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.
I agree with you on clothing, but furniture is well suited to ecommerce. you just need to know the measurements, look at some good photos, and then make a pick. most cities have terrible furniture stores (unlike lots of good and affordable clothing options from major retail chains) and going to each one is a huge pain. Ecommerce solves a lot of those problems with home furnishings.

Commented 7 hours ago on

Indonesian furniture ecommerce site Fabelio bags seed funding led by 500 Startups
i tend to use the car in my city and the subway elsewhere, so I've not yet used the Chinese private car apps (or even Uber!). but I've tested out the taxi apps and prefer Didi Dache because it works with WeChat Payment.

Commented 6 hours ago on

China’s top taxi app company confirms record-breaking $2 billion funding round
yep, just UberBlack, Uber X, and the not-for-profit "People's Uber" carpooling.

Commented 5 hours ago on

China’s top taxi app company confirms record-breaking $2 billion funding round
So basically, Kuaidi Dache and Didi Dache have the (legal) taxi market to themselves, but they're a lot slower on the private car market. Uber was first, but being first means pretty much nothing. Can Uber do it right in China...?

Commented 5 hours ago on

China’s top taxi app company confirms record-breaking $2 billion funding round
One extra detail from today's statement, the startup now has cash reserves "exceeding US$3.5 billion."

Commented 5 hours ago on

China’s top taxi app company confirms record-breaking $2 billion funding round
i meant US$17 and US$9.34 per hour, btw

Commented 4 hours ago on

Ask TIA: is the tech industry solving the right problems?
It's a good point. If you make a (very depressing) list of the issues that hit humans most badly in terms of the suffering caused or the number of people affected, then it's clear that tech is doing painfully little of value. Instead, we get people describing Uber, which is basically just an illegal cab company, as revolutionary or some kind of amazing thing that will save cities and society. Er, how about public transport...? Indeed, technology might actually make life worse for hundreds of millions of people in the decades to come. Do you have a low-paid but reasonably stable job right now that at least gives you benefits and some sort of sense of security? Well, that could soon be a thing of the past as tech companies create more marketplaces for tasks, meaning you could soon have to scratch a living doing a variety of odd jobs (no benefits like pension or healthcare) for multiple apps. Christopher Mims at the WSJ (http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-everyone-gets-the-sharing-economy-wrong-1432495921) has some superb thoughts on that bleak future. The article is paywalled, so try this (http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/05/the-shafting-um-sharing-economy.html) for some of the main points. Furthermore, more remote and self-starter working will mean that you have to provide your own resources for the job, and the wear-and-tear on those resources takes a heavy toll on the already meager wages. Remember how Uber promises that drivers earn at least US$17? But once you factor in sudden changes to the app and the cost of hammering your own car, it works out, as an undercover reporter in the US discovered earlier this year, as more like $9.34 (see: http://citypaper.net/uberdriver/). So the future of tech is turning real jobs into McJobs, while ignoring real suffering. But - look!- shiny new gadgets!

Commented 13 hours ago on

Ask TIA: is the tech industry solving the right problems?
Good to see one of Indonesia's coolest startups getting more recognition!

Commented 13 hours ago on

Indonesian mobile game studio Touchten pockets funding from Gree and 500 Startups
CCTV's journos are not the finest, so I'd like to see their methodology so we can ascertain if this was a fair and scientific test.

Commented 19 hours ago on

China’s state TV accuses iPhone of ‘stealing data,’ costing users $10 a month
about the same as keeping the screen on all the time, I guess.

Commented 20 hours ago on

Forget lighters or glow sticks – this mobile app is the new way to light up a concert
The “made-in-indonesia” smartphone law, which was passed into law earlier this week, means Xiaomi has no choice but to work towards 30% of a smartphone being locally produced by 2017. I don't believe the company has made an official decision yet.

Commented 3 days ago on

Xiaomi starts production in Brazil ahead of first phone launch outside Asia
The “made-in-indonesia” smartphone proposal, which was passed into law earlier this week, means Xiaomi has no choice but to work towards 30% of a smartphone being locally produced by 2017. I don't believe the company has made an official decision yet.

Commented 3 days ago on

Xiaomi starts production in Brazil ahead of first phone launch outside Asia
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 1 week 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 1 week 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 2 weeks 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 2 weeks 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 2 weeks ago on

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

Commented 2 weeks 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 2 weeks 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 2 weeks 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 2 weeks 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 2 weeks 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 weeks ago on

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

Commented 3 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 3 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 3 weeks ago on

China opens up Shanghai to global tech entrepreneurs and talents