Jessica Goodfellow
Nov 4, 2019

Tech Bites: Week of November 4, 2019

iQiyi, Xiaomi, YouTube, Tencent/Symphony, Outbrain/ Ividence, Blis/LiveRamp, Gojek, Qoo10, Amazon, Hubspot and more, in our weekly collection of tech and media news.

Tech Bites: Week of November 4, 2019

iQiyi looks beyond China

Baidu's video streaming service iQiyi is expanding outside of China for the first time via a partnership with Malaysia's pay-TV provider Astro. The Malaysian telco has the exclusive rights to deliver iQiyi content on TV, on-demand and OTT in the country, and will also take on responsibility for sales and marketing of the app. Users in Malaysia will be able to use their Astro accounts to login to the iQiyi app or use their Facebook or Google accounts to register for new iQiyi accounts.

Astro chief executive Henry Tan said of the partnership: "Astro is excited to be iQiyi's first app partner outside China. The partnership is timely in an era of streaming services where consumers are able to enjoy abundant choices in entertainment. The demand for fresh and compelling content, great experience and services matters as consumers become increasingly savvier."

"Content and technology are key drivers for streaming video services and iQiyi is among the forerunners in this space. We look forward to learning from iQiyi in the areas of data science and AI," Tan added.

Xiaomi plans Japan launch

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is aiming to enter the Japanese market next year. Wang Xiang, head of Xiaomi Corp’s international operations, revealed the plans to Nikkei, saying "the sooner the better". Xiaomi is the world’s fourth largest smartphone supplier and has been rapidly expanding its global presence over the past year to offset fierce competition in its home country, where the country's biggest smartphone brand Huawei has taken the opposite strategy of doubling down on domestic sales amid tough conditions overseas.

YouTube rolls out subscription services to Singapore

YouTube has rolled out its music streaming app along with its subscription services YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium to Singapore. YouTube Music is a standalone app and web player that features official songs, albums, thousands of playlists and artist radio plus YouTube’s catalog of remixes, live performances, covers and music videos. The service is available for free with ads, or ad-free starting at SGD $9.98 a month. The full YouTube Premium subscription is available for $11.98 a month, and will bundle YouTube Music with additional functionality such as background play and offline downloads for millions of videos. 

Tencent and Symphony connect users

Tencent is partnering with cloud-based messaging and collaboration platform Symphony to connect Symphony’s community of 450,000 global markets professionals with the more than one billion monthly active users on the Weixin platform (known as WeChat outside mainland China). The integration will enable the two communities to connect and conduct business within the Weixin platform in a way that the company claims meets financial regulatory requirements.

David Gurle, the founder and CEO of Symphony, said: “Our global markets and private wealth management customers need a solution that can provide companies with a secure and compliant way to connect to the Weixin community. Our partnership brings together our trusted collaboration and workflow platform with Tencent’s Weixin ecosystem.”

Outbrain adds newsletter native ads

Outbrain has added the capability to place native ads within publisher's owned newsletters as part of a partnership with email ad exchange Ividence. With Ividence’s solution, Outbrain can integrate into newsletter via standard HTML formats, offering publishers additional monetisation capabilities beyond their owned and operated sites. Outbrain head of platform Victor Charpin said the solution addresses a "problem" in the industry, that premium digital publishers cannot rely on digital display advertising alone to cover the cost of producing quality content. 

"The duopoly has continued to dominate advertiser budgets while disrupting online user consumption patterns. Thus, publishers must expand their monetisation channels and grow new revenue streams to support their business,” said Charpin. “With the integration of placements in newsletters, we are creating a unique opportunity for advertisers to have direct access to a highly engaged publisher audience when they are in a prime content consumption mode.”

Blis integrates with LiveRamp to create a Data as a Service offering

Data technology company Blis has partnered with LiveRamp to make its verified location-based audiences available on Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Snapchat, along with over 170 DMPs and DSPs across Europe and Asia Pacific, enabling advertisers to layer on multiple forms of demographic data. The Blis Data as a Service (DaaS) offering will enable brands to access global cross-channel location-based audiences directly on social media using verified Blis data. This integration is currently available on campaigns running in Australia, EU, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines, Japan and Canada with US implementation in the coming months.

Gojek to expand across Southeast Asia

Gojek has revealed plans to expand its services to Malaysia and the Philippines in 2020 as it looks to grow its international business, according to reports. Gojek co-chief executive Andre Soelistyo said the company wants to change the ratio of its domestic versus international customers from 80:20 to 50:50 in the next five years, as part of a new long-term corporate strategy called "Going the Distance" revealed at an event for the company’s ninth anniversary in Jakarta. Its ride-hailing service is already available in Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. It also plans to expand its local services by collaborating with third-party platforms such as Halodoc for medicine delivery.

Qoo10 acquires Indian marketplace ShopClues

Singapore ecommerce company Qoo10 has acquired ShopClues, an online marketplace in India. The all-stock transaction has been valued at around US$70-100 million, according to reports, which is significantly less than ShopClues' peak valuation of US$1.1 billion in late 2015. The deal is not fully completed yet. As part of the buyout, Qoo10 will also acquire Momoe, the payments arm of Clues Network, parent of ShopClues.

Amazon sells movie tickets in India

Amazon has struck a five-year exclusive deal with online movie ticketing giant BookMyShow to introduce movie bookings on its India site and app. Users in India can now book movie tickets from the “movie tickets” category on the shopping site or through the Amazon Pay tab. As a perk, its credit card users in India will get a 2% cashback on each movie ticket purchase, and will be offered a cashback of up to 200 rupees (US$2.8) on each ticket purchase until 14 November. The move forms part of its strategy turn Amazon Pay into a “super app”, and comes months after the ecommerce giant partnered with Cleartrip to offer flight ticketing in India.


HubSpot integrates Canva design tools

Marketing software company HubSpot is integrating with online design platform, Canva, to allow customers to design assets such as ads, banners, and social graphics within the HubSpot platform and publish to their marketing channels.


Have a tech or media tidbit that could be included in this column? Email us at: [email protected]


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