Today’s Tech Headlines: China’s AI engineers are paid more than their Silicon Valley counterparts

All you need to know about the tech world today.

SEA

Singapore-based indoor air quality startup uHoo has raised an undisclosed sum from Wavemaker Partners. Co-founder Dustin Onghanseng told us that it is a “USD 7-figure round”. Most of uHoo’s enterprise clients are in Europe, while residential clients are primarily in the US and Canada. (KrASIA)

Vietnam’s FastGo targets US$50 million Series B financing round to up the game in Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing race. The firm differentiates itself from other major players by offering lower fares and not collecting driver commissions. (KrASIA)

Southeast Asian O2O giant Grab has launched a full suite of payment features in the Philippines after receiving the e-money license from the country’s central bank. One of the most important features for consumers in the Philippines to take note of would be the ability to top up ‘prepaid load’ — credits for data or phone usage — through GrabPay. (KrASIA)

Fintech company Stripe has secured US$245 million in funding, propelling its valuation up to US$20.25 billion. The firm will use the proceeds to ride on the e-commerce boom in Southeast Asia and India by fueling the expansion of its payment products there. (Reuters)

 

China

Didi Chuxing has officially debuted its taxi-hailing services in Japan and it will begin with Osaka, Japan’s second largest city. This move will see Didi working with more than 10 local partner taxi companies. Importantly, users from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan will be able to use their native Chinese Didi app in Osaka. (KrASIA)

China’s AI engineers enjoy higher salaries than their counterparts in Silicon Valley. And therein lies the dilemma: underpaying staff can affect performance, but overpaying will be detrimental to the firm’s sustainability. (KrASIA)

Tiger investors are king and they believe only in themselves. People tend to pay close attention to their investments as they are the ones who would make sure their investments succeed. Some examples of their investments include Tencent and JD.com. (KrASIA)

Tencent introduces an eye protection function to its videos, following Beijing’s call to stem the growing myopia problem amongst children. This enhancement uses depth sensing technology to measure the users’ face proximity with their smartphones. (SCMP)

This Chinese cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain is making money. After raking in a profit of $742.7 million, it has now confirmed its intentions of going public amidst the slump in bitcoin. (CNBC)

China holds the largest number of patents globally. But, many of them actually get discarded by the 5th year so as to avoid paying the fees. Government bodies have started to take notice and have been revoking some of the high-tech licenses. (Technode)

Google confirms the existence of Project Dragonfly, the project to create a censored search engine for the people in China. However, no details about its scope were given and the company claimed that the project is still in its early stages. (Financial Times)

 

Elsewhere

Seba, a Swiss startup, secures CHF 100 million (US$103 million) in funding to build a crypto bank. The goal is to offer cryptocurrency services, traditional banking services, and corporate financing services. (Reuters)

Instagram founders leave Facebook under unexplained circumstances and Facebook’s shares fell. This comes at a time when Instagram is looked upon as Facebook’s crown jewel asset and an important engine of growth. (The Straits Times)

Darktrace, a UK cybersecurity firm, raises $50 million in its Series E financing round, bringing its valuation up to $1.65 billion. The firm’s proprietary technology uses machine learning to identify and stop malicious behaviors, thereby allowing administrators to better tackle threats as they arise. (TechCrunch)

Dublin-based startup Voysis has reportedly managed to reduce the processing power to run “Wavenet” voice generation technology. It claims that its system will make it cheaper and easier for developers and manufacturers to create chatbots. (Bloomberg)