Xiaomi users now are able to purchase financial products provided by third-party financial institutions through Xiaomi Finance, a mobile app developed by the smart device maker Xiaomi.
The first offering on the app is Xiaomi Huoqibao (Huoqi means “current deposit”), a money market fund similar to Yu’ebao provided by Alibaba’s finance arm. The Xiaomi Huoqibao fund is managed by Tiantian Mutual Funds (our translation) of E Fund Management Co., Ltd.
Apart from adding more financial products for users to purchase, Xiaomi Finance will provide loans to consumers and develop a user data-based credit scoring system, according to the company. But Xiaomi hasn’t got a license for consumer credit scoring operations yet. Currently only two internet companies, Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group and Tencent, have obtained a license and launched their credit scoring services.
Xiaomi led a round of investment in peer-to-peer lending site Jimubox in 2014. It’s unknown when or whether Jimubox’s offerings will be on Xiaomi Finance platform.
A number of big Chinese internet companies have established online platforms selling financial products or services by partnering with traditional financial institutions that include Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services Group, Tencent, Baidu, Sina, and 58.com.
Tencent has invested RMB50 million (about US$8m) for a 7% stake in Huan.tv, developer of smart TV software solutions, whose clients include Chinese TV manufacturers, set-top box makers and telecom operators.
The company made RMB60.9 million (about US$10m) in revenues in 2014. A partnership with game engine developer Unity announced earlier in February aimed to introduce more games into the app platform of its smart TV solution.
Shareholders in Huan.tv also include electronics manufacturer TCL (its largest shareholder) and TV maker Changhong.
Only seven companies or organizations, including CNTV, are allowed by Chinese authorities to supply online television content. Alibaba Group has reached partnership with another license holder WASU (Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma is investor in WASU).
TAL Education Group (NYSE:XRS) has acquired Gaokaopai.com, an online information and advisory service for high school students on finding a college match. TAL’s own news site on college selection will be merged into Gaokaopai. Financial terms were not disclosed.
TAL Education Group has recently also invested in the startup behind Qingqing Private Tutor (our translation), a mobile app connecting K-12 students with private tutors. Last month Qingqing announced US$15 million Series B round of funding led by Sequoia Capital and joined by returning investors IDG Capital Partners and TBP.
Features of the app include locating registered tutors based on distance, tutoring session scheduling, rating tutors, among others. It’s currently only available in two cities, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Miaozhen Systems, a marketing tech solution provider, announces US$50 million in Series D round of funding from Primavera Capital. Founded in 2006, the company claims to be powering P&G, Microsoft, Volkswagen, L’Oreal, Coca-Cola, YUM!,Yili, Mengniu, Suning and Midea in digital marketing.
Application performance management (APM) solution provider OneAPM announced RMB165 million (about US$27m) Series C round of funding led by Chengwei Capital and joined by Matrix Partners China and Qiming Ventures. The company’s service was launched in July 2014.
Tim Cook is in Beijing announcing new environmental initiatives in China.