Shenzhen, a small fishing village along the coast of the South China Sea in 1978, is now one of the world’s top destinations for entrepreneurs, programmers, and engineers.There’s a place called Huaqiangbei Electronics Market in the Central Business District of Shenzhen where hundreds of shops and vendors sell, repair, and modify electronic components and devices every day.In short, the rest of the world’s reaction to the rise of Shenzhen could be described in similar sentiment to Silicon Valley veteran Scotty Allen’s upon visiting the southern Chinese city for the first time: “Wow, we are fucked.”We wanted to experience first-hand the unique, anything-is-possible spirit of this city, so we’re bringing Asia Hardware Battle (AHB) 2018 City Pitching to Shenzhen.On September 14, we will be joined by our partners HAX, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB), ParticleX, ABeam Consulting China, WeWork, Indiegogo, and Tsinghua SEM X-elerator in Shenzhen’s Futian District.After providing companies with the resources of the Shenzhen ecosystem and mentorship to successfully build a scalable prototype, HAX helps companies enter the market in San Francisco through training in business development, fundraising, and growth.
Ant Financial has been secretly experimenting with blockchain technology applications.The Alibaba financial affiliate has sent out nearly 600,000 blockchain electronic medical bills to patients over the past two weeks, according to Sina (in Chinese).According to Ant Financial’s blockchain expert Yang Xueqing, the true value of blockchain medical e-bills is that it can prevent multiple reimbursement scams—re-submit a claim and be reimbursed multiple times.The difference between a blockchain e-bill and an ordinary one is that blockchain e-bills can keep a ledger of billing records that is trackable, irreversible and cannot be tampered with.Thus, it is able to reduce fraud cases like “double dipping” in medical billing.Blockchain e-billing is most suitable for use for high-frequency transactions like in medical billing.
Go-Jek is “extremely close” to profitability in all segments – except for transportation (Indonesia).Co-founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim said that he expects the ride-hailing company to be fully profitable “probably” within the next few years.But Go-Jek’s transportation offerings are not as close to turning a profit as other segments, though Makarim said that he now considers food delivery to be the company’s core business.Go-Jek revealed plans earlier this year to expand beyond its home market to other Southeast Asian countries.Makarim said that Go-Viet – its Vietnamese app – has grabbed 15 percent market share in Ho Chi Minh City since launching at the start of August.He also expressed a positive outlook on Go-Jek’s foray into Singapore, claiming that authorities in the city-state are “particularly eager to bring back competition” following Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s regional operations earlier this year.
Tencent’s earning’s call on Wednesday (August 15, 2018) has understandably caused a lot of debate.The first drop in profits in 10 years is certainly something worthy of discussion and Tencent’s share price has clearly had a horrid time of things this year.I also rate each issue based on its impact on the long-term health of the company.It’s not every earnings call where we are treated to the spectacle of Tencent’s higher management having to explain the gory details of how government approval processes work.I’m not surprised about the negativity surrounding the discovery that China’s government gaming regulations are even more byzantine, opaque and quite frankly impossible sometimes for even the biggest and most connected local companies to navigate through.Yet the biggest companies are the ones best placed to be able to deal with it.
China’s JD.com looks to warehousing assets to help revive profits – ReutersWhat happened: China’s second largest e-commerce company JD.com reported a net loss of $334.4 million in the second quarter of 2018.The loss was nearly double forecasts for a $177 million polled by Thomson Reuters.The loss was mainly to do increased investment in technology and slower sales.In the future, JD.com expects its warehousing assets to help increase profits.Why it’s important: JD.com owns about 2.5 million square meters of warehouse space and said it will help the company profit.
Chinese online retail giant JD.com has announced the launch of “JD Blockchain Open Platform,” a blockchain technology platform that aims to help enterprise clients who don’t have the capabilities necessary to develop their own blockchain applications.The open platform houses an app store which gives enterprises easier access to blockchain bottom layers, tools, and software.The new platform is part of the retailer’s latest Retail as a Service (RaaS) push, in which the company is offering its technology to other companies outside of the JD ecosystem.According to the company’s press release, the platform “enables customers to create and adjust smart contracts on public and private enterprise clouds with ease.” The company claims that the technology can help enterprises streamline their operations such as tracking and tracing their goods, transaction settlements, digital copyrights among others.“JD Blockchain Open Platform is a culmination of the expertise and experience in blockchain technology that we initially developed for our own operations,” said Jian Pei, head of big data and smart supply chain at JD.com.China Pacific Insurance Company is one of the first partners of JD.com to utilize the blockchain open platform and is already applying the technology to deploy a traceable system for e-invoices.
With the GeekPwn 2018 International Cybersecurity and AI Contest in Las Vegas just over, TechNode interviewed Daniel Wang, CEO of KEEN, the Chinese whitehat hacking collective that organizes the annual GeekPwn competition.Wang founded the KEEN team in 2011 after working as a senior cybersecurity analyst at Microsoft.He led KEEN to win numerous international competitions in the following years, such as the famous hacker competition, Pwn2Own, and gained international acclaim.Wang’s starting point was when he encountered the concept of “generational confrontation network.” He had a simple yet valid premise: “Can I generate a dirty sample to confuse AI systems, and what’s the result?” He found that he could disorient simple AI with simple tweaks and realized that there were a lot of serious implications for our everyday lives.When an exploit is discovered and patched, it is one less loophole that malicious hackers can use to destroy our systems, and hence enhance our security.Wang goes on to say that if we are seriously concerned about attacks, adopting the hacker’s mindset will be helpful for our future development of AI.
What happened: Google employees have demanded more “transparency, oversight and accountability” after the revelation of the company’s secretive plans to launch a search engine for the Chinese market.Employees have requested an ethics review group that would provide independent assessments of projects that raise ethical questions.Google CEO Sundar Pinchai has responded by saying the company is not close to launching a search engine in China and that sharing information too early on certain projects can “cause issues.”Why it’s important: Pinchai’s words ring hollow knowing that the search engine already has a functioning version, according to earlier reports from The Intercept.Reports also show that the project is being carried out as part of a “joint venture” with a company that’s likely based in China.Speculations have already started on whether that company may be Tencent.
China’s ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing earned the title of “Uber Slayer” in 2016.By selling its China business to its rival, Uber confirmed that the Chinese market was not only full of potential but peril.Didi now holds between 90-95% of the market, according to most often repeated estimates.Its platform Gaode Yixing integrates not only bike-rental options from ofo and Mobike, but also Alibaba’s travel platform Fliggy, and more.Chinese car manufacturer Geely owns 90% of its stake and most of its car fleet consists of Geely’s electric cars.As Caocao’s chairman Liu Jinliang told local media, manufacturers have to enter online car booking because there will be significant changes in the automotive industry in the future.
There’s a slew of new venture capital funds in town, and Tin Men Capital is one of them.Unlike most funds, however, Tin Men has a narrow focus – enterprise technology.Co-founder Murli Ravi says that the firm has done its first close, without revealing the size.“We have already confirmed our first two investments, are in the late stages of evaluating two more candidates and are actively seeking additional opportunities.”Ravi is a veteran investor.He was the head for Southeast and South Asia investments at JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific).
There was a time when working at a startup was considered a bad career move – and a desperate one, too.However, that perception has changed so significantly that nowadays, it seems that everyone wants to live the “startup life.” There’s an air of passion and commitment in a startup that can be quite addictive for people who want to make it big.No matter how good the offer, there’s always that niggling question: Can you get a little closer to your current value in the corporate marketplace?As he explains, “My guess would be, one in 20 really hits it substantially, and one in five continues at all.If you’re working for a startup and your compensation is dependent upon the company doing well, you’re taking a significant risk.”There is no certainty when it comes to compensation, so you’re going to have to make a bet.
In response to the recent backlash over the “100% China developed” browser engine, Redcore has issued an official apology on WeChat, admitting that there, in fact, was “some degree of exaggeration” in its recent marketing and fundraising efforts.The Redcore team said they are deeply sorry for the claims they made that might have misguided the public.“Redcore browser engine is the adaptation and innovation based on the globally-accepted open-source Chromium kernel architecture.We did not mention this clearly during our marketing campaign, which might have misled people into thinking that we built the browser engine from the ground up.”Redcore said it should have focused more on the browser’s actual functionality and customer value, instead of insisting that it is made in China.Redcore came into the public’s attention after reportedly raising RMB 250 million from “large public traded companies and government agencies.” The company also touted that the internet browser is used by the Chinese government and can break the US monopoly, according to CNBC.
Chinese hackers targeted U.S. firms, government after trade mission: researchers – ReutersWhat happened: Chinese hackers reportedly operating out of Tsinghua University probed American companies and government departments before and after trade talks with the US in May.According to cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, the group targeted energy and communications companies, as well as the Alaskan state government, seeking espionage opportunities.Why it’s important: The trade tensions between China and the US have caused substantial damage to cyberspace cooperation between the two countries, which sought to stop industrial cyber espionage.In 2015, the topic was seen positively in the broader scope or US-China relations.However, given the current climate, it is unlikely that this is still the case.
China’s console and TV-based game market will hit $736 million in 2018-Venture BeatWhat happened: The total revenue for sales of game consoles, console game software and TV-based game software in China is projected to reach $736 million in 2018, up nearly 14.6% YoY, according to a report from Niko Partners.Of the total revenue, Niko projects 2018 console and TV-based games software revenue to reach $471 million, up 32% YoY.But the hardware revenue is projected to down 7% YoY to $265 million.Why it’s important: When China lifted its decade-long ban on game consoles in 2014, the country expected the industry to experience a rapid boom.However, console makers and game developers are still stumbling in the contest for relevance in one of the world’s largest gaming markets due to the late arrival of consoles and users’ increasing favor for mobile devices.
Shanghai, Alibaba, and Ant Financial have signed a strategic cooperation agreement to boost the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta.According to local media reports (in Chinese), under the new partnership agreement, Alibaba will ramp up its new retail efforts in Shanghai.Alibaba founder Jack Ma revealed at the signing ceremony that Alibaba has been putting a heavy focus on the development of the Yangtze River Delta regions.Multiple Alibaba-owned businesses are headquartered in Shanghai, including O2O supermarket chain Hema Xiansheng and food delivery platform Ele.me.Alibaba’s mobile payment platform Alipay is also connected with Shanghai’s public service departments and is now capable of handling over a hundred civil affairs.The company announced that it aims to bring new businesses, technology, products, and business models to Shanghai.
This dynamic has put both camps in an awkward relationship as each side covets something valuable in the other.One of China’s rising AI stars is Rokid, a four-year-old startup last valued at US$450 million.Virtually all of China’s tech titans, such as Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, JD, and Xiaomi, are churning out voice-controlled gadgets.While the major players focus on the mass market, Rokid is zeroing in on higher-end speakers that cost as much as US$770.And although the bigwigs have built software to go with their own speakers, they outsource certain stages of the work to startups for strategic reasons.“It basically wants to put speakers inside homes so people can shop via its speakers.”
Ryde says that private-hire drivers will not be able to work for its new courier service (Singapore).The ride-hailing startup said it will not use private-hire chauffeurs and licensed taxi drivers to deliver packages for its new RydeSend service.It also apologized for confusion caused by its earlier statements, which indicated that all of Ryde’s driver-partners would be able to take on RydeSend jobs to supplement their passenger-derived income.Singapore’s Land Transport Authority had responded to RydeSend’s launch earlier this week, warning Ryde that the service contravenes prohibitions on taxis and private-hire cars from conveying goods.Ryde clarified that it will tap private drivers, including those that already use its app to offer carpooling service, for RydeSend – rather than those that are licensed to be hired for passenger services.“Mystery prize” vending machines removed (Singapore).
Haidian Court concluded China’s first Bitcoin Cash dispute in Beijing.The court ruled that OKCoin, the defendant, should pay Mr. Feng, the plaintiff whose real name wasn’t revealed by the court, 38.748 Bitcoin Cash but dismissed Feng’s claim for compensation of RMB 160,000.According to a press release from the Haidian Court, Feng registered on OKCoin on Nov. 1, 2016, and bought 38.748 Bitcoin on the platform.When Bitcoin split into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash in August 2017, OKCoin issued an announcement that it will grant the user the same amount of Bitcoin Cash as the amount of Bitcoin they own.However, Feng failed to collect his amount of Bitcoin Cash, because “the ‘collect button’ on the webpage disappeared.”However, according to OKCoin, it’s Feng that continuously postponed collection until the collection period expired.
Grab is continuing its relentless march towards becoming Southeast Asia’s “superapp.” The region’s leading ride-hailing firm has announced a joint venture with Ping An Good Doctor – a major online healthcare player in China – to provide a number of online healthcare services, including online medical appointments, medicine delivery, and appointment bookings.The platform will launch in a few countries in the first quarter of 2019, and will use GrabPay to complete transactions.The new service is developed using GrabPlatform, which is a set of technologies for partners to leverage Grab’s user base, drivers, and technology.The joint venture aims to solve what it terms “a lack of adequate medical infrastructure in some countries, a rural-urban divide when it comes to the accessibility of doctors, and inefficiencies on the consumer end when needing to see the doctor.”The press release states that Indonesia has only one physician for nearly 5,000 people, whereas high-income countries have up to three to four doctors for every thousand people.Grab has rapidly expanded its offerings ever since Uber’s exit from Southeast Asia.
Web browser claiming to be “100 percent China-developed” apparently a Chromium fork (China).Redcore, which suggested that it was the first completely homegrown web browser from China, is actually a fork from US-based Google’s open-source Chromium project.With most major browser options being developed in the US, Redcore reportedly marketed itself as a high-security alternative for domestic Chinese enterprise clients.Among its customers are government bodies and state-owned enterprises such as the State Council of China, the National Bureau of Statistics, and oil and gas giant PetroChina.Redcore recently raised US$36.2 million in its series C venture round.Karaoke startup Thunder Stone raises US$29 million (China).