About Contributor

Steven Millward
Steven follows the shininess and brilliance of gadgets, social media and other cultural phenomena across Asia. Specialist areas of research include e-commerce, Android, smartphone adoption, and apps in general. He's currently based near Shanghai. If you have any tips or feedback, contact him via email, or on his Weibo or Twitter.
as the founder admits, the BAT companies - and maybe Xiaomi too, so BATX - will get into this as tech companies push into finance. but he's not saying what he has in mind to battle them by the time BATX targets these lower-income workers.

Commented 2 days ago on

For China’s low-wage workers, this startup provides loans for iPhones
please find that info added in by the "updated" mark.

Commented 2 days ago on

For China’s low-wage workers, this startup provides loans for iPhones
now i'm even more excited to be heading to Tokyo for TIA...

Commented 5 days ago on

What’s the hard thing about hard things? Ben Horowitz will tell you at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2015
Alibaba does a lot more than just ecommerce - it does music and video streaming, social media, logistics big data, cloud computing... and lots more. Now is a good time to try online finance because Chinese consumers are ready for it and authorities are gradually opening up the banking sector to (local) private businesses. All China's tech giants are now doing something with finance products. As an added bonus, Jack Ma loves disrupting state-owned corporations.

Commented 6 days ago on

Alibaba launches online bank: ‘It’s for the little guys, not the rich’
good to see local startups get in before Uber arrives. UberCARGO is still limited just to Hong Kong, i think.

Commented 6 days ago on

As Porter builds truck driver network across India, it bags funding from Sequoia Capital
my lead image got reforked...

Commented 7 days ago on

I don’t know what the hell is going on in China’s weirdest new social network
saw a couple of people on Weibo using it.

Commented 7 days ago on

I don’t know what the hell is going on in China’s weirdest new social network
very impressive - especially how relatively accessible the prosthetics are at this stage in terms of cost. will be exciting when the cost dips from the current US$300 per arm to well below 100 bucks. then it's open to the developing world as well. imagine charities printing out these things in war-torn nations.

Commented 1 week ago on

This gorgeous, 3D-printed robotic arm from Japan is changing how prosthetics are perceived
Alibaba is the über Uber 😂 so everything is the marketplace model, as usual.

Commented 1 week ago on

Alibaba just threw $1 billion into the battle for China’s O2O services
this kind of off-peak thing is a really good idea. I think we're going to see startups do this in their country but then struggle to expand to another nation.

Commented 1 week ago on

Restaurant booking service Offpeak served $800K series A funding
OK, I'll bite... why are you so obsessed with mobile messaging services? plus, do you think we'll see the advanced mobile commerce related features of apps like Line and WeChat take off in some western markets in the next year or so?

Commented 2 weeks ago on

I’m Jon Russell, Asia-based writer for TechCrunch – AMA!
TechinAsia's very own Charlie Custer will be too modest to point out that he produced an amazing documentary in 2013 about China's stolen children called 'Living with Dead Hearts'. prepare to cry. a lot. https://vimeo.com/70711924.

Commented 2 weeks ago on

In China, a popular social network is asking people to help locate lost kids
Alibaba and Softbank have a long connection, of course, but still surprising to see Alibaba involved in this - because robotics. I wonder if Jack Ma sees Pepper or some other robot idea as fitting in with Alibaba's home ecommerce ambitions (eg: shopping via smart TV, etc).

Commented 2 weeks ago on

Pepper robot goes on sale as SoftBank announces $589M joint venture with Alibaba, Foxconn
I'm keen to see what Ma does with that money in a more meaningful way (no, not the VC fund), such as putting into things he's genuinely passionate about, like education and the environment. I wonder when he'll commit to giving away a lot of his wealth to charitable causes, like Bill Gates is doing.

Commented 2 weeks ago on

What is Jack Ma’s net worth?
An interesting aside: mainland China is the only place where electric scooters (ebikes, as they're called there) have really taken off. they tend to be simple and cheap, costing about US$200 on average. they're so common that you can even buy an ebike in some of the larger supermarkets. they have removable batteries (a bit heavy, but still portable) which people take into their apartment (or even office) to recharge. millions are sold each year. Gogoro, however, would stand no chance in mainland China at US$4k.

Commented 2 weeks ago on

Gogoro electric ‘smart scooter’ gets launch date, priced at hefty $4k+
i'll leave this here...

Commented 2 weeks ago on

What is Jack Ma’s net worth?
I agree... it's not smart at all. where's the AI? robots have been doing precise stuff like this in factories for decades.

Commented 2 weeks ago on

That viral ‘robot samurai’ video didn’t impress me. Here’s why
A good idea to take this out of Beijing (pollution, over-crowding, etc), especially as Shanghai is younger and more hipper. But what about Shanghai's many problems, such as the extreme expense of living there for a local? For expats, the visa situation is still a nightmare, and the "visa changes" mentioned above are usually tied to extremely tough stipulations on investments or other obscure and frustrating caveats.

Commented 2 weeks ago on

China opens up Shanghai to global tech entrepreneurs and talents
nice!

Commented 2 weeks ago on

Jack Ma’s top 10 rules for success
these "stay cool" materials are now pretty common. they're even in Uniqlo's cheap polo shirts. surprised this wasn't done years ago.

Commented 2 weeks ago on

This ‘climate-adapting’ hijab wants to make life easier for Muslim women
what are some solutions? maybe satellite internet like Indonesia wants to try?

Commented 2 weeks ago on

Asia’s mobile and broadband internet speeds, in one infographic
data source mentioned in article - Ookla.

Commented 2 weeks ago on

Asia’s mobile and broadband internet speeds, in one infographic
for a sense of scale, Didi Dache alone was at 5M per day back in April 2014 (see: https://www.techinasia.com/chinese-taxihailing-app-didi-dache-books-5-million-rides-day-cost-225-million/). if you presume that Kuaidi Dache gets about the same as DDDC, and then factor in strong growth for each, and you see that 1M per day is actually quite small. having said that, 1M is a sizable number considering Uber is only in a handful of cities, while DDDC and KDDC cover pretty much the whole of China. Indeed, you could say that it's a suspiciously large number. does it include the faked rides that the NYT uncovered earlier this week.

Commented 3 weeks ago on

Uber gets nearly 1M rides per day in China, set to surpass US this year
I'm about to give this a shot. wish me luck...

Commented 3 weeks ago on

Can you pass the belly button test? Meet the sexy new meme sweeping China
It's true that on a moral standpoint, the censorship needed to curate the app store is the same as it takes to censor an entire search engine, though I could imagine that Google could try convince people that it's very different. A more practical barrier is how shady China's whole Android market is. A lot of it is controlled by grey market importers, since so many people by grey import phones due to the lower prices and the faster launch times in neighboring Hong Kong. Those importers get large kickbacks to install different ROMs on the Android phones, which bundles an app store. Companies like Himarket (later acquired by Baidu) built their business in this dubious area, acquiring tens of millions of new users by being preinstalled on their new Android phone. That locks out a lot of competition.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

What would Google have to do to return to China?
Quite a few such trips and tickets startups out there, but I get the feeling that one needs to cover the whole of Asia in order to survive. You're not going to get many repeat customers from overseas when you're focusing on just one country; plus, Indonesia's middle class is not yet big enough to sustain this for the domestic market. Nice story btw!

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Here’s the story behind the end of Valadoo’s five-year journey
Sounds like a useful way to beat the growing number of restrictions on cars in Beijing and Shanghai.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

China’s dominant taxi hailing app launches carpooling feature, signs up 1M drivers
you must have more patience than me. i'd vote for 30-40mins in general for stuff like this. 45mins max. only creative stuff like This American Life can keep me pinned down for an hour!

Commented 1 month ago on

Tech in Asia podcast episode 5: big investments, bigger burn rates
and please also reveal the reg user number, if possible!

Commented 1 month ago on

I’m Tiang Lim from Evernote Asia Pacific. AMA!
which Southeast Asian nation currently has the largest registered user base on Evernote? and why do you think it's done so well in that country?

Commented 1 month ago on

I’m Tiang Lim from Evernote Asia Pacific. AMA!