KrASIA Daily: ZTE Chairman Calls for Calm after a US Ban 

Plus, Temasek mulls to buy HNA’s Hong Kong airlines stake. Walmart announced to have changed extensively its website.

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KrASIA Daily: ZTE Chairman Calls for Calm after a US Ban 

Editor’s note: 

US government banned American companies from selling components to China’s telecom equipment maker ZTE for 7 years.

The Chinese company called all employees to “be united as one with full confidence to overcome this difficult time” in an internal email.

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 Temasek.

Singapore: Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings has expressed interest in buying into Chinese conglomerate HNA’s Hong Kong-based carriers, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express Airways, according to a source familiar with the matter. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: German drugmaker Bayer is raising 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) towards its planned $62.5 billion takeover of seed maker Monsanto by selling a 3.6 percent stake to Singapore’s state investment company Temasek. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) has launched investment banking services in its Singaporean branch (ICBC Singapore) after receiving accreditation as an issue manager from Singapore Exchange (SGX). (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB) has partnered with Beijing-based financial technology firm Pintec Technology Holdings to set up a joint venture company, Avatec.ai. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Singapore-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company Dexecure has announced raising a $762,000 (S$1 million) seed financing round from Southeast Asian seed-stage investor Cocoon Capital and international venture capital firm Walden International. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore: Singapore-based Zimplistic, the husband-and-wife-led startup that manufactures the fully-automated flatbread maker Rotimatic, said it has raised $30 million in Series C funding round co-led by EDBI and private equity firm Credence Partners. (Deal Street Asia)

The Philippines: PLDT Online Investments, an indirect subsidiary of listed telco giant PLDT, has accepted a public share purchase offer by Germany’s Rocket Internet SE, according to a disclosure. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: Vingroup JSC, Vietnam’s biggest developer, is targeting an initial equity offering of as much as $2 billion for its luxury residential arm, people with knowledge of the matter said. (Deal Street Asia)

Vietnam: Vietnam’s biggest property developer Vingroup has raised $1.3 billion from Singapore’s wealth fund GIC by selling a stake in two units and through a loan. (Deal Street Asia)

China:

Image credit to ZTE.

ZTE chairman Yin Yimin issued a call for calm to employees after the US government banned American firms from selling parts to the Chinese telecommunications equipment giant for seven years, a move that could wreck its plans to build everything from smartphones to gear for enabling 5G networks. (SCMP)

Richard Liu, the legendary founder and CEO of Chinese online retailer JD Group, made his latest appearance at Madrid, the capital of Spain, on April 16th to introduce the firm’s expansion plans to the Spanish-speaking market which boasts a 400 million population, local media is reporting. (Technode)

On-demand video streaming service Youku is the latest to announce a self-imposed cleanup of its platform, saying it found a number of the movies it provides to be problematic, local media is reporting. (Technode)

Robots will eventually replace human workers in the retail industry, the chief executive of Chinese e-commerce company JD.com predicted on Tuesday. (Reuters)

China Renaissance’s Huaxing Growth Capital and Tencent Holdings have led an RMB1 billion ($159 million) Series C funding round into Beijing-based big data analysis solutions provider MiningLamp Software, according to China Renaissance’s official WeChat account. (Deal Street Asia)

China will let foreign automakers from Volkswagen AG to Ford Motor Co.own more than 50 percent of local ventures, removing a two-decade restriction and giving a boost to global companies seeking to capture a greater share of the world’s largest car market. (Bloomberg)

CITIC Capital Partners, the private equity arm of CITIC Capital Holdings Limited, has announced that its China buyout fund has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in facility management service provider Jiangsu SKY Facility Management Co., Ltd. (Deal Street Asia)

China’s new energy car sales have topped the world for the third consecutive year, with 777,000 such cars sold in 2017, representing 54.7% of the world’s total sales, according to a report by state-owned media People.cn. (China Money Network)

Kdan Mobile Software Ltd, a leading SaaS provider headquartered in Taiwan has raised $5 million in Series A funding, the company announced today in a press release. The investment was joined by WI Harper Group, Darwin Venture Management, and Accord Ventures. (Technode)

Sinovation Ventures, a Chinese VC firm co-founded by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, has secured an investment of $50 million from Spanish bank Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) for its new $500-million fund, per an announcement on Tuesday. (Deal Street Asia)

China’s Ministry of Public Security issued the first batch of 50,000 smart chip cards in Gongqing City of Jiangxi Province in an attempt to promote safer and easier identity authentication for smartphone users. The technology is expected to have wide applications in areas such as e-commerce, social media, and administrative services. (Technode)

Alibaba, Baidu and JD.com are likely to relist in China by issuing CDR in as early as June. (Huxiu)

Netease‘s search engine Youdao announced it has closed its first strategic investment at a $1.1 billion valuation. (36Kr)

Alibaba invested RMB 4.5 billion (approx. $716 million) in home appliance retailer HuiTongDa. (36Kr)

Tencent invested RMB 30 million (approx. $ 4.8 million) Pre-A round in MCN gaming startup Xiaoxiang Huyu. The startup was valued at RMB 300 million (approx. $47.7 million). (36Kr)

World:

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

Walmart Inc, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, said on Tuesday it has made extensive changes to its website, betting that a cleaner, more modern walmart.com will help it win market share from Amazon.com Inc. (Reuters)

Tesla Inc shares fell as much as 2 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday, a temporary halt in production of its Model 3 sedan adding to nerves about the electric car maker’s consistent failure to keep its promises on vehicle output. (Reuters)

Uber’s robust growth in Brazil, its biggest market outside the United States, has given the ride-hailing app a far stronger position than it had in Asian markets that it recently exited, a senior executive said on a visit to South America. (Reuters)

Amazon.com Inc is in talks with Brazilian airline Azul SA on shipping goods in the country, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, in the latest sign of the retailer’s big plans in Latin America’s largest economy. (Reuters)

Russia’s state telecommunications regulator said on Tuesday it had sent requests to Google and Apple asking them to remove the Telegram messenger service from their application stores, the Interfax news agency reported. (Reuters)

Six months after South Korea banned the issuance of new cryptocurrencies, they are starting to creep back into the country by using overseas listings for local trading. (Reuters)

Gobi Partners, one of the leading venture capitalists founded in China with a strong presence in both China and Southeast Asia, is hosting an event in Kuala Lumpur on April 26 to build the bridges between Northeast and Southeast Asia startup scene.

The event, co-organized by Gobi, GS Shop, MAVCAP and GwG (Grow with GS), dubbed Crouching Panda, Hidden Tapir, will be held at Le Meridien Hotel in the capital city of Malaysia.

Find out more information about the event.