KrAsia Daily: Tencent Leads US$5.4 billion Investment in Wanda

Plus, Google confirmed investment in Go-Jek. Facebook will show more local news stories in news feed.

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

Editor’s note:

The investment in Wanda marks Tencent’s latest foray into brick and mortar retail, through which, the tech giant seeks to ramp up the adoption of its digital wallet and mobile payment service.

“This represents one of the world’s largest single strategic investments between internet companies and brick-and-mortar commercial giants,” Wanda said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

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 Go-Jek.

Indonesia: Google confirmed investment in Go-Jek, stepping into the Asian ride-hailing rodeo. (KrASIA)

Malaysia: Alibaba Cloud on Monday launched its artificial-intelligence-driven City Brain project in Malaysia to help the country’s government better manage urban areas and make its cities “smart.” (Alizila)

Singapore: Former Singapore parliamentarian and entrepreneur advocate Inderjit Singh is outspoken on the need for reforms to key elements of the city-state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including government policies and regulations to foster and accommodate local innovations. He also believes that in order to stay competitive, the city-state’s cost structures – particularly property rentals and land costs – need to be brought further under control. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: Indonesian lender BTPN said on Monday it will conduct an assessment and technical preparation “to begin the merger” with PT Bank Sumitomo Mitsui Indonesia, a unit of Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG). (Deal Street Asia)

The Philippines: The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has assured the government it is working to comply with ownership rules set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as it seeks to finalize the acquisition of additional shares in Philippine Dealings System Holdings Corp (PDS Holdings). (Deal Street Asia)

The Philippines: The country found its first unicorn in 2017, when Revolution Precrafted, a provider of prefabricated properties – homes, condos, pavilions, hotels, among others – raised an undisclosed Series B funding round that valued the company at over $1 billion. (Deal Street Asia)

Myanmar: Asia Myanmar Shining Star Co Ltd, a joint venture company between Hong Kong Shinging Star Investment company and Yangon based Asia Myanmar Consortium development Co Ltd, is preparing for the soft launch of its $180-million mixed-use development dubbed Kantharyar Centre in May. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: Vietnam-focused private equity firm Mekong Capital has announced that its Mekong Enterprise Fund II (MEF II) made a full exit from its investment in Mobile World Investment Joint Stock Company (MWG) at a returns multiple of 57x and IRR of 61.1 percent. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia: Malaysia-based digital health startup Naluri Hidup has raised approximately RM1 million ($258,570) in seed financing from Singapore-based healthcare analytics firm BioMark and Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups through its Southeast Asia-focussed fund, 500 Durians. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia: Malaysia-headquartered COPE Private Equity (that was earlier known as CMS Opus Private Equity) Monday said it had fully exited Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad (Serba), after staying invested in the company for four years. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: Car sales platform Carmudi Indonesia announced a US$10 million from a consortium of investors that include HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, Tengelmann Ventures, and APACIG. (e27)

China:

Image credit to Tencent.

Tencent is leading the acquisition of 14 percent of billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Wanda Commercial Properties for 34 billion yuan ($5.4 billion), a deal that will begin the target company’s retreat from real estate development. Online mall JD.com, Sunac China Holdings and Suning Commerce Group — a retailer backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba — will also take part in the acquisition of shares owned by private investors who backed Wanda’s delisting plan in 2016. (Bloomberg)

News aggregator Toutiao announced the company is set to sue Baidu for inappropriate competition as China’s most popular search engine shows Toutiao website with the inaccessible sign. (tech.sina)

China’s tech giant Bytedance, the maker behind popular Toutiao app, has inked a partnership with BuzzFeed to distribute the latter’s content to its users in China, Japan and other parts of the world. (KrASIA)

Alibaba is expanding into mobile gaming in India, where its mobile browser is the most popular by market share. Hong Kong-listed AGTech Holdings and India-based Paytm, both controlled by Alibaba, will set up a joint venture to introduce Gamepind, a mobile gaming and e-commerce platform, in India, according to a statement by the two companies. (scmp)

Didi has just launched the “Didi Smart Transportation Brain,” a solution that brings data from government and other partners to develop a city traffic management powered by AI and cloud technology. (e27)

Hong Kong-based online social commerce platform for fashion and beauty products, Goxip, has raised US$5 million in Series A funding, which includes a US$1 million from Nan Fung Group’s Mills Fabrica Fund. (e27)

Alibaba and Foxconn Technology have led a 2.2 billion yuan ($347.74 million) funding round in Chinese electric car maker Xiaopeng Motors as competition escalates in the new energy vehicle (NEV) market. (Reuters)

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has led a RMB200 million (US$31 million) series B2 round in Hsuanzhang, an online financial and tax services provider to small and medium enterprises. (China Money Network)

Five Chinese smartphone makers, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, ZTE and Lenovo, together controlling over half of the country’s smartphone market, expressed concerns about semiconductor giant Broadcom’s US$105 billion bid for Qualcomm, saying the acquisition, if completed, will create a monopoly for the smartphone chips market and hinder innovation. (China Money Network)

As much as 400 million users are using WeChat mini-programs. Its e-commerce feature within the program has seen an increase of 323% in the number of users in the Q4. (36Kr)

Update on Xiaomi and Coolpad patent dispute: Xiaomi claimed it hasn’t received the legislation notice. (36Kr)

Yonghui Superstores says Tencent affiliate Linzhi Tencent is set to invest RMB 187.5 million (USD 29.64 million) in its technology unit for a 15% stake. (Reuters)

Lenovo launched its offline new retail store in Beijing, allowing customers to try its products ranging from laptops to TVs. (36Kr)

Job hunting platform LiePin is eyeing a Hong Kong IPO this year and plans to raise USD 800 million. (36Kr)

Korean VR and AR company FXGeat teamed up with JD to launch an app that allows users to virtually try on clothes. (Yonghap News)

Live trivia game Baiwan Yingjia, claimed it has given RMB 190 million (approx. USD 30 million) to 47.5 million game winners. (China News)

Tencent, Warburg Pincus and Sequoia Capital are among the VCs betting on startups to win a slice of the market of rental management which is expected to grow to 4.2 trillion yuan ($664 billion) by 2030, according to estimates from Orient Securities Co. (Bloomberg)

World:

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

Facebook says it will bring users more local news stories in news feed. (Recode)

Japan’s financial regulator said on Monday it would inspect all cryptocurrency exchanges and ordered Coincheck to get its act together after hackers stole $530 million worth of digital money from its exchange in one of the biggest cyber heists on record. (Reuters)

Microsoft buys gaming services startup PlayFab to bolster its Azure platform. (Techmeme)

Dell could emerge as a public company through a reverse-merger with VMware, the $60 billion cloud computing company it already controls, according to people familiar with the matter. (cnbc)