Jon Russell

Jon Russell is an Asia-based writer for TechCrunch. Formerly he was an Asia editor for The Next Web.Jon Russell is passionate about the development of the internet, technology, and startups in Asia. He is based in Bangkok, Thailand.

You can email him at jr@techcrunch.com or use his PGP key.

Note: Jon owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.

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  • Toyota invests $69M in Japanese Uber rival backed by the taxi industry

    Toyota invests $69M in Japanese Uber rival backed by the taxi industry

    This week isn’t turning out to be great one for Uber in Japan. Two of its investors — Didi and SoftBank — are teaming up to launch a rival service, while one of its existing competitors has just landed a big cash infusion and highly influential backer after Toyota backed JapanTaxi. The auto giant said it will invest 7.5 billion JPY ($69 million) into JapanTaxi, an… Read More

  • Xiaomi’s wearable device partner Huami raises $110M in NYSE IPO

    Xiaomi’s wearable device partner Huami raises $110M in NYSE IPO

    China’s top wearable firm Huami has raised $110 million after it listed on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Fresh from launching iits Apple Watch-like Amazfit Blip this week, Huami sold 10 million shares at $11 a pop, the mid-point of its price range. The company joined the NYSE under the ‘HMI’ ticker symbol. It potentially raised up to $16.5 million more if… Read More

  • China’s Didi partners with SoftBank to launch taxi-hailing services in Japan

    China’s Didi partners with SoftBank to launch taxi-hailing services in Japan

    Uber’s tangled relationship with investors Didi and SoftBank is about to get more complicated after the duo inked an agreement to introduce taxi-hailing services that will compete directly with Uber in Japan. Didi dominates the Chinese market — thanks in no small amount to its acquisition of second-placed Uber China — but this year it has expanded to Brazil via an acquisition… Read More

  • Chinese police are using smart glasses to identify potential suspects

    Chinese police are using smart glasses to identify potential suspects

    China already operates the world’s largest surveillance state with some 170 million CCTV cameras at work, but its line of sight is about to get a new angle thanks to new smart eyewear that is being piloted by police officers. The smart specs look a lot like Google Glass, but they are used for identifying potential suspects. The device connects to a feed which taps into China’s… Read More

  • Amazon begins offering Whole Foods deliveries via its Prime service

    Amazon begins offering Whole Foods deliveries via its Prime service

    Amazon has taken a big step forward with Whole Foods after it began offering grocery delivery from the retailer through its Prime service. The option is open to Prime Now customers, who get free two-hour deliveries of their products when they spend over $35. An “ultra-fast” one-hour delivery option costs $7.99 for orders of $35 or more. The integration is limited to four regions… Read More

  • Telegram’s new widget lets businesses connect directly with users of its chat app

    Telegram’s new widget lets businesses connect directly with users of its chat app

    We know that messaging app Telegram has big plans — beyond a planned $1.2 billion ICO it is also developing its own platform for blockchain-based services — and today it took a notable step towards making its messaging platform more useful as it rolled out a web login widget. The new feature will allow website owners (business owners) to connect with Telegram users right from… Read More

  • Crypto prices mount a comeback following huge losses

    Crypto prices mount a comeback following huge losses

    What goes up, must go down… what does down, must go up…? After a big and bloody plunge this week — which saw the price of bitcoin touch a two-month low of sub-$6,000 — the crypto market has mounted a comeback with double-digit gains across the board. Coinmarketcap.com — the current go-to for crypto pricing — shows that bitcoin is up 26 percent in the last… Read More

  • SoftBank’s Vision Fund has already spent over $35 billion on investments

    SoftBank’s Vision Fund has already spent over $35 billion on investments

    SoftBank made waves when its gigantic Vision Fund hit a massive $93 billion first close of a targeted $100 billion total last year, but already it is clear why the firm is reportedly planning a sequel. According to the Japanese firm’s latest financials, it has already deployed one-third of the capital. A large chunk of the investments went on ride-hailing. SoftBank completed a $7.7… Read More

  • Apple is sending some developers ad spend and install details for other people’s apps

    Apple is sending some developers ad spend and install details for other people’s apps

    An issue at Apple appears to be resulting in app developers getting emails of ad spend and install summaries for apps belonging to other developers. The issue — which appears specific right now to developers using Search Ads Basic, pay-per-install ads that appear as promoted apps when people search on the App Store  — was raised on Twitter by a number of those affected… Read More

  • Apple continues to dominate the tablet market as sales decline once again

    Apple continues to dominate the tablet market as sales decline once again

    Bitcoin and crypto aren’t the only things on the decline, sales of tablet devices once again dropped in 2017, according to new data. Figures from analyst firm IDC show that overall tablet shipments fell by 6.5 percent to 163.5 million units last year. That’s down from 174.9 million in 2016, when the annual decrease was in double digits. Despite demanding falling overall, Apple… Read More

  • Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Lee is out of jail after his bribery sentence is suspended

    Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Lee is out of jail after his bribery sentence is suspended

    Samsung vice chairman and the company’s heir apparent Jay Y. Lee has left prison after a South Korean high court suspended his bribery sentence. Lee, whose father is Samsung’s chairman, was previously sentenced to five years after being found guilty of bribery, embezzlement, capital flight and perjury charges. His sentence was reduced to 2.5 years today on appeal, and he was… Read More

  • A traveling frog exposes concerns within Apple’s Chinese App Store

    A traveling frog exposes concerns within Apple’s Chinese App Store

    An app about a frog that likes to travel has exposed worrying signs that Apple isn’t doing enough to prevent fake apps from entering its App Store in China, the world’s largest smartphone market and Apple’s single largest country for app revenue. The story centers around ‘Tabi Kaeru’ — or ‘Travel Frog’ — a Japanese app that has become… Read More

  • Kazuo Hirai is standing down as Sony CEO

    Kazuo Hirai is standing down as Sony CEO

    Sony is getting a new CEO after it announced that CFO Kenichiro Yoshida will replace Kazuo Hirai as the head of the Japanese firm. The move will happen April 1, with Hirai shifting to the role of Chairman. “I have dedicated myself to transforming the company and enhancing its profitability, and am very proud that now, in the third and final year of our current mid-range corporate plan… Read More

  • Alibaba is picking up 33% of Ant Financial, its fintech affiliate that’s valued at over $60B

    Alibaba is picking up 33% of Ant Financial, its fintech affiliate that’s valued at over $60B

    Alibaba has added an additional angle to the announcement of its latest financial report today with news that it is taking a 33 percent stake in Ant Financial, its fintech affiliate that operates Alipay and other financial services. The deal, which both parties said stems from an agreement made in 2014, will see Alibaba pick up newly issued shares in Ant, seemingly paving the way for a… Read More

  • Nintendo is bringing Mario Kart to mobile

    Nintendo is bringing Mario Kart to mobile

    In news that will excite every Nintendo fan on the planet, the Japanese gaming giant just announced that it will bring its hugely popular Mario Kart series to mobile. Nintendo teased the upcoming development of ‘Mario Kart Tour’ which it said will be released sometime before March 2019. A long wait, indeed, and for now we have no additional details. But, for most enthusiasts… Read More

  • Nintendo’s Switch took just 10 months to outsell the Wii U

    Nintendo’s Switch took just 10 months to outsell the Wii U

    Nintendo’s Switch has only been on sale for 10 months but already it has outsold its predecessor, the Wii U, the flop that heralded Nintendo’s first step into hybrid gaming. The Japanese tech giant shifted a little over 13.5 million Wii U consoles across its entire lifecycle, and today Nintendo revealed that the Switch has reached 14.86 million sales to date. Business was so… Read More

  • Asana raises $75M Series D led by Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management

    Asana raises $75M Series D led by Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management

    Asana, the productivity and collaboration service, is getting a major infusion of cash after Generation Investment Management, a London-based firm backed by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, led a $75 million investment. Investment Management was joined in this Series D round by existing backers 8VC, Founders Fund, Y Combinator President Sam Altman who also participated in the round. Read More

  • Samsung confirms it is making ASIC chips for cryptocurrency mining

    Samsung confirms it is making ASIC chips for cryptocurrency mining

    Fresh from toppling Intel as the planet’s biggest seller of chipsets, Samsung has confirmed that it has begun manufacturing ASIC chips which are used to mine bitcoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies. “Samsung’s foundry business is currently engaged in the manufacturing of cryptocurrency mining chips. However we are unable to disclose further details regarding our… Read More

  • SoftBank buys into Line’s mobile service in Japan

    SoftBank buys into Line’s mobile service in Japan

    SoftBank is partnering up with messaging app Line to help develop its Line Mobile telecom service. Line announced that it has agreed to allow SoftBank to take a 51 percent in the business via an issuance of new shares. The deal is expected to close by March. From the documents, its mobile business was originally capitalized at around $15 million (1.7 billion JPY) but a company spokesperson… Read More

  • Samsung topples Intel to become the world’s largest chipmaker

    Samsung topples Intel to become the world’s largest chipmaker

    Samsung has ended Intel’s 25-year run as the world’s biggest seller of chipsets after it posted its 2017 end of year financials. The Korean tech giant’s chipset division — which has long been its biggest hitter — grossed total revenue of $69 billion in 2017, eclipsing the $62.8 billion Intel reported for last year. That was a record year for Intel — and… Read More