KrASIA Daily: Uber Is Retreating from SE Asia

Plus, Ant Financial CEO: blockchain technologies will be the cornerstone of the future digital society. Waymo CEO said Waymo would likely have avoided the fatal Uber crash.

Photo by RayBay on Unsplash. Modified by KrASIA.

Editor’s note:

KrASIA first reported in January that Uber was in talks to sell its business in Southeast Asia to Grab. The latest report by Bloomberg revealed that apart from Uber’s ride-hailing business, the deal also includes Uber Eats in the region.

Uber will have a stake of between 25 percent and 30 percent in the newly formed business, the people told Bloomberg.

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 Grab.

Singapore: Uber and Grab had finally come to an agreement on the sell, and would announce the deal as early as today (Monday) in Singapore, where Grab is headquartered. (KrASIA)

Singapore: Contract research organization ObvioHealth Inc has announced a $3 million series A financing round led by TKS I, a Singapore-based venture fund focused on life sciences and healthcare. (Deal Street Asia)

The Philippines: While it has enough cash to fund its acquisition of Philippine Dealing Systems Holdings (PDS Holdings), the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) said it will not raise its bid for the fixed-income bourse, according to an Inquirer report. (Deal Street Asia)

The Philippines: Philippine-listed multi-format retailer Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc (Robinsons Retail) is acquiring grocery chain operator Rustans Supercenters Inc (Rustans) in a P18-billion ($343-million) deal, according to a disclosure late Friday afternoon. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Singapore-based Insignia Ventures Partners, founded by former Sequoia Capital venture partner Yinglan Tan, has invested $600,000 in Vietnamese freight-with-trucker connecting platform LOGIVAN. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia: A wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional is acquiring private healthcare facility Prince Court Medical Centre (PCMC) from Petronas for an undisclosed amount. (Deal Street Asia)

China:

Image credit to Ant Financial.

Ant Financial CEO JING Xiandong said blockchain technologies will be the cornerstone of the future digital society. At the same time, ICO is nothing but a scam. (36Kr)

WeChat, China’s super app run by Tencent, has reportedly blocked Douyin, the short video-streaming app owned by Toutiao. Tencent said the company hasn’t screened Douyin in WeChat moment. (36Kr)

Huawei was reportedly considering developing a smartphone that can run blockchain-based apps. YU Chengdong, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said it’s not true and he has never heard of the news before. (36Kr)

China Renaissance, the boutique bank behind some of the country’s biggest deals, is seeking a Hong Kong initial public offering as soon as this year, people familiar with the matter said. (Deal Street Asia)

Prestigious Peking University has opened a new course of studies in gaming this semester called “The General Theory of Video Games” (our translation) according to The Beijing News. (Technode)

China’s aspiration to deploy 30 million autonomous vehicles within a decade is seeding a fledgling chip industry, with startups like Horizon Robotics Inc. emerging to build the brains behind those wheels. (Bloomberg)

World:

Image credit to Waymo.

Waymo Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik said his company’s self-driving software would likely have avoided the pedestrian death in which an Uber autonomous car was involved. (Bloomberg)

South Korea’s telecom authority is fining Facebook 396 million won (approximately $369,705) for slowing down user internet connections in 2016 and 2017. (The Verge)

Fewer than half of Americans trust Facebook to obey U.S. privacy laws, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sunday, illustrating the challenge facing the social media network after a scandal over its handling of personal information. (Reuters)

Apple Inc. is preparing to introduce new low-cost iPads and education software next week in a bid to win back students and teachers from Google and Microsoft Corp. (Bloomberg)

Almost 130 tech hubs have opened across Africa in under two years, showcasing a maturing entrepreneurial ecosystem and a rising interest in the potential of local markets. (Quartz)