Today’s Tech Headlines: Daimler led Uber rival Taxify’s $175 m round; WhatsApp payment services to be available in India

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

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Today’s Tech Headlines: Daimler led Uber rival Taxify’s $175 m round; WhatsApp payment services to be available in India

SEA

SME Corp Malaysia is inviting private investors to help raise and manage its Fund IV which seeks to fund SMEs. The fund is worth between US$125,550 and US$1.26 million. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore’s fintech ambition is likely to be hampered by the lack of talent, as the city-state has tightened its immigration rules in recent years. (Deal Street Asia)

Singapore-based real estate entrepreneur, Eric Cheng, has bought two Japanese licensed companies that operate FX and cryptocurrency trading for $50 million. He is looking to work closely with regulators to scale this Japanese FSA-licensed platform globally amidst exponential growth in the cryptocurrency industry. (DealStreetAsia)

Singapore Exchange Ltd announced a delay to the start of its new Indian stock futures contract. While the dispute between two of Asia’s biggest bourses heads to arbitration, SGX released a statement, saying it remains open to a collaborative long-term solution. (DealStreetAsia)

Japan’s Tokyo Century Corporation acquired a 5% stake in Indonesia’s Nobu Bank, a listed lender controlled by conglomerate Lippo. The financial terms are kept undisclosed, while people familiar with the matter told Deal Street Asia that the Japanese financial group is mulling to buy a more significant stake in Nobu Bank. (Deal Street Asia)

US’s OPIC is extending a US$10 million financing project to Myanmar’s Early Dawn Microfinance Ltd (DAWN) to help more people in Myanmar gain access to loans. (Deal Street Asia)

 

China

Chinese used car trading platform Youxin has reportedly filed for an IPO listing with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commissioner yesterday, according to PingWest, a Chinese tech media company. Youxin is planning to be listed on America’s Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker “UXIN” and raise up to US$500 million. (KrASIA)

China’s Internet Giant Tencent Holdings has started its trial operation to store “most important data” in Guizhou province, Southwest China. The mountainous landscape and rainy weather are a perfect fit for the big data industry. (Technode)

The global race to commercialize autonomous trucks is on. China’s e-commerce giant JD.com unveils self-driving trucks for automated logistics operations.  (South China Morning Post)

Chinese food delivery platform, Ele.me got the green light to use drones in Shanghai yesterday. Kang Jia, Chief Operating Officer of Ele.me, believes this will cut delivery times by a good 10 minutes. (Technode)

Cybersecurity company Qihoo 360 claimed to have discovered a loophole worth US$100 million in EOS, a blockchain platform. (Technode)

Alibaba invested in European online luxury wholesale platform ORDRE to ramp up its presence in the global fashion industry. ORDRE will create a channel on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion to allow shoppers to better understand product details and the brands. (Deal Street Asia)

Embattled Chinese conglomerate HNA’s stake in Spain’s NH Hotel Group SA has attracted interest from potential bidders. The bids are due this week, while the deadline could be pushed back. (Deal Street Asia)

Mainland traders in China sold US$81 million worth of Tencent shares on Tuesday as there is a lack of reasons to push Tencent’s shares higher. Since May 10, the total shares sold is now worth over US$740 million. (SCMP)

Chinese Generation Z tends to prefer Chinese products and services to foreign brands to show their care about the country, according to a recently released report. (SCMP)

Tencent-backed short video streaming app Kuaishou is gaining popularity outside of China, ranking as the most downloaded video social sharing app in South Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Turkey. (SCMP)

 

Rest of Asia

WhatsApp payment services are going to be available in India as early as next week, in partnership with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank in a bid to win market share. (Bloomberg)

In India, around 1 million bank employees are going on strike which is projected to last two days starting Wednesday. The strike comes as the unions are not satisfied with the 2% salary increase that banks offered to their hires. (Bloomberg)

India’s digital payments startup ToneTag has raised US$8-10 million in a round led by Amazon and Mastercard. ToneTag provides contactless digital transactions solutions. (Deal Street Asia)

 

World

Daimler led Uber rival Taxify’s US$175 million funding round which valued the company at over US$1 billion. Taxify’s existing investor China’s Didi Chuxing also participated in the round. (FT)

Facebook could acquire large companies without arousing antitrust concerns if it enters a new market, according to the company’s COO Sheryl Sandberg. (Reuters)

Nintendo launched a free Pokémon game and plans to launch another two later this year. (SCMP)

American EV maker Green4U has signed a MoU with the Honduran government to establish a plant in Honduras. The plan involves an investment which is worth US$19-20 million over the next five years. (Reuters)

HP topped revenue estimates and raised the forecast for its full-year profit thanks to the strong demand for its notebooks and desktops. (Reuters)

 

Good News Bad News

The number of EVs surged by 57% to 3.1 million in 2017 while China contributed 40% of the global total, according to International Energy Agency. For future growth, more research, favorable policies, and incentives are needed. (Reuters)