KrASIA Weekly Roundup

Highlights from the past week, as well as something cool for the weekend.

Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash.

Editor’s note:

In the past week, we have seen Chinese tech giants blurring boundaries between sectors, with e-commerce major Meituan-Dianping expanding its ride-hailing pilots to more cities and China’s top ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing recruiting to foray into the food delivery market.

We have also seen big companies filed for IPO, including Spotify, Dropbox, and China’s video streaming platform iQiyi.

KrASIA Weekly Roundup highlights tech & startup news of the past week, with a focus on Southeast Asia and China. We also pick up the best features from Kr-Asia and the web that are worth your time. Also, there is always something cool for the weekend.

News of the week:

Source: Alibaba would be pumping in US$ 9.5 billion to fully acquire food delivery startup Ele.me, meaning “are you hungry?” in Mandarin. (KrASIA)

Meituan-Dianping, the world’s largest O2O lifestyle platform, reportedly will be rolling out its ride-hailing service in Shanghai on March 16 with a wider launch in 7 more cities later on, as the company is seeking to rival Didi Chuxing’s yet unchallenged domination in the market. (KrASIA)

Authorities have asked smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. to list its shares on the mainland, according to people familiar with the situation, who say the company is considering doing so with a dual listing. It already plans a Hong Kong initial public offering for the second half of the year. (WSJ)

Zhaogang.com (找钢网), China’s largest e-commerce platform in the steel industry, is planning to raise USD500 million in a Hong Kong IPO, according to HK-based media Sing Tao Daily.  (KrASIA)

Tencent is catching up quickly in Indian market with investments, the Chinese social networking giant is reportedly grabbing a sizable stake in Gaana, a New Delhi, India-based music streaming service, says Bloomberg citing sources familiar with the matter. (KrASIA)

IQiyi, Baidu’s answer to Netflix, filed on Tuesday for an IPO on Nasdaq to raise USD 1.5 billion under the ticker IQ. Robin Li’s search engine giant Baidu expects to remain the largest shareholder of iQiyi after the float. (KrASIA)

Tesla was planning to build a factory in China but has been reportedly grappling with the issue to finalize a plan without the participation of a local partner as required by local laws. (KrASIA)

Go-Jek, Traveloka, and Tokopedia are in advanced discussions to invest in insurance tech (insurtech) startup PasarPolis, according to three people aware of the development. (Deal Street Asia)

In early-December 2017, the taxi company ComfortDelGro paid S$295 million (US$225 million) a majority stake (51 percent) in Uber’s local car rental service Lion City Rentals. The deal is now being closely scrutinized by the Singapore Competition Commission (SCC) to determine if the tie-up is in violation of local competition laws. (e27)

SoftBank just invested in yet another Uber competitor, only this time in a slightly different market. Food delivery start-up DoorDash, which goes head to head with Uber Eats, said Thursday it raised $535 million in a funding round led by SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund. (CNBC)

Sea Ltd reported a larger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and the departure of its president, who was the public face of the company during its listing in the United States last year.  (Deal Street Asia)

Best of Kr-Asia Features:

Alibaba was rumored to fully acquire food delivery startup Ele.me and here is a feature that briefs you China’s food delivery scene: Alibaba Just Ordered a Takeout for its New Retail Future.

In the past three months, Tencent was on a shopping spree, making six investments in retail and its investees include brick-and-mortar chain stores, menswear brand and e-commerce website. We break down Tencent’s investment binge in retail for you and here is the link to Part 1 and Part 2 of the feature.

Blog posts that worth your time:

Hard to get funding from VCs? Learn from these 35 big companies that start with little money.

Dropbox is on its way to an IPO. Here is an analysis of its business by a VC investor.

“Facebook’s DNA is that of a social platform addicted to growth and engagement.” That is why Facebook won’t ever change.

Cool thing of the week:

Microsoft is working on a research project Soundscape that helps the blind to explore the surroundings using 3D audio cues. KrASIA also has reported a Chinese smart glasses startup KrVision who seeks to enable the blind to see with ears.