Meituan, Alibaba, and the new landscape of ride-hailing in China

Instead of switching between apps to secure a ride during rush hour, people in China can now hail from different companies using a single app. Some of the country’s largest internet companies — including ride-hailing giant Didi itself — are placing bets on this type of aggregation service. The nascent model is reminiscent of a […]

Image recognition, mini apps, QR codes: how China uses tech to sort its waste

China’s war on garbage is as digitally savvy as the country itself. Think QR codes attached to trash bags that allow a municipal government to trace exactly where its trash comes from. On July 1, the world’s most populated city (Shanghai) began a compulsory garbage-sorting program. Under the new regulations (in Chinese), households and companies […]

Splyt wants to connect the world’s ride-hailing apps for easy international roaming

The vision of a universal global ride-hailing service is over. Uber’s decision to exit markets like China, Southeast Asia and Russia coupled with the failure of its rivals to develop a proposed roaming system, means that global travelers must install multiple apps if they are to take advantage of on-demand taxis. That’s unless a little-known startup […]

Xiaomi’s budget Mi Band wearable now sports a color screen and voice assistant

Xiaomi has refreshed its smart fitness tracker and unveiled a range of other gadgets in China, giving a glimpse at some of its affordable products that it will likely be bringing to other markets in the coming future. The wearable fitness tracker, called Mi Smart Band 4, sports a bigger AMOLED display (39.9% increase in […]

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 […]

Go-Jek makes first close of $2 billion round at $9.5 billion valuation

Southeast Asia-based ridesharing firm Go-Jek is making progress with its plan to raise up to $2 billion in fresh capital to fund its battle with close rival Grab. Indonesia-headquartered Go-Jek has closed an initial chunk of that round after a collection of existing investors, including Google, Tencent and JD.com, agreed to invest around $920 million toward […]

Momo, Vietnam’s top payment app, lands big Series C investment led by Warburg Pincus

Fintech in Southeast Asia continues to pique the attention of global investors. Alibaba, Tencent and others have jumped into the region and deployed hundreds of millions of dollars, and now Warburg Pincus is joining them. The U.S-headquartered PE firm has led a Series C investment in Vietnam’s Momo, which claims to be the country’s largest mobile […]

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,” […]

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 […]

Terra is an ambitious crypto project to build a stable coin through e-commerce

Four of the world’s largest crypto exchanges are leading a $32 million investment in an ambitious venture out of Korea that’s aiming to develop a new stable coin using e-commerce as the lynchpin. Global exchanges Binance Labs, OKEx, Huobi Capital, and Dunamu — the firm behind Korea’s Upbit — have all poured capital into Terra, a crypto […]