no travel restrictions have been put on Liu.

The news thrust JD.com into the spotlight, with people particularly curious about what it would do to the company’s stock price. According to another SCMP article, there had been over 600,000 searches on Weibo for updates on the JD.com price.

It is a holiday in the US (where JD.com is listed) but the news has done little to impact the price, which has remained about even over the past 24 hours.

Indonesia government wants to work with Alibaba to help country’s export deficit — [Reuters]


Indonesia appears to be taking the brunt of the Turkey/Argentina currency crisis as the Rupiah continues to slide.

One reason for the impact is that the country had a US$2 billion current account deficit in July — which means it imported US$2 billion more worth of goods than it exported. This means the country is more at-risk to global currency crisis and the past week seems to be proving that theory correct.

One solution is to export more goods, and today, the country’s Communications Minister, Rudiantara, told reporters that Indonesia would work with Alibaba to facilitate more exports. There was no clarification is this meant on-boarding more Indonesian merchants or using Alipay to make transactions more efficient.

According to Reuters, the deal will be firmed up in October when Jack Ma next visits Indonesia.

Supplycart raises US$2 million to scale clients and vendors — [e27]


Supplycart, a Malaysian startup that provides companies with an on-demand supply delivery service, announced today it has raised US$2 million from FirstFloor Capital Aucfan and other undisclosed investors.

The company plans to use the money to scale up its client base, develop its product and establish Supplycart as a regional company.

In 2016, the company raised US$500,000 from KK Fund, Cradle Fund and other unnamed investors.

Grab wants to raise another US$1 billion by the end of the year — [e27 via FinanceAsia]


About five months after securing a whopping US$1 billion in Series H round of funding, Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant Grab is in talks to raise another massive financing, as per a FinanceAsia report.

“Grab is on track to swiftly raise another US$1 billion for its expansion drive across Southeast Asia,” the report (paywalled) said, citing its President Ming Maa.

In April this year, Grab scored a US$1 billion from OppenheimerFunds, Ping An Capital, Macquarie Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, Cinda Sino-Rock Investment Management, All-Stars Investment, and Vulcan Capital. A significant portion of that capital would be used fund Grab’s expansion into Indonesia, where it would go head-to-head with its key rival Go-Jek.

South Korea government investment fund deploys first investments — [Financial Times]


The South Korean government has made the first wave of investments from its US$9 billion investment fund meant to jumpstart the nation’s startup economy, according to the Financial Times.

The fund is managed by the South Korean Financial Services Commission and the Ministry of Startups and SMEs. However, the government plans to put private-sector individuals in charge of the money.

Analysts think that the money is in part a reaction to China’s 2025 plan, which is designed to make Asia’s largest economy technologically self-sufficient. This would hurt South Korea’s export-based economy, so the startup fund is meant to facilitate an innovation-based economic model.

South Korea is Asia’s fourth largest nation by GDP after China, Japan and India.

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