Apple is expanding its presence in Southeast Asia, choosing Thailand as the home for its second Apple Store in Southeast Asia.
A tech media outlet, citing comments Apple made on its local Thailand website, reported that the store will be part of the upcoming Iconsiam mall, which will be the largest in Bangkok. The Apple Store in Thailand is slated to open on Nov. 10, as a spokesperson for the Cupertino, California iPhone maker confirmed to the media outlet.
Last year, Apple opened its first Southeast Asia store in Singapore. It's not surprising that Apple would go after that market, given that the region is home to 650 million consumers, many of whom are moving into the middle class. According to sources within the real estate industry, Apple is considering Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) and Vietnam as the areas for the next store launches in Southeast Asia. Thailand was on the list earlier, but Apple had a hard time finding a location that would work. With the new mall, it has now found its home.
Apple isn't the only company setting its sights on expansion in Southeast Asia. Earlier this week, Grab, the ride-hailing company out of Southeast Asia, and payment company Mastercard announced a partnership to issue prepaid cards tailored to the Southeast Asian market. In a press release, the companies said that the region, which is home to more than 640 million people, has stayed largely cash-based. To overcome that, Grab and Mastercard will issue virtual and physical prepaid cards directly from the Grab app. Customers can add cash to the card to spend at any merchant where Mastercard is accepted around the world. The companies noted that by issuing Mastercard prepaid cards, Grab’s mobile payments platform, GrabPay, will become the first eWallet from Southeast Asia that is accepted around the world.