KrASIA Daily: Uber Reached Settlement with Family of Self-driving Victim, Avoiding Potential Legal Battle

Plus, Grab faces competition from three startups in the Philippines. Alibaba’s mapping unit kicked off carpooling service.

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KrASIA Daily: Uber Reached Settlement with Family of Self-driving Victim, Avoiding Potential Legal Battle

Editor’s note:

On March 18, a woman died after being hit by Uber’s self-driving SUV.

After the accident, Uber, Toyota Motor, Nvidia have suspended autonomous driving testing on public roads. 

The fatal crash raised questions on the liability of driver-less cars.

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.

The Philippines: Three new ride-sharing startups – Go Lag, Owto, and Hype – are set to operate in the Philippines soon to compete with Grab, according to the country’s Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Blockchain-based database provider Bluzelle on Thursday announced raising $1 million from NEO Global Capital, the investment arm of China’s blockchain platform NEO. (Deal Street Asia)

SE Asia: Locus.sh, an Indian startup which provides a platform for enterprises to manage intra-city logistics for scheduled and on-demand deliveries with data analytics capabilities, is expanding operations into Southeast Asia. (e27)

Singapore: Vertex Ventures Holdings, that is backed by Singapore wealth fund Temasek Holdings, has led a $5-million Series A funding round in Israeli startup Atidot, an insurtech firm that provides big data and predictive analytics tools for the life insurance industry. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: Digital signature platform PrivyID, branded as Indonesia’s answer to DocuSign, is in the process of raising a $5-million Series A funding round led by existing investors MDI Ventures and Mandiri Capital Indonesia, according to its CEO Marshall Pribadi. (Deal Street Asia)

Thailand: Thai startups Ookbee U and Computerlogy on Tuesday joined hands with South Korean peer Yellow Digital Marketing Global (YDM) to form a joint venture focused on cryptocurrency, as per an announcement. (Deal Street Asia)

Thailand: Thailand will impose rules on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings from April to bolster investor protection, the military-run nation’s Securities and Exchange Commission said. (Deal Street Asia)

China:

Image credit to hinglish Notes on Flickr.

Alibaba’s mapping unit, AutoNavi Holdings Ltd. that is also known as Gaode Map, has launched its own carpooling business, starting in Chengdu and Wuhan city initially with plans to roll out nationally. (China Money Network)

Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., China’s largest insurer by market value, is starting preparations for an initial public offering of its OneConnect financial management portal that could raise as much as $3 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said. (Deal Street Asia)

Airbnb Inc. is making it easier for Chinese authorities to keep track of travelers in the country. The home-sharing company plans to share guest information, including passports and booking dates, directly with the government. (Bloomberg)

Online retailer JD has struck a new strategic partnership deal with Sina Corp dubbed “京浪计划” (the JD-Sina Program; our translation) local media is reporting. Sina is the newest member of the JD alliance, joining other big-name members including Jinri Toutiao, Baidu, Qihoo 360, NetEase and Sougou. (Technode)

China’s largest coworking firm, Ucommune, is seeking to raise $200 million in financing to expand its global operations, a source told Reuters on Wednesday, in another sign of the growing market for shared office space. (Deal Street Asia)

Chinese co-working space operator Ucommune, formerly known as UrWork, on Wednesday announced  the acquisition of yet another player in the co-working space, Shenzhen-based Wedo,  to further strengthen its leadership position in the segment, according to an EdgeProp report. (Deal Street Asia)

Baidu, the operator of China’s largest online search engine, has completed the country’s first autonomous driving road test based on a 5G network environment, seen as a major step for the internet giant in its push towards driverless car technology. (SCMP)

Douyin, the go-to short video site for China’s Generation Z, is moving to profit from its widely popular app by integrating external online shopping links from the country’s largest e-commerce site into its platform. (SCMP)

HNA Group Co. is in discussions to sell a San Francisco office building to private-equity firm Gaw Capital Partners, according to a person with knowledge of the talks, as the Chinese conglomerate tries to shed billions of dollars in assets. (Deal Street Asia)

Sunac China described as “a failure” its investment in debt-laden Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp Beijing and said it would book a charge of $2.6 billion, sending shares of the tech firm down as much as 8 percent. (Deal Street Asia)

China’s central bank has announced that there will be another crackdown on all type of cryptocurrencies this year. (Technode)

Didi Chuxing‘s GMV in 2017 reached $25-27 billion, while its loss was $300-400 million. The company expects to make a profit in 2018. (36Kr)

Supply chain platform Xianshiji closed a Series B round worth almost RMB 100 million (approx. $ 15.9 million). The round was led by IDG Capital and Huijin VC. (36Kr)

World:

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn

The family of a woman killed by an Uber Technologies Inc self-driving vehicle in Arizona has reached a settlement with the ride services company, ending a potential legal battle over the first fatality caused by an autonomous vehicle. (Reuters)

Tesla Inc. shares dropped for a second day as questions about a fatal Model X crash in California intensified the pressure on Elon Musk’s electric-car maker. (Bloomberg)

Fashion e-commerce platform Fynd (Shopsense Retail Technologies Pvt. Ltd), which lets offline retailers sell online, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its Series C round led by Google, the company said in a statement on Thursday. (Deal Street Asia)

Uber‘s decision to exit Southeast Asia, where it was bleeding money, should give the global ride-hailing giant more firepower to focus on India, where it’s locked in a fierce battle with local rival, Ola, industry analysts say. (Deal Street Asia)

Bitcoin dropped as much as 6 percent on Thursday, taking it below the $7,500 mark to the lowest level on a closing basis since early February, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.  (Bloomberg)

Snap Inc. is cutting another set of employees, focusing this time on the advertising side of the business after earlier trimming staff in engineering and content. (Bloomberg)

Former Federal Trade Commission officials say that Facebook Inc. appears to have breached a 2011 consent agreement to safeguard users’ personal information and may be facing hundreds of millions of dollars in fines. (Bloomberg)