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Line CEO Takeshi Idezawa / Photo credit: Tech in Asia

Let’s take a peek at today’s tech news from across Asia.

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies

Huobi Pro to cease Japan operations (Singapore/Japan). The cryptocurrency exchange – the third-largest in the world by 24-hour trading volume – said it is suspending trading services for Japanese customers from July 2. Founded in China but recently relocated to Singapore, Huobi is thought to have pulled the plug on its Japan options because it doesn’t have a cryptocurrency exchange license, which is mandatory under local regulations. Huobi Pro was in discussions for a partnership with Japanese counterpart SBI Virtual Currency earlier this year, but talks ended without a deal. (Coindesk)

High Performance Blockchain (HPB) bags tens of thousands of ether in investment (China). OK Capital has invested more than ETH 20,000 (about US$8.67 million at time of writing) in the platform, which supports public blockchains that need to handle millions of transactions every second. BlockWater Capital, Continue Capital, Supernode Capital, and 8BTC were among the other investors to take part. HPB said it will use the funding for marketing and technical hires. (China Money Network)

Line to launch crypto exchange (Japan). Bitbox, the messaging app’s new cryptocurrency exchange, will allow trading of more than 30 digital tokens including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Litecoin, with fees as low as 0.1 percent. The service will be available to crypto-traders worldwide, except for those in the US and Japan, Line’s home market. (Tech in Asia)

Media and entertainment

Times Internet buys MX Player for US$144 million (South Korea/India). The Indian media giant has acquired South Korean video-streaming app MX Player. Popular throughout South Asia, the over-the-top platform is installed on 500 million devices worldwide – 350 million of which are in India. (Inc42)

Robotics and drones

Robot-arm maker Dobot picks up US$15 million (China). The Shenzhen-based firm specializes in building desktop robotic arms for use in educational and light-manufacturing contexts. Green Pine Capital led the series A-plus round. Dobot, which claims 70 percent global market share for lightweight robot arms, will use the funding for tech and product development. (China Money Network)

Delivery and logistics

Wow Express delivery bags

Photo credit: Wow Express

Wow Express hauls in US$4.5 million (India). The startup, which provides last-mile delivery services to ecommerce firms and medical service providers, said it will use the capital to expand its geographical presence to 100 new cities in the next 12 months, enhance its technology assets, and hire for management positions. The series A investment came from Tamarind Family Private Trust. Wow Express reported FY 2017 revenue of US$2.79 million. (Inc42)


Clearbridge BioMedics raises US$4.83 million (Singapore). The startup is using microfluidics technology to develop a non-invasive liquid biopsy for diagnosing cancer. National university of Singapore spin-off Clearbridge says its diagnostics tech can reduce costs for medical services providers, and inconvenience for patients. The funding – which it described as a pre-IPO round – will be used for business expansion, tech development, hiring, and public listing expenses. The investors were not disclosed. (Clearbridge BioMedics)

Travel and hospitality

After China move, Oyo Rooms eyes Indonesia, Europe (India). The budget-hotel brand and booking platform is reportedly working on rolling out its first Indonesian locations, with European launches planned within next 12 to 18 months. The expansion rumors come just a month after Oyo unveiled venues in 26 Chinese cities. (Livemint)

Investors, incubators, and accelerators

Temasek subsidiary backs Unbound (Singapore). Unbound, the UK media startup behind several popular tech conferences, will form a joint venture with Temasek’s SingEx unit as part of the investment. The 2018 edition of its global Innovfest Unbound event was held in Singapore earlier this month. (Temasek)

See: Previous Asia tech news roundups

This post Asia news roundup: Huobi Pro exits Japan as Line launches its own crypto exchange appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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