Today’s Tech Headlines: Traveloka in talks to raise $400m new round

All you need to know about the tech news today.

SEA

Indonesia-based travel marketplace company Traveloka is said to be in funding talks to raise US$400 million in a new investment round led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. This would bring the firm’s valuation to US$4.1 billion. (KrASIA)

FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia says Singapore can play an ‘important role’ in cybersecurity of the Southeast Asian region during the Cyber Defense Summit 2018. He said that ‘Singapore has more centralised controls to prepare for and respond to cyber incidents than the United States, and potentially any nation out there. And you’re organised, you are a nation that does what it says it will do’. (Channelnewsasia)

CapitaLand’s newly formed Joint Venture, The Work Project Kingdom, acquires co-working space operator Collective Works. Collective Works currently has two locations in Singapore. (Dealstreetasia)

China

China’s internet conglomerate Tencent and private equity firm KKR announced Thursday that they will jointly acquire a minority stake in Voyager – Philippines fintech company – for as much as US$175m. The investment marks the largest fundraising to date for Voyager. (KrASIA)

The Hong Kong government will double its research funding budget in the next five years as part of its strategy to turn Hong Kong into a centre of innovation. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has pledged to set aside HK$10 billion for university research funding and another HK$500 million for young inventors. (SCMP)

Apple and Amazon have released statements denying that their systems contain malicious computer chips inserted by Chinese manufacturers. A recent Bloomberg article claiming that Chinese tech manufacturers used a tiny chip to infiltrate US companies such as Apple and Amazon has caused shares of various Chinese tech manufacturers to fall. (SCMP)

Europe’s astronauts are learning Mandarin for future collaborations with China. German astronaut Matthias Maurer has been learning Chinese for the past six years. He said ‘Three of my young colleagues – one German, one Italian and one French – have started learning Chinese because we hope that the first non-Chinese astronaut to fly (in China’s space station) will be a European’. (SCMP)

Elsewhere

South Korea’s Samsung reported an operating income of 17.5 trillion won (US$15.5 billion) in the three months ended September. This is slightly better than the 17.2 trillion won predicted by analysts. Income has been bolstered by memory chip sales. (SCMP)

India will introduce facial recognition technology at its airports early next year. The Indian government announced plans to implement facial recognition technology to help reduce congestion at its airports. (Channelnewsasia)

The Trump administration intends to pave the way for more self-driving cars on US roads. The US Department of Transport released an ‘Automated Vehicles 3.0’ report stating it intends to ‘reconsider the necessity and appropriateness of its current safety standards’ as applied to automated vehicles (SCMP)

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that privacy is one of the most important issues of this century and that Apple is devoted to protecting people’s privacy. Cook states that Apple’s data is encrypted and locked away on servers. This comes after Facebook’s recent security breaches. (SCMP)

Uber is preparing to launch its own bike-sharing operations across Europe in the fourth quarter. Despite growing demand, Chinese bike-sharing companies Ofo and Mobike have pulled out of a number of cities in Europe due to vandalism and theft but Uber is looking to take their places. (SCMP)

Western countries such as the US and Britain have accused Russia of running global hacking campaign, targeting institutions from sports anti-doping bodies to a nuclear power company. Britain said Russia has become a ‘pariah state’. Russia denied these accusations. (Channelnewsasia)