Kr-Asia Daily: Toutiao acquires Musical.ly for $1 billion

Plus, Alibaba is said to invest about $200 million in Indian online grocer Bigbasket.

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Kr-Asia Daily: Toutiao acquires Musical.ly for $1 billion

Southeast Asia:

Indonesia needs to come up with “smart regulations which are efficient and predictable” to lure foreign investors, urged World Bank. The country’s negative investment list and the local content requirement rules prohibit foreigners while the President Joko Widodo claimed earlier Indonesia is not protectionist. (Bloomberg)

Fintech investment is expected to remain strong in Asia. Other than Blockchain, Regtech is another promising field for Fintech in Singapore. Asia expects to see additional Fintech hubs as large tech names seek expansion in adjacencies. In Q3, the Fintech sector in Singapore saw $25.3 million investment while China led more than half of the Asian investment. Investment is likely to shift to large deals and higher quality companies with proven business models. (DealStreetAsia)

Nazir Razak, chairman of CIMB Group is said to plan $1 billion PE fund based in Singapore. Temasek’s ex senior managing director David Heng will also join to direct investments. The new fund plans to invest in the consumer, technology, logistics and financial services industries in Southeast Asia. The PE deals in the region has doubled from $16.4 billion in 2016 to $37.4 billion this year, according to Bloomberg. (DealStreetAsia)

China:

Toutiao has been in the headline again today, acquiring the social video app Musical.ly at the price of approximately $1 billion. The company’s biggest acquisition overseas led by its senior VP Zhen Liu, Uber China’s ex SVP, represents Toutiao’s emerging position as a media empire. Earlier this month, the company bought News Republic at the price of $86.6 million and invested $50 million in Live.me. Teamed up with Cheetah Mobile and China Telecom, Toutiao aims to deliver better personalized content powered by AI. 120 million Chinese use its bread-and-butter app on a daily basis for 76 minutes on average. The company has recently launched an app dubbed Dong Che Di, or “Emperor who knows the car”.(36Kr)

“The Belt and Road” project brings great opportunities for the cross-border payment industry, according to Xiao Song Zhu, CEO of a Chinese third-party payment service provider Lianlian Pay. During the payment and Fintech Event Money 20/20, Zhou urged that Chinese companies in E-commerce and financial services should also grab the opportunities to go global. (36Kr)

Alibaba is said to invest about $200 million in Indian online grocer Bigbasket, together with its Indian affiliate Paytm E-commerce Pvt. according to Bloomberg. The current talk is in the stage of a 60-day exclusive pact and the due diligence is in process. Amazon is also interested in investing in to Bigbasket, revealed by local media. (Bloomberg)

The IPO of Chinese online lender PPDAI Group Inc. was priced below the bottom end of the marketed range, raising $221 million. Accordingly, its Chinese competitor Qudian saw its stake fell 7.4 percent over the past two days. Regulators in China are said to crackdown the cash micro-lenders as some are blamed for charging excessive interest rates. (Bloomberg)

International:

Donald Trump told Asian leaders that the U.S. is prepared to work with APEC countries to achieve mutually beneficial commerce during the APEC summit in Vietnam. He claimed the Washington is prepared to make bilateral trade agreements but only with countries who abide by the principle of fairness. The U.S. abandoned the 12-nation TPP which includes Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei. The U.S. is deeply attached to the region as these Asian countries consumes more than $100 billion in U.S. exports per year. (Bloomberg)