KrASIA Daily: Xiaomi sets cap on profit margin ahead of IPO

Plus, India’s Jugnoo looks to replace Uber in Singapore. Uber said it’s no longer interested in Grab-style deals. 

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KrASIA Daily: Xiaomi sets cap on profit margin ahead of IPO

Editor’s note: 

In the year of 2016, when Xiaomi made 900 million in revenue, 79% was from selling hardware (profit margin of 2.8%) whilst 21% Internet services (profit margin over 40%). Last year, Internet services were estimated to contribute to more than 68% of total revenue.

Xiaomi’s internet services include its android Rom MIUI, cloud service, financial services, entertainment, and film. Mr. LEI always gives priority to the development of internet services, as he considers they will benefit the company in long term.

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:

Another contender is throwing its hat into the ring to replace Uber in Southeast Asia after India’s Jugnoo
Image credit to Jugnoo.

Singapore: Another contender is throwing its hat into the ring to replace Uber in Southeast Asia after India’s Jugnoo, a startup that specializes in offering autorickshaws on-demand in India, revealed it plans to enter Singapore. (TechCrunch)

Indonesia: Indonesian agritech startup TaniGroup has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round from Alpha JWC Ventures and several other angel investors, according to an official statement. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank Group, has proposed to extend a financing facility of up to $100 million to Vietnamese lender Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank). (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: Japanese private equity (PE) investor ACA Investments, which has been deepening its play in Vietnam with about four investments so far, is now set to take a bigger bet on the frontier market with its debut $100 million Vietnam-focused vehicle. (Deal Street Asia)

China:

Xiaomi sets cap on profit margin ahead of IPO
Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

Xiaomi, one of China’s most valuable private companies, pledged to cap its net profit margin on its hardware business at five per cent starting this year, as part of a move by founder Lei Jun to ensure that its products remain affordable to the masses. (SCMP)

China’s SenseTime, the world’s most valuable artificial intelligence (AI) start-up, has taken a big step towards fully automating online censorship amid reinforced efforts by the central government to crack down on content not consistent with “core socialist values”. (SCMP)

Emerging robotics startup Marble has raised $10 million in a series A round of funding from Tencent, Lemnos, CrunchFund, and Maven Ventures. (Venture Beat)

BAIC Motor said on Wednesday it planned to sell new shares for HK$3.3 billion ($422 million) to replenish funds for working capital. (Deal Street Asia)

Western banks are seeking clarification from China‘s securities watchdog on proposals to allow them to take over their onshore securities ventures, amid concerns about high asset value requirements and limits to ownership by non-financial investors. (Deal Street Asia)

SalesHero, a San Francisco-based startup that provides AI-powered sales assistant, has announced the closing of a $4.5 million seed funding from Baidu Ventures, CometLabs and Cherry Ventures. (Deal Street Asia)

Sinovation Ventures, a Chinese venture capital firm founded by former Google China head Kai-Fu Lee, today announced the close of its new US$500 million Fund IV to invest in early and growth stage Chinese and U.S. technology companies. (China Money Network)

The Silicon Valley-based startup incubator, Y Combinator (YC) is officially coming to mainland China. The company has announced plans to enter China and welcomed startups in all phases to join their program whether it is concept stage, product testing phase or fast-growing stage. (Technode)

Chinese social media giant Tencent Holdings has set up a film distribution subsidiary, as part of its wider push into movie production and sales. (China Money Network)

Ctrip.com announced the completion of a strategic investment in Boom Supersonic, the leading supersonic airplane developer. Boom is applying the proceeds to accelerate the development of the company’s Mach-2.2 airliner.Boom and Ctrip are working together to bring supersonic flight to China. (EconoTimes)

As part of efforts to reduce an overwhelming reliance on foreign technology, the Chinese government set up a fund that aims to raise up to 200 billion yuan ($31.7 billion) to back a spectrum of domestic firms from processor designers to equipment makers. (Bloomberg)

The co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, Jack Ma, said nations from Japan to China needed to develop their own semiconductor technology to get around America’s grip on the global chip market. (SCMP)

WeChat released a new selection of mini-games in April, and there is one that is on the rise to become one of the most popular mini-games the platform: “The Best Tan Yi Tan” or “The Best Bounce and Bounce ”. (Technode)

The term “capital winter” has been bandied about in the China tech scene since 2017 when the number of investments saw a decline from 2016 and 2015. However, Eight Roads Ventures, the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International, is bucking the trend by launching a $275 million China technology fund. The new fund is dedicated to backing China-focused cross-border fintech, enterprise, and consumer tech. (Technode)

Hong Kong start-ups are being given the chance to use a free, prime city centre location in which to meet and pitch their ideas to, hopefully, deep-pocketed investors. (SCMP)

Rebuffed by the U.S. in an attempted foray abroad, Chinese mapping provider Tencent-backed NavInfo Co. now aims to be a partner for U.S. tech companies seeking access to China’s promising autonomous vehicle market. (SCMP)

World:

Uber will no longer take minority stakes in rival ride-hailing companies globally
Image credit to 123rf.com.cn

Uber will no longer take minority stakes in rival ride-hailing companies globally, a top executive at the company told CNBC on Wednesday, potentially signaling an end to its retreat from markets outside of the U.S. (CNBC)

Twitter Inc. fell after warning that the pace of revenue growth will slow. (Bloomberg)

Amazon will release new kid-focused skills for its Alexa digital assistant on May 9, along with an $80 Echo Dot voice-controlled speaker designed for children. (Bloomberg)

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook will meet with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday as the company looks to head off a brewing trade war between the U.S. and China. (Bloomberg)