Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – MAPFRE, China Re Signs MoU

MAPFRE (Stock: MAP.BMAD) and China Re (Stock: 1508.HK)have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on insuring investments related to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a massive infrastructure plan launched by the Chinese government in 2013 to connect China with the world’s major economies.

Source: MAPFRE

As part of the agreement signed between the two companies, MAPFRE will offer insurance and reinsurance support to Chinese interests in Latin American and European countries where it has a local presence. MAPFRE will also act as cedant for China Re on projects of interest to both parties.

China Re is the largest reinsurer in China and Asia, and the owner of China Continent, one of the five largest insurers in the Chinese market. MAPFRE and China Re have been collaborating for a number of years, in both reinsurance transactions between both, and in roadside assistance, through their respective subsidiaries, Road China Assistance and China Continent.

The BRI is a long-term intercontinental project that includes the construction of roads, railways, ports, airports, oil and gas pipelines and power plants, but also includes other projects, such as educational programs and the construction and development of special economic zones. China and 131 other countries are currently BRI members, together accounting for 30% of global GDP, 62% of the world’s population and 75% of known energy reserves.

Should You Still Buy Huawei Phones?

Despite the assurance from Android that Google Services will still work on the existing Huawei phones in the market, consumers are still fearful to put Huawei phone into their shopping cart. Bloomberg has reported that Huawei is preparing for a drop in international smartphone shipments of 40 million to 60 million during this trade war.   

Thing isn’t pretty in Singapore. Mobile phone shops are lowering the price to attract more sales. In the secondary market, it is not hard to find Huawei smartphones selling at huge discount on the Popular consumer-to-consumer marketplace Carousell. A quick check – it is not hard to find Huawei P30 Pro selling at about SGD 600 (approx. USD 440). 

Sound like a good time to snap the good deal if you are considering buying a new phone huh. Is it? Weeks ago, I gave my opinion during a Chinese TV interview about US boycott on Huawei. Although there are new developments since then, I believe whatever I have said still hold till now. I understand that some of my international readers may not understand so I am providing a translated transcript here. I have also embedded the video below. 

Q1. Google is not going to support Android update for Huawei phones. To a Huawei phone owner, does that mean the phone is not longer “usable”?

My answer: Android is an open system i.e. to say, it is available to all phone manufacturers including Huawei. The situation arises when Google is not providing any technical supports to Huawei for the future Android updates of its phones. Huawei will have to provide the updates by its own but that does not mean the phone becomes “un-usable”. Current Huawei phone owners could still use their phones without the latest Android version.

Q2. What will happen to Google Services Application without those updates?  

My answer: Google has been clear that future Huawei phones will not come with Google Services including YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail and etc. However, Android has commented that this will not affect the current Huawei phone models in the market. In other words, current Huawei owners could still enjoy their YouTube video even though the YouTube app is not running the latest version.

Q3. Will the security be compromised for Huawei phone owners?

My answer: Indeed, it is a risk for the Huawei users. Huawei is offering another solution – to release its own proprietary operating system. However, it is still too early to tell. 

Q4. What’s the challenge that Huawei faces in developing their new OS?

My answer: Developing its own OS makes strategic senses. However, to build an entirely new ecosystem that could be as good as Android’s, I believe it is going to take a couple of years.

Back to the discussion, should you still buy a Huawei phone? Huawei has been very clear in their positioning – camera. Indeed, the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro have received very good critique (for the camera). If you are a camera-person, I believe you should take the advantage to buy the Huawei P30 or Mate 20 at a discount (Just make sure the one you bought from the e-commerce sites is 100% original and comes with local warranty).

A few days ago, Huawei Singapore has also rolled up EMUI 9.1 update for its Mate, P and NOVA series. I believe that gives more assurance to the current Huawei phone owners. Local electronic giant retailer Challenger has also shown their support to Huawei by giving 100% money-back warranty if you buy Huawei’s devices from Challenger from now till 31st August 2019. The warranty which is not given by Huawei Singapore guarantee Huawei users of 2 year protection of Google Apps.

To end off, I just want to tell current Huawei phone owners that they need not have to worry that much. To potential Huawei consumers out there, you might have been over-reacting. A good smartphone should be able to last you for the next 2 years. By the time is up, you probably would want to get a new one. Personally, I am still using an old Xiaomi phone (as a spare phone in the office) that goes without updates for the last 2 years! By the way, it is still functioning!

The future of Huawei phones that come after the P30 series is very unpredictable. However, the ones you see in the market now should be still “use-able” in the next 1 ½ year.

Why YouTrip Mastercard is a hype?

In the hope of maintaining Singapore as the regional financial hub, the government has been encouraging Singapore banks to adopt technology in improving business operations. Ever since Singapore Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong highlighted that banks should adopt blockchain technology in bank settlements in 2015, fintech  start-ups from all around the world flew into Singapore. In 2018, YouTrip, an e-wallet start-up, left its home ground – Hong Kong – one of the world’s largest financial hubs to launch their venture in Singapore.

YouTrip positioned itself as a multicurrency e-wallet for travellers. It has developed technical infrastructure for multicurrency exchanges with a network of FX providers. The uniqueness of its technology is to offer FX exchanges to individual at a competitive rate that banks cannot provide. However, that itself is not going to give YouTrip an edge against the traditional money changers as their rates are almost the same. Furthermore, storing money digitally in the e-wallet is useless if travellers can’t use that to make payment in stores.

As such, YouTrip partners Mastercard (stock quote:MA) . Intuitively, this makes the YouTrip card more “useable” as users could make their payment if the respective merchants accept Mastercard. The strategy works. Months after their launch, number of users has surpassed 50,000. That caught investors’ attention. In May 2019, YouTrip raised USD 25.5M in Pre-Series A funding which is quite impressive for a Singapore-based company that is barely a year old.

YouTrip is a Bank Disruptor?  

The recent capital injection is useful in helping YouTrip to improve their technology infrastructure which is the backbone for all financial institutions. In fact, this is the challenge that YouTrip must overcome. Normal people deposit money digitally in their saving accounts with the belief that the bank’s technology could safeguard their savings. Let’s extend the idea further. When we top up money in YouTrip e-wallet, can we expect from them the same security level that bank is offering? If you have read my earlier blog post, YouTrip is trying to assure the public that they have the same level of technology that bank has in terms of risk management and anti-money laundering capability. However, building up the infrastructure equates to building faith among users which takes time. By and large, YouTrip, as a company, is still too young for the public to put their trust (saving) with them.

To succeed in the fintech space, a fintech start-up has to offer the same level of services (or even better) that the bank is offering. As a matter of fact, that’s the value that fintech start-up is offering to the market. YouTrip has identified that digitalizing the existing business model of money changer is the way to enter the market which undeniably, they have succeeded and even convince major payment solution company like Mastercard and locally, Ezlink to participate in their growth stories.

They have great partners and now, it is for them to shape the market behaviour.  

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Friends have been asking me about @youtripsg MasterCard. My reply is always the same it is a good for travel. You get better exchange rate and for some major currencies, you could even buy and keep them in the E-wallet and that’s good for traveller who like to plan their trip ahead to capture the best possible rates. Travellers should give this a try. Now you could even get an additional $10 if you sign up and do your first top up via my referral link http://bit.do/youtrip-weewu P.s. it is also a #ezlink card if that matters to you. #instatravel #travelphotography #travelgram #instalifestyle #mastercard #youtrip #instafinance #discountcodes #discount #referralcode #reward #instareward #singapore #fintech #startup #ewallet

A post shared by Neo Wee Wu 梁威武 (@weewu) on

E-wallet business – More Than Just a Debit Card

E-wallet, as the name suggested, should work like a WALLET. It should be able to keep fiat currencies, credit cards and reward cards etc.  YouTrip positioned themselves as a wallet for travellers only provides the entry to the market but personally, I don’t think it is going to be sustainable. Singaporeans love travels but their time are mostly spent in Singapore. Although YouTrip card holders could use their cards to pay for public transports, there are other players rolling up similar services that gives better discounts. In short, the YouTrip card has not much use in Singapore given so many other options available.

There must be strong enough reasons for users to continue keeping YouTrip card in their wallet

Where are the merchants?

Banks refuses to lower rates as it hurts profitability. Offering low fees is a good penetration strategy but that is not going to be the barrier for new entrants. YouTrip needs to bring in more partners into their ecosystem. For a start, they should just be focusing on bringing more values to travellers. For instance, a reward system in the form of discount for travel insurance or hotel booking for heavy YouTrip users (frequent travellers) that will encourage card usage.

Basically, virtual money is only useful in 2 ways – One, I can use that to buy into services or products at greater discount. Two, I can grow it so that I could use that in the future. In principle, any fintech company that can achieve both can basically be called a bank. ANT Financial is one classic example. However, most fintech start-ups are only able to deliver services or products at greater discount than credit cards companies (which is exactly what YouTrip is trying to do!). However, keeping up with this in a longer term costs money and it may not be sustainable. YouTrip has to “engineer” a new form users’ reliance to your services to keep themselves afloat in the competitive fintech business. In my opinion, better forex rate?Nah!

Grab, a South-East Asian fintech and transport services company, has established a strong network of merchants in the region. Grab Pay, e-wallet services by Grab, can be used to pay for any goods in their marketplace and delivered to users’ doorsteps. Outside Singapore, you could even use Grab to pay off your transportation in other South East Asia countries. Grab is also following footsteps of ANT Financial. They are hiring consultant and it is rumoured that they are preparing to be a virtual bank in the event that Singapore is issuing virtual bank license like what Hong Kong did

Getting merchants into ecosystem is crucial in developing use cases and I am sure there are a lot more to be explored. Grab’s way of linking transportation and merchant seems to be working in South East Asia market. YouTrip is not Grab. They have to offer use cases that are different from what their counterparts are offering. They could study what their closest competitor, Singtel Dash is doing. For a start, why not just tap on existing e-commerce players? That might be faster for YouTrip.

In short, YouTrip has a good start but it is still a hype that I am doubtful it could sustain as a travel card. As of now, I am keeping my YouTrip card in my drawer.

Singapore IoT Startup KaHa Raised USD 6.2M in Series B

KaHa, a Singapore-based end-to-end IoT platform startup for smart wearables, has raised US$6.2 million in Series B funding to accelerate its growth in Asia. The funding round was led by ICT Fund, a specialized deep-tech venture capital fund and an existing strategic investor from Europe.

KaHa will be expanding its presence in Singapore as well as play a more significant role in the country’s IoT ecosystem. For instance, KaHa collaborates with Tex Line and A*STAR SIMTech to create the first made-in-Singapore Smart Fitness T-shirt. The smart-T, which was tested at the one-north Run 2018, monitors live ECG, live heart rate, heart rate variance, V02 Max and other health parameters.

Beyond smart wearables, KaHa, together with A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics or IME, developed an extravasation detection proof of concept designed to detect the degrees of swelling during infusions. Being able to detect varying degrees of swelling, the sensor patch and monitoring system will help improve patient safety by assisting in the early detection of complication to ensure immediate care be given to patients, particularly babies and children.

“As a company with a mission to create a better and safer environment, it is important to us to bring innovative and relevant technologies into a consumer’s everyday life. Apart from helping us expand our product line, this new round of funding will allow KaHa to discover more breakthrough products that can support the health and wellness, sports and fitness, safety and digital payments needs, as well as increase the COVE platform’s availability internationally and improve our accessibility and affordability,” said Pawan Gandhi, founder and CEO of KaHa.  “With the continued support of our existing strategic investor and new partner ICT Fund, we are strategically positioned to make our mission possible.”

Brijesh Pande, founder and managing partner of ICT Fund said: “We are delighted to partner with KaHa, which is well placed to capitalize on the fast-growing market opportunity in smart wearables. Consumer product brands will increasingly need to offer ‘smart’ products to maintain leadership and KaHa, with its innovative end-to-end platform, is a perfect partner for global brands.”

“We are very pleased with KaHa’s progress and track record and it’s been clear that its platform can be scaled across various brands.  We are excited about increasing our investment in KaHa on this next phase as it continues to drive scale and growth in the wearable tech and IoT space,” said Andy Raswork, board member of existing strategic investor.

KaHa expects the number of devices powered by its platform to exceed two million by the end of 2019.  The company also aims to increase manpower in its Singapore headquarters and offices in China, India and Switzerland within the next two years, as part of the expansion plans.

Singapore-based Multi-Currency E-Wallet Platform Raised USD 25.5M In Pre-Series A

  • YouTrip is Singapore’s first multi-currency mobile wallet with a prepaid Mastercard® that offers zero transaction fees across 150+ currencies at wholesale exchange rates
  • US$25.5m raised from major Asian family offices and venture capital firm Insignia Ventures Partners, the largest pre-Series A fintech funding round in Southeast Asia
  • Over 200,000 downloads and 1 million transactions processed 10 months since launch
  • Funding will drive development of YouTrip’s technical payment infrastructure, launch of new product features and its regional expansion plans in Southeast Asia 

SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – 16 May 2019 – YouTrip, Singapore’s first multi-currency mobile wallet with a prepaid Mastercard ®, has successfully raised US$25.5m in a pre-Series A fundraised. Participating investors include major Asian family offices and venture capital firm Insignia Ventures Partners, founded by ex-Sequoia Partner Yinglan Tan. This marks the largest pre-Series A funding round for a fintech startup operating in Southeast Asia.

YouTrip co-founders, Arthur Mak and Caecilia Chu

Launched in August 2018, YouTrip is a multi-currency mobile wallet s pecially designed with travellers in mind, allow ing users to pay in over 150 currencies with no hidden fees and at wholesale exchange rates . The mobile app also allows for the exchange and storage of 10 selected currencies in advance through the in-app exchange feature. The YouTrip mobile application works with a linked pre-paid Mastercard ® — issued by EZ-Link — and can be used to make payments at more than 30 million Mastercard accepting merchants worldwide.

Fuelled by growing purchasing power and more affordable travel options , Southeast Asia’s population of over 650 million people represents one of the largest and fastest growing outbound travellers market globally – it is expected to total US$80 billion in outbound travel expenditure by 2020, up from US$67 billion in 2018 or a 10% CAGR. Singapore is the biggest contributor to this region, with Singaporeans being one of the most frequent travellers and biggest travel spenders globally.

Caecilia Chu, co- f ounder and CEO of YouTrip said, “As a frequent traveller, I was surprised with how much banks mark up on overseas transactions – this was among the many reasons why I started YouTrip with Arthur Mak, who is also Chairman of YouTrip . As the regional travel industry continues to post robust growth, YouTrip recognises the pain points of travellers and equally, the immense opportunity to better serve their financial needs. We are dedicated to creating the best mobile financial services for travellers by simplifying overseas spending and creating a fuss-free travel experience.”

Pachara Lawjindakul, Principal at Insignia Ventures Partners added, “The fintech space in Southeast Asia is developing at a relentless pace to meet evolving consumer expectations and the travel industry represents an immense untapped market at the intersection of this growth. YouTrip is led by an experienced team of founders and executive team who are perfectly positioned to capitalise on this opportunity. The success of the initial launch in Singapore provides a great foundation to develop a strong roadmap for growing the multi-currency and cross-border payments ecosystem in Southeast Asia.”

Bank-issued credit and debit cards typically carry an overseas transaction fee that can be as high as 3.5%. O verseas purchases made with credit cards also usually entail a Dynamic Currency Conversion markup, sometimes going as high as 5% or more. YouTrip does not charge any overseas transaction fees nor markup on foreign exchange conversion .  

With the injection of funds, YouTrip is looking to invest heavily in technology innovation to further develop its technical payment infrastructure and roll out new product features. Having established a foothold in Singapore, it has also set its sights on further expansion in Southeast Asia and developing localised solutions for the region’s growing class of travellers.

Since its launch in August 2018, the YouTrip mobile application has achieved over 20 0,000 downloads, processed over 1 million transactions, and has grown its team to 70 people in Singapore and Hong Kong. Users may sign up for a YouTrip account by downloading its app from the App Store or Google Play. No minimum account balance is required and registration is free. Any credit or debit card c an be used to top up the e-wallet, which has a maximum stored value of S$3,000. All registered users receive a physical prepaid Mastercard, free of charge.

HUAWEI P30 and P30 Pro’s Dual-View Camera Mode is now available

SINGAPORE, MAY 9, 2019 Yesterday, Huawei rolled out their latest EMUI 9.1. updates. As part of the update, HUAWEI P30 and P30 Pro users will be accessing to one of the most exciting and innovative features offered in the smartphone camera space: dual-view camera mode.

With this capability, users can create split-screen videos by simultaneously using the phone’s primary camera and zoom lens, showing two perspectives at once on the screen.

Huawei is bringing professional-grade photography and videography functions to its users through the award-winning HUAWEI P30 Series camera. Top features of the dual-view mode in the P30 and P30 Pro include:

  • Capturing a wide view with more of the background and surrounding objects
  • Simultaneously zooming in on desired subjects via the split screen
  • Shooting two different angles, panoramic and close up, at the same time
  • Ability to adjust the magnification level
  • Taking artsy and creative shots for a vivid recollection of special moments

These camera features are expected to be popular among Huawei P30 series users. However, this technology utilizes both the zoom lens and primary lens simultaneously. As such, it is only available exclusively to the P30 series smartphones. However, EMUI 9.1 updates are available to a wide range of both Huawei and Honor smartphones. See below

Huawei 9.1 Update – Eligible Devices

The following are the list of Huawei and Honor devices eligible to get EMUI 9.1 update –

Huawei EMUI 9.1 Supported Devices

  • Huawei P30 Lite / Nova 4e
  • Huawei P20
  • Huawei P20 Pro / P20 Lite (Nove 3e)
  • Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design
  • Huawei Mate 20 / Mate 20 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 20 X / Mate 20 RS Porsche Design
  • Huawei Mate 20 Lite
  • Huawei Mate 10 / Mate 10 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 10 Porsche Design / Mate RS Porsche Design
  • Huawei Mate 9 / Mate 9 Pro / Mate 9 Porsche Design
  • Huawei P10
  • Huawei P10 Plus
  • Huawei Nova 3 / 3i
  • Huawei Nova 4
  • Huawei Nova 2s
  • Huawei Y9 2019
  • Huawei Maimang 7
  • Huawei Enjoy 9 Plus / 9S / 9e
  • Huawei Enjoy 8 Plus
  • Huawei Enjoy Max
  • Huawei Enjoy 7S
  •  

Honor EMUI 9.1 Supported Devices

  • Honor 10
  • Honor 10 Youth Edition
  • Honor View 10 (V10)
  • Honor 9 / 9N
  • Honor V9
  • Honor 9i / Lite
  • Honor View 20 (V20)
  • Honor 20i
  • Honor Play
  • Honor 8X
  • Honor 8 Max
  • Honor Play 8A
  • Honor 8 Pro
  • Honor Note 10
  • Honor 7X

Disclaimer: The following list of devices are just assumptions to get EMUI 9.1 update. However, the final confirmed list of Huawei devices will be revealed by the company soon.

New Appointment of Managing Director for Epson Singapore and country manager for Epson Thailand and Epson Philippines

SINGAPORE, May 2019 Mr. Ando Munenori has been appointed as the new Managing Director of Epson Singapore overseeing Southeast Asia region, and concurrently country manager for Epson Thailand and Epson Philippines. He is also concurrently holding the role of Executive Officer at Seiko Epson Corporation (herein referred to as SEC) Epson’s global headquarters in Japan.


Mr. Ando Munenori. Source: Epson Singapore

He is taking over from Mr. Tanaka Toshimitsu, who will be returning to a senior role in Sales Planning & Marcom Department in SEC.

Mr. Ando was Head of SEC’s Sales & Marketing Division, where he was responsible for developing the sales infrastructure and strategy for all of Epson’s products globally.

He has held multiple leadership positions in Asia and internationally, and brings a depth of understanding of the region and decades of management experience to his role. He took on the leadership role as President of Epson China from 2014 to 2017, where he led with Epson’s “technology plus localisation” strategy, growing the business and increasing the company’s share in key markets including printers, projectors and robotics.

From 2003 to 2008, Mr. Ando was assigned to the Southeast Asia regional headquarters in Singapore, where he was in charge of market development for Epson’s printers and other information-related products.

Mr. Ando has also led the POS printer business in Europe from 1994 to 1998, where during which he successfully grew the POS printer business through the introduction of new technologies to bring the company to the No. 1 position.

ConnecTechAsia Returns in 2019 – “Shaping Future Societies”

According to the 2019 Gartner CIO Agenda survey, 47% of enterprises in Asia Pacific have already changed their business models in response to evolving consumer demands. With global spending on IT set to swell to $1.97 trillion in 2022, the stage is set for exponential technological growth across mature and emerging sectors. However, many businesses in the region still find themselves behind the curve in terms of adoption.

As such, ConnecTechAsia returns this year with the theme: ‘Shaping Future Societies’, to explore the new era of business reinvention alongside emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, 5G and more. The three-day exhibition happening from 18 – 20 June 2019 at Marina Bay Sands, will bring together some of the world’s most notable companies, and will feature a slew of keynotes, panel discussions, workshops and seminar discussions helmed by over 120 senior executives. Featuring prolific industry leaders and opening with a keynote by IBM Asia Pacific’s CEO and Chairman, Harriet Green, ConnecTechAsia will be at the forefront of tech advances for enterprises and the community.

IBM’s Harriet Green will highlight how emerging technologies will reshape businesses as digital transformation initiatives unfurl across Asia.

“A new era of business reinvention is dawning. Organisations are facing an unprecedented convergence of technological, social and regulatory forces. Not only is there a clear need for any organisation to be fully digital in itself; these organisations also need to be able to accommodate high expectations from clients and deal with pervasive interconnectivity. How can organisations deliver on that? That’s key question every CEO and every leader in any organisation has started asking,” shares Harriet Green, CEO and Chairman, IBM Asia Pacific.

“There are three key drivers – people, process and data – that any organisation needs to align in order to move from random acts of digital to a real, tangible digital transformation. I am excited to contribute to the discussions at the ConnecTechAsia Summit and share some of the best practices and insights for all of us to think about.” 

Catch other industry leaders engage in discourse on other market trends at ConnecTechAsia2019 Summit:

  • Dr Min Sun, Chief Artificial Intelligence (AI) Scientist, Appier
  • Muhamed Zilkhairilishamuddin, Assistant Vice President, OTT Principal Engineer, Astro
  • Dr Keeratpal Singh, Chief Data Scientist, Axiata
  • Ong Geok Chwee, CEO, Bridge Alliance
  • Attilio Zailani, Executive Director, Facebook
  • Cheryl Goh, Group Vice President of Marketing, Grab
  • Dr David Soldani, CTO, Huawei Australia
  • Jason Little, Chief Information Officer – SEA, Manulife
  • Ian Yip, Chief Technology Officer, McAfee Asia Pacific
  • Gustavo Fuchs, General Manager – Cloud & Solutions (Asia), Microsoft 
  • Krishnan Rajagopalan, Director of Payments APAC, Netflix
  • Seizo Onoe, President of DOCOMO Technology and Chief Technology Architect, NTT DoCoMo

The three-day exhibition will be happening from 18 – 20 June 2019 at Marina Bay Sands

A Singapore-based Insurtech Wants To Eliminate Phone Screen Protector

Soon, you do not need to have a screen protector for your phone. If you break your screen, just get it replaced for free. Axinan, a Singapore-based insurtech firm is partnering with FWD Singapore to sell insurance that protects smartphone users from damage of phone screen. Today Axinan announces the launch of igloo, catering on-demand digital insurance solutions to the everyday lifestyle needs of today’s millennials. As one of its first offerings, igloo will be introducing customisable Phone Screen Protection (PSP) plans where consumers will be able to buy policies and make claims digitally and seamlessly on the igloo mobile app.

With PSP, customers will be able to get their phone screens replaced upon physical damage to the screens. Axinan has partnered with several phone repair service companies to provide repair services islandwide. Consumers will be able to get their PSP plan on-demand and through subscription (ranging from daily, monthly and yearly) – prices are determined by the model of their devices.

Announcing the launch of igloo, Wei Zhu, Founder and CEO, Axinan said, “Axinan is an insurtech firm with a focus on developing insurance products for millennials and hence has built products catering to their lifestyle centred around gadgets, travel, e-commerce – domains not covered by traditional insurers. With igloo, we aim to provide a comprehensive suite of coverage that will be made readily available with the everyday needs of millennials in Southeast Asia in mind.”

Elaborating on this partnership with FWD Singapore, Wei Zhu added, “We are extremely excited to have FWD Singapore as our insurance partner. This streamlines a concerted passion for both parties in providing affordable lifestyle insurance to the ever-changing consumer market using technology as a key enabler.

Abhishek Bhatia, CEO, FWD Singapore, added, “As a brand that has continuously leveraged on technology to create real value and convenience in the insurance industry, FWD is delighted to work with Axinan on the Phone Screen Protection plans. We believe digital innovation will play a key role in fulfilling consumer demands today, and this partnership is a demonstration of how by focusing on what customers need, companies can provide real value-added digital services.

“FWD is happy to collaborate with like-minded partners like Axinan to contribute to a vibrant marketplace, which can only be beneficial for the entire digital insurance ecosystem,” he concluded.


According to a global study released by SquareTrade in November 2018, more than 50 million smartphones screens are broken every year. Smartphone owners accidentally broke more than 50 million phone screens last year (that’s nearly two every second), and replacing those screens cost them US$3.4 billion. The study found that 66% of smartphone owners damaged their phones in the past year, with cracked screens leading the way as the most common type of damage (29%). Scratched screens (27%) and non-working batteries (22%) took second and third place respectively, with touchscreen issues and chipped corners/sides tied at 16% each.

Press Release – Huawei Launches HUAWEI Mate X, the World’s Fastest 5G Foldable Phone

BARCELONA, Spain—February 24, 2019—At Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) unveiled the the World’s Fastest 5G Foldable Phone, HUAWEI Mate X, redefining smartphone design with a foldable form factor. Reflecting the innovative DNA of the HUAWEI Mate Series, the HUAWEI Mate X features the Falcon Wing Mechanical Hinge, 7nm multi-mode modem chipset Balong 5000, a high-capacity 4500mAh battery supporting the world’s fastest 55W HUAWEI SuperCharge and the brand new Interstellar Blue finish. When folded, the device is a huge display smartphone with a 6.6-inch screen, and when opened, it turns into a slim tablet with an 8-inch screen. The new multi-form factor revolutionizes both productivity and entertainment experiences on a mobile device. 

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei CBG, said, “The HUAWEI Mate X’s revolutionary form factor is achieved by Huawei’s relentless effort in R&D. It represents a voyage into the uncharted. As a new breed of smartphones, HUAWEI Mate X combines 5G, foldable screen, AI and an all-new mode of interfacing to provide consumers with an unprecedented user experience. The HUAWEI Mate X will be the first key for consumers to open the door to 5G smart living.”

Falcon Wing Mechanical Hinge Strikes a Balance Between Technology and Aesthetics

A result of Huawei’s bold testing with novel smartphone form factors, the 2-in-1 smartphone and tablet HUAWEI Mate X features a high strength flexible OLED panel and a falcon wing mechanical hinge. 

The 6.6-inch dual display panel equipped on the HUAWEI Mate X is a true FullView display. When unfolded, it transforms into an 8-inch tablet only 5.4mm thick. Images are displayed with great clarity and detail, and the panel itself is safe, durable and features outstanding cooling performance. As light as it is appealing, the foldable smartphone comes in a new Interstellar Blue that epitomizes the beauty of technology and sets a higher bar for future smartphones.

With an exemplary design that blends style with technology, the revolutionary Falcon Wing Mechanical Hinge supports movement, balancing between the overall aesthetics and technology. When unfolded, the screen is a perfectly flat surface; and when folded, the two halves of the screen fit snugly to the frame. The two modes—smartphone and tablet modes—transition seamlessly from one to another. 

5G Smart Living with a Bigger Screen

HUAWEI Mate X is a multi-form factor that unlocks a new page of 5G interfacing era to reinvent productivity and entertainment. The innovative flexible OLED foldable FullView display, unique falcon wing mechanical hinge and the industry’s best  5G modem chipset Balong 5000 combine to deliver a new mode of interfacing, in which the large-screen experience and portability co-exist in harmony.

The expansive viewing area lends well to both productivity and entertainment scenarios—everything from editing a document to reading feels better on a larger screen. In addition, consumers are able to drag images from their photo gallery to their emails in split-screen mode. The larger screen allows consumers to do more with their time. 

Huawei’s flagship smartphones have always come with powerful cameras, and the HUAWEI Mate X is no different. Inside the smartphone’s slim body is the latest Leica cameras, supporting the most advanced imaging features to date. The foldable design makes it possible for the camera system to play the role of both front and rear cameras. When folded, the HUAWEI Mate X shows a view finder on both sides, so even the subjects in the frame can contribute to the creative process. 

Moreover, the HUAWEI Mate X comes with an integrated Fingerprint Power Button that enables users to power up the device with one tap, offering a secure and convenient experience.

Powered by Next-Generation 5G Modem Chipset

Equipped with the world’s first 7nm 5G multi-mode modem chipset Balong 5000, the chipset has unprecedented 5G download speeds, at 4.6Gps on the Sub-6GHz band (theoretical). Balong 5000 is also the world’s first chipset to support both SA and NSA architectures, users will not need a device upgrade to continue enjoying 5G connectivity. The HUAWEI Mate X’s dual SIM feature supports both 4G and 5G. 

Massive Battery Supporting HUAWEI SuperCharge

A new, purpose-designed 4,500mAh battery is packed in HUAWEI Mate X’s 5.4mm-thick body, combined with the AI smart power saving technology, fulfilling the demand for greater battery performance in the 5G era. 55W HUAWEI SuperCharge tops the battery up quickly to minimize downtime for those who prefer a fast-paced lifestyle. In just 30 minutes, HUAWEI SuperCharge is able to charge the battery back to 85 percent.

At MWC 2019, Huawei launched a series of new products, including the an updated HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, new mainstream notebook PCs HUAWEI MateBook 13 and HUAWEI MateBook 14, as well as the HUAWEI 5G CPE Pro. At the advent of the 5G era, Huawei is committed to delivering new all-scenario smart living experiences to consumers.

Source: Huawei Singapore