KrASIA Daily: JD.com to Launch Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform

Plus, Tokopedia plans to build an innovation center. Dropbox priced IPO at $21 per share.

Photo:Shutterstock.com

 Editor’s note:

JD.com, China’s e-commerce giant, issued a white paper detailing its plan to tap into the blockchain industry. The company also launches a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform which will provide blockchain-based tools to develop apps. 

Previously, the e-commerce giant revealed a blockchain-enabled traceability system for beef and launched a blockchain accelerator.

KrASIA 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 Tokopedia.

Indonesia: Indonesia’s e-commerce company Tokopedia has revealed plans to build its very own innovation center in a move that replicates a strategy adopted by regional giants including Alibaba, JD.com and Lazada. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Global tech giants including Facebook and Twitter on Thursday expressed concern about a possible Singapore plan to bring in a new law to tackle the threat of fake news, saying sufficient rules are already in place. (Reuters)

Indonesia: Indonesian venture capital firms Sinar Mas and East Ventures have entered a joint venture with Yahoo Japan to form EV Growth, a venture capital fund targeting to raise $150 million to be invested into growth stage startups in Southeast Asia and Indonesia in particular. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Singapore-based digital wealth advisor StashAway has secured $5.3 million in Series A funding round from a group of existing and new investors, including family offices, the company said in a statement on Thursday. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia: Malaysia-based Frontier Digital Ventures-backed iMyanmarHouse.com, a classified property website, is in the process of advanced discussions for sales partnerships with foreign real estate companies from Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and China, according to founder Nay Min Thu. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: Warburg Pincus is finding new investment targets in the consumer, banking and logistics sectors of Vietnam as its economy grows and capital markets develop, said the regional head of the private equity firm which has committed over $1 billion in Vietnam. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: SCIC Investment Company (SIC), a subsidiary of Vietnam’s sovereign wealth fund State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), has announced to sell 500,000 million shares of Military Bank (MBBank). It expects to earn approximately VND18 billion ($792,000) from the sale. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: One Hanoi-based B2B startup, LOGIVAN, offers a marketplace that connects freights with truckers directly. Its solution won the admiration of former Sequoia venture partner Yinglan Tan, who made a US$600,000 investment into the startup via his new VC fund, Insignia Ventures Partners. (e27)

Malaysia: Malaysia’s sovereign and pension funds have jointly pooled in $250 million towards a tech-focused ‘fund of funds’ to make co-investments in fledgeling local companies. The corpus will be allocated to local and international venture capital firms that have a physical presence in the country. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia: Kitamen, an e-sports lifestyle brand in Southeast Asia, has launched an equity crowdfunding (ECF) campaign on Ata Plus, a licensed ECF platform in Malaysia. (e27)

China:

Image credit to JD.com

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has unveiled a white paper detailing its next big step into the blockchain industry. (Coindesk)

NetEase released a blockchain sharing platform dubbed “Planet”, where users can store and trade their data. NetEase expects Planet to “engage individual value creators in value sharing.” (Technode)

Beijing city authorities gave Baidu the first batch of licenses to conduct open road test for driverless vehicles. (Technode)

Fosun International Ltd came up short in its bid to buy National Bank of Greece SA’s insurance unit, but the Chinese conglomerate is still willing to swoop in if the winning bid collapses, albeit at a different price this time. (Deal Street Asia)

Naspers is cutting its stake in lucrative Chinese investment Tencent by as much as 2 percent in a deal that could net the South African media and e-commerce group up to $11 billion. (Reuters)

Tencent Holdings lost almost $20 billion from its market value on Thursday after the Chinese internet giant missed quarterly revenue estimates and warned that planned investments may hurt margins. (Reuters)

China’s SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd, the world’s largest maker of non-military drones, is in talks with investors for at least $500 million in funding ahead of a planned stock market debut, people with knowledge of the matter said. (Reuters)

China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile phone operator by subscribers, warned on Thursday of revenue pressure as it plans to cut prices by more than 30 percent this year in response to a government initiative. (Reuters)

China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) today issued a notice (in Chinese) to local regulators, urging them to further reinforce scrutiny over inappropriate online entertainment content—in particular, those made from illegally-downloaded footage. (Technode)

Baidu‘s food delivery affiliate Baidu Waimai is likely to see a big loss of its personnel who were in charge of key accounts. Head of Baidu Waimai, GONG Zhenbing has resigned from the company. (36Kr)

US-listed microloan company PPDai reports a loss of RMB 1.3 billion in Q4 2017, while in the same period of 2016, the company generated RMB 17.9 million in revenue. (36Kr)

Didi Chuxing partner CHJ Automotive, an automaker based in Shanghai, raised RMB 3 billion (approx. $ 473.6 million) in a Series B round led by Matrix Partners and a subsidiary fund of Shougang Fund. (36Kr)

Electric bike-sharing platform Qeebike closed a Series A round worth around $ 10 million. IDG Capital led the round. (36Kr)

Bixin, a platform that matches game users, closed a Series A round led by IDG Capital worth several thousands of dollars. The startup is valued at over $ 100 million post-round. (36Kr)

ZHU Xiaohu, the investor behind Didi and ofo, told media he sees great potential in WeChat mini program and is looking for startups in the field. (36Kr)

Power bank-sharing startup Xiao Dian raised hundreds of millions of RMB in a Series B+ round. (36Kr)

Weizu Qiche, a startup that provides driver management services to ride-hailing companies, closed Series A round from CITIC PE’s holding company Fengbang Leasing. (36Kr)

World:

Image credit to Dropbox.
Dropbox priced its IPO above expectations at $21 per share on Thursday night, setting the stage for the software company’s stock to hit the public market on Friday. (CNBC)

Consulting services firm Accenture trimmed its yearly forecast for profit margins, driving its stock down 6 percent on Thursday and overshadowing quarterly results that comfortably topped Wall Street targets. (Reuters)

BMW will not mass produce electric cars until 2020 because its current technology is not profitable enough to scale up for volume production, the chief executive said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Blockchain Capital, an investor in such companies as Coinbase and Ripple, has raised $150 million for its fourth fund. (Axios)

Best Buy Co., the large consumer electronics retailer, plans to sever ties with Chinese phone maker Huawei amid U.S. government criticism of the phone maker, according to people familiar with the matter. (Bloomberg)

BTS, the South Korean K-pop boy band that was tweeted about more than any celebrity in the world last year, helped manager Big Hit Entertainment more than double its revenue in 2017 ahead of a possible initial public offering. (Bloomberg)