KrAsia Daily: Alibaba Became Biggest Shareholder in BigBasket, Eyeing to Best Amazon in India

Plus, Asia Law Network has expanded its Quick Consult service to Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and Indonesia. India will move to stamp out use of cryptocurrencies.

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KrAsia Daily: Alibaba Became Biggest Shareholder in BigBasket, Eyeing to Best Amazon in India

Editor’s note:

Alibaba invested USD146 million in BigBasket, who sells everything from vegetables to shampoo. The grocer plans to use the proceeds to improve its technology, analytics, infrastructure, and marketing.

Betting on the fast-growing online retail space, the Chinese e-commerce mogul also holds a stake in the parent company of India’s top digital wallet firm Paytm, which is projected to become the default payments provider to BigBasket.

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:

Image credit to Asian Law Network.

Singapore: City-state-based online lawyer network Asia Law Network has expanded its Quick Consult service to new markets including Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and Indonesia. (e27)

Singapore: Moderna Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology firm that develops messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, has secured $500 million in a round participated by Singapore-based EDBI and Sequoia Capital China. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Private equity firm Navis Capital Partners has said it will divest its controlling interest in Singapore-based printed circuits board solution provider MFS Technology to Hong Kong-based DCP Capital Partners, marking the first exit from its $1.5 billion fund VII. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Ultimus Asia Limited, a private equity investment fund managed by Vanguard Fund Management, is planning to raise a total of $1 billion to invest in Asian markets, joining a wave of funds that seek to capitalize on the region’s growing middle class. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: On-demand home cleaning service OKHOME has raised a $300,000 seed funding round from South Korean venture capital firms K Cube Ventures and Spring Camp to boost operations in Jakarta. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: Online budget hotel booking chain Reddoorz announced that it will be adding another 20 fully-operated properties in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city, by the end of 2018, as part of its $ 10 million expansion plan in the country. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: Peer-to-peer fintech lending platform Investree announced a successful pilot project for its sharia-compliant service which has facilitated Rp 2.7 billion ($ 189,000) worth of loans, involving 313 sharia borrowers and 1,340 sharia lenders. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: Vietnam has raised VND1.31 trillion ($57.7 million) from the initial public offering (IPO) of Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) on Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange on February 2. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: Alstonia Costata Sdn. Bhd., an affiliate of South and Southeast Asia-focused private equity (PE) firm Creador, has invested VND994 billion ($43.8 million) in Vietnam’s largest mobile device and consumer electronics retailer Mobile World (MWG). (Deal Street Asia)

China:

Image credit to hinglish Notes on Flickr.

China’s Alibaba became the biggest shareholder in India’s leading online grocer BigBasket after a $300-million funding round, stepping up its rivalry with Amazon in the country. (Reuters)

Alibaba shares fell the most in 18 months and cut its market valuation by about $30 billion after investments in brick-and-mortar assets and digital media squeezed profit margins in the December quarter. (Bloomberg)

Zomato, an online restaurant discovery and food delivery company with operations in many parts of the world, including Asia, has secured US$200 million from Ant Financial, the payments affiliate of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba. (e27)

Major iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, on Friday pledged to dedicate a minimum of $342 million to turn itself into a key artificial intelligence player as the Taiwanese tech conglomerate eyes new growth opportunities beyond smartphones. (Nikkei Asian Revies)

Alibaba and Tencent, who have tested online medical advice and drug tracking systems, are now experimenting with AI to fix China’s broken healthcare system. (Techmeme)

App Annie, a mobile app analysis company, said on January 31 that Tencent and NetEase of China ranked # 1 and # 2 in app sales worldwide. (Business Korea)

Meiyou, a software that provides assistance related to the menstrual health, is planning to get listed in China. The company has made RMB100 million (approx. USD15.86 million) in net revenue in 2017. (36Kr)

Tencent-backed group-buying website Gaopeng secured a Series A investment from IDG, CDH Investment, Hillhouse Capital and Wanda Commercial. (Sohu)

Baidu is testing a blockchain pet dog product, marking its attempt to the embrace the technology. (finance.iFeng)

World:

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

India will move to stamp out use of cryptocurrencies, which it considers illegal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday, launching a no-holds-barred attack on virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. (Reuters)

Germany’s anti-trust regulator is opening an investigation into online advertising, responding to concerns expressed by advertisers and publishers over the “significant” market position of U.S. platforms Google and Facebook. The probe by the Federal Cartel Office opens a second front after it said in December that Facebook, the social network used by more than 2 billion people, had abused its dominant position to collect their personal data. (Reuters)

Japan’s financial regulator on Friday swooped on Coincheck Inc with surprise checks of its systems and said it had asked the Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange to fix flaws in its computer networks well before hackers stole $530 million of digital money last week. (Reuters)

Report: warehouse and storage jobs increase 30% two years after a county hosts an Amazon fulfillment center, but overall jobs see no increase; Amazon disagrees. (Techmeme)

Broadcom plans to unveil a new approximately $120 billion offer for Qualcomm on Monday, aiming to ratchet up pressure on its U.S. semiconductor peer to engage in negotiations, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday. (Reuters)

Apple Music is on the verge of overtaking Spotify in U.S. paid subscribers, a sign that the music-streaming world’s dominant force is facing growing competition ahead of its hotly anticipated public stock offering. (WSJ)