Today’s Tech Headlines: Alibaba rumoured to be investing in Douyin after it splits off from Bytedance

All you need to know about the tech world today.

Image credit to Visual China.

SEA

Singapore blockchain startup Points announce $8m funding and Chinese credit agencies tie-up. The startup aims to use the funding to expand its technical team currently based in Singapore, Beijing, and Silicon Valley, according to a company spokesperson. (KrASIA)

Online restaurant review platform Wongnai has announced a US$1 million investment in Foodstory, a 5-year old restaurant point-of-sale (POS) company in Thailand. Together, they will launch Wongnai POS, a free restaurant management system that will help connect restaurant owners to Wongnai users. (e27)

Blockchain-based Runs.com aims to change the way experience e-commerce is done in the world. This Singapore-incorporated company plans to give the control back to the users, allowing members to decide, create, buy and sell experiences amongst themselves. (e27)

The complete list of tech and startup events in Singapore. We’ve curated for you the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of events in the tech and startup community, sorted by topic and date. (Tech In Asia)

The next big thing: 10 Malaysian startups to watch in 2018. ASEAN is the world’s seventh-largest economy, with the fastest growing internet market. Malaysia is home to several of the region’s startups that are racing to scale. (Tech In Asia)

 

China

Chinese investment in Israeli tech is growing. Israel is poised to gain from these Chinese investments, with the ongoing trade war that has resulted in Chinese investments into Europe and the US coming under more scrutiny. Steven Schoenfeld, the founder and CIO of BlueStar Indexes that develops Israel-focused exchange-traded funds and indexes, also attributed the increased visibility of Chinese investments into Israel to infrastructure investments as part of Beijing’s multinational Belt and Road Initiative. (CNBC)

Alibaba co-leads $600m Series A round in China’s Suning Sports. It is also an existing investor in another Suning unit; it bought close to 20 per cent stake in Suning Group’s online-to-offline e-commerce platform Suning.Com for RMB 28.3 billion ($4.56b) in 2015. (Deal Street Asia)

Chinese tech companies climb up fast on the Fortune Global 500 list; 120 Chinese companies have made it onto the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list. According to Fortune, the combined revenue of the Fortune Global 500 grew by 23 per cent year-on-year. (Technode)

China P2P platform failures accelerate as investors pull out. The shakeout in China’s $192b peer-to-peer lending industry is accelerating at a rapid clip. Chen Shujin, chief financial analyst at Huatai Securities Co. in Hong Kong, says: ‘’ The industry is going through an elimination process.’’ (Bloomberg)

Rumour: Alibaba to invest in Douyin after it splits off from Bytedance. The rumour was posted (in Chinese) by independent Chinese news site Chang Geng Technology on WeChat today. (KrASIA)

SoftBank’s Vision Fund to invest in $1 billion in China AI startup, Sensetime Group Ltd, a Chinese facial recognition technology developer. (Reuters)

Guangzhou court to streamline the submission of evidence from WeChat, QQ. This move makes the Nansha court the first in Guangdong province to allow internet electronic records to be presented in court without notarization. (Technode)

English learning app Liulishuo targets $300m US IPO. This came in the wake of an IPO wave both in the U.S and Hong Kong among Chinese educational startups. (KrASIA)

 

Rest of Asia

Canadian pension fund CPPIB to ramp up India investments. Canada’s largest public pension scheme sees India as its main focus in Asia for infrastructure development. The fund also expects more deals with logistics platform IndoSpace Core, its joint venture with IndoSpace – an Indian property developer. (Deal Street Asia)

The future of proptech in Asia lies in AI, VR & Blockchain. A recent report by JLL and Tech in Asia observed that startups in Asia have attracted 60 per cent of total global funding raised from 2013 to 2017. Yet, there are still untapped opportunities in proptech across the region. (Tech In Asia)

 

World

Shared electric scooters probably won’t return to San Francisco until August. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is currently reviewing the applications of ride-sharing players such as Uber, Lime, Bird, Lyft, and others to operate electric scooter-share services in San Francisco. This permit process was triggered when companies like Bird, Lime & Spin deployed their electric scooters in the city on their own accord, without permission in March this year. (TechCrunch)

Exclusive: Tesla’s battery maker suspends cobalt supplier amid sanctions concern. Panasonic Corp has suspended relation with the Canadian supplier. The firm can’t tell how much of the US-sanctioned Cuba’s cobalt ended up in the batteries due to the co-mingling of its sources by its suppliers in several phases of the manufacturing processes. (Reuters)

This Tel Aviv-based AI startup Anyvision AI has raised $28 million in a Series A funding round led by Bosch. The fresh funds will be used for its body and facial recognition technology. This technology can be deployed on most types of camera and the company is also looking to expand into a few different verticals. (TechCrunch)

These 10 Israeli companies raised the most money in 2018 so far. VC investments in Israel increased by nine per cent to US$5.24b from 2016 to 2017. Israel’s local tech scene is also said to have matured, with investors gravitating towards larger investments across fewer deals. (Tech In Asia)

WhatsApp limits messaging forwarding in a bid to reduce spam and misinformation. The change is a direct response to a series of incidents in India. A new trial would see that forwarding limited to 20 groups worldwide. (TechCrunch)

 

Gadgets

The Huawei Nova 3i is the perfect alternative to other photography phones at a fraction of the price. One key difference between this latest gadget and its predecessors is a dual camera, both at the front and back of the phone, with a fingerprint scanner at the back. (Vulcan Post)