KrASIA Weekly Roundup: Xiaomi moves towards IPO amidst valuation doubts

Xiaomi sets up a store in Paris, making its smartphones available in the hands of a wider swath of European users.

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KrASIA Weekly Roundup: Xiaomi moves towards IPO amidst valuation doubts

Hi there, it’s Ben.

The past week was an eventful one for Asia tech scene.

China-wise, Xiaomi braved a new barrage of valuation doubts amidst another wave of flooded headlines concerning its highly-hyped IPO, and announced to open the door of its first French store to Parisians with a wider rollout in other European countries, such as Italy.

Baidu, still recovering from the sudden departure of its high-profile Chief Operating Officer LU Qi, spun off its original global business unit which was responsible for promoting Baidu Android apps, the likes of battery doctor, system cleaner, and IME tools, and initiated a new unit to spearhead the outbound promotion of the beleaguered company’s AI technologies.

Meituan and Didi, the archrivals which have been trying to eat into each other’s territories, just intensified their tug-of-war. Didi said it’d launch Didi Foodie, China’s largest ride-hailing giant’s food delivery arm, in the eastern city of Nanjing, the capital city of affluent Jiangsu province.

Last but not least, six-month-old coffee startup Luckin released a public letter accusing twentysomething Starbucks of using its monopolistic position to put pressure on the former’s partners. Starbucks china unit responded saying would not be part of the marketing stunt, yet from the information we obtained exclusively, the Seattle coffee chain has been preparing for its countercharge.

We have a story detailing how Luckin rise to become the fastest growing coffee startup in China, click to read on.

Across the region, Go-Jek and iflix were making waves.

Go-Jek finally made its response to the Grab/Uber SEA merger by rolling out its ride-hailing service in four ASEAN countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, as well as Grab’s home turf Singapore. An imminent landgrab between two of the tech unicorns is looming. It’ll be interesting to see how the rule of competition plays out in the near future.

We also reported exclusively that iflix was in talks with China’s iQiyi for capital injection, among other things. Two of the Netflix’s Asian apprentices are joining forces to tap into a still booming streaming sector in Asia.

So we had competitions intensifying last week, and we also saw two could-be rivals holds hands, with either way the players went down, the consumers in those markets are supposed to be benefited, with more options, at lower costs.

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


Southeast Asia

The Innovation Economy continues powering ahead, even as risky crack appears

Grab partners Maybank, looking to drive the usage of Grab’s mobile wallet in Malaysia

Singapore e-commerce platform ezbuy raises $17.6m in pre-Series C round

Qoo10 partners with Bank of China to launch credit card

China

Tencent releases first WeChat data insights report, revealing growth room in rural area

Douyin clashes further with Tencent over short video market grab

Content aggregator NewsDog raises $50 million Series C from Tencent

China’s Didi Chuxing continues its international push with trial service in Australia

Mobike pedals into India as China’s bike-sharing start-ups look for new markets

Feature

Baidu lost its top AI expert LU Qi before it could make a spectacular turnaround: Part 1, Part 2