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The Fragrant Harbor dominated tech business news today, with big investments for local startups WeLab and BottlesXO, and a seemingly momentous IPO for ebook company China Literature.


WeLab scores US$220 million funding (Hong Kong). The online lender will use the money to accelerate its expansion beyond China. Alibaba led the round.  (Tech in Asia)

Enterprise services

Goldman Sachs makes US$17.6 million investment in Sansan (Japan). The US firm indicated that it expects the Japanese startup – which digitizes business cards to form a professional social network – to IPO in the near future. Goldman is committing a total of US$876 million to Japan-related investments over the next couple of years. (Nikkei Asian Review)

Photo credit: sjenner13 / 123RF.

Artificial intelligence

Yixue raises US$41 million in seed round (China). Susquehanna International Group and Nokia Growth Partners are among those that have invested in the startup, which uses AI to provide tailored educational programs for individual students. (China Money Network)

Appier expands executive team (Taiwan). The company – which uses AI to help brands formulate and tailor their marketing campaigns – has appointed former App Annie managing director Junde Yu as its chief new business officer. Charles Ng, formerly chief data scientist at Coupang, will become Appier’s vice president of enterprise AI. (Appier)

Appier team

Appier’s team in Taipei. Photo credit: Appier.

Life sciences

Sequoia backs oncology startup EOC Pharma (China). The firm joined EOC’s US$32 million series B round, which was led by Taikang Investment. EOC in-licenses cancer treatment and diagnostic technologies and commercializes them for the Chinese market. (China Money Network)


BottlesXO gets US$3.4 million in pre-series A funding (Hong Kong). The booze-on-demand app has raised funds from an undisclosed Singapore private equity firm. It delivers beer, wine, and spirits to thirsty residents of Hong Kong, Shanghai, Suzhou, and Singapore. (BottlesXO)

JD signs on for US-made products worth US$2 billion (China). The ecommerce giant has committed itself to purchasing US goods worth US$2 billion – including US$1.2 billion of US-reared beef and pork –  over the next three years to sell on its online marketplaces. (Bloomberg)


Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_tzido'>tzido / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Photo credit: tzido / 123RF.

Tencent spin-off’s shares gain over 80 percent on Hong Kong debut (China/Hong Kong). Tencent’s ebook unit China Literature made a splash when it listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange today. Shares in the company doubled in value from their HK$55 (US$7.05) asking price in early trading and finished at HK$102.40 (US$13.13) apiece, gaining 86.2 percent for the day. The seemingly impressive debut suggests that Hong Kong can still compete with New York’s exchanges in attracting big tech IPOs. (Reuters)

This post Asia tech news roundup – Nov 8 appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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