KrAsia Daily: Vietnam’s Vinasun Sued Grab for Unfair Business Practices

Plus, Xiaomi is launching a battle against its local rivals with a goal to regain No.1 position in China within 10 quarters. Goldman Sachs is in talks with Apple to offer financing to Apple gadget sho

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KrAsia Daily: Vietnam’s Vinasun Sued Grab for Unfair Business Practices

Editor’s note:

Vinasun was once a dominant player in the transportation sector of the region, but its market share has been gradually eaten by ride-hailing companies including Uber and Grab.

The company claimed Grab’s “illegal operation” has led to its falling revenues in the past two years.

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:

Vietnam: Vietnam’s taxi operator Vinasun has initiated a lawsuit against the popular ride hailing service Grab on accusations of unfair business practices, with a court in Ho Chi Minh City looking into the matter on Tuesday (Feb 6). (Straits Times)

Indonesia: Indonesian coworking spaces operators GoWork and Rework today announced the completion of a merger to create Go-Rework. (e27)

Singapore: Google and several Chinese investors are not the only investors taking part in Go-Jek’s current funding round, which the startup expected to raise around US$1.5 billion (around IDR20 trillion). Two local companies, e-commerce player Blibli and automotive giant PT Astra International are reportedly participating by investing IDR3-3.5 trillion (around US$250-290 million) in total for this leading on-demand startup. (e27)

Singapore: Attivo Networks, which develops and provides deception solutions for cybersecurity defence, has closed a strategic investment from Singtel Innov8, the venture capital arm of the Singtel Group. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: City-state-based venture capital firm Sirius Venture Capital has made a strategic investment in Israeli biotech and food-tech startup SuperMeat‘s seed funding round, which raised $3 million. (Deal Street Asia)

Indonesia: The Jakarta-based Pundi X is planning to bring cryptocurrency Point of Sale (POS) devices into India. This is significant given that the government, in its Budget last week, had made it clear that cryptocurrencies were not legal tender in India. (the Hindu)

China:

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

LEI Jun, co-founder and chairman of Xiaomi, in an internal letter sent to Xiaomi employees yesterday, said Xiaomi is launching a battle against its local rivals with a goal to regain No.1 position in China within 10 quarters. (KrASIA)

Apple will accept Chinese mobile payment app Alipay in its local stores, boosting its ties with giant e-commerce firm Alibaba Group amid a push by the iPhone maker to revive growth in the world’s No.2 economy. (Reuters)

China’s e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba has just made a significant step forward in its global expansion. Ant Financial, the company’s financial arm, has struck a partnership with ASX-listed Cabcharge, an Australian taxi payments service, to allow Chinese tourists and business travelers to pay their fare with Alipay. (KrASIA)

WeWork, one of the most valuable start-ups in the world at nearly US$20 billion, said it will expand its presence in eight more Chinese cities and bring the popular co-working space to Hong Kong’s bustling bar district of Lan Kwai Fong this year. (scmp)

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is setting up an electric car sharing service with 12 automakers, including BYD, local partners of Ford Motor and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. (Reuters)

Alibaba came out on top in published patents pertaining to blockchain technology in the past year, with Bank of American and China’s Digital Currency Research Institute of PBoC came in second and third, according to a joint report by IP-centric media IPRDaily and incoPat Research Center for Innovation Index. (KrASIA)

China’s Huawei said on Tuesday it will spend a further 3 billion pounds ($4.2 billion) on procurement in Britain as the world’s largest telecom equipment maker seeks alternatives to the United States, where it faces an effective ban. (Reuters)

China’s news aggregator Toutiao announced it will give out RMB 1 billion lucky money to users during Chinese Spring Festival, taking the chance to promote its already popular product. (Toutiao)

JD partnered with underwear brand Cosmo Lady Holdings to establish an RMB 1 billion industrial fund dedicated to investment in companies in the industry. (linkshop)

China’s bike-sharing startup Yihaodanche stopped service. (36Kr)

The National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China announced the country will support the development of Internet Plus and AI technologies. (cnstock)

Taiwan’s Gogolook, developer of caller identification app Whoscall, has announced an $11.7-million funding round from unnamed investors. (Deal Street Asia)

NetEase reports a record high USD 14.6 billion revenue in Q4 2017, up 20.7%. (tech.163)

China’s beauty camera Meitu denied that it’s smartphone business has been acquired. (Meitu)

Jack Ma invested-Hundsun, a financial software and network services provider, established a new firm, providing blockchain-powered financial services. (36Kr)

One Connect, Ping An’s subsidiary, rolled out a BaaS platform to provide blockchain-based financial services to SMEs. (36Kr)

World:

Sources: Goldman Sachs is in talks with Apple to offer financing to Apple gadget shoppers, using its retail point-of-sale financing arm Marcus. (Techmeme)

Lyft has hired Jon McNeill, most recently Tesla’s president of global sales and service, as its new chief operating officer. (Axios)

Instagram purposefully lacks a “Regram” button to promote original sharing, but it’s easing up on that philosophy when it comes to Stories. Instagram confirms to TechCrunch that it’s testing an option that lets you share public feed posts from other users to your Story. (TechCrunch)

Google today announced it has paid out almost $12 million since launching its bug bounty program in November 2010. In the past year alone, the company paid 274 different security researchers $2.9 million, although the year before that it paid out over $3 million. (Venture Beat)

Men who drive for Uber earn roughly 7 percent more per hour than women, according to a new study that examined over a million Uber drivers. Women were found to earn $1.24 per hour less than men, and also $130 less per week on average, in part because they tend to drive fewer hours. (The Verge)

Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian announced on Wednesday he will step down from daily duties at the internet company and focus his attention on Initialized Capital, the early stage venture capital firm that he co-founded and is known for investments such as Coinbase and Instacart. He will continue to sit on Reddit’s board. (wsj)