Today’s Tech Headlines: Ant Financial closed a $10 billion round at $150b valuation

All you need to know about what happened in the tech world today.

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Today’s Tech Headlines: Ant Financial closed a $10 billion round at $150b valuation

SEA

Carsome, Malaysia’s online second-hand car marketplace, plans to invest US$7.1 million to boost its businesses in Indonesia, according to Andreas Djingga, the company’s Indonesia country manager. The startup recently raised US$19 million in a B round led by Burda Principal Investments with participation from Gobi Partners. (Deal Street Asia)

Winery Philippines has garnered a undisclosed amount in a new round. The online wine marketplace plans to boost its sales and marketing with the new funds, as well as grow its customer and vendor bases. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia’s 1337 Ventures is joining hand with Canadian investment firm InnoStart Capital to establish its pre-accelerator program Alpha Startups: Fintech Edition, which will be launched in July. Three startups will receive US$12,560 worth of early-stage funding while the #1 startup will be granted an additional US$18,839. (Deal Street Asia)

Panya Studios, a Thai trivia game app, is soon to close a Series A round and is planning to launch in Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The app has more than a million downloads by May and 250 k weekly active users. (TIA)

Singapore’s largest bank, DBS announced its partnership with online classifieds start-up, Carousell to build the latter’s mobile wallet, Caroupay. This integrated payment system will spare users the hassle of using third-party platforms or meeting up, bringing the convenience and assurance that users are waiting for. (Business Times)

 

China

Alibaba’s financial subsidiary Ant Financial has closed a US$10 billion round at a valuation of US$150 billion. Warburg Pincus, Singapore’s GIC and Temasek have joined the fundraising. (Reuters)

Alibaba consolidates healthcare businesses into Alibaba Health. Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd will buy Ali JK Nutritional Products Holding Limited, which operates Alibaba’s online pharmacy businesses. (Reuters)

China prosecuted 98 people and recovered US$267.5 million in OneCoin investigation. OneCoin pyramid scheme is believed to involve up to US$2.4 billion. (SCMP)

China’s insurtech company ZhongAn turns to blockchain to transform the industry. It has signed data-sharing agreements with over 100 hospitals to improve the claiming process. (SCMP)

Chinese EV battery maker CATL updated its prospectus, planning to raise RMB5.3 billion in an IPO on May 30. (tmtpost)

Tencent’s super app WeChat issued new rules regarding users’ privacy and external link. This move comes in the wake of an increasing scrutiny around data privacy and last Friday, EU’s GDPR came into effect. (Technode)

China is rising as a leading country in facial recognition. Chinese entities have filed for 530 camera and video surveillance patents last year, and the US entities filed for 96 during the same period according to CB Insights. (Technode)

Alibaba’s food delivery unit Ele.me is reportedly laying off employees of Baidu Waimai. Baidu’s takeaway delivery service was acquired by Ele.me last year. (Technode)

 

Rest of Asia

Ola is following Flipkart to set up a holding company in a bid to lift its valuation and improve management. The new holding company will own Ola’s core cab business, food delivery app FoodPanda, EV businesses and its international arm. (LiveMint)

In India, Amazon and Walmart are competing with local mom-and-pop stores, which dot Indian cities. These stores usually pay low wages and rent. They often cater to people who live nearby. They also provide services such as instant delivery and interest-free credit. (WSJ)

Head of Uber India, Amit Jain, has been promoted to head of Asia Pacific operations. Jain will be responsible for markets including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and India. (Reuters)

 

World

Uber is in talks to resume its services in the capital of the United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi. Uber last suspended its service in Abu Dhabi in 2016. (Reuters)

Google is planning to bring its ARCore technology which enables AR and VR experience to Chinese smartphones in partnership with Xiaomi. The technology will be available for Xiaomi’s Mix 2S and Google eyes to team up with more partners in Mainland China. (TechCrunch)

LVMH, the owner of Louis Vuitton, has invested in Lyst, an online fashion store, as the luxury brand seeks to beef up its online presence and attract younger customers. The investment is reportedly between US$67-134 million. (Reuters)

Rocket Internet said it’s eyeing to invest US$3 billion in areas such as AI technologies and fintech. (Reuters)

 

Gadgets

Apple plans to user high-end screens for its new iPhones next year. The company may use organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, panels to make images look brighter and sharper. (CNBC)

 

Good News Bad News

XI Jingping said China will double down on core technologies to become a leading player in technology. The call comes after the US ban on ZTE reveals the hi-tech gaps between China and the US. (SCMP)