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Asia Tech Review: June 24 2019

Welcome back, Last week saw Facebook finally launch its much-anticipated Calibra project that aims to
June 24 · Issue #120 · View online
Asia Tech Review
Welcome back,
Last week saw Facebook finally launch its much-anticipated Calibra project that aims to ‘bank the unbanked’ by using a centralized ‘crypto’ coin. It’s an unprecedented Facebook – the social network has direct access to billions of people worldwide – but already we are seeing pushback from regulations and others.
That was the main news of the week, but today’s newsletter still includes updates from ongoing sagas. Those include the ongoing plight of Huawei, SoftBank’s efforts to deliver a second Vision Fund, Apple’s moves to relocate its manufacturing from China and – yet again – millions in new investment capital for Indian startups, including electric bike maker Bounce.
Thanks for everyone who came for the Bangkok ATR meetup. I learned some lessons – pick a more suitable (closed) venue, don’t shift the date without changing the Eventbrite tickets, etc – but it was fun. There’s potential to do another around Rise next month: let me know if you’re headed to Hong Kong and up for (yet another) party around the show that week.
See you again next week!

Huawei says US ban will cost it $30B in lost revenue
Bitmain, which let a license to IPO in Hong Kong lapse last year, is reportedly planning to go public in the US to raise $300M-$500M link
China’s EV startups are underwhelming some investors link
Xiaomi has a new sub-brand of “trendy” phones called CC link
ByteDance now has 1B monthly users across its apps, the most notable of which include TikTok (Douyin in China) and news app Toutiao link
Despite closing its local marketplace, Amazon is on a hiring spree in China link
Alibaba has proposed a share split “to increase the flexibility for… future capital market activities” – the company is tipped to raise up to $20B in a Hong Kong rumored for later this year link (it also shuffled its management team)
Self-driving car startups AutoX and were granted licenses to test robo-taxis in California link
Xiaomi fired an employee who used an artist’s work without permission link
Media is calling China’s unmanned store trend dead not long after it started link
Foxconn chairman Terry Gou stands down to run for Taiwan presidency
Calibra wallet won’t launch in Facebook’s biggest market
How Chinese smartphone companies have developed India-focused strategies link
Flipkart is reportedly talking to Walmart about a potential IPO by 2022 link
Truecaller, which claims 100M users in India, added free calling to its app link
OYO said it plans to invest $300M to build its business in the US link
Mobikwik is making a push overseas link
💸Deals of note 💸
Electric scooter company Bounce raised $72M at a valuation of $200M+ link
Paytm Money is reportedly raising $1.2 billion link
Druva, a US-India startup saas data service, raised $130M at a valuation of over $1B link
Postman raised a $50M Series B link
RazorPay raised $75M link
SoftBank could invest over $200M in CureFit link
Dailyhunt acquired Local Play to boost its presence in rural India link
Masayoshi Son says SoftBank Vision Fund investors do actually want to join its proposed second fund
Southeast Asia
The Tesla of Southeast Asia? Meet Somphote Ahunai, the Thai electricity tycoon who’s banking on it.
Apple has reportedly asked its suppliers to explore migrating their work from China to Southeast Asia link
Grab is apparently looking to raise money for its e-scooter unit link
EV Hive rebranded to CoHive and announced a first close of $13.5M for its Series B round link
Razer partnered with Visa to offer virtual cards for its prepaid service link
Elsewhere Asia
Facebook added new features to limit the forwarding of messages – and the potential spread of false information – in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, as it has done in India previously link
Outside of Asia Tech
A must-read on Malaysia Airlines’ lost MH370 flight link
Craig Mod went on a epic six-week walk in Japan, and wrote about the experience of being (mostly) offline link
For China’s leading investigative reporter, enough is enough link
A look at ethnic Russians in China through the eyes of a popular streamer link
Photo of the week
“Heroes in any times go through great challenges,” reads a placard left on a table at a Huawei campus cafe, featuring the image of a damaged World War II aircraft (Photo: TechCrunch)
Upcoming events
  • Innovfest Unbound: 27-28 June in Singapore link
  • Wild Digital: 3-4 July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia link
  • Rise: July 8-11 in Hong Kong link
  • Deal Street Asia’s PE-VC Summit: 17-18 September in Singapore link
  • Tech In Asia Conference: 8-9 October in Jakarta, Indonesia link
  • (NEW) TechCrunch Shenzhen: 9-12 November in Shenzhen, China link
If you run a tech event not listed here or want to recommend an addition, please email me
That's all for now, see you next week!
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