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Google has announced that Android Pay will be available in five new markets: Taiwan, Spain, Brazil, Russia and Canada.


So far, Google has officially confirmed that Android Pay is launching in Taiwan. Furthermore, the company unveiled plans to expand its mobile payment app to Canada, Spain, Brazil and Russia.


Russia media reports that Android Pay will be available at the following banks: Sberbank Rossii, Alfa-Bank, Raiffeisenbank, and Tinkoff Bank. Android users, which account for 87% of the total smartphone market in Russia, according to XDA, will be able to make mobile payments using the NFC at these banks.


Google has not confirmed which banks will support Android Pay in Canada, Spain and Brazil.




Tesco Malaysia`s online sales are expected to grow in 2017, due to online shopping growth of 18% per year, according to Tesco Stores (Malaysia).


As of 2016, online sales contributed only 2% to the company’s total turnover. Online grocery shopping is growing at a relatively slow pace, as Malaysians still prefer to shop at traditional markets or grocery stores.


Tesco was the first grocery chain in Malaysia to introduce online grocery shopping two years ago. To date, its delivery coverage has grown to reach 50% of the nationwide population. Tesco Malaysia has also partnered with Lazada and Happy Grocer to extend its online shopping services.


Grocery stores larger than 60,000 square metres are challenging to sustain. The optimal solution, which Tesco is also implementing in some of its stores, is to use space better by offering a wider and improved range of products in a smaller floor space.


In 2017, Tesco Malaysia will be opening two new stores and four to six next generation stores (smaller sized stores with a proportionally wider range of products).


Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Alibaba, has claimed that its number of daily active users doubled in 2016.

So far, the company has not yet disclosed data about the total number of active daily users, but it has reported that over 450 million people use its Alipay service for payments and various financial services like wealth management and insurance.

Launched in 2004, Alipay provides payment services for Alibaba’s ecommerce platform. Currently, it controls 54% of the total market shares, but competitor Tencent has made significant advances in 2016 to secure a wider market share. Now, Tenctent’s WeixinPay has a 37% market share.

Both competitors have expanded their payment services to physical stores. Tencent said that 29% of all in-store Starbucks purchases in mainland China were made through WeixinPay. In a similar move, Ant Financial managed to sign a deal with First Data that could give the company access to a potential 4.5 million merchants in the US. Similar agreements have also been signed in Europe with Ingenico and BNP.

The market has been expecting on an IPO from Ant, valued at USD 60billion at its last funding round in 2016, but it is currently off the agenda, at least until the end of 2018, the Financial Times reported.

Spotify has announced the acquisition of Niland, a machine learning startup based out of Paris. The music company made the announcement itself this week, explaining that Niland shares its ‘passion for surfacing the right content to the right user at the right time.’ Spotify plans to use the company’s technology and know-how to improves its own recommendation abilities, doing so with the power of artificial intelligence behind it.


Spotify announced the acquisition on Wednesday, saying that the Niland team will be joining the music company’s own team in its New York office. The terms of the deal weren’t revealed, such as how much Spotify paid for the company or when the deal was finalized. We do know, however, that personalized recommendations on Spotify are about to get much better than to the startup’s work in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

“The innovative approach to AI and machine learning based recommendation systems is a perfect fit for the Spotify team,” the company said in a statement. Spotify aims to implement Niland’s technology to help its users discover new music they want to hear, as well as help the artists on the platform get more exposure to the music lovers who want to listen to them.

When we can expect to see Niland’s technology make its way into the Spotify product wasn’t stated. For its part, Niland posted a long statement announcing the acquisition, saying, “We will keep working on new ways to better understand music to craft better innovative listening and discovery experiences.” You can read the startup’s full announcement here.



Facebook is rolling out a new food ordering option on its app and desktop site. If you go to the desktop “Explore” section, or the app menu, and click on the hamburger icon, you’ll be redirected to a page full of nearby restaurants that deliver through Facebook.


From the restaurant list, you can either go to each place’s Facebook page and order there, or select Start Order. You select the items you want to order on the restaurant’s menu, then you select a tip, and pay for it within the app.


That said, it doesn’t work for everybody yet. Some, like me, might be told that there are no nearby restaurants who will deliver (it doesn’t specify whether that means “deliver at all” or “deliver via Facebook”). I know that’s not the case for my area, so I have to assume it’s a flaw in the system.

The option is the fruit of a partnership between Facebook and food delivery sites and Slice. Previously, you’d have to go to a specific restaurant’s Facebook page in order to order from them.


Click here for more detail



It’s pretty easy to read your emails while you’re on the go, but responding to those emails takes effort. Smart Reply, available in Inbox by Gmail and Allo, saves you time by suggesting quick responses to your messages. The feature already drives 12 percent of replies in Inbox on mobile. And starting today, Smart Reply is coming to Gmail for Android and iOS too. 

Smart Reply suggests three responses based on the email you received:

Once you’ve selected one, you can send it immediately or edit your response starting with the Smart Reply text. Either way, you’re saving time.



Smart Reply utilizes machine learning to give you better responses the more you use it. So if you’re more of a “thanks!” than a “thanks.” person, we’ll suggest the response that’s, well, more you! If you want to learn about the smarts behind Smart Reply, check out the Google Research Blog.

Smart Reply will roll out globally on Android and iOS in English first, and Spanish will follow in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more languages coming soon!



Wong Heang Tuck (left), CEO, U Mobile; and Raymond Lew, CEO, President and Country Head of Sun Life Malaysia, signing the MoU.


U Mobile and Sun Life Malaysia today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a partnership to provide telco-assurance to U Mobile’s five million user base. This marks the first time that a telco service provider is offering life insurance plans, as well as the first time U Mobile customers will be able to apply, subscribe and manage their life insurance plan via a mobile phone.


(From Left to Right): Jasmine Lee, CMO, U Mobile; Claude Accum, Incoming President of Sun Life Financial Asia; Wong Heang Tuck, CEO, U Mobile; Raymond Lew, CEO, President and Country Head of Sun Life Malaysia; Kevin Strain, Outgoing President of Sun Life Financial Asia; and Albert Loo, Head of Digital Financial Services, U Mobile.



Wong Heang Tuck, U Mobile’s CEO said “we will be partnering with Sun Life Malaysia to offer microinsurance which provides necessary and adequate protection with low monthly premiums.”


U Mobile subscribers who are interested in signing up for a microinsurance plan will be able to do so starting October 2017, as that is when the telco will be offering Sun Life Malaysia’s microinsurance products. More information will be available on U Mobile’s official website.



After Spotify and iTunes, another big-name app is coming to Microsoft’s Windows Store: Facebook-owned WhatsApp.


As discovered by MSPoweruser, a listing of the WhatsApp Desktop app has popped up on the Windows Store, which indicates its imminent arrival on the Store.


Like WhatsApp’s desktop apps on other platforms, this Windows Store app serves to be an extension of your mobile phone, mirroring conversations and messages from the device. Set up requires scanning a QR code using the WhatsApp mobile app on your phone, and expectedly, you need to keep it in the vicinity of the PC for both to sync up. Since the app runs natively on the desktop, I expect it to support Windows 10’s native desktop notifications.


Some Mac users may have fallen victim to a new Mac malware called Proton. Over the weekend, the malware infected unsuspecting users by hitching a ride on a trusted server that hosted downloads for HandBrake, a popular DVD ripper and media encoding program. The malware provides a backdoor for malicious activity, such as stealing stored files.

At the point of propagation, none of the 55 most widely-used antivirus services detected Proton. As of writing, the VirusTotal tracking website showed only 12 services that are capable of picking up on the new malware. Researcher Patrick Wardle has plenty of other Proton details listed on his blog.

According to Ars Technica, the folks maintaining the HandBrake download mirrors said that one of their two servers was compromised by the malware. There is a 50 percent chance for a Mac user who downloaded HandBrake between May 2 and May 6, 2017 to be infected with Proton.


To check for the malware on your Mac, you can do a simple checksum verification by going to the Mac terminal and type in the following:

shasum /path/to/HandBrake-1.0.7.dmg

“path/to” refers to your HandBrake installation location/filename.

Alternatively, you can type “shasum” within Terminal and drag the file to the Terminal window. If it returns:


You’ve struck lottery. Remove the malicious malware as soon as possible. To disinfect the Mac, you can remove the following Launch Agent plist file:


Also remove the following file from your ~/Library/RenderFiles/ location:

Then proceed to nuke your Mac reset and change all passwords.

According to Ars Technica, Proton is a general-purpose backdoor malware that’s on sale on the Dark Web for as much as US$63,000. It offers keylogging, remote access, stealing of files, and the ability to take and upload webcam or screenshot video and images.

Alipay to launch in the US

By on May 12, 2017


Alipay, the mobile payment system offered by Alibaba, has announced is coming to the US, thanks to a deal brokered with First Data.

The expansion follows limited trials in California and New York, and will bring Alipay into direct competition with Apple Pay, Android Pay, and PayPal. Alongside online payments and money transfers, Alipay users can also hail a taxi, book a hotel, and buy movie tickets directly from within the app.

The partnership will allow Chinese tourists who visit the US to use their mobile phones to complete transactions at 4 million merchants and retailers around the country.

Alipay has about 450 million customers worldwide, but Alipay’s deal with First Data aims to offset the mobile payment’s loss of ground in China.