KrASIA Weekly: Research and innovation are two core pillars of technology economy

Innovation is changing the world faster than we imagine.

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Hi there, it’s Robin.

It’s the time of the year again for the annual DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference in Israel. It was the opportunity for me to meet with startup founders, visit co-working spaces and interact with the people familiar with Israel’s hi-tech industry. Hi-tech, in this case, refers to corporations whose core business is in technological development, according to the IVC Research Center.

After all, Israel today is widely known as the ‘Startup Nation’ in the Middle East.

Unlike the tech scenes in China and the US, Israel’s technology startups often seek to exit. They usually do not grow to become global powerhouses like the FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) in the U.S. or the BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) in China.

Another reason lies in the Israeli tech ecosystem. While there are venture capitals looking to invest in early-stage ventures, the private equity scene in Israel is not as happening, according to people familiar with the matter.

Talking about startup exits, Israel saw a total of 112 startup exits over the past year and its total monetary valuation was at a whopping US$23 billion. And the main driver of the valuation was due to the notable sale of Mobileye to Intel. With all the rage over future mobility solutions, Intel paid US$15 billion to get their hands on the Israeli technology for autonomous vehicles.

While I was away, there were also many things going on in the tech world both in China and Southeast Asia.

Meituan is now starting its global public offering amidst its burgeoning losses and its fellow competitor Didi isn’t doing that well either. The latter actually made a net loss of $584 million for H1 2018.

Thanks to the likes of  Didi, Go-Jek, and Grab, Asia now owns more than 70% of the world’s ride-hailing market share. And this could be worrying for Uber, who have exited from two major Asian markets, China and Southeast over the past few years, ceding operations to local companies.

WeWork’s acquisition of Naked Hub, on the other hand, seemed to have worked out well in its foray into China for now at least. If this trend were to kick off, we might see more US tech mammoths entering the elusive Chinese market.

Read on to find out more interesting stories from this week, and feel free to tip us if you have news clue or you just want to talk with us, email us at [email protected] and we are looking forward to hearing from you.

Here are some stories you shouldn’t miss from this week.

China

Ofo close to raising ‘’hundreds of millions of USD’’ from Ant Financial, Didi: Report

China’s sleazy hotel room-sharing service Shui Shui has disappeared from app stores again

Chinese online pharmacy Jianke secures $130m in Series B

Everything you might want to know about billionaire founder Richard Liu’s arrest in the U.S.

Jack Ma: we should reallocate teaching resources

Gaga Café creates a third place for tea and snacks lovers and scores US$26.3M Series A

TianTianXueNong sweeps up tens of millions of RMB Series A to provide agricultural education to farmers in lower-tier cities

Alibaba ramps up position in Russia, signing up JV through local partners

Didi Chuxing in talks to invest in Oyo Rooms’ China business

Apple Music taps Douyin to boost subscriber base in China

Tencent, Meituan-backed movie ticketing platform Maoyan files for HK IPO

Meituan updated prospectus reveals huge losses in Mobike ahead of HK IPO

 

Rest of Asia

Digital payments key to Go-Jek’s Philippine expansion

Facebook’s $1b data centre in Singapore to open in 2022

Jack Ma visits Indonesia for Asian Games, talks e-commerce with the president

Indonesian regulator OJK Oks 33 P2P firms, others disallowed

Indonesian online lending gains momentum with Go-Jek announcing three P2P partner platforms

 

Interesting Stories

New research measures the impact of online lending on the Indonesian economy

A snapshot of digital payments in Asia

China’s ‘’Queen of VC’’ Xu Xin: Fixating on one thing doesn’t work in the Internet business

A look at Toutiao’s $75b valuation: Warranted premium or overpriced stock

Why Chinese social network Momo might be a good pick for value investors