Microsoft lays off its Singapore-based consumer team

Microsoft has laid off almost all of its Singapore-based consumer team, according to a report by The Straits Times. More than 10 sales and marketing people were affected. It will retain one person to manage the distribution of its consumer products such as the Xbox consoles and Surface tablets to Singapore retailers.

These layoffs are part of Microsoft’s strategic shift towards enterprise-based and cloud computing services.

Last week, CNBC reported that around 10 per cent of Microsoft’s total sales staff will be laid off.

GRANA expands into Mainland China

Hong Kong-based fashion e-commerce portal GRANA  has officially launched into Mainland China, opening a store in Alibaba’s shopping site Tmall.

GRANA also announced that it now ships to more than 60 countries worldwide.

“We’ll be introducing our unique value proposition to Chinese consumers focused on sourcing the finest luxury fabrics from around the world, affordable pricing and direct shipping from Hong Kong. This will be crucial to break out amongst fast-fashion and luxury brands,” said a GRANA spokesperson.

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GRANA was first launched in October 2014. It has raised US$16 million in funding from 500 Startups, Alibaba’s Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, Golden Gate Ventures and MindWorks Ventures.

Paytm invests in Mobiquest

India’s leading digital payments and m-commerce company Paytm has made an investment in loyalty app developer Mobiquest. The funding amount was not disclosed.

Merchants on the Paytm platform will be able to leverage Mobiquest’s loyalty app m’loyal to gather and analyse their consumers’ data and deliver reward programmes to drive up sales.

Bali’s co-working space Outpost launches in Cambodia

Bali-based co-working and co-living community Outpost has announced its official expansion to Cambodia.

Outpost Cambodia will be located at the Green Penthouse in Phnom Penh. It will have both co-working and co-living spaces.

“Design matters. The Green Penthouse is an exceptional place to live and work. It’s got huge open floor plans, multiple social areas, and leafy zones perfect for yoga or meditation. It’s the sort of place you dream of when you relocate from cubicle life,” said Outpost co-founder Bryan Stewart.

“Cambodia is at a fascinating point in its development, with a youthful, creative energy. We’re working with local partners to host an up-and-coming Cambodian startup at Outpost Cambodia for the six-month pop-up,” he added.

Chinese-based p2p lending platform Lufax gets license to operate in Singapore

China-based p2p lending platform Lufax has received in-principle approval for the Capital Market Services License from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). This is the first Chinese fintech company that MAS has awarded the license to.

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Its operator Ping An said the platform will launch in Singapore next month. Gregory Gibb, co-chairman and chief executive of Lufax Holdings, told the South China Morning Post that it chose Singapore over Hong Kong because of its favourable fintech regulations.

Founded in 2011, Lufax has facilitated over US$2.5 billion in loans to date. It charges lenders a 4 per cent fee on every loan.

This new partnership is also part of China’s Belt and Road initiative in Singapore.

Samsung to reuse and resell parts from recalled Galaxy Note 7s

Samsung has announced it will collect over 157 tonnes worth of rare metals such as cobalt, copper, gold and silver from the Galaxy Note 7s it recalled, according to a report by Reuters. This is part of its efforts to minimise any adverse environmental effects caused by the fire-prone devices.

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