Kr-Asia Daily: Tencent Helped Spotify Solve A $1 Billion Debt Problem

Plus, oBike announced to have logged over 10 million rides in 60 cities. Intel share price has dropped over 5% since a report on the vulnerability of its chips.

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Kr-Asia Daily: Tencent Helped Spotify Solve A $1 Billion Debt Problem

WeChat shows us how a social-networking app can penetrate into so many verticals of users’ daily lives.

Its new features, instant game and WeChat stores, are believed to have the potential to revolutionize the industry again, as the former provides users with easier access than apps do and the latter could develop to challenge Alibaba’s e-commerce site Taobao.

Kr-ASIA Daily is a five-minute read to brief you everything you need to know to start your day. We only choose the latest tech & startup news that is worth your time, with a focus on Southeast Asia and China.

Southeast Asia:

SE Asia: oBike announced to have logged over 10 million rides in 60 cities. The bike-sharing startup has set up a franchising program to work with external partners to help run its operations. (e27)

Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur-based Axiata Group, the biggest wireless carrier in the country, is reportedly considering a $500 IPO of its tower unit. (Bloomberg)

Indonesia: Brilio, Indonesian news portal targeting millennial users, launched a credit card service comparison platform FULUS. (e27)

APAC: Mergers and acquisition activities in the Asian-Pacific region (excluding Japan) has increased by 4.5% in transaction value, hitting $673.5 billion in 2017. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Yang Kee Logistics has completed the acquisition of Fliway, a New Zealand Exchange listed supply chain solution provider, for $39 million. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: FundPlace, the city-state-based blockchain startup, has raised $1.5 million from SGX-listed Global Yellow Pages, a company that gathers information about local businesses. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: GIC-backed joint venture Scion Student Communities LP has acquired a student housing portfolio which comprises around 12,000 beds in the US. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Stem cell banking company, Cordlife Group, has acquired HealthBaby Hong Kong, a private cord blood bank, for $7 million. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: Conglomerate Salim Group and retailer MAP have applied for an e-money license to Bank Indonesia. (Deal Street Asia)

The Philippines: The International Finance Corporation (IFC), is studying to extend a $90 million loan to Energy Development Corporation (EDC). (Deal Street Asia)

China:

Tencent helped Spotify solve a $1 billion debt problem that will help the latter’s IPO. (Recode)

JD opens off-line fresh food store, 7 Fresh, planning to open over 1000 more in 3 to 5 years. (Sina)

Founders of Mobike and ofo reported being open to the potential merger, while ofo investor, China’s biggest ride-hailing company Didi, was asking for a leading position in the new firm, which was rejected by both ofo and Mobike. (IT Home)

JD and Mogujie, a fashion e-commerce site, announced to jointly found a new firm focused on establishing an e-commerce site based on WeChat social networking ecosystem. (Sina)

Ride-hailing company Yongche sued LeEco for the latter’s inappropriate behavior while lending ¥1.3 billion (around $200 million) from Yongche. (36Kr)

To solve the deposit return problem of Bluegogo, Didi is likely to pay Bluegogo users with Didi taxi vouchers. (36Kr)

Nanjing city is soon initiating tighter regulation on the parking chaos, urging bike-sharing companies register with the officials and buy insurance for their bikes. (21jingji)

Hangzhou city rolled out an app that allows drivers to search and pay for the parking lot within the app. (zjol)

Tesla announced to have built 168 superchargers and more than 1000 charging piles in China by the end of 2017. The company is likely to double the number of its charging facilities by the end of 2018. (Techweb)

YY’s subsidiary, the e-sport streaming platform Huya, is reportedly eyeing an IPO in the U.S. (Bloomberg)

Toutiao is reportedly seeking to buy a third-party payment license. (paynews)

WeChat launched digital social security card, allowing users to pay at hospitals and pharmacies through the app. (China News)

Alipay announced users who buy train tickets on its app can earn points which could possibly be used to exchange for bus and tube tickets. (Alipay)

Tencent’s open content platform seeks to regulate on cheesy and plagiarized content by facilitating the complaint system. (Tencent)

China’s cloud service provider, Kingsoft Cloud, announced a $220 million investment. (36Kr)

World:

Intel share price has dropped over 5% since a report on the vulnerability of its chips that give hackers accesses to sensitive data. (Bloomberg)

Apple says developers who make apps for iPhones and iPad earned 30% more in 2017 than in 2016. (Bloomberg)

Role-playing hit Black Desert Online has helped double the shares of the company behind it, Pearl Abyss Corp, since its IPO in September, making the company owner Kim a billionaire. (Bloomberg)

Facebook is to look into cryptocurrency as Zuckerberg is interested in getting the best out of it while avoiding risks. (Bloomberg)

Apple joins the alliance Open Media that is working on video compression. Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft have also joined the partnership. (cnet)

Spotify twitted that the company has hit a new milestone, with its streaming service reaching 70 million paid subscribers. Including users who use the free version, Spotify has more than 140 million users worldwide. (MacRumors)

MoneyLion, a U.S.-based personal finance and consumer lending platform, has raised $42 million in a Series B round led by Edison Partners. (TechCrunch)

Chris Larsen, co-founder and chairman of Ripple, reportedly owns 5.19 billion XRP token and 17% stake in the company, worth $59.9 billion with the rise of XPR. (CNBC)

Instagram is testing a feature that allows users to post Instagram stories to WhatsApp as a status. (TechCrunch)

WP Engine, one of the largest WordPress host, has $250 million in funding led by Silver Lake. (TechCrunch)

Nintendo said the company has sold 4.8 million units of Switch in 10 months, marking the game console become the fast selling one in the U.S. (Engadget)

Volkswagen and Hyundai partner with Aurora Innovation, an autonomous driving startup, eyeing to put its vision software into vehicles by 2021. (wsj)

India’s short-term instant loan company EarlySalary, received a $15.7 million in a Series B round led by Eight Round Ventures. (Tuoniao)

Google Ventures joined a $4 million investment in Quartet, a U.S.-based behavioral health technology company. (Tuoniao)

AT&T is set to launch 5G service in more than ten cities in the U.S. (Sina)

Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch told employees last month not to offer clients Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust. (Bloomberg)

In December 2017, there were 19 P2P online lending platforms that were shut down in China and 11 other platforms were undergoing cash woes. (wdzj)