Rate this post

Sachin Bansal (right) exits Flipkart. / Photo credit: Flipkart

Here’s a wrap of the day’s news.


Sachin Bansal exits company after Walmart deal (India). Flipkart’s group chairman is selling his 5.5 percent stake – worth about US$1 billion – and stepping down from the company he co-founded with Binny Bansal. Hours after Walmart’s US$16 billion purchase of 77 percent of the ecommerce firm was publicly announced, Sachin took to his Facebook account and wrote, “Sadly my work here is done and after 10 years, it’s time to hand over the baton and move on from Flipkart.” (The Economic Times)


Ride safety in focus after Didi Chuxing apologizes for passenger death (China). The ride-sharing company released a statement on Thursday apologizing after one of its passengers in Zhengzhou was allegedly murdered by her driver. The company said it was “deeply saddened by and sorry about the tragedy” and had reached out to the family of the 21-year old victim. The killing sparked a widespread discussion on Chinese social media about passenger safety. Local law enforcement are looking into the matter, and Didi offered a reward for any information on the driver. (Reuters)

Nio Capital to team up with BP (China). The investment unit of electric-vehicle maker Nio will work with the British oil and gas company to seek out new investment opportunities in electric cars and batteries, energy infrastructure, and intelligent vehicle systems. According to a BP executive, the company wants to tap into the rapid growth of green-energy vehicles in the country, and is looking for ways to develop quick charging solutions. (Yicai)

Delivery and logistics

Flash Express invests US$77.9 million on Asian expansion (Thailand). The startup logistics provider disclosed plans for express parcel delivery in Thailand, and will spend the amount in phases over the next five years. The first stages of investment will focus on boosting its network to cover every province in the country in 2018, strengthening its digital platform, and furthering its expansion into Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar. (The Bangkok Post)

Courier delivering parcels, last-mile delivery, logistics

Photo credit: comzeal / 123RF

Health and well-being

Innovacer nabs US$25 million in series B funding (India). The healthcare data analytics startup secured the investment in a round led by Westbridge Capital, with participation from Lightspeed Ventures. Innovacer provides organizations with healthcare insights through its product, Healthcare Data Platform. The company will use the money to invest in patient engagement applications and beef up its machine learning capabilities. (Inc42)


Julo raises US$5 million in series A (Indonesia). The peer-to-peer lending startup received the funding in a round led by Skystar Capital and East Ventures. Participating investors included Convergence Ventures, Provident Capital, and Central Capital Ventura, among others. Through its smartphone app, Julo provides affordable, unsecured personal loans and connects institutional lenders to underbanked consumers. The money will be used for product development and nationwide expansion (DealStreetAsia)

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies

Blockchain mini app suspended just one day after WeChat launch (China). Local media reported that the messaging platform suspended the Xiao Xieyi mini-program for violating its terms of service. The app is a third-party blockchain program that drafts contracts for its users. According to developer Wang Dengke, the ban stemmed from the use of an encryption feature that WeChat mini-programs are not allowed to use. The app is expected to return in a couple of days. (TechNode)

OwlTing gets strategic investment (Taiwan). The blockchain startup got the undisclosed investment for 20 percent equity from Japan’s SBI Crypto Investment, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBI Holdings. OwlTing provides ecommerce and blockchain applications for services in travel, food safety, and hotel management. (China Money Network)

Media and entertainment

iQiyi - streaming in China

Photo credit: Tech in Asia

IQiyi to carry FilmNation content (China). The on-demand streaming platform struck a three-year exclusive deal with the US indie film company for exclusive rights to all of its content in mainland China. Acclaimed movies such as Arrival and The Big Sick are among FilmNation’s recent productions. IQiyi has previously signed cooperation agreements with major production studios such as Disney, Sony, Fox, and Netflix. (TechNode)

Animoca Brands partners with NGO for smartphone exercise program (Hong Kong). The mobile games publisher will produce an AI-based Baduanjin qigong app with the North Point Kai Fong Welfare Advancement Association. The Hong Kong government’s Innovation & Technology Fund for Better Living awarded a grant of US$576,000 to the project. Baduanjin is a popular form of Chinese exercise, and the app will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to guide users in executing the moves. Animoca’s subsidiary, OliveX, will lead the app development. (Animoca)

Consumer tech

Xiaomi-backed Chunmi completes series C raise (China). The rice cooker and kitchen appliance manufacturer received the undisclosed amount in a round led by Guangkong Zhongying Capital. Venture capitalist Star VC also participated in the funding. Since Xiaomi’s investment in 2014, Chunmi has become the official supplier of kitchen appliances in all of the smartphone maker’s online and offline platforms. (China Money Network)

See: Previous Asia tech news roundups

This post Asia news roundup: Didi responds to passenger death, Flipkart founder exits, and more appeared first on Tech in Asia.

Tech in Asia




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here