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.

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  • China’s second largest e-commerce firm just showed Alibaba has competition

    China’s second largest e-commerce firm just showed Alibaba has competition

    Alibaba invented China’s biggest shopping day — 11/11 aka Single’s Day — and it dominates the headlines with record sales year-on-year, but another company just stepped out to remind us that others are busy trying to close the gap. JD.com, the perennial challenger to Alibaba’s e-commerce empire in China, just revealed its 11/11 figures for the first time. While… Read More

  • Alibaba smashes its Single’s Day record once again as sales cross $25 billion

    Alibaba smashes its Single’s Day record once again as sales cross $25 billion

    Alibaba has set another Single’s Day record after the e-commerce giant sold over $25 billion of product on the Chinese biggest online shopping date. The full number comes in at 163.8 billion RMB, that’s roughly $25.3 billion, in GMV — that’s “gross merchandise volume” which is used to measure a dollar value for all sales on a platform. In Alibaba’s… Read More

  • Ambitious new media firm ByteDance is no longer a secret outside of China

    Ambitious new media firm ByteDance is no longer a secret outside of China

    ByteDance is a name that is about to become very familiar to everyone in international tech circles. Really it should already be. It is valued at $20 billion and its flagship Toutiao news reader app is one of China’s fastest growing internet services with 120 million daily users. It is in the process of raising a $2 billion funding round and revenue for this year is reportedly forecast… Read More

  • Razer to raise upwards of $504 million in Hong Kong IPO

    Razer to raise upwards of $504 million in Hong Kong IPO

    PC gaming company Razer is set to raise upwards of US$504 million (HK$3.9 billion) when it lists on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Monday. The company, which develops gaming-focused accessories for PCs, laptops and is preparing to sell its first smartphone, today priced its shares at HK$3.88, or US$0.50. That comes in towards the high-end of its HK$2.93-HK$4.00 price range set last… Read More

  • Twitter fixes another important problem with support for 50-character usernames

    Twitter fixes another important problem with support for 50-character usernames

    Twitter has followed up its move to double the character limit of tweets to 280 by increasing the length of a username to 50 characters. This is far less impacting that the 280 character expansion, and certainly less controversial, but it may be useful for people with longer names or those who like to add emojis or change their name to witty statements regularly. The name function… Read More

  • Announcing the TechCrunch Meetup in Singapore on November 23

    Announcing the TechCrunch Meetup in Singapore on November 23

    Here at TechCrunch we serve a global audience which is why we’ve held casual meetup events across many different parts of the world. Now we’re excited to add a new region to that list: Southeast Asia. As someone who has watched the region’s startup ecosystem grow in recent years, I’m delighted to announce that we’re teaming up with Google and VC firm SeedPlus to… Read More

  • China’s Toutiao is buying Musical.ly in a deal worth $800M-$1B

    China’s Toutiao is buying Musical.ly in a deal worth $800M-$1B

    Musical.ly, the lip-syncing app popular with teens and young people, has been sold to Chinese social media giant Toutiao, according to an announcement made today. The deal is undisclosed but sources tell TechCrunch that Bytedance, the company behind China’s top news aggregator service Toutiao, will pay between $800 million and $1 billion to buy Musical.ly, which claims 60 million users… Read More

  • Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Code’ initiative expands to colleges and universities outside of the US

    Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Code’ initiative expands to colleges and universities outside of the US

    Apple is taking its coding course international after it announced that 20 college and university partners worldwide will begin offering the Everyone Can Code initiative to students. Initially limited to the U.S., the course is designed by Apple engineers and educators to help students learn the basics to get into the “booming app economy” — Apple says iOS developers alone… Read More

  • Tencent could play a role redesigning Snapchat following $2B investment

    Tencent could play a role redesigning Snapchat following $2B investment

    Tencent, the Chinese internet giant valued at $470 billion, may have a hand in rebooting the Snapchat app to make it more competitive with Instagram and Facebook. Off the back of some very poor financials announced this week, parent company Snap said it is retooling the messaging app “to make it easier to use.” Now Tencent, which upped its stake in Snap with the purchase of… Read More

  • China Literature makes stellar public debut following $1B Hong Kong IPO

    China Literature makes stellar public debut following $1B Hong Kong IPO

    China Literature, the e-publishing business backed by Tencent, enjoyed an impressive debut as public company with its share price rising as high double during its first day on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The business raised over $1 billion from the listing which saw it spin out from Tencent. The listing price was set to HK$55 and the share valued reached HK$110 in early trading, going on… Read More

  • WeChat owner Tencent snapped up another 12% of Snap this month

    WeChat owner Tencent snapped up another 12% of Snap this month

    We already knew that Tencent, the owner of China’s messaging behemoth WeChat, was an investor in Snap when the company was still a startup going by the name of its flagship app, Snapchat. Now, as Snap’s stock price buckles under the weight of slow user growth and missed revenue expectations, Tencent is deepening its hold on the company. In a 10-Q SEC filing for its quarterly… Read More

  • India’s Uber rival Ola to license connected car platform to vehicle makers worldwide

    India’s Uber rival Ola to license connected car platform to vehicle makers worldwide

    Ride-sharing companies the world over are branching out to go beyond just handling your car trips. In recent weeks we’ve seen Uber, the pioneer of the genre, announced its own Visa card while Southeast Asia’s Grab is developing a payment wallet that lets you pay for lunch, dinner and other small items. Now India-based Ola is doubling down on connect car technology after it… Read More

  • Amazon launches its Echo devices and Alexa in Japan

    Amazon launches its Echo devices and Alexa in Japan

    Amazon has continued its hardware push into Asia after it launched the Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot in Japan today. Alongside the hardware, it is also making its Alexa voice assistant available in the country. That means that developers will gain access to Alexa Skills — which has support for Japanese — while consumers will also be able to use Alexa alongside their hardware and… Read More

  • A major vulnerability has frozen hundreds of millions of dollars of Ethereum

    A major vulnerability has frozen hundreds of millions of dollars of Ethereum

    Today is not a good news day for Ethereum. A  vulnerability found within a popular wallet has frozen potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of the crypto currency in a second setback in recent months. Parity Technologies, the company behind widely used wallet service Parity, today disclosed an issue that could enable the contents of a wallet to be wiped. The issue affects multi-sig… Read More

  • Tencent’s online publishing arm set to raise $1B in Hong Kong IPO

    Tencent’s online publishing arm set to raise $1B in Hong Kong IPO

    Tencent’s China Literature, an Amazon-like e-book business, is continuing the trend of Asian tech IPOs after it announced its public listing in Hong Kong will raise $1.06 billion on Wednesday. The company set the price for its 151,371,800 share offering at HK$55, the top end of its range, and it could sell an additional 22.7 million through a greenshoe option with underwriters. The… Read More

  • Amazon launches Alexa-less Fire TV Stick for international users of its Prime video service

    Amazon launches Alexa-less Fire TV Stick for international users of its Prime video service

    We’re approaching one year since Amazon expanded its Prime video service to over 200 countries internationally, and today the company is doubling down on that global audience with the introduction of a ‘Basic Edition’ of its popular Fire TV Stick that ships to over 100 countries. The company unveiled a much-improved third-generation version of the product in September, adding… Read More

  • ShopBack raises $25M for its cash back shopping service in Southeast Asia

    ShopBack raises $25M for its cash back shopping service in Southeast Asia

    One of Southeast Asia’s lesser-known startups has come out from under the radar today after ShopBack, a cash back-focused e-commerce service, announced it has raised $25 million. Founded in 2014, the Singapore-based startup helps users shop ‘smarter’ using a selection of curated deals and cash back offers through partner merchants across six countries in Southeast Asia… Read More

  • New Samsung ad attacks Apple for 10 years of inferior iPhones

    New Samsung ad attacks Apple for 10 years of inferior iPhones

    It’s been some time since Samsung mocked Apple with videos on the inferiority of the iPhone  — the exploding Note 7 set that argument back a fair amount — but the Korean firm has removed the gloves again with a new video released right after last week’s iPhone X launch. The gist of it is a common argument laid out by Android fans: that Apple adopts every feature… Read More

  • Kaodim raises $7M for its home services platform in Southeast Asia

    Kaodim raises $7M for its home services platform in Southeast Asia

    There’s more funding for Southeast Asia’s growing local services space after Kaodim, a Malaysia-based startup that operates in four countries in the region, raised $7 million. Founded three years ago, Kaodim is a service for booking for hiring a range of services that include cleaning, moving, appliance care, and even photography. The round was led by Square Peg Capital, a… Read More

  • Uber rival Grab crosses 1 billion rides in Southeast Asia

    Uber rival Grab crosses 1 billion rides in Southeast Asia

    Grab, Uber’s fierce rival in Southeast Asia, announced today that its service has crossed one billion completed rides. The firm hit the milestone on October 26 when 66 concurrent trips from across its seven markets took it into ten-figure territory . The company started out in Malaysia in 2012, and today it covers 142 cities across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam… Read More