E-commerce and fintech development in Asia digest 28/02

China’s online retailers are taking the battle to the rural front. As online retail in China’s major cities reaches a saturation point, ecommerce groups are scrambling to put goods in the hands of small-city and rural consumers. To evangelize the alien idea of ecommerce among rural consumers, online retailers are going on the ground. https://www.techinasia.com/china-ecommerce-rural-small-cities

Taxation

National budget announces less generous tax breaks for startups (Singapore). The Singaporean government’s 2018 budget will cut corporation tax exemptions for startups from 100 percent of their first S$100,000 (US$75,915) of chargeable income to 75 percent. Users of certain online products, potentially including some apps and content streaming platforms, may have to pay higher prices as the country’s goods and services tax (GST) is extended to imported services — but not to ecommerce transactions, as had been widely expected.
https://www.techinasia.com/singapore-budget-2018

Fintech

Tencent and JD.com expand ‘retail kingdom’. Firms aim to secure an 11% stake in BKK Commercial Chain Co., the largest retail entity in southwest China
http://www.atimes.com/article/tencent-jd-com-expand-retail-kingdom/

China’s mobile payments skyrocket in 2017
Total nears US$13 trillion as of October http://www.atimes.com/article/chinas-mobile-payments-skyrocket-2017

Chinese Startups Hauled In Half of 2017 Global AI Funding. China overtook the US (38 percent) for the first time, as its AI startups wowed the world with a yearlong series of huge funding rounds.
https://medium.com/@Synced/chinese-startups-hauled-in-half-of-2017-global-ai-funding-49bd97ef3746