Singapore seeking public input on future of Airbnb-type rentals — [ChannelNewsAsia]

The Singapore government is considering loosening its strict rules against Airbnb-type of short-term stay arrangements, according to ChannelNewsAsia.

If it goes through, the proposal would allow apartment owners to rent out their rooms for up to 90-days if they register their guest’s information and the apartment complex receives an 80 per cent approval vote from the neighbors.

Earlier this month, two hosts were fined S$60,000 (US$46,000), for pleading guilty to illegally hosting people via AirBnB.

The ban was instituted in February of 2017 and the government cited, nuisance and safety concerns for their justification. A similar rhetoric was used today. Despite the potential of relaxing the rules, the Urban Redevelopment Authority hinted at similar concerns today.

“In our compact, high-rise living environment, we always have to be careful about creating any potential disamenities or impacting the residential nature of our neighbourhoods,” Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong was quoted.

The deadline for public feedback submissions is May 31.

UnionBank ties up with Philippines blockchain startup Traxion.Tech to build payment infrastructure — [Press Release]

Traxion.Tech, a blockchain startup that has built a permission-based distributed ledger for enterprises, has inked a deal with Union Bank of the Philippines and DigiVation Digital Solutions to build a payment-management system for SMEs.

The system is designed to facilitate online and offline transactions by creating an inventory management system, data analytics tools and avenues to make financial reporting more efficient.

Called GlobalLinker, the product will not require companies to apply for UnionBank accounts and it is used by large multinationals like Mastercard.

The companies are hoping this can become core infrastructure and the Philippines transitions towards an e-commerce retail economy.

Data Leak ruins Songkran for Thailand’s telco Truemove H — [e27]

Niall Merrigan, an Irish security analyst based in Norway, discovered a data leak from Thailand’s second largest telco, Truemove H (True) that made the personal information of about 46,000 people available to the public.

The leaked data included national ID cards and passport information. It was considered to be so serious that True was called in by Thailand’s regulatory body on Saturday to answer questions.

The information was put on an Amazon Web Services S3 Bucket that could be freely accessed by anyone who knew where to look.

Singapore’s Silot raises pre-Series A funding — [e27}

Singapore-based fintech startup Silot today announced that it has raised a “multi-million” US Dollar pre-Series A funding round by Arbor Ventures and Eight Roads Ventures.

The funding round followed an undisclosed seed funding round the startup raised from Zhen Fund last year.

Silot plans to use the funding mainly to support its expansion in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and other markets in the region.

Silot provides a one-stop banking platform that connects the silos of payments, on-boarding, operations, and anti-fraud/anti-money-laundering (AF/AML) process.

JD.com makes push into insurance — [South China Morning Post]

The Chinese e-commerce powerhouse, JD.com, is planning to buy one-third of Allianz’s China operations for US$85.4 million, according to the South China Morning Post.

The company is called Allianz China General Insurance and the purchase will make JD the largest shareholder besides the parent company Allianz.

The move follows a similar history of Alibaba because its affiliate company Ant Financial has jumped into the insurance market and in doing so became the most valuable fintech startup in the world.