Today’s Tech Headlines: The JD.com advantage in China’s B2C market

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

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Today’s Tech Headlines: The JD.com advantage in China’s B2C market

SEA

Singapore’s Advance.ai seeks to use an AI-powered system to allow lenders to connect and analyze data from smartphones, social media accounts,  and e-commerce purchase histories, in place of credit histories to allow for more affordable interest rates, making it easier for consumers in Southeast Asia to access loan capital. (Tech In Asia)

You can finally send pictures of your location to your Grab driver. The company believes that this new feature will bring down the rate of cancellations and improve the pick-up experience for both drivers and passengers greatly. (Vulcan Post)

SweetEscape, an Indonesian-based on-demand photography startup, has raised a US$1 million seed funding round from the likes of East Ventures, Beenext, Skystar Capital, and GDP Venture. The funds have been used for its foray into the Philippines, the first of its international expansion plans. (e27)

Armed with the believe that the age of the blockchain is now, Golden Gate Ventures launches a $10m LuneX Ventures fund, targeting early-stage cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. The plan is to invest in companies that build infrastructures and supporting blockchain services like e-wallets and treasury management solutions. (Deal Street Asia)

 

China

Accenture invests in Chinese AI startup Malong Technologies. Malong offers a range of AI-based solutions, such as ProductAI, which uses product recognition and auto-tagging technologies. Use cases include checking out items at retailers by taking a photo as opposed to scanning a barcode. (KrASIA)

Let’s have a look at the impressive network that JD.com has built over the years. While Alibaba is usually the first name that comes to people’s minds when talking about China’s B2C platforms, JD.com is actually the largest retailer in China. (KrASIA)

Ximalaya secures $580m ahead of 2019 Hong Kong IPO. This effectively brings its valuation up to RMB 24b ($3.48b). Backers of this latest capital infusion include the likes of Tencent, Goldman Sach, and General Atlantic LLC. (KrASIA)

Bank of East Asia joins the mobile payments race as traditional lenders challenge tech firms. It launches its first all-in-one electronic payment platform for merchants. BEA is the latest local lender to foray into fiercely competitive mobile payments markets. (SCMP)

The number of rural China internet users reportedly reach 209 million (35% penetration rate) over the last 12 months. The Chinese Android app market is continuing to mature, with many of the app stores holding the same presence over the last 90 days. (Technode)  

GSR, a Hong Kong PE firm, invests $270m in a blockchain startup tZero. The startup focuses on the development and commercialization of fintech via the use of blockchain technology. (Deal Street Asia)

Weidai, a Chinese loan platform, files for a $100 million US IPO. Users can borrow on its platform with their automobiles as collaterals. This move comes amidst an increasing number of online lending defaults in China. (Technode)

Two Chinese EV sharing platforms in $730 million push to fuel growth. The moves come as Beijing continues its push into the new energy vehicle sector (NEV) in its efforts to cut pollution. (Reuters)

 

World

A private Tesla backed by Saudi Arabia might not be as far-fetched as you think. Bloomberg’s recent report has sources which say Tesla is already in talks with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund for the latter to become a significant investor. (TechCrunch)