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Amazon Asia launch ‘confirmed’

The on-again, off-again launch of Amazon Asia looks to be on again, according to TechCrunch.

The tech website reports from fresh sources that the Amazon services Prime and Prime Now are about to launch in Singapore.

There has still been no official word from Amazon.

Amazon Prime is a subscription service that offers free two-day shipping of physical goods, access to its Netflix-style media programming and the ability to borrow books via the Kindle lending library, while Amazon Prime Now offers a two-hour delivery service.

It is expected Singapore will be the spearhead of Amazon’s move into Southeast Asia.

China’s Alibaba was the first e-commerce giant to enter Southeast Asia when it bought Lazada in April last year. Lazada has LiveUp, similar to Prime but a partnership with Netflix, RedMart and Uber.

Meanwhile, Tencent is trying to invest US$500 million in Indonesia’s Tokopedia, which helps SMEs run their own e-commerce stores.

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