Uber Partner Picks Up $1.5 Billion From SoftBank

That’s the headline on a story out Wednesday that I wrote with my colleague Saurabh Chaturvedi. It begins: SINGAPORE—Southeast Asian ride-hailing company Grab Holdings Inc. has raised $1.46 billion in fresh funding from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., which it will use to fuel its expansion beyond transportation services. That brings the total from Grab’s latest […]

Alibaba Bets Another $2 Billion on Southeast Asia

That’s the headline of a story I wrote with my colleague Liza Liz, which ran on Monday. It begins: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Executive Chairman Jack Ma is doubling down on Southeast Asia, investing another $2 billion in e-commerce subsidiary Lazada Group and naming trusted confidante Lucy Peng as its chief executive. The investment announced […]

Uber Agrees in Principle to Exit Southeast Asia for Stake in Rival

That’s the headline of my newest story, which I wrote with my colleagues Greg Bensinger and Julie Steinberg. It ran late Thursday, and begins: Uber Technologies Inc. has reached an agreement in principle to sell most of its Southeast Asia operations to local rival Grab Inc., ending a costly fight for market share in the […]

By Me Today: Uber Hits Roadblocks in Southeast Asia

The story begins: SINGAPORE—When Uber Technologies Inc. retreated from China last year after conceding a costly battle with a local rival, the ride-hailing giant vowed to devote new resources to winning other lucrative markets in Asia. Since then, Uber has suffered setbacks in Southeast Asia, a region of 600 million people, where it has been […]

My Top 10 Southeast Asia Travel Tips

tl;dr: Don’t rush For longer trips, use Bangkok as a Base Next, Look Beyond Thailand to Cambodia, Laos, and Especially Vietnam More Destinations: Myanmar and Borneo Eat Liberally Disconnect If You Must, SIM Cards are Wi-Fi Widely Available Don’t Overpack, But Bring the Right Stuff Ask Friends of Friends for Advice Do Your Own Research […]

Recent Stories: Grab <--> Lyft; Microsoft Exec on Self-Driving Cars; Venture Capital in Southeast Asia

I’m behind in sharing some of the stories I’ve been working on. Here are a few from last week. The first, on Grab’s integration with Lyft in the U.S., begins: The latest step in a global ride-sharing alliance between rivals of Uber Technologies Inc. went into effect Thursday, allowing users of a popular Southeast Asia-focused […]

Book Notes — ‘Asian Godfathers,’ by Joe Studwell

Note: I have long kept, on index cards, written notes about the books I read. I decided to share some of these thoughts here, and will be posting them, one by one on individual books, in no particular order. I’ll group them all together on a central page later. Thanks to Derek Sivers for the […]

By Me Last Week: GrabTaxi Is Becoming Grab

The story begins: Uber Technologies Inc.’s main rival in Southeast Asia wants people to know that it—like the San Francisco, Calif. startup—offers not just taxis, but private cars. Singapore-based GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. said Thursday it is shortening its name to simply Grab. The goal: to highlight that in addition to allowing users to book […]

President Obama, ‘If You Were a Rohingya…”

A Thai attendee at a recent Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative event at the White House asked President Obama the following question: “If you were a Rohinya, which country would you prefer to live in, and why?” Now, the question drew snickers, because it’s a bit odd to ask the world’s most powerful man what […]