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Asia Tech Review: May 7 2019

Welcome back, China had a four-day holiday last week off for labor day and that's the inspiration for
May 7 · Issue #113 · View online
Asia Tech Review
Welcome back,
China had a four-day holiday last week off for labor day and that’s the inspiration for the later-than-usual-good-gosh-it-is-already-Tuesday-I-don’t-even edition of the newsletter this week.
One small note: TechCrunch hired a reporter in India called Manish Singh, he’s already up and running with some great stories – you can follow him on Twitter here.
On to this week’s update 😉

Inside China’s ‘Big Brother’ app tracking Muslim citizens in Xinjiang
China reportedly used NSA tech, used to attack it, for offensive operations link
Bloomberg claimed Vodafone Italy found ‘backdoors’ in Huawei equipment in 2009 and that, despite being removed, it was reinstalled link
Other media dismissed those claims, pointing out that the software concerned was not nefarious – Cisco has been guilty of doing similar link
China’s cash crunch hit Sequoia, which is reportedly trimming its staff by 20% link
Luckin plans to raise over $500 million in Nasdaq listing link
Meanwhile, Bloomberg columnist Tim Culpan gets into Luckin’s IPO in typical no-holds-barred fashion link
Video site Youku is reportedly struggling link
My TechCrunch colleague Rita Liao looked at how Didi is rebuilding its battered reputation following the murder of two passengers last year link
A security lapse offered a glimpse into data collection within a Chinese smart city system link
An AI company reportedly helped track down a criminal who had been ‘on the run’ for 20 years link
Times Internet isn’t ceding ground to US rivals Facebook and Google
Mastercard plans to invest $1B into India link
India’s wants to develop its semiconductor industry link
After beating a ban TikTok has now started monetizing in India link
Facebook may face action for operating WhatsApp payments without compliance link
💸Deals 💸 OYO acquired Europe’s Leisure to move into the continent (link) BigBasket raised $150M at a valuation of over $1B (link) logistics startup BlackBuck raised $150M (link) Ratan Tata made an undisclosed investment in Ola’s EV unit (link) Dunzo is reportedly raising $50M (link)
Japanese government to create and maintain defensive malware
💸Deals 💸 SoftBank is reportedly considering an IPO for its Vision Fund link
Samsung saw Q1 profit drop 60 percent from last year's record
LG’s mobile division continues its slide into irrelevance with lowest quarterly sales for at least 8 years link
Southeast Asia
Two Reuters reporters freed in Myanmar after more than 500 days in jail
Jungle Ventures made a first close of $175M on its new fund, likely to close out at $220M in the coming months – a real monster for the region link
I reported that struggling grocery startup Honestbee fired its CEO, this was confirmed a day later although Joel Sng maintains that he resigned – I expect things to settle down with this company for a while but it remains very much in trouble link
Bloomberg summarized what Uber is “missing” in Southeast Asia – agree that this market is dynamic and full of potential, but the huge cash burn isn’t what Uber needs right now. A stake in Grab gives it skin in the game and potential to re-enter when the market is more ready – that seems like a win (as I said before) link
Malaysia plans to restructure its government funds MAVCAP and Cradle link
Go-Jek’s publicly released numbers – and even its own internal figures – smell a bit fishy link 🔒
💸Deals 💸 fintech startup Thunes raised $10M led by GGV (link) Samsung Ventures led a $7M investment in HR startup Swingvy (link) Deskera reportedly raised $100M (link)
Elsewhere in Asia
Bangladesh: Ride-hailing firm Pathao is reportedly closing in on a $50M raise link
Regional: Google’s revenue is growing fastest in Asia link
Outside of Asia Tech
Democracy is ‘under assault’ in Southeast Asia, according to a study from the Southeast Asian Press Alliance link
More details of Facebook’s global crypto platform have emerged, including apparent plans to raise $1B link
Photo of the week
Linda Lew 刘凌达
Memes running wild on Chinese social media after Trump's traiff tweets

Chinese stock markets:

Linda is my Twitter go-to for Chinese internet memes
TechCrunch is hiring a senior editor to help run our news team – do note this is a US-based position but you’d get to work with me 😉 link
This is a semi-regular feature when I find opportunities that I think are interesting, none of the above are paid for listings
Upcoming events
  • SaaStock Asia: May 14-15 in Hong Kong link
  • E27 Echelon: May 23-34 in Singapore link
  • Tech Sauce: June 19-20 in Bangkok, Thailand link
  • Ignite: 24-25 June in Manila, Philippines link
  • 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
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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