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A Nio electric car gets a recharge / Photo credit: Nio

Here’s our curated list of the top tech news stories this Friday.

Ecommerce

Chehaoduo closes US$818 million Tencent-led round (China). Previously named Guazi, Chehaoduo started out as a platform for trading second-hand cars, but has since diversified into selling new vehicles and auto industry services. Tencent led the series C fundraise, with ICBC International, Yunfeng Capital, and Singaporean sovereign fund GIC among the new backers to come onboard. Existing investors including Sequoia Capital, H Capital, and DST Global also participated. (China Money Network)

Nio and SAIC to lead the way in testing autonomous vehicles (China). Electric car startup Nio and state-owned automaker SAIC are the first two companies to be granted licenses to conduct on-road testing of self-driving vehicles in China. The licenses allow them to test driverless cars on a 5.6 km stretch of public road in Shanghai’s Jiading district. It as reported earlier this week that Nio has retained eight banks to advise it on its planned US IPO, which could raise as much as US$2 billion. (Technode)

Fintech

Crypto-exchanges to set up their own regulator (Japan). The country’s 16 government-approved cryptocurrency exchanges will establish a self-regulatory body to police the industry in the coming months. The body will later invite other exchanges whose applications for government approval are pending, as well as those that plan to register in the future. Japan became the first country to set up an official register of crypto-exchanges when it approved the first 11 operators last September. (Reuters)

bitcoin, crypto, cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency

Photo credit: Andre Francois / Unsplash

Life sciences

Agritech startup TSSE raises US$3 million (Taiwan). The company, which is developing biological pesticide substitutes to reduce toxicity in the food chain, will partly use the funding for R&D activities. Singapore-based Bravovia Capital led the series A round. (e27)

Pharma startup TauRx claims US$2.5 billion valuation (Singapore). TauRx is searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and is just about to launch its latest set of drug trials. Deputy chairman Tay Siew Choon said that since its last fundraise in 2016, the startup is valued at US$2.5 billion. It has raised more than US$500 million in total funding, including US$112 million from Malaysian hospitality and gambling giant Genting. (Bloomberg)

Delivery and logistics

Didi Chuxing seeks food delivery drivers as rivalry with Meituan-Dianping heats up (China). The ride-hailing firm is recruiting drivers in Wuxi for Didi Waimai, which appears to be its new food delivery service. Entering this area will bring it into even closer competition with online-to-offline app Meituan, which is reportedly launching its own ride-hailing services in seven cities across China later this month. (Technode)

Investors, incubators, and accelerators

Vickers Venture Partners to open Kuala Lumpur office (Malaysia). The Singapore-based VC firm also has offices in Hong Kong, New York, San Diego, and Shanghai. Co-founder and chairman Finian Tan said that the key reasons for establishing a presence in Malaysia are the work of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, the government’s tech enterprise agency, and the country’s role in the China-led “One Belt One Road” economic development program. Vickers closed its most recent VC fund at US$230 million, making it one of the largest ever raised in Southeast Asia. (Vulcan Post)

See: Previous Asia news roundups

This post Asia news roundup: $818m for Chehaoduo, Nio and SAIC to road-test driverless cars, and more appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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