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Asia Tech Review: 28 January 2020

January 28 · Issue #141 · View online
Asia Tech Review
Welcome back,
It’s been a long five weeks on the road but I’m finally back in Thailand with a new media visa. This was the mini crisis I alluded to a couple of weeks ago. Now that it’s done, I’m happy to get cracking on 2020. That means sending this newsletter out on time and weekly again, and getting to work with the talented team that we’ve assembled at The Ken here in Southeast Asia.
That’s more than enough from me, this week’s highlights include ByteDance spending over $100M on a hot new movie – you thought it was just a toy… – a new head of Samsung Mobile, a new home for Uber Eats in India, and a resolution of sorts for a US journalist who was arrested on visa issues in Indonesia last month.
Enjoy, I’ll see you again next week.
You can get Asia tech news as it happens by subscribing to the ATR Telegram channel. It’s totally free and there’s no catch, just follow 👉🏻

ByteDance pays $100M to snap up anticipated movie after cinemas cancel run following virus outbreak
The extradition process for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has now begun link
Ant Financial could hit a $200B valuation in new funding deal link
China jailed a Chinese student from the University of Minnesota over tweets that insulted President Xi Jinping link
China is also busy silencing citizens who are critical of the Coronavirus outbreak link
ByteDance is reportedly hiring a US-based CEO for TikTok link
ByteDance is also reportedly going big on games – it is said to have built up a mobile gaming division of more than 1,000 staff through hiring and acquisitions link
Tencent, meanwhile – the target for ByteDance’s gaming push – is buying European games startup Funcom for $148 million link
It is also developing a short video feature for WeChat aimed at competing with TikTok link
Luckin Coffee raised $865M in first post-IPO financing deal link
WeChat now lets official accounts published paywalled blog posts link
Meituan delivery riders have become a cultural phenomenon link
Yunxuetang, which offers corporate training services, raised a $100M Series D link
Nasdaq-listed Sohu is taking its video games business – valued at nearly $600M – private link
Foxconn is working with Fiat Chrysler on electric cars which could debut in two years link
Zomato bought Uber Eats India in exchange for 10% in equity
Scooter rental startup Bounce raised $105M link
Sequoia is reportedly raising a new $1.3B fund for India link
Tiger Global is reportedly raising a new $3.8B global fund, with a major focus on India link
How Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal is going after financial services link
India is now the world’s second largest smartphone market, behind only China link
Jeff Bezos came to India and pledged to invest $1B in Amazon’s country business – but it didn’t go down well with the India government link An early part of its push sees Amazon partner with thousands of local stores for delivery link and announce electric auto rickshaws for last mile logistics link
Pine Labs raised undisclosed funding from Mastercard link
Zoomcar raised $30M led by the Sony Innovation Fund, it plans to increase the round to $100M link
Fantasy gaming startup Dream11 is said to be close to raising $500M at a valuation of $2.5B link
Student housing startup Oxfordcaps is reportedly raising $30M at a valuation of at least $100M - its last round was $8M link
Japanese banks are wary of the fintech revolution
Ebay rival Mercari consolidated its payment push by buying rival Origami link
A former SoftBank staffer was arrested for allegedly spying for Russia link
Samsung appointed a new head of its mobile business
Southeast Asia
Indonesia released a US journalist detained over a visa issue
Grab said it will introduce high definition mapping in Indonesia to help prepare the ground for self-driving cars link
Grab also raised eyebrows when it announced plans to slash loyalty rewards for customers from March link
Grab and Razer are Singapore banking license applicants that also seek a license in Malaysia link
Operators Starhub and M1 will jointly bid for a 5G license in Singapore link
Tokopedia is reportedly close to raising $1.5B, a round that was previously reported to be its last private fundraising until it goes public (we shall see on that) link
Apple supplier Petagron is setting up a production facility in Vietnam to diversify its supply chain beyond China link
Tim Draper invested $3.5M in Singapore hostel chain Tribe Theory link
Photo of the week
Vicky Xiuzhong Xu
People publicly shamed in China for going out in their PJs. Their surname, picture, and partial ID number made public. Local govt asked people to submit more “uncivilized” PJ photos - 10 bucks for each picture verified
That's all for now, see you next week!
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