China, technology giants are fighting for Southeast Asia



Alibaba and Tencent have invested large sums of money in more startups in the area in question


Alibaba and Tencent, giants of Chinese technology, have long been engaged in a fierce battle to dominate the internet market in their country of origin. In recent years, however, the drive for supremacy has spread beyond China, with Southeast Asia becoming a key battlefield.

In fact, the two companies have invested huge sums of money – and the prestige of their brands – in more startups. In Southeast Asia, in particular, Alibaba has focused on acquisitions of e-commerce companies, while Tencent has spread among games, ride-ride, bike-sharing and e-commerce.

Marketwatchers analysts told Channel NewsAsia that they expect a head-to-head between Alibaba and Tencent in multiple investment areas, since both want to take advantage of companies that use mobile payments.

“This could put fund-raising start-ups in a tight position, because the two technology giants are not known to coinvest with each other. The unrecognized rivalry between them seems to suggest that if you take money from one, you may have to give up an investment offer on the other” the industry said.


Alibaba and Tencent, despite the desire to conquer the new market, do not intend to ally


In August of last year, Alibaba defeated Tencent to conquer a minority stake in the online retailer Tokopedia, also known as Taobao in Indonesia, while in May 2017 Tencent managed a $ 1.2 billion loan round for Go-Jek , Indonesian driving company.

In both cases, both Alibaba and Tencent were involved in the initial talks. Another example is bike sharing: Ofo is financed by Alibaba while Mobike is supported by Tencent.

A notable exception is Grab, a company known for its passing on the track, which is interesting both for the giants and for its holdings in Didi Chuxing, a very successful Chinese company.


The technology giants are attracted to Southeast Asia, given the few regulatory obstacles


As Chinese technology funding leads to Southeast Asia, the largest unicorns in the region – startups valued at $ 1 billion or more – have increased investment levels this year.

Market observers have said that Chinese technology giants and private equity investors are particularly attracted to Southeast Asia. It is considered a market with few significant competitors and fewer regulatory barriers than Europe and the United States.



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