Alibaba invests about $635M in Red Star Macalline, one of China’s largest furniture sellers

Alibaba Group has acquired about RMB 4.36 billion ($635 million) worth of convertible bonds in Red Star Macalline, one of China’s biggest furniture retailers. If converted, this would give Alibaba about a 10% stake in the company. It also purchased 3.7% of Red Star Macalline’s publicly traded shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange, according […]

Tencent’s mixed bag for Q1: record profit despite weakest revenue growth yet

Tencent, Asia’s largest tech firm, had a horrific 2018 on account of a country-wide freeze on new game monetization in China, but there’s evidence it has turned the corner. The company’s new mobile gaming hit, Game for Peace, has yet to kickstart the company’s recovery from a few weakening quarters, but its booming financial technology […]

JD.com to foster connected vehicle fleets with $55M investment

JD.com, the Chinese answer to Amazon and Alibaba’s long-time rival, is looking to further automate its logistics network after agreeing to pour 376 million yuan (around $55 million) into Jiangsu Xinning Modern Logistics in exchange for up to 10 percent stake. That’s according to a filing released on Monday by Xinning, a China-listed logistics firm […]

The misunderstandings of 18-month-old Luckin’s $500M IPO

Luckin Coffee is the most energizing IPO in recent memory, and not just because it sells caffeine. Most venture-backed startups can take a decade to reach the public markets. Luckin cut that time down to about 18 months. Founder Jenny Qian Zhiya opened a trial coffee shop in Beijing, with a focus on rapid coffee […]

Alibaba-backed facial recognition startup Megvii raises $750 million

One of China’s most ambitious artificial intelligence startups, Megvii, more commonly known for its facial recognition brand Face++, announced Wednesday that it has raised $750 million in a Series E funding round. Founded by three graduates from the prestigious Tsinghua University in China, the eight-year-old company specializes in applying its computer vision solutions to a […]

African e-commerce startup Jumia’s shares open at $14.50 in NYSE IPO

Pan-African e-commerce company Jumia listed on the New York Stock Exchange today, with shares beginning trading at $14.50 under ticker symbol JMIA. This comes four weeks after CEO Sacha Poignonnec confirmed the IPO to TechCrunch and Jumia filed SEC documents. With the public offering, Jumia becomes the first startup from Africa to list on a major global […]

Grab is talking to Ant Financial and PayPal about spinning out its financial services business

Grab, the $16 billion-valued ride-hailing firm that acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia business last year, is in talks with Alibaba’s Ant Financial and PayPal as it considers spinning out of its financial services unit to double down on its non-transportation business, TechCrunch has learned. The seven-year-old company’s coming-of-age moment was a deal to buy Uber’s regional […]

Alibaba acquires Israeli startup Infinity Augmented Reality

Infinity Augmented Reality, an Israeli startup, has been acquired by Alibaba, the companies announced this weekend. The deal’s terms were not disclosed. Alibaba and InfinityAR have had a strategic partnership since 2016, when Alibaba Group led InfinityAR’s Series C. Since then, the two have collaborated on augmented reality, computer vision and artificial intelligence projects. Founded […]

Apple is offering interest-free financing to boost iPhone sales in China

Apple is looking to get over its sales woes in China by offering prospective customers interest-free financing with a little help from Alibaba. Apple’s China website now offers financing packages for iPhones that include zero percent interest packages provided in association with several banks and Huabei, a consumer credit company operated by Alibaba’s Ant Financial […]

E-commerce startup Zilingo raises $226M to digitize Asia’s fashion supply chain

If you’re looking for the next unicorn in Southeast Asia, Zilingo might just be it. The 3.5-year-old e-commerce company announced today that it has raised a Series D round worth $226 million to go after the opportunity to digitize Asia’s fashion supply chain. This new round takes Zilingo to $308 million from investors since its […]