Singapore's biggest online mall Qoo10 fights Alibaba with blockchain tech

Employees handle packages at a Qoo10 warehouse in Singapore. Photographer: Bryan van der Beek/Bloomberg

In the last decade, Ku Young Bae—a serial entrepreneur and South Korean transplant—has built Singapore’s biggest e-commerce company and fended off giant rivals like Alibaba, Amazon and Tencent.

Now he’s keen to expand beyond his home base into Southeast Asia. To do that, and to compete with his cash-rich rivals, he’s hatched an audacious plan to unleash the efficiencies of blockchain technology on e-commerce. In January, his Qoo10 (pronounced “Q-ten”) online mall started a separate marketplace called QuuBe using the distributed ledger technology best known for making bitcoin possible.

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