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The 5 Stories That Impacted Southeast Asia Ecommerce in 2016

Trends and predictions that will shape ecommerce in 2017 have been identified and there is no denying that 2017 will most likely bring significant milestones to the region’s development.



2016 has been somewhat of a definitive year for ecommerce in Southeast Asia, with the region poised to experience an ecommerce golden age.

Trends and predictions that will shape ecommerce in 2017 have been identified and there is no denying that 2017 will most likely bring significant milestones to the region’s development.

2016 certainly set things in motion. Acquisitions, closures and entries were this year’s key themes. As the year draws to a close, we present the top 5 stories and briefs covered on eIQ that have made an impact on the development of ecommerce in Southeast Asia.

Battle of the giants: Alibaba’s $1 billion acquisition of Lazada, Ascend Money investment & Amazon poised to enter Southeast Asia

The first foray in a series of moves that would eventually complete Jack Ma’s trojan horse for Southeast Asia. In April, Alibaba made a $1 billion acquisition of Rocket Internet’s Lazada, effectively injecting much needed investment into the cash strapped marketplace, and hereby making an effective entry into the region.

This was followed by an announcement in November that Alibaba’s Ant Financial has invested in Thailand’s Ascend Money.

Amazon finally made a move in Southeast Asia by announcing its entry into Singapore within Q1 of 2017. Although a much covered angle in the media, these 3 stories have defined the majority of Southeast Asia ecommerce in 2016.

Indonesia’s Go-Jek, Singapore’s Garena & Grab are unicorns

The deal meant that Go-Jek is now valued at $1.3 billion, meaning it now claims unicorn status.

Singapore’s Garena has maintained its status as Southeast Asia’s most valuable startup with additional funding that came through in September. Grab has also raised $600 million in funding, making it another unicorn in the region.

Google and Temasek’s e-conomy SEA 2016 report

Arguably the most referenced report this year. Google and Temasek’s analysis of Southeast Asia’s ecommerce landscape has appeared in a string of interviews, as references for research arguments and have shined a spotlight into the region’s developing landscape. Access the full report (and more) on eIQ’s reports section here.

LINE debuted as 2016’s largest technology IPO

The dual listing in New York and Japan occurred in July this year. The Japanese…

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How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?



How will oil prices shape the Covid-19 recovery in emerging markets?

– After falling significantly in 2020, oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels
– The rise has been driven by OPEC+ production cuts and an improving economic climate
– Higher prices are likely to support a rebound in oil-producing emerging markets
– Further virus outbreaks or increased production would pose challenges to price stability

A combination of continued production cuts and an increase in economic activity has prompted oil prices to return to pre-pandemic levels – a factor that will be crucial to the recovery of major oil-producing countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Brent crude prices rose above $60 a barrel in early February, the first time they had exceeded pre-Covid-19 values. They have since continued to rise, going above $66 a barrel on February 24.

The ongoing increase in oil prices, which have soared by 75% since November and around 26% since the beginning of the year, marks a dramatic change from last year.

Following the closure of many national borders and the implementation of travel-related restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, demand for oil slumped globally.

In the wake of the Saudi-Russia price war in early 2020, Brent crude prices fell from around $60 a barrel in February that year to two-decade lows of $20 a barrel in late April, as supply increased and demand plummeted. The value of WTI crude – the main benchmark for oil in the US – fell to record lows of around $40 a barrel last year on the back of a lack of storage space.

While global demand for oil remains low, one factor credited with reversing the trend is the decision to make significant cuts to oil production, which subsequently tightened global supplies.

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How the Rural-Urban Divide Plays Out on Digital Platforms

It is one thing for entrepreneurs, whether urban or rural, to create and operate an online store, as some digital platforms have made it relatively easy to manage an e-store – even by using just a smartphone.



In the West, villages are emptying out due to the lack of economic opportunities. Consider Italy where, in a bid to attract newcomers, a handful of municipalities have turned to selling houses for €1.

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