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Bangkok, Thailand
Asia Writer — TechCrunch

I write about Asia & other bits for @techcrunch | DM,, Wickr (jonrussell) or

Facebook’s Messenger Platform Must Be Open And Useful To Realize Full Potential — Facebook's move to turn Messenger into a platform for third parties has been one of the company's most important decisions to date. Mobile messaging is a pivotal trend that will shape the way billions of people consumer the Internet.

Meet The Censorship Activists Who Are Scaring China’s Government — "I hope we put ourselves out of business," said Charlie Smith, the pseudonymous head of Great Fire. And he was serious. After all this Chinese internet monitoring watchdog is no ordinary case. Started in 2011 by three anonymous individuals tired of China's approach to the internet, it initially tracked the effects of the country's censorship system on websites.

Sony’s New Spotify-Powered Music Service Goes Live For PlayStation — If you're a PlayStation owner who is also a Spotify addict, then there's good news for you today - Sony and the music streaming service have teamed up to let you listen to your tunes while you game. The Spotify-powered service was announced in January, but it arrived for PlayStation Music today.

Facebook’s New Homegrown Messenger Apps Focus On Selfies, Sound And Shaking — Facebook has launched its first home-made apps for its Messenger Platform after Sound Clips ( iOS/ Android), Selfied ( iOS/ Android), Strobe ( iOS/ Android) and Shout ( iOS/ Android) went live. Stickered, an existing app that lets you plaster photos with stickers, has also been retooled for Messenger. The U.S.

Apple Is Reportedly Planning To Bring Its iPhone Trade-In Program To China — Apple is on a tear in China, where it is seeing record shipments and revenue, but it might be about to step things up a notch there. Bloomberg is today reporting that the U.S. firm is planning to launch a trade-in program in the country for the first time.

Facebook’s Messenger Platform Preserves WhatsApp’s Clarity Of Purpose — We demystified it last month, but Facebook's $18 billion acquisition of WhatsApp should begin to make more sense to people today after the company announced that its Messenger service will become a platform for third parties - as TechCrunch first reported last week.

GrabTaxi, Uber’s SoftBank-Backed Rival In Southeast Asia, Tests Courier Service — GrabTaxi, the Uber rival backed by SoftBank, is trialling a next-day delivery service as it experiments with logistics-related offerings beyond its core taxi-hailing business in Southeast Asia. The 'Parcel-Document' service quietly went live in Bangkok, Thailand, this week in partnership with e-commerce company AlphaFAST.

Teabox Raises $6M To Grow Its Global Tea-Commerce Business — Teabox, an India-based company that sells tea online to a global audience, has brewed up a fresh $6 million funding round to grow its business in key overseas markets. The company raised a $1 million seed round from Accel last March.

Accel Announces New $305 Million Investment Fund For India — India's startup and funding scene is positively booming right now, and Accel is bringing yet more money to the party after it announced a new $305 million fund dedicated to the country.

Improbable, A Developer Platform For VR, Raises $20M From Andreessen Horowitz — Improbable, a London-based company that provides the backend plumbing to make large-scale virtual reality possible, has landed a $20 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz. It's not easy to explain what Improbable, which was founded at Cambridge University by computer scientists Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead, does.
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Mar 31, 2015

@Xibee @raykwong @GreatFireChina initially a old version shipped by accident but it was copy edited -- if you have specific points email me

Mar 31, 2015

RT @TechCrunch: Daum Kakao Launches Uber Rival KakaoTaxi In South Korea by @catherineshu

Mar 30, 2015

Still surprised FB didn't partner Uber or add more useful services beyond GIFs; has to do that to succeed as platform

Mar 30, 2015

Initial thoughts on FB Messenger platform: hugely promising but needs to adopt WeChat approach and find appeal in US

Mar 30, 2015

Some thoughts >> Facebook's Messenger Platform Must Be Open And Useful To Realize Full Potential

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