Business & Economy Startups Today’s top tech news, December, 17: Is a global Vietnamese smartphone on...

Today’s top tech news, December, 17: Is a global Vietnamese smartphone on its way?




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Plus, Traveloka goes on an acquisition spree and Tencent shuts down QQ for the web

Vietnam’s Vingroup launches smartphone it hopes can compete on global level — [Bangkok Post]

Vingroup, a Vietnamese conglomerate and the country’s top company by market value, launched a smartphone brand last Friday, according to the Bangkok Post.

The phones, called Vsmart, are made in Vietnam at factories that produce 5 million phones annually in the beginning.

Vingroup named Russia and Spain as two specific markets it wants to target. The Spanish connection is because Vingroup owns 51 per cent of a Spanish technology company called BQ. But, Vingroup eventually hopes Vsmart can become a global phone brand.

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The phones will use Qualcomm chips and will run the Android operating system.

The company also got into domestic car-making just two months ago.

Tencent plans to shut down the web version of its QQ service — [Abacus]

In the grande scheme of things, it is not overly important, but the decision by Tencent to kill the web version of QQ marks the death of Social Media 1.0 in China.

Abacus is reporting that QQ eventually gave way to WeChat but it is safe to say that a lot of WeChat’s original user base came from people migrating between the two Tencent services.

The official announcement was made four years ago, but now that it is actually here, it is generating increased attention — similar to when Club Penguin shut down but on a much larger scale.

QQ is still alive on mobile, and as has happened across the history of social media, it has attracted a large teenage user base who are avoiding WeChat because their parents are on it. It still has 800 million users.

Traveloka acquires three competitors — [e27 via DailySocial]

Indonesian traveltech giant Traveloka has acquired its rival PegiPegi and other Southeast Asian online travel agencies (OTAs), according to a report by DailySocial.

It stated that in January, Japanese tech company Recruit Holdings has sold its traveltech subsidiaries PegiPegi (Indonesia), Mytour (Vietnam), and TravelBook (the Philippines) for US$66.8 million to a Singapore-based shell company named Jet Tech Innovation Ventures Pte Ltd.

When contacted by e27, a Traveloka spokeperson said that as part of the company’s corporate policy, it will not comment on rumour or speculation in the market.

12 suddenly becomes Shopee’s lucky number — [KR-Asia]

Shopee sold over 12 million items in Southeast Asia over the December 12/12 holiday discount day, according to KR-Asia.

The company, which is under Sea Group, is seen as a rising e-commerce player — especially because its parent company has made it a crucial pillar of its corporate strategy.

According to the article, it is now the top player in Vietnam. It is a mobile-first platform whereby 90 per cent of the transactions are facilitated via the phone.

Insurance giant Aviva partners IMDA in Singapore to offer cloud computing for employees — [Press Release]

Aviva, the global insurance company, is partnering with the Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority to offer its employees cloud computing courses.

The goal is to help up-skill and train employees so they are future-proofed for the ever-changing economy.

In general, the Singapore government has placed an emphasis on re-training its population as it pursues a Smart Nation economic blueprint.

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

The post Today’s top tech news, December, 17: Is a global Vietnamese smartphone on its way? appeared first on e27.

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