KrAsia Daily: Go-Jek Takes on Competition with Grab, with Google, Temasek and Meituan-Dianping behind Its Back

Plus, Uber Singapore and ComfortDelGro (CDG) launched their low-cost ride-hailing service UberFLASH. Xiaomi and Shunwei Capital invested in Indian social networking platform ShareChat.

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KrAsia Daily: Go-Jek Takes on Competition with Grab, with Google, Temasek and Meituan-Dianping behind Its Back

Editor’s note:

Go-Jek, Indonesia’s first and only unicorn, is reportedly fundraising USD 1.2 billion.

With tech giants participating in its latest financing round, Go-Jek would be more confident when stepping into four other ASEAN markets, escalating the already fierce battle in the region.

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:

Indonesia: Go-Jek is reportedly fundraising USD 1.2 billion in the latest round from Google, Singapore state-owned Temasek, and China’s Meituan-Dianping, the world’s largest O2O service provider by valuation. (KrASIA)

Singapore: Uber Singapore and local taxi company ComfortDelGro (CDG) have officially launched their low-cost ride-hailing service UberFLASH, within Uber’s app. This will allow Singapore users to be matched with the nearest uberX car or CDG taxi. (e27)

Malaysia: Malaysia’s state investor Khazanah Nasional Bhd said on Thursday it has raised $320.8 million through a sukuk that is exchangeable into CITIC Securities Co Ltd’s Hong-Kong listed H-shares. (Deal Street Asia)

Thailand: Hubba, Thailand’s oldest co-working space, has announced its partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs, which will allow its members to take advantage of Google’s network of co-working spaces and community programmes in over 135 countries. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Precision engineering firm UMS Holdings has acquired a 7.48% stake in JEP Holding, having subscribed for 109 million ordinary shares for a consideration of S$5.7 million. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Lion Global Investors, a subsidiary of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), has increased its holding in China’s Maxwealth Fund Management Company (FMC) to 28.51% from 10% earlier. It acquired an additional 37 million shares for a consideration of RMB61.45 million (S$12.6 million). (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: City-state’s state investor Temasek Holdings has led a $100-million new funding round in Rokid, a Chinese venture focused on developing robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. The round was also joined by Credit Suisse Group, CDIB Capital International, and existing investor IDG Capital. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: Indonesian state-owned bank Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) said it will release convertible bonds worth Rp2 trillion ($150 million) in the second half of 2018 to strengthen its capital and mitigate systemic impact in the event of an economic crisis. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia: Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas), Malaysia’s state-owned private equity fund management firm, has sold its 100% equity interest in Tenby Education Group (Tenby) to International Schools Partnership (ISP) for an undisclosed amount. (Deal Street Asia)

China:

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

India’s vernacular social networking platform ShareChat has raised Rs 116.31 crore ($18.2 million) in a Series B funding round led by Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. Shunwei Capital, the venture fund started by Xiaomi founder Lei Jun also joined the round. (VCCircle)

China’s insurance conglomerate Ping An plans to spin off its four subsidiaries, namely Lu.com, Ping An Good Doctor, OneConnect and Ping An Health which are worth in total HD$ 634 billion (approx. US$81 billion) and are likely to get listed in Hong Kong. (Yicai)

Carrefour is set to roll out a plan for a shift in its business, denying it’s selling its China operation to Auchan and Alibaba. (36Kr)

Bike-sharing startup Bluegogo announced users could access its services using Didi’s app. (36Kr)

PPDai has seen a rise in its stock price by 16.6%. The company announced it plans to pour RMB 1 billion (approx. USD 155.8 million) in research in AI, blockchain, financial cloud and big data. (stock.qq)

Ant Financial acquired a 20% stake in Hong Kong’s restaurant hunting platform Openrice. (Techweb)

Legend Capital has led a Series B funding round worth RMB 150 million (approx. USD 23.37 million) in knx, a Shanghai-based cloud service provider dedicated to HR solutions. (36Kr)

Baidu Ventures and DCM has co-led a Series A round worth USD 8 million in Aqrose, a machine vision and machine-learning startup. (36Kr)

JD Finance, Iflytek and Industrial bank reached a partnership to establish an AI lab to develop IoT-based financial services. (China News)

The CareVoice, a consumer-centric health insurtech startup in China, has raised over US$2 million in early-growth capital, co-led by two China- and US-based VCs, Haitao Capital and SOSV. (e27)

Huawei president, Ren Zhengfei, fined himself RMB 1 million (approx. US$155k) for operational accidents and business fraud happened in Huawei’s business units. (All Weather TMT)

Jack Ma, Alibaba founder, has announced his plan for the new year: 1. Find the right sport for himself and stick to it. 2. Attend entertainment activities such as Karaoke or painting. 3. Read 100 books. (tech.Sina)

Tencent founder Pony Ma is said to have a fortune worth US$50 billion according to Forbes real-time ranking of the World’s Billionaires. (Techweb)

China’s car rental service provider Zuche unveiled its price plan for its short-period car rental service which is reportedly 50% cheaper than taking taxis. (36Kr)

Alibaba’s e-commerce website Taobao has received more than 1200 resumes after announcing it’s currently hiring elderly people to promote the user experience among the older generation. (36Kr)

The trading volume of Meituan’s food delivery service stands at RMB 171 billion (approx. USD 26.6 billion) in 2017, almost tripled the number in 2016. (36Kr)

China saw a rise in its patent number by 14.2% percent. State Grid Corporation of China, Huawei, ZET, Lenovo, and OPPO are among others in the top 10 list. (tech.163)

The financial arm of the beleaguered LeEco has been rebranded as Le Wei Jin Rong. (The Paper)

Apple rolled out its WeChat official account, allowing users to buy Apple products, and find the nearest Apple store. (36Kr)

Dida Pinche has been rebranded as Dida Chuxing. The company claimed it has expanded its services to a combination of ride-sharing and ride-hailing services. (36Kr)

Baidu’s content platform launched a creative writing tool powered by AI. (tech.iFeng)

Instant messaging app Momo rolled out its live trivia game for android phones. (tech.sina)

JD, Lenovo and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications got a permission from the government to establish a big data center. (JD)

Online travel agency Ctrip rolled out a platform which allows enterprises to customise trips for employees. (tech.sina)

World:

84563013 – bitcoin

South Korean policymakers joined the global chorus of virtual-coin critics on Thursday, saying Seoul is considering shutting down domestic virtual currency exchanges as the new breed of market exposes users to speculative frenzy and crime. (Reuters)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating whether chipmaker Broadcom Ltd engaged in anticompetitive tactics in negotiations with customers, the company said on Wednesday. (Reuters)

Snapchat parent Snap Inc. laid off roughly two dozen people across 8 different teams on Thursday. Most of the layoffs were in Snap’s content division. (Cheddar)

Uber‘s $8.8B deal with SoftBank closed and new board member Rajeev Misra says Uber should return focus to US, Europe, Latin America, Australia to become profitable. (Techmeme)

Spotify partners with eight firms, including Buzzfeed, to launch Spotlight, an initiative offering news and political programming, as it vies for radio revenue. (Techmeme)

WhatsApp today officially launched its new WhatsApp Business app in select markets, including Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S., ahead of its planned worldwide rollout. (TechCrunch)

Nintendo rolled out Nintendo Labo which allows users to play a range of different games when inserting their Switch to customised cartons. (36Kr)