China Tech Newsletter – June 23, 2015

koubeilogoAlibaba Group and its finance arm Ant Financial Services Group announce to jointly establish Koubei, a platform for local lifestyle businesses, with each investing RMB3 billion (roughly US$480m) into it.

The platform will be built on top of Taodiandian, Alibaba’s restaurant booking and food ordering service, instead of Koubei.com, a Yelp-like ratings and reviews service which lost traction after Alibaba acquired it in 2006.

Offline businesses such as supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores and vending services who accept mobile payments and interact with customers with Ant Financials’ solution will be integrated onto the Koubei platform.

The platform will be in direct competition with Dianping (backed by Tencent), 58.com (backed by Tencent) and Meituan (with Alibaba as investor).


Group Chatting on Chitu
Group Chatting on Chitu (image credit: LinkedIn China)

LinkedIn China, or Ling Ying, launches a separate professional social app for China market, Chitu (named after a war-steed in the historical novel Romance of The Three Kingdoms). The cutely designed app targets young users.

Its core features include group/one-on-one chat and content sharing. The user interface design looks similar to messaging app WeChat.

Available on invitation-only basis, the app is currently for Android only. An iOS version is under development.


Portable streaming projector maker XGIMI has introduced RMB300 million (about US$48m) strategic investment from Mango Media, a state-backed TV network based in Hunan Province. (via Lieyunwang.com)

The company announced US$16 million Series A round of funding in August 2014. XGIMI launched its first projector in the first half of 2014 and will release a fourth generation later this month.


Uber is raising a new round of funding led by Chinese investment management firm Hillhouse Capital Group, who is also an investor in the leading ride-hailing service provider Didi Dache. — The Wall Street Journal


Alimama, the Google AdSense-like advertising program of Alibaba Group, has integrated AdChina, an online marketing company in which Alibaba has bought a controlling stake.


Alibaba sells 11 Main, the online marketplace for US market launched in mid-2014. — The Wall Street Journal


Social service Momo, which IPOed on the NASDAQ a mere half year ago, is going private.

 

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