Chinese Miners Are Finding Relocation Difficult in Southeast Asia

Chinese Miners Are Finding Relocation Difficult in Southeast Asia

According to a recent report, cryptocurrency miners from China have been flocking to regions in Southeast Asia like Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia. However, a relocated Chinese miner based in Cambodia says miners trying to find safe havens in other Southeast Asian countries are having difficulties, and losing money every month due to residents complaining and unreliable power.

Also read: Zimbabwe Bans All Cryptocurrency Activity, Businesses Have 2 Month Grace Period

Chinese Miners Who Relocate Are Finding Other Regions Located in Southeast Asia More Difficult

Mining in China is still allowed but there have been rumors of government crackdowns, and because of this speculation many mining operations based in the country have begun to relocate. Some operations who still seek out cheaper Chinese electricity tariffs moved to the border towns in Yunnan, but lots of Chinese miners have relocated to other areas in Southeast Asia like South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Although government officials and residents living in these regions have been giving miners a hard time according to a relocated miner named Zhang Han.

Chinese Miners Are Finding Relocation Difficult in Southeast Asia
Zhang relocated to Cambodia from China and found that local rent is quite cheap, a 500 square-meter large shack only charges 500,000 riel ($100) per month, and you can hire two local young labors at the cost of only $100. But Cambodian mining operations have posed other problems for Chinese miners.

Zhang says that he had miner friends that already “occupied” the suburbs of Cambodia and Myanmar. He did the math and found areas in Southeast Asia still offer much cheaper electricity than other countries worldwide. However, the miner explains he is not too happy with the move and states “I really regret it.” At first, Zhang found that Cambodia was expensive in some areas of operations, but less expensive in other areas when compared to other regions.   

“Compared with other miners who choose Vietnam and Myanmar, the electricity in Cambodia is slightly more expensive, but it costs less in other expenses,” Zhang explains in his recent interview.

It costs almost the same in Cambodia as industrial electricity price in China, 1.3 yuan ($20 cents) per kilowatt-hour (kWh), but you can take advantage of electricity theft from streetlamp facility with the help of some insiders.

Chinese Miners Are Finding Relocation Difficult in Southeast Asia
Accessory costs and maintenance is much more expensive than China. Some things can be 3X the price says Zhang.

Accessories Costs and Operations Maintenance is More Expensive Abroad for Relocated Chinese Miners

The accessories costs and operations maintenance is what gave his mining operation headaches, Zhang explains. “Maintenance and accessories are very big problems, and it can also be said that the cost of supplies is very high,” Zhang details. “But hardware maintenance is a challenge, it would cost you a great sum – at least 3 times higher than the cost back in China, especially in hot days when entering March. Buying parts here is really a big headache, we have no choice but to purchase them from China, which would take days or even weeks to have it available in operation here.”

At times we turn to local miners for help, while they would seize the opportunity to ask for unfairly high price for a tiny fitting. 

Chinese Miners Are Finding Relocation Difficult in Southeast Asia
Many areas in Southeast Asia experience lots of power outages and Zhang’s operation deals with electrical outages frequently. However, Zhang says you can take advantage of electricity theft from streetlamp facility with the help of some “insiders.”

Chinese Miners Also Face Unfriendly Local Competitors and Residents Who Might Report Electrical Theft

Zhang further realized that Cambodia suffered from significant power outages where there is no electricity for a whole day or even longer. The miner says in order to mitigate the problem, if an operation happens to have a connection with a power company “insider,” they can steal power from a nearby streetlight. However, local residents may report this method to the authorities, and Zhang says residents are not too friendly towards Chinese miners right now. Additionally, local miners and financial institutions backed by Western countries are also not pleased with Chinese miners relocating to these countries.

“Apart from the local residents and miners, institutions funded by western countries are also unfriendly to us — They are all trying to squeeze us out of here — And I’m considering that,” Zhang concludes.

What do you think about relocated Chinese miners having issues in other areas of Southeast Asia? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below. 


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New Crypto Exchanges Open in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines

New Crypto Exchanges Open in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines

The number of new cryptocurrency exchanges is rapidly growing worldwide. This new crypto exchange roundup features four platforms located in South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

South Korea’s Coinbit

New Crypto Exchanges Open in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the PhilippinesSouth Korean game developer Axia Soft Co. Ltd. has recently launched a crypto exchange called Coinbit. For its grand opening, the exchange is offering zero commission trades until the end of May.

Coinbit says 50 cryptocurrencies will be listed initially and more than 100 coins will be listed by the end of the year. Among supported cryptocurrencies are bitcoin, ether, ripple, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic, litecoin, waves, stox, eos, vechain, omisego, qtum, and neo.

New Crypto Exchanges Open in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines

Thailand’s Jibex

New Crypto Exchanges Open in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the PhilippinesCryptocurrency exchange Jibex has recently opened its doors in Thailand. The exchange is backed by IT company J.I.B. Computer Group Co. Ltd, a distributor and seller of computer hardware and IT trading products with 150 stores nationwide.

Initially, only five cryptocurrencies will be supported: bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin, and ripple. More will be added in the future, according to Jibex CEO Thuntee Sukchotrat. The exchange also offers a wallet supporting those five cryptocurrencies.

For the grand opening, Jibex is waiving its commission of 0.24%. No trading fee will be charged for 45 days ending on June 26.

Jibex Chairman Dr. Thantharaksuk Chotirat commented:

The partnership with J.I.B. Computer Group (JIB) will give users peace of mind and confidence in their investment. The service is good, fast and attentive to all customer needs.

New Crypto Exchanges Open in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines

Vietnam’s Kenninex

New Crypto Exchanges Open in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the PhilippinesKenninex crypto exchange has recently launched in Vietnam, headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City.

The exchange claims to be “the first live cryptocurrency exchange in Vietnam…[and] the first e-money trading platform in Vietnam to have a trading office where investors can experience our services as well as receive effective investment advice,” according to its website.

Customers can currently convert bitcoin and ether into VND and vice versa. The transaction fee is usually 0.4% but has been reduced to 0.2% for the first month of launch, according to local media.

The Philippines’ Coinvil

New Crypto Exchanges Open in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and the PhilippinesWhile Coinbit, Jibex, and Kenninex have already launched, this next exchange has not. South Korean blockchain technology and services company Glosfer and Coinvil have agreed to collaborate to build and launch a cryptocurrency exchange in the Philippines. Glosfer will build the platform while Coinvil will operate the exchange. Coinvil CEO Park Rae-hyun commented:

The Philippines will become the largest cryptocurrency trading market that connects Europe and Asia.

Do you think the number of new cryptocurrency exchanges will keep growing? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: None of the information on news.Bitcoin.com is intended as investment advice, an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinbit, Coinmarket Calendar, Kenninex, Glosfer, Bangkok Post, and Jibex.


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Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce Transactions

Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce Transactions

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade has prohibited organizations and individuals involved in e-commerce business in the city from using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This follows a directive signed by the country’s prime minister intended to strengthen the legal framework of cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Banning Crypto Use in E-commerce

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade announced on Saturday that it has sent document No. 1638 / SCT-QLTM to “organizations and individuals directly or indirectly related to e-commerce business in Hanoi [to] not use bitcoin and other virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies) to settle e-commerce transactions online.” Citing that if violations are detected, “they shall be strictly dealt with according to the provisions of the law,” the regulator wrote:

The Department of Industry and Trade requires organizations and individuals who are directly or indirectly involved in e-commerce business in Hanoi to strictly abide by the above-mentioned regulations and do not use bitcoin and other virtual currencies….in payment of e-commerce transactions, online purchases and sales, [and] payment [of] online services in contravention of Vietnamese law.

Vietnamese Law on Crypto

Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce TransactionsCiting provisions of the government’s Decree No. 101/2012 / ND-CP on non-cash payment instruments, the document reiterates, “bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not legal means of payment in Vietnam; The issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and similar virtual currency is prohibited in Vietnam.”

Violations are subject to a “fine of between VND 150,000,000 [~US$6,608] and 200,000,000 [~$8,810] for individuals and for organizations with two times the fine level for personal,” the document emphasizes. Furthermore, as of January this year, issuing and using cryptocurrencies “may be subject to criminal prosecution.”

Hanoi Prohibits Use of Cryptocurrencies in E-commerce TransactionsLast week, the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc signed a directive to strengthen the management of activities related to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This follows reports of the country’s “biggest digital money fraud in history,” which duped approximately 32,000 Vietnamese out of VNĐ15 trillion (~$658 million). The police are currently investigating the case.

Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), and related agencies are working on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. According to the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, the number of bitcoin mining rigs legally imported into the country has skyrocketed since last year, prompting the department to propose a ban on their imports. Earlier this year, the department revealed that, in the first three weeks of January, almost 8,000 mining rigs were legally imported into the city.

What do you think of Hanoi prohibiting the use of crypto for e-commerce transactions? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Vietnam’s Prime Minister Directs Central Bank to Strengthen Cryptocurrency Framework

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Directs Central Bank to Strengthen Crypto Framework

The Prime Minister of Vietnam has signed a directive for the country’s central bank and the Ministry of Finance to strengthen the management of cryptocurrency-related activities. This follows an alleged fraud involving a cryptocurrency that scammed 32,000 Vietnamese out of VNĐ15 trillion.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Prime Minister’s Directive

The Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has signed a directive to strengthen “the management of activities related to bitcoin and other virtual currencies,” Viet Nam News reported, elaborating:

To limit the risks and adverse impacts on society, as well as promptly detect, prevent and handle fraud, the Prime Minister asked the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to direct credit institutions and intermediary payment service organisations not to conduct illegal transactions related to digital currencies.

The authorities have repeatedly warned about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies “as well as their use for criminal activity such as money laundering, terrorist financing, illegal remittance, tax evasion and fraud,” the news outlet added.

Preventing Crypto Scams

This directive follows an alleged crypto fraud involving a theft of VNĐ15 trillion (~USD$658 million) from 32,000 victims in Ho Chi Minh City. Dozens of investors protested over the weekend at the office of Modern Tech Jsc Co, which marketed the Ifan tokens. They carried banners saying “biggest digital money fraud in history,” the publication conveyed, adding that the location turned out to be a ghost address with no sign of company activities.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Directs Central Bank to Strengthen Crypto Framework
Protesters holding banners outside Modern Tech office. Photo: Huy Hung.

For an investment of $1,000 or more, Modern Tech promised a return of at least 48% in cash and an additional 8% for recruiting other buyers, one protester explained. However, the global decline of the crypto market has caused Ifan’s value to plummet to about 1 US cent and the company subsequently changed its policy to pay out interest and principal back in the Ifan currency instead of cash, the publication described.

The SBV has been closely following this case, the news outlet reported a central bank official indicating. “We are gathering information about the case, but officially we haven’t launched an investigation until we receive accusations from any of the alleged victims,” Le Dong Phong, the police chief of Ho Chin Minh City told Reuters.

Crypto Laws In the Works

According to the Prime Minister’s directive, financial organizations must “strengthen their management, review and report suspicious transactions related to cryptocurrencies,” Viet Nam News added.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Directs Central Bank to Strengthen Crypto Framework
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.

Following the directive signing, the Vietnamese Government Office published Letter No. 2768 / VPCP-KTTH on Wednesday to provide directions for the Ministry of Finance, Information and Communication as well as the SBV to follow, according to the Government Gazette.

The Prime Minister continues to put the Ministry of Justice in charge of studying and completing a “uniform and unified legal framework on the management and handling of virtual currency, virtual property and electronic money,” the Gazette detailed. The Justice Ministry, the SBV, and other related agencies are already carrying out the crypto-related tasks assigned by the Prime Minister in a directive submitted in January. According to the Gazette, the Justice Ministry sent a written statement to the Prime Minister, stating:

Although there are no regulations on virtual currency, there are also no rules that ban transactions using virtual currency.

The SBV also submitted its comments to the Prime Minister, emphasizing that it “is the only agency issuing paper money and coins” which are the only legal means of payment in Vietnam. “As such, the SBV believes that bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not currencies and legal means of payment in Vietnam. The issuance, supply, use of bitcoin and other similar virtual currency as a means of payment is prohibited in Vietnam,” the Gazette reiterated.

What do you think of the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s directive on cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Vietnam Investigates Alleged $660 Million ICO Fraud of Pincoin, Ifan

Vietnamese authorities have asked local ministries and the police to investigate two allegedly fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs) that conned 32,000 investors out of a staggering $660 million. The operators of the purported ‘cryptocurrency’ startups fundamentally conducted multi-level marketing schemes, local news outlet Tuoi Tre News reports, pointing the finger at Pincoin and Ifan that … Continued

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Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail Extortion

Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail Extortion

Unfortunately, as with any industry, scams of all shapes and sizes persist within the cryptocurrency sector. This past week has seen a Filipino couple arrested after amassing over $17 million USD through a bitcoin investment scam, and protests held outside the office of a Vietnamese company that swindled $660 through two multi-level marketing (MLM) initial coin offerings (ICOs). It appears that cryptocurrency scams are still being peddled via analog communications – with phone and snail mail-based scams being reported this week also. 

Also Read: Bittrex Exchange is Back! Annnnnnd It’s Gone Again

Filipino Couple Amasses Nearly $1 Billion Philippine Pesos Through Investment Scam

Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail ExtortionEarlier this week, the Philippine National Police (PNP) arrested Arnel and Leonay Ordania – a couple who are accused of amassing approximately P900 million through a bitcoin investment scam.

The couple is accused of luring roughly 50 investors in their company, Newg, for which they were promised 30% returns every 15 days. Rosanne Maglunog, a victim of the Ordania’s scam, invested P33 million into the scheme with her family and husband during November and December 2017, before discovering via social media that Newg would no longer be issuing payouts to investors.

The PNP chief, Ronald dela Rosa, has told media that the couple was arrested on April 4th in an entrapment operation executed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Vietnamese Company Protested for Promoting MLM ICO

Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail ExtortionVietnamese media has reported that protests were held outside the office building of Ho Chi Minh City-based company, Modern Tech. Reports have indicated that the company is accused of swindling VND15 Trillion ($660 million USD) from roughly 32,000 investors through two multi-level marketing ICOs, Ifan, and Pincoin.

Ifan investors were promised gains “on a daily basis” as prominent Vietnamese musicians were to join the platform, and assured that the company abided by Singapore’s regulatory guidelines. Pincoin was described as a project based in Dubai. Investors were promised monthly returns of 48%, a full recuperation of all investments in fourth months, and an 8% commission on revenue generated by referred investors.

In reality, seven Vietnamese nationals are said to have been behind both projects, with Modern Tech serving as a means to promote what were no more than multi-level marketing schemes. Whilst investors were able to see the ‘paper’ value of their investments rise, none were able to realize their profits in any form.

Canadian Utilities Provider Issues Warning of Phone Scam

Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail ExtortionEpcor, an Alberta-based utility company proving natural gas, electricity, water, and wastewater treatment services, has warned its customers of a phone scam impersonating the company targeting businesses.

The company warned that businesses have been receiving telephone calls from an individual impersonating an Epcor representative, threatening to shut off electricity services within an hour should they fail to make a payment in bitcoin.

Tim le Riche, a spokesperson for Epcor, revealed that the company received seven calls reporting the scam, including two from businesses that had already made “substantial” payments to the scammers. Mr. Riche stated that “Epcor does not do business like this,” adding that “If there does happen to be any kind of billing issue with any customer, we always work with them […] We would never make a sudden phone call to a customer to say, ‘You’ve got to make a payment within an hour or we’re going to shut you down.’ We just don’t do that.”

Snail Mail Extortion Continues

Scam Round-Up: Asian Investment Schemes and Snail Mail ExtortionOn Friday, April 6th, two Belmont residents reported a suspicious letter threatening to release evidence of secrets should $8,750 worth of bitcoin not be received within ten days. The letter also contained an accompanying guide on how to use bitcoin.

In January, CNBC reported that many American men were receiving letters through the post threatening to divulge details pertaining to infidelities should $2,000 worth of BTC not be sent to the blackmailer.

Have you every fallen victim to a scam involving crypto? Share your experiences in the comments section below!


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Canadian and European Bitcoin P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

Localbitcoins trading volume has witnessed volume spikes across miscellaneous markets in recent weeks, with global volume bouncing to $75 million USD this past week. The Canadian and European markets both produced record volume this past week – after both markets produced seemingly anomalous spikes in trading activity.

Also Read:Capitalization of Cryptocurrency Markets Loses 59% in Q1 2018 

Europe and Canada’s Localbitcoins Markets Set Weekly Volume Records

The weekly global trading volume on localbitcoins has bounced to $75 million (8,586 BTC), following spikes in volume across several markets during the week of the 31st of March.

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

EUR/BTC trading on Localbitcoins smashed it’s prior volume record of approximately $9 million EUR, with nearly $11.5 million EUR worth of BTC changing hands this week. The trade volume of 1,617 BTC is the largest number of bitcoin exchanged in a single week in the EUR/BTC markets since March 2016.

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

 

The Canadian peer-to-peer (P2P) markets set a new record for trade volume the third time in three weeks – with almost $8 million CAD worth of bitcoin exchanging hands. During the week of the 10th of March, CAD/BTC trade was valued at nearly $2.5 million CAD – almost $1 million more than the previous record of $1.475 million. The week of the 17th of March saw volume fall back to $1.6 million CAD, before trade ramped up to again set a new record of over $5 million during the week of the 24th of March.

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

When measuring trade in bitcoin, last week’s volume of 904 BTC set an all-time record, beating the previous high of 706 BTC from the week of the 30th of May, 2015.

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

A Number of P2P Markets Produced Surged in Recent Weeks

Trade between the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) and bitcoin produced record volume of $580 million IDR during the week of the 17th of March on Localbitcoins. The same week saw Vietnamese P2P trading experience its second highest volume ever, with a sudden rush in trading bring volume to $3.725 billion VND.

Localbitcoins trade between bitcoin and the Mexican Peso surged at the start of the month, with record volume $10.6 million MXN being recorded for the week of the 3rd of March.

Tanzania’s Localbitcoins market also saw its third highest weekly volume ever this week, with $90 million TZS worth of bitcoin changing hands.

Venezuelan Trading Volume Continues To Spike

Venezuela’s P2P bitcoin markets have continued to surge during 2018 thus far, with Bolivar to bitcoin trading setting new volume records for seven of the thirteen weeks that have passed this year. This past week saw Bolivar/BTC trade fail to set record volume for the first time in five weeks, following the preceding week’s record volume of over 1 trillion VEF worth of trade.

Canadian and European P2P Markets Set Record Trading Volume

Peruvian P2P trade has also performed well in recent, producing more than $1 million PEN worth of transactions for eight of the last nine weeks.

Do you think that we will continue to see volume records set by the Localbitcoins markets in recent weeks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Vietnam Imported More Mining Rigs in 3 Weeks This Month Than All of Last Year

Vietnam Imported More Mining Rigs in 3 Weeks This Month Than All of Last Year

The Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has revealed that in the first 3 weeks of this month almost 8,000 mining rigs were imported into the city. This number exceeds the entire count of mining rigs imported into Vietnam last year.

Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

Nearly 8000 Mining Rigs Imported in 23 Days

Vietnam Imported More Mining Rigs in 3 Weeks This Month Than All of Last YearThe Ho Chi Minh City (HMC) Customs Department has revealed the number of mining rigs imported during the first three weeks of January.

Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, the customs department’s deputy director told the HMC Law Department on January 24 that 7,932 mining rigs were imported into the city between January 1 and 23, Tuoi Tre reported. He added that the total value of these rigs is “nearly $12.3 million…[and] the amount of tax paid to the [city’s] budget is nearly 28 billion dong [~$1.23 million].” Tianphong elaborated:

Currently, the price of bitcoin mining rigs is quite high, from 70 to 80 million [VND]; some places even [sell them for] up to 100 million [VND] per machine.

Vietnam Imported More Mining Rigs in 3 Weeks This Month Than All of Last YearThe publication noted that most mining rigs are imported from China, adding that they cost approximately 20-25 million dong each but were sold for 35-40 million dong each in early 2016. By mid-2017, “the price of mining rigs increased to VND 45-60 million per machine and at present, although the price of bitcoin decreased, the price of mining rigs still increased to VND 80-90 million per machine,” the publication added.

News.Bitcoin.com recently reported that a total of 7,005 known mining rigs were imported in 2017. Most of them, 5,527 rigs, were imported between November and December 21. Only 1,478 rigs were declared entering the country between January 1 and October 31 of last year, according to the HMC Customs Department.

No Regulations Yet

Tuyen explained that mining rig imports and mining operations in the city are “still normal because there are no regulations for the import of such goods,” Tianphong quoted him. Currently, “the State Bank has confirmed that bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies are not legal means of payment in Vietnam” and residents using them as such “will be fined 150-200 million [VND], and may be subject to criminal prosecution from January 1, 2018,” the publication emphasized.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the HMC branch of the State Bank, was quoted saying:

Virtual currency in general, and bitcoin and litecoin in particular, are not currencies and are not legal means of payment under the Vietnamese law.

What do you think of the Vietnamese mining industry growing so quickly? Let us know in the comments section below.


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JD.com leads investment in Vietnam-based e-commerce service Tiki

 JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce firm that rivals Alibaba, has continued its expansion in Southeast Asia with an investment in Vietnam-based Tiki, a seven-year-old online retail service. JD.com is leading a Series C investment round in Tiki alongside VNG, the Vietnam-based online media and gaming company that is already an investor. The round itself is undisclosed, but TechCrunch understands… Read More