Today’s Tech Headlines: Lazada appoints new CEO for Thailand operations; Ant Financial lifts funding target to over $12 b

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

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Today’s Tech Headlines: Lazada appoints new CEO for Thailand operations; Ant Financial lifts funding target to over $12 b

SEA 

Lazada appointed a new CEO for its Thailand operations. Former Thailand CEO Alessandro Piscini will lead the company’s Indonesia operations. (Deal Street Asia)

JD.com is going to roll out an online marketplace in Thailand in August. The website www.jd.co.th will be operated by a joint venture established by JD.com and Central Group. (Bangkok Post)

Grab plans to expand its e-wallet and micro loan services to Thailand. The ride-hailing company is currently seeking a Bank of Thailand license for the two financial services. (Bangkok Post)

Malaysia’s GoQuo, an aviation e-commerce company, is raising a US$6 million round led by Singapore Press Holdings, Monk’s Hill Ventures and TH Capital among other investors. Indonesia’s Traveloka is also likely to participate in the round. (Deal Street Asia)

TAEL Partners invested into Institution American Education Vietnam (IAE), part of which will go to IvyPrep Education, member of IAE, to develop the College-Preparatory Schools model. IAE Vietnam will use the capital to establish training centers for Vietnamese students preparing to go the US for an education. (Deal Street Asia)

Malaysia’s Frontier Digital Ventures Ltd has raised US$8.4 million from an institutional entitlement offer and from a fully underwritten retail entitlement offer to open dated May 31 an additional US$2.4 million. (Deal Street Asia)

East Ventures and Skystar Capital has invested in PHI-Integration, a data analytics and management services Indonesian software company, an undisclosed amount of seed funding. (Deal Street Asia)

 

China 

Ant Financial is raising its recent US$10 billion funding round target to more than US$12 billion in a yuan-denominated financing round, roping in current Chinese shareholders. (Bloomberg)

Proclaimed to be the world’s most valuable unicorn in AI, SenseTime Group Ltd said it has, in just two months, raised US$620 million in a second round of funding. This values the company at more than US$4.5 billion. (Reuters)

Google launched its Files Go in China on Wednesday. The app, named Google 文件极客 in Chinese app stores, prompts users to delete unnecessary files to free up space. (TechCrunch)

iFlytek made an agreement with Huawei. The two are collaborating in four domains: public cloud service, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, smart ends, and office IT. (Technode)

JD kicked off its first self-service convenience supermarket for PLA’s Academy of Armored Forces on May 30. The e-commerce giant has been actively participating in projects in partnership with China’s military. (Technode)

Alibaba-backed Hellobike blamed Ofo employees for deliberately damaging its shared bikes, asking Ofo to stop playing tricks. (tmtpost)

China regulators are planning to investigate Toutiao for spreading inappropriate content from comics and animation website Baozou Manhua. (36Kr)

Jack Ma said Alibaba and its logistics arm Cainiao is going to invest over RMB 100 billion (approx. US$ 15.6 billion) to build the country’s smart logistics Backbone Network, eyeing to reduce the cost of logistics to lower than 5% of the country’s GDP. (36Kr)

Bilibili’s net revenue surged by 105% in Q1 2018 to RMB 868 million (approx. US$138.4 million) while its net loss was RMB 57.8 million (approx. US$ 9.2 million), down 14%. (tmtpost)

US-listed iQiyi said it was built to be China’s online Disney instead of Netflix. Head of iQiyi Tim Gong told media that Netflix’s business model won’t help iQiyi achieve sustainable growth. (SCMP)

WeChat added a new feature that allows users to scan and translate between Chinese and English, revealing its ambition in AR-based real time translation. (Technode)

Chinese teens go online for their homework, not gaming, states a research by Chinese social networking and gaming giant Tencent. Teens also go online to read novels, get English translations, e-sports and poetry. (SCMP)

 

Rest of Asia 

Temasek and PayPal invested US$125 million in India’s digital retail payments platform Pine Labs. Previously in March, the Indian startup had raised US$82 million in a round led by Actis Capital and Altimeter Capital. (Deal Street Asia)

WeWork India is in talks to raise as much as US$200 million and is likely to become a unicorn company after the funding round. Potential investors include Goldman Sachs, Warburg Pincus and Singapore’s GIC among others. (Deal Street Asia)

Google launched a Q&A app, Neighbourly, in India to enhance neighborhood communities by providing people a place where they can seek answers to practical questions about local life. (TechCrunch)

 

World 

Warren Buffett confirmed talks with Uber, in response to a Bloomberg report that states Buffett offered to invest US$3 billion in the ride-hailing company earlier this year. (CNBC)

Uber has a strong balance sheet and is on track to go public. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC on Wednesday, “We’re in a good position in terms of the company’s profile, in terms of profitability and margins continue to get better.” (CNBC)

Uber is in talks with Alphabet’s Waymo about a potential partnership regarding self-driving. The two companies mull to use Waymo’s technology on Uber’s app. (Reuters)

Elon Musk promised on Wednesday Tesla Model 3 will add features including ones that allows drivers to control music and get sonic blind spot notifications with the Tesla app. (SCMP)

 

Gadgets 

Xiaomi revealed its new model Mi 8, the company’s first phone with a notch. The phone has a 6.21-inch OLED screen and a four-way curved glass back panel. (The Verge)

 

Good News Bad News

Investors are eyeing opportunities in the Philippines because of the youthful population, burgeoning middle class and growing smartphone penetration. (SCMP)