Today’s Tech Headlines: Snowball Finance raises $120M in Series D; adds Ant Financial as strategic investor

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Today’s Tech Headlines: Snowball Finance raises $120M in Series D; adds Ant Financial as strategic investor

SEA

Singapore’s Changi Airport integrates WeChat Pay for Chinese travellers. Chinese outbound tourists will soon be able to purchase goods at Singapore’s airport via their WeChat app. (KrASIA)

Singapore’s Golden Equator (GEC) has collaborated with Korea Investment Partners to launch an S$120-million ($87-million) venture fund to make Series A and B investments in high-growth technology companies in Southeast Asia. (Deal Street Asia)

Obike troubles continue. More than 3,000 former customers of the company have submitted claims to get their deposits refunded.  (Coconuts Singapore)

Indonesian B2B e-commerce startup Bizzy has raised an $8 million pre-Series B funding round led by Sinar Mas Digital Ventures (SMDV). (Deal Street Asia)

This early-stage VC talks about investment and exit opportunities in SEA. Charles Rim, the general and founding partner of Access Ventures, the firm with offices in Hong Kong and South Korea and is looking to expand into Vietnam. (Tech In Asia)

Thailand’s restaurant reservation platform Eatigo has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series C funding and is looking to expand into new markets. It is currently available in six markets, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. (KrASIA)

Takeout subscription app MealPal launches in Singapore. This takeout subscription service allows customers to order food in advance and pick it up at the restaurant at a specified time. (KrASIA)

Tokyo-listed Line launches its very own cryptocurrency exchange based out of Singapore. The first 2 million customers who register at BITBOX will receive an equivalent of US$10 that can be used for trading on the exchange. (KrASIA)

China

Taobao takes the lead in new e-commerce trend in livestreamed shopping. You can see the products for yourselves and pose questions to sellers real time, building greater trust and loyalty among shoppers. (Tech In Asia)

Beijing aims to close the gap behind the world’s advanced economies in technological innovation, looking to chase its dreams of technological ascendancy. (SCMP)

China’s best-known business magnate Jack Ma met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in April this year – the most tangible affirmation of China-Israel collaborations in high-tech amidst the increasingly wary stance by the US, Europe and Australia. (Tech In Asia)

China’s e-commerce platform JD.com is facing scrutiny after suspected large-scale fraud being uncovered. On June 10, a crowd of people gathered in front of JD’s headquarters in Beijing to protest against the company’s platform’s practise, claiming to be the victims of P2P finance. (Technode)

ZTE stock surges after its  U.S supplier lifted its ban amidst many other challenges that plagued the telecommunications equipment maker. Nikhil Batra, a senior research manager at consultancy IDC, says: ‘’It’s  a long way back for ZTE’’. (Reuters)

Huawei Technologies has refuted a claim made by a former employee who said that he was directed by Huawei to steal rivals’ trade secrets. The company said in an official statement these allegations arose from a labour dispute and were completely groundless. (SCMP)

China’s Snowball Finance raises $120 million in Series D financing and collaborates with Ant Financial to augment its ability to offer wealth management services for more consumers. (KrASIA)

China’s LeTV might get suspended from Shenzhen Stock Exchange. If its net asset remains to be negative for the rest of 2018, it will be at risk of losing its listing on the Chinese bourse. (Technode)

Rest of Asia

Asian startups closed mega venture capital funding rounds, accounting for five of the largest deals globally in Q2 2018. (Deal Street Asia)

Cyberdyne Inc, a Japanese robotics venture firm, announced the establishment of an $82-million fund. It is looking to invest in companies that operate in the healthcare and cybernic technology spaces via the fund. (Deal Street Asia)

World

Facebook will ‘’demote’’ fake news instead of removing them from its platform, as it does not violate community standards. John Hegeman told CNN that Facebook is a place for people to have a voice. (NDTV)

A list of ten things that billionaire owners of EV, clean energy and rocket companies should or should not tweet about. (Techcrunch)

Gadgets

Amazon Prime Day, a 36-hour sale of the American tech giant, offers great deals for headphones, audio & speakers. (Cnet)

Good News Bad News

Autonomous vehicles are looming nearer now, but you probably won’t get to own one. Optimistically speaking, the era of mass adoption of autonomous vehicles is at least a decade away, according to Bob Zhang, Didi’s CTO. (e27)