Google: Southeast Asia’s digital economy is surging

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Southeast Asia's internet economy is expected to exceed $240 billion by 2025, a joint study by Google and Temasek showed, a fifth more than previously estimated, as more consumers use their smartphones to go online.

Both Alphabet Inc's Google and Singapore state investor Temasek have invested in Go-Jek.

Ride-hailing and on-demand food delivery, in particular, are exploding in popularity as local services like Grab (which snapped up Uber's local business earlier this year) and Go-Jek (which is breaking out of its native Indonesia) tussle for users. Indonesia's internet economy, the largest and the fastest growing in the region, reached $27 billion in 2018 and is poised to grow to $100 billion by 2025.Vietnam's internet economy is booming as e-commerce nearly doubled from a year earlier in 2018 and online advertising and gaming growing at more than 50 percent.

The report estimated that the GMV of the competitive ride-hailing sector, with the addition of online food delivery, reached 7.7 billion dollars in 2018.

The Indonesian internet economy is forecast to grow to $100 billion by 2025, accounting for $4 of every $10 spent in the region, the report said.

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The gross merchandise value (GMV) of the region's internet economy has reached $72 billion in 2018, representing a 37 per cent jump, compared to the year before.

"The record-breaking pace of the region's internet economy in 2018 wasn't a freak occurrence", wrote Google.

The research covers Southeast Asia's six largest economies - Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The growth is being boosted by the world's most engaged internet users, of whom more than 90 per cent connect to the web through their smartphones, it said.

As smartphones become more reliable, cheaper and easier to come by, and as telecom services improve their offerings, so will more people use the internet on an everyday basis.

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