The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member-supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists

To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Grab and Uber to be fined nearly $10m for merger deemed harmful to competition

By: Robin Spiess - Posted on: September 26, 2018 | Business

Ride-hailing heavyweights Grab and Uber will be fined a total of $9.5m by Singapore’s competition watchdog, which cited a decline in competition since the two companies’ merger earlier this year

An Indonesian driver from Uber and his passenger ride on a motorbike on a busy street in Jakarta Photo: Mast Irham / EPA-EFE

The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) will also be imposing measures that are expected to open up the country’s ride-hailing market to new players.

In its announcement on Monday, the CCCS said the fines imposed on Uber and Grab, amounting to $4.8 million and $4.7 million respectively, are meant to “deter completed, irreversible mergers that harm competition” from being made in the future.

“Mergers that substantially lessen competition are prohibited, and CCCS has taken action against the Grab-Uber merger because it removed Grab’s closest rival, to the detriment of Singapore drivers and riders,” CCCS chief executive Toh Han Li said.

In March, Uber sold its Southeast Asian business to Grab in exchange for a 27.5% stake in the regional company. The following day, Singapore launched an investigation into the legality of the merger.

According to the CCCS, its ongoing investigation has revealed that Grab currently holds 80% of the ride-hailing market share in Singapore. The commission stated that it found Grab had increased its prices following Uber’s exit from the market, with average trip fares in the country increasing by 10% to 15%. It also noted a significant decrease in Grab’s frequency of promotions and driver incentives, as well as apparent downgrades in the company’s loyalty programme.

As a result, the watchdog has ordered Grab to maintain its pre-merger pricing and driver commission rates, as well as removing all exclusivity agreements it currently holds with drivers and taxi fleets.

“This protects riders’ interests against excessive price surges, and drivers’ interests against increases in commissions that they pay to Grab,” read the CCCS statement.

In response, Uber has stated that it believes the CCCS has an “inappropriately narrow definition of the market”, adding that it will consider appealing the commission’s decision rather than pay the fine outright.

Grab has also spoken out about the CCCS decision, urging that the merger did not breach competition laws and further stating that it did not raise its fares following the deal.

Anthony Tan, co-founder and CEO of Grab, speaks during The Wall Street Journal D.Live Asia technology conference in Hong Kong Photo: Jerome Favre / EPA

The Singapore-based ride-hailing company has long been vocal about the CCCS investigation, with co-founder Anthony Tan questioning the CCCS definition of “competition” when the commission first announced its preliminary findings in mid-July.

“There is a lot of competition in Singapore’s market,” said Tan at a July conference. “The way to think about it is mobility… people can move from A to B using many options, like using taxi services, the metro, buses, and bike rental companies as well.”

He added that transport and mobility in Singapore are expanding, through both public infrastructure and new entrants into the market. He further denied that Grab’s exclusivity obligations, which have been imposed on taxi companies, car rental partners and some drivers, have deterred competition.

Nonetheless, Grab has said it will abide by the “remedies” set out by the CCCS.

“Competition is something that we are very used to, and we embrace it,” said Tan. “It pushes us to innovate faster.”

The Grab-Uber merger has faced scrutiny in other countries in the region as well. While the Philippines Competition Commission gave Grab the all-clear in late July, it added that it will submit the company to “service quality and pricing standards” to ensure fair treatment of drivers and consumers alike. Malaysian authorities began investigating the merger in mid-July, and have yet to announce their decision regarding the legality of the deal.