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Mexico pushes mobile payments to help unbanked consumers ditch cash

Mexico's new leftist government is betting on financial technology to help lift people out of poverty.

Mexico is planning a digital payments system run and built by the central bank that will allow Mexicans to make and receive payments through their smartphones free of charge. — Reuters

EPF: Can't be 'too adventurous' in a challenging 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Uncertainties worldwide will be the new norm as businesses adjust into 2019, and as far as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is concerned, it is not a time for it to be “too adventurous.”

Stressing that the EPF is a long-term fund, CEO Tunku Alizakri Alias said that when markets head south, the EPF comes out to hunt.  “Don’t think because markets are bad, it’s necessarily a bad thing.  “It’s going to be challenging this year so let’s stick to what we know and let’s really hunt for the assets that will bring the returns."

Alibaba is the force behind hit Chinese Communist Party app: sources

A Chinese government propaganda app that recently became a huge hit was developed by Alibaba, two people at the company said, at a time when the nation's tech firms are under global scrutiny over their ties to Beijing.

Alibaba takes stake in Chinese video platform Bilibili

Alibaba has bought an 8% stake in Chinese online video sharing and entertainment service Bilibili for an undisclosed amount, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The two sides had announced a partnership in December which allows Bilibili users to create videos and other content to promote merchandise sold on Taobao. — Reuters

Big hedge funds dumped China stocks, Apple as market tumbled

NEW YORK: Prominent hedge fund managers sold out of Chinese technology stocks and dumped Silicon Valley giants like Apple Inc and Facebook Inc while global stock markets cratered during the fourth quarter, according to securities filings released on Thursday.

Activist hedge fund Jana Partners sold out of its position in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and reduced its stake in Apple by approximately 175,000 shares, slicing its position in the company by 63 percent.

Amazon has a big advertising business. Walmart wants one too

Walmart Inc is big in almost every way – 4,755 stores, 1.5 million employees and US$380bil in revenue in the US alone. But one part of the world’s largest retailer remains minuscule.

Middle-aged Chinese tourists lead use of mobile payments abroad during Lunar New Year holiday

Outbound travellers from China’s lower-tier cities also made more purchases than those from top-tier cities.

Total transactions on WeChat Pay reached 1.24 billion during the Lunar New Year holiday from Feb 4 to 9, according to data released by the Tencent-owned mobile payment system. — SCMP

Over 820 million 'e-ang pows' sent in China over CNY period, says WeChat

SHANGHAI (AFP): More than 820 million electronic “red packets” were sent over China’s Lunar New Year holiday, leading social media platform WeChat said, as the centuries-old practice of exchanging monetary gifts increasingly goes digital.

Red packets or 'hongbao' in Mandarin. -AFPpic

China’s ‘red packets’ go digital over Lunar New Year

More than 820 million electronic “red packets” were sent over China’s Lunar New Year holiday, leading social media platform WeChat said, as the centuries-old practice of exchanging monetary gifts increasingly goes digital.

Money inserted or wrapped into paper “red packets”, or hongbao in Mandarin, are traditionally given out as a blessing during the holiday, a time when revellers exchange wishes for good prosperity in the year ahead. — Bloomberg

China’s week-long holiday spending slows

Chinese visitors spent US$149bil, the slowest growth since 2011