Today’s Tech Headlines: Kuaishou & Tencent’s Weishi ups competition against Douyin

All you need to know about the tech world today.

Image credit to Weishi.

SEA

Indonesia Crunch: Not as simple as Silicon Valley vs China. The Southeast Asian internet market can be seen as a battlefield between Chinese and US tech firms. At least in Indonesia, we have Go-Jek. There is also Spotify and Airbnb – but not Vimeo and Reddit. (Deal Street Asia)

Mandiri Capital Indonesia prepares funds for four startups this year. Their focus will be on fintech services, especially in the areas of payments, P2P lending and enterprise solutions. (e27)

Shopmatic, a Singapore-based startup, that provides ecommerce solutions to small businesses and individual entrepreneurs from developing a unique web store to listing on marketplaces and social media. (Tech In Asia)

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, is considering up to a $5M investment into Singapore-based Jungle Ventures’ $150 million third fund. (Deal Street Asia)

 

China

China’s biotech firm Ascentage Pharma secures $150m in a Series C round, co-led by existing investors YuanMing Prudence Fund and Oriza Seed Venture Capital as well as new investor TengYue Partners. (Deal Street Asia)

China’s autonomous vehicle startup Pony.ai raises USD 102 million in a Series A round. New investors in this round include Green Pine Capital Partners, China Merchants Capital and Delong Capital. The startup will use the capital for its fleet expansion, team growth, enhance its partnerships and also for commercialization purposes. (TMTPost)

Alibaba to buy a minority stake in digital marketing firm Focus Media. In an official statement, the firm says it will acquire about 6.62 per cent in Focus Media for 9.63 billion yuan. (Deal Street Asia)

Chinese tech giant Tencent to push its mobile payment footprint – despite ongoing trade war. The company has been focused on signing up merchants in many countries to accept WeChat Pay to allow Chinese tourists to use the payments platform in their travels. (CNBC)

Douyin to launch matching services for key opinion leaders (KOLs) and businesses. Marketing projects based on ask and offer prices will be matched on the platform. (Technode)

Kuaishou launches Snap Spectacles-like product as Tencent Weishi gets a new action cam. Douyin now faces even more competition even as Weishi announced a Gopro-like action-camera to offer better short videos, while Kuaishou reported of a Snap Spectacles-like product – all on the same day. (KrASIA)

Didi drives into Japan with Softbank joint venture – with plans to launch its Japanese pilot programme by September this year. Didi Mobility Japan Corp, as the joint venture is known, will leverage machine learning-based technology to improve dispatching and predict demand, according to the firm. (KrASIA)

China’s mobile economy grew by more than 20 per cent amid intensifying competition. Two new trends were identified for H1 2018 – the rise of short videos and selective app usage. (Technode)

Beijing – Shanghai High-Speed Railway Co. Ltd explores possible IPO, as a pilot project for China’s ‘asset securitization’ plan to reduce corporate debt. (KrASIA)

Ofo pulls out of US after exiting Australia, Germany, and India. The Chinese bike-sharing company is shutting down most of its North America operations, according to what people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal today. (KrASIA)

 

Rest of Asia

SoftBank Vision Fund leads $121m in Series D funding in imaging firm Light. This investment will be made in tranches, subject to certain conditions. Light’s technology enables machines to see like humans do, using sophisticated algorithms (Deal Street Asia)

India’s BookMyShow pulls in $100M to grow its online ticketing business. This financing round was led by TPG Growth, a private investment firm. (TechCrunch)

 

World

Facebook to start taking down posts that could lead to violence. This is in response to mounting criticism that the flow of rumors on its platform has led to physical harm to people in countries around the world (WSJ)

IBM, GM, Lockheed Martin join council on work automation. These are among the slate of companies to advise the government to deal with the threat of automation facing American workers. (Bloomberg)

Analysis: EU order against Google open new doors for the mobile industry. This antitrust judgment against Google will invite more competition from software developers, including Microsoft Corp, Amazon.com Inc, and Samsung Electronics Co. (CNBC).

 

Gadgets

The Galaxy Note 9 is leaking out all over the place. Every nook and cranny of the upcoming phablet has been bared for the world, in a series of leaks over the past several weeks. (TechCrunch)

 

Good News Bad News

This project wants to take blockchain to the next 100 million users. The blockchain is a nascent technology with missing tools for universal appeal. One prominent Asian VC says: ‘’ I’m sick of hearing about blockchain. No one is building anything useful’’. (Tech In Asia)