The forgotten ‘Facebook of China’ is sold for $20M

Renren, which was once heralded as the ‘Facebook of China’ and later became China’s answer to MySpace after falling out of fashion among its core young users, is selling its social networking business. Renren’s parent company Beijing Qianxiang Wangjing has agreed to sell all tangible and intangible assets of renren.com to Beijing Infinities Interactive Media, […]

China’s NetEase raises $600M for its music streaming business

As Tencent Music, China’s largest streaming firm, reportedly stalls on its proposed U.S. IPO, one of its closest challengers is doubling down. NetEase Cloud Music, a rival operated by games and publishing giant NetEase, just closed a fresh $600 million injection from a bevy of investors that include Baidu and General Atlantic, the company announced […]

Alibaba rival JD sees Singles’ Day revenue jump 27% thanks to offline push

Alibaba may have pioneered the concept of Singles’ Day, the world’s largest shopping day based on sales, but it very much is not the only e-commerce giant involved. JD.com, Alibaba’s biggest rival in China, just announced that it sold RMB 159.8 billion ($23 billion) in goods for its Singles’ Day campaign. Unlike Alibaba, which racked up $31 […]

Alibaba made a smart screen to help blind people shop and it costs next to nothing

Just a few years ago, Li Mengqi could not have imagined shopping on her own. Someone needed to always keep her company to say aloud what was in front of her, who’s been blind since birth. When smartphones with text-to-speech machines for the visually impaired arrived, she immediately bought an iPhone. “Though it was expensive,” […]

Travel activities startup KKday lands investment from Alibaba and Line

Taiwan’s KKday, a startup in the increasingly competitive travel activities space, has pulled in an undisclosed funding round that adds two strategic investors to its business: Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba and Japanese chat app company Line. KKday was founded in 2015 to help people who travel overseas find and book activities, ranging from tours to […]

Southeast Asia’s Grab pulls in $200M from travel giant Booking

Fresh from a strategic investment from Microsoft, Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing leader Grab is back in the money again after it closed $200 million in fresh capital from Booking Holdings, the travel firm formerly known as Priceline. The investment is part of an ongoing round of funding that Grab said is on course to reach $3 […]

Big tech must not reframe digital ethics in its image

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s visage loomed large over the European parliament this week, both literally and figuratively, as global privacy regulators gathered in Brussels to interrogate the human impacts of technologies that derive their power and persuasiveness from our data. The eponymous social network has been at the center of a privacy storm this year. And […]

China’s ByteDance leapfrogs Uber to becomes world’s most valuable startup

Move aside Uber, China’s ByteDance is now the world’s highest-valued tech startup. That’s according to reports from Forbes and Bloomberg both of which claim that the company has completed a $3 billion investment that values the company at $75 billion. A source with knowledge of the deal confirmed the round to TechCrunch and suggested that […]

China’s Nio invests in LiDAR startup Innovusion

Innovusion, a two-year-old startup developing LiDAR sensor technology for autonomous vehicles, has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Chinese firms Nio Capital and Eight Roads Ventures along with U.S.-based F-Prime Capital. Other seed round and strategic investors joined the round, the startup said. Nio Capital is the venture arm of […]

Apple picks Thailand for its second retail store in Southeast Asia

Apple continues to increase its efforts in Southeast Asia’s fast-growing market after it picked Thailand as the location for its second Apple Store in the region. A post on Apple’s website reveals that it will operate a retail store at the soon-to-open Iconsiam which is set to become Bangkok’s largest mall when it opens next […]