The Low Down - Momentum Works

On tech & VC in China, Southeast Asia & beyond.


November 2017

Banks enabled, not stifled, the rise of Alipay – Part 2

In part one of this article, we wrote about the background of mobile payment platforms in China. In this second part, we talk about how these platforms work and the benefit to their providers. So, how (and why) do these… Continue Reading →

Why no English media reported THAT Blue incident

A few days ago, we published a blog post on how Bluegogo, the bike sharing company once valued at US$150m, went into free fall after a bizarre incident. Since then, we received a lot of enquiries from our readers. Many… Continue Reading →

Banks enabled, not stifled, the rise of Alipay – Part 1

The state-owned banking network in China has long been criticised for blocking innovation; however, without their support, third-party payment platforms such as Alipay would not have been able to flourish like they are now. Unfortunately, many commentators have overlooked this… Continue Reading →

GrabPay is not making full use of its advantages

So GrabPay appointed a new CTO, Vikas Agrawal, who was previously with Paytm. Agrawal is to be based in Bangalore, more than 3000 kilometres away from Grab’s headquarters in Singapore. This came less than a month after Grab (finally) filled… Continue Reading →

How to market effectively in SEA without cracking your head

Offline marketing prowess makes all the difference. It is increasingly becoming a crowded space for advertisers to promote their brands online. Not only is it expensive, with so many ads vying for user attention, it is also becoming less effective…. Continue Reading →

Why founders increasingly hate the word ‘startup’

Only two years ago, startup was the ‘in’ thing and friends who were launching their ventures were proudly declaring they were a ‘startup’. The mood seems to have changed dramatically since. What I often hear nowadays is: “what are you… Continue Reading →

Chinese Loan Apps in Indonesia

If you read our earlier articles about the Indonesian payday loan market (Part 1 and Part 2 are linked here for your convenience) you will already know about the rush of Chinese lenders backed by proven business models that are… Continue Reading →

Real reason for Alibaba’s US$2.9 billion investment in offline retailer

Alibaba Group today announced that it is making a US$2.87 billion investment into Sun & Art Group, a retail group in China that operates Auchan and  RT-Mart. In total Sun & Art controls 446 hypermarkets across 29 provinces in China…. Continue Reading →

The bizarre event that ruined a US$150m company

So the rumours that have been spreading for months have finally authenticated: Bluegogo, once China’s 3rd biggest shared bicycles operator, folded. There are many news reports about this incident, although none of them caught the bizarre event in June that… Continue Reading →

Are you addicted to data dashboards as I am?

When I was running a consumer mobile internet business, one thing I did most frequently was… Unlock my tablet and stare at the dashboard. Like one of the many here: Not only me, all my colleagues seemed to have the… Continue Reading →

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