Bi-Weekly Roundup: Digital Rupiah Trial, Google Investment in GO-JEK
Wrapping up January 2018, there are plenty of interesting news coming from various industries. From the upcoming trial of the digital rupiah to Google’s investment on GO-JEK, 2018 is apparently filled with exciting things to look forward to. Below we have gathered some highlights of the second half of January 2018.
Bank Indonesia considers issuing digital rupiah
Despite Bank Indonesia (BI) prohibiting the use of digital currencies like Bitcoin as a payment instrument, the central bank is considering issuing a cryptocurrency or digital rupiah. The digital rupiah would be trialled this year in an effort to help make the payment system more efficient.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Indonesia accused of favouring big tobacco as vaping industry faces giant tax increase
Chain-smoking Indonesia is moving to stub out its booming e-cigarette sector, sparking criticism that the government is siding with giant tobacco firms at the expense of public health. The Southeast Asian nation has one of the world’s highest smoking rates – some 65 per cent of adult men smoke – with a pack costing just US$2.
Singapore start-up 99.co buys Indonesian property portal UrbanIndo
Singapore’s property search start-up 99.co has acquired Indonesia’s UrbanIndo – said to be the largest property portal in Indonesia, with more than 1.2 million active listings – for an undisclosed amount. With the acquisition, 99.co is believed to be among the largest property listing portals in Singapore and Indonesia. Property consumers in both countries can now access 99.co for all property-related transactions.
TECH & DIGITAL
Google invests in ride-hailing app GO-JEK
Google has said it has invested in ride-hailing app GO-JEK, a leading Indonesian startup that offers online motorcycle and car taxi services, as well as other services such as food delivery and mobile payments. Google’s website www.blog.google confirmed the investment, saying that the investment allows the global firm to partner with a great local startup and deepens its commitment to Indonesia’s digital economy.