Singapore – Following the company’s funding in April this year, coffee chain Flash Coffee has officially extended its operations in South Korea and Japan, with branches opening up in each country’s capitals, Seoul and Tokyo.

The coffee chain launched with two outlets in Seoul, a two-storey flagship establishment at Sinsa, and a store in Yeoksam, both located in the heart of the bustling, upscale Gangnam district. In Tokyo, Flash Coffee unveiled a two-storey concept in the city’s iconic shopping destination within Omotesando.

David Brunier, CEO at Flash Coffee, said, “We are very excited to officially launch in both Seoul and Tokyo, and introduce our mission to provide high-quality coffee at affordable prices to these cities. These markets are known to embrace technology, and we hope to bring ease to the lives of consumers with our digital-first solutions, ultimately changing the face of coffee consumption across Asia for the better.”

The coffee chain will continue to grow its footprint across the seven markets it is currently in: Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan, with a goal of opening over 350 stores by early next year. The coffee chain has also set sights to enter three new countries next year; Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Un Koh, managing director for South Korea at Flash Coffee, said, “South Korea is filled with coffee enthusiasts and our coffee consumption rate ranks within the top 10 in the world. We are confident that our high-quality beverages crafted by award-winning baristas at Flash Coffee will appeal to South Korean coffee lovers. Our goal is to make our specialty coffee accessible to all, so for those who’ve not come across Flash Coffee yet, you will find us brewing very soon in a location near you. ”

Meanwhile, Shu Matsuo Post, managing director for Japan at Flash Coffee, commented, “Coffee culture has been prevalent in Japan for many years, and we’ve observed the rising preference for premium coffee locally. Specialty coffees tend to be expensive, but with Flash Coffee, consumers can now enjoy it at an affordable price point. We look forward to sharing our award-winning menu with customers in Japan, and hope they will enjoy our innovative creations.”

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Local-based used car trading platform myTukar is preparing to open more physical inspection centers in Malaysia by the fourth quarter this year in the cities of Johor Bahru, Kuantan, Batu Pahat, and Seremban. 

The endeavor, supported by automotive marketplace CARRO, will follow the three recently opened branches in Malacca, Penang, and Ipoh last September, adding the 2,000 dealerships network in the country, which has seen 23,000 car transactions since the company’s establishment.

In addition, the targeted Johor Bahru opening would be myTukar’s second branch in the said city, and will serve as the company’s Southern Logistics hub.

Each myTukar branch will have the capacity to accommodate three cars at any given time, with a total of up to 300 cars per day that can be served. As cars are given inspection and evaluation within 30 minutes, customers can enjoy free WiFi, refreshments and a comfortable waiting lounge with each branch they visit.

Fong Hon Sum, CEO of myTukar stated the the company’s move towards opening more branches is a significant move since its establishment in 2018, and adds that with their ongoing mission to digitize trading of used cars, it aims to help car dealerships also move towards digitizing their services.

“With the opening of new branches in 2020, we are committed to expand our customer touchpoints for an unrivalled car selling experience. More branches are already on the horizon to cover more cities in Malaysia by 2021. This nationwide expansion strategy is aligned to and complements CARRO Group’s strategy to continuously expand and digitalise car trading for the South East Asia Region,” Fong stated.

This new strategy for the company is an addition to the company’s latest partnerships and collaborations this year. Partnerships include financial scheme with financial institution CapBay, digital platform SISMA Auto Glenmarie SELEKT Center, and Sime Darby Auto Selection for inventory management.

“These few key initiatives launched during the COVID-19 pandemic were key to drive business recovery and to fuel growth for the automotive industry in Malaysia. As the fastest growing online used car trading platform in Malaysia, myTukar remains committed to providing the best online experience, driving digital innovation and offering unwavering support to the used car ecosystem,” added Fong.

Manila, Philippines – The European Parliament has released September 17 a resolution urging the Philippine government to renew the broadcast license of one of the largest media networks in the country, ABS-CBN. 

The parliament, which composed of 705 members from the member states of the European Union, regards the resolution to its diplomatic affairs with the Philippines, where it has made a number of addresses to the country’s present situation on human rights. 

In the document, the parliament laid out its position on the issue of press freedom, making a specific call to the country’s government to grant ABS-CBN its franchise.

The resolution read, “[The Parliament] is alarmed about the deteriorating level of press freedom in the Philippines.” 

“[The Parliament] recalls that press freedom and freedom of expression are fundamental components of democracy [and] calls on the Philippine authorities to renew the broadcast [license] of the main audio-visual group, ABS-CBN,” read the document.

The network’s franchise expired on May 4 of this year. Since 2014, the network has been applying for the renewal of its broadcast rights. Refusal to prioritize the network’s application is continuously being associated with the country president’s personal grievances due to allegedly biased news coverage involving the president. This has led to protests in the name of press freedom, occurring both online and on the streets.