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Southeast Asia's digital economy hot spots move outside megacities

Regional market projected to triple to $300bn in 2025

E-payment and other fintech platforms are bringing loans, insurance and other financial products to Southeast Asia's rural residents.(Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

SINGAPORE -- The center of gravity in Southeast Asia's digital economy is shifting away from big metropolises as small cities and rural areas have begun to attract the attention of startups seeking rich opportunities for further growth.

According to a new report released Thursday by Google, Singapore's Temasek Holdings and U.S. consultancy Bain & Company, the region's internet economy -- the aggregate market size for five digital sectors such as e-commerce and ride-hailing -- is expected to reach $100 billion this year and $300 billion in 2025.

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