Daily Crunch: Apple Stores begin to reopen

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Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales top $38 billion

After 24 hours of frenzied buying and selling, and weeks of aggressive advertising and promotions before it, the Alibaba Group said today its sales hit another record high on Singles’ Day, the biggest shopping day on the planet. The Chinese e-commerce giant said its platforms sold goods worth 268 billion yuan, or $38.4 billion today, […]

China’s growing digital influence in Africa

There’s been a heap of China in Africa coverage over the last decade, but very little of it is focused on tech. In part, because the country’s engagement with African startups is light compared to its deal-making on infrastructure and commodities. Now, that all looks to be shifting. TechCrunch has tracked moves by a number […]

Flutterwave and Alipay partner on payments between Africa and China

San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech startup Flutterwave has partnered with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba to offer digital payments between Alipay and African merchants. Flutterwave is a Nigerian-founded B2B payments service (primarily) for companies in Africa to pay other companies on the continent and abroad. Alipay is Alibaba’s digital wallet and payments platform. In 2013, Alipay […]

Africa Roundup: Jumia files for IPO, OneFi acquires Amplify, FlexClub expands in Mexico

Less than a decade ago IPOs, acquisitions and global expansion by African startups were more possibility than reality. March saw all three from the continent’s tech scene. Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, per SEC documents and confirmation from chief executive Sacha Poignonnec. In an updated filing, […]

Tiger Global and Ant Financial lead $500M investment in China’s shared housing startup Danke

A Chinese startup that’s taking a dorm-like approach to urban housing just raised $500 million as its valuation jumped over $2 billion. Danke Apartment, whose name means “eggshell” in Chinese, closed the Series C round led by returning investor Tiger Global Management and newcomer Ant Financial, Alibaba’s e-payment and financial affiliate controlled by Jack Ma. […]

Oil and gas giants Chevron and Occidental are backing tech to combat carbon emissions

Carbon Engineering, a Canadian company developing technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and process it for use in enhanced oil recovery or in the creation of new synthetic fuels, has locked in financing from two big industry backers — Chevron and Occidental Petroleum — to bring its products to market. The undisclosed amount […]

Alibaba goes big on Russia with joint venture focused on gaming, shopping and more

Alibaba is doubling down on Russia after the Chinese e-commerce giant launched a joint venture valued at around $2 billion with one of the country’s leading internet companies. Russia is said to have over 70 million internet users, around half of its population, with countless more attracted from Russian-speaking neighboring countries. The numbers are projected […]

Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Joe Tsai invest $20 million in Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway has snagged a $20 million investment from Alibaba CEO Jack Ma and Joe Tsai via Blue Pool Capital, Recode first reported. Blue Pool Capital is a multibillion-dollar fund that invests in public and private equity on behalf people like Ma and Tsai. The round reportedly values Rent the Runway at about $800 […]