Jack Dorsey gets PR backlash after promoting Myanmar as nice travel destination — [TechCrunch]
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is in hot water over a series of Tweets published over the weekend that praise Myanmar as a tourist destination.
He is being accused of gross oversight by ignoring how the government has treated the Rohingya population, a muslim minority group that was violently expelled in 2017. The United Nations has recommended classifying the massacre as a genocide.
The tweets (with one below being an example) highlight Myanmar as a place to pursue meditation, explore caves and dine with monks.
Myanmar is an absolutely beautiful country. The people are full of joy and the food is amazing. I visited the cities of Yangon, Mandalay, and Bagan. We visited and meditated at many monasteries around the country. pic.twitter.com/wMp3cmkfwi
— jack (@jack) December 9, 2018
One reason Dorsey is experiencing heightened criticism is because social media is viewed as one of the key tools the Myanmar army used to spread anti-Rohingya messaging.
China state media goes after Canada, summons US ambassador, over Huawei CFO arrest
The state media company China Daily has published a scathing editorial about Canada, saying the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou shows the country is bowing to pressure from America.
The paper notes that Canada had not joined a host of other countries in banning Huawei, using the logic that it would not let politics dictate policy. So, China Daily argues, Ottawa is failing in its own rhetoric and, “has surrendered to the United States’ ugly politics”.
The arrest of Meng has quickly become the world’s biggest news tech story as people analyse whether or not it will torpedo a recent trade-war truce.
In related news, the Chinese government has summoned US Ambassador Terry Branstad to file an official protest over the arrest.
Korea’s Viva Republica raises US$80M to expand in Southeast Asia — [e27]
Korean startup Viva Republica, the developer of p2p money transfer app Toss, has raised a US$80 million round of funding at a $1.2 billion valuation led by American VC firms Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Capital.
Other participating investors include Altos Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Goodwater Capital, KTB Network, Novel, PayPal and Qualcomm Ventures.
The company will use the newly-raised capital to establish a securities brokerage business and also expand its presence across Southeast Asia.
Launched in 2015, Viva Republica’s Toss platform has over 10 million registered users and conducts over US$1.5 billion in money transfers monthly, according to an official press release.
M17 raises US$25 million for R&D — [e27]
Social entertainment platform M17 Entertainment, a merged company between Singapore-based dating platform Paktor and Taiwanese video streaming platform 17 Media, has raised US$25 million in a round led by Terry Tsang, CEO of Hong Kong-based mobile game developer Madhead.
Other participating investors include Pavilion Capital and Stonebridge Ventures as well as several existing investors.
The company expects to raise additional funding in the next two months.
Singapore digital assets platform raises US$22 million – [e27]
Singapore-based startup ecxx.com has raised US$22 million in pre-Series A funding from a group of investors, including a prominent crypto fund in Southeast Asia, its Co-founder and CEO Branson Lee told e27.
“The funds raised from this round will be used for global expansion,” Lee said.
ecxx.com was built by team of blockchain developers, including Lee, Zhong Wei Xiang, and Tan Hongean, who have built exchange previously. Currently in the beta stage, ecxx.com will allow people to buy, sell, and store digital assets once it goes live in the first quarter of next year. It also will offer bespoke customer services to clients with a certain trading threshold. With a twin focus on user experience and security, ecxx.com will offer trading bonus cashback to users.