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Some gig workers rejoice while others lack a voice | China Venture Roundup Volume 51

Written by KrASIA Venture Roundup Published on     3 mins read

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China Venture Roundup Volume 51 covers China’s investment activity from August 23 to August 29, 2021.

Find out what moves China tech with us. We round up what you need to know about the local venture scene every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. (GMT +8), covering major investment stories, MNC partnerships, noteworthy startups, industries with the most investments for the week, and more.

Here’s a preview of what you’ll receive in your inbox. Get the full picture by subscribing to China Venture Roundup.

Startups on our Watchlist

Shangyong Technology (商涌科技)

Founded in 2017, Shangyong Technology is a health insurance management platform that helps insurers evaluate the health conditions of their customers to provide personalized services.

Shangyong Technology uses AI algorithms to analyze users’ personal data including education, occupation, income, credit, and health. Using this data-driven analysis, Shangyong Technology provides insurers with solutions for underwriting and risk management. So far, the company has served more than 70 insurance companies offering 500 health insurance products, and has provided insurance underwriting services for more than 20 million transactions.

The company also offers various elective services involving rehabilitation and recovery from illness, complete with a medicine management function to simplify and keep track of treatment plans. In the future, the company hopes to develop more long-term disease management services. In August 2021, Shangyong Technology started helping teenage leukemia patients track and manage their illnesses.

Shangyong Technology raised around RMB 100 million (USD 15.48 million) in its recent Series C financing round.

Kuaikan (快看)

Founded in 2014, Kuaikan is a Chinese online comics and entertainment platform. Its main product is its Kuaikan Comics app, which contains a plethora of high-quality manga content with over 100,000 registered creators.

Leveraging the success of video content in China, Kuaikan recently launched a new layout presenting comic content in video form. The new video comics retain the basic structure of comic strips, but transform the static cartoons using dynamic action effects along with narration, dialogue, and background music. Going forward, the company aims to build a comprehensive entertainment platform with all kinds of comic-related content, including movies and video games.

Currently, Kuaikan has more than 340 million users, 90–94% of which are from Generation Z, while its monthly active users total nearly 50 million. Most of Kuaikan’s revenue comes from its comics business in the form of advertising, membership fees, content subscriptions, and licensing IP.

Kuaikan raised USD 240 million in its recent financing round from investors including CCB International, One Store, and Tencent, setting a new fundraising record in the comics industry.

KrASIA News Picks

You know the story. Sprawling tech platforms rely on millions of gig workers to be the human infrastructure of their food delivery and ride-hailing networks. It’s a familiar tale that has played out all over the world. But in Asia, tensions between companies and workers are reaching inflection points.

In China, regulators issued new rules offering gig workers better working conditions along with improved benefits and compensation. For example, the country’s largest food delivery platform, Meituan, responded in turn by adjusting its order dispatch and route navigation algorithms to relieve pressure on delivery riders.

But in Thailand, the situation is more concerning. Work conditions for Foodpanda’s delivery riders are getting worse as the platform slashes their compensation. Despite protests and strikes, vulnerable Thai delivery riders are mostly left to fend for themselves, with few attractive alternatives. Check out the story here.

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