China Tech Newsletter – July 3, 2015

Real estate conglomerate Wanda Group is leading a round of more than RMB6 billion (about US$1b) funding in online travel service (a.k.a. Tongcheng or, with participation from CITIC Capital and existing investor Tencent.

Wanda Group will contribute RMB3.58 billion (roughly US$580m) in this round. It’s Wanda’s first investment in online travel sector. Wanda has acquired a number of traditional travel agencies since 2013. The company also owns a dozen culture & tourism projects, according to the statement by Wanda.

Ant Financial Services Group, Alibaba’s finance arm, announces completion of its first financing round. Apart from China’s national pension fund, investors also include unnamed Chinese insurer(s) and Yu Feng, the co-founder of YF Capital (co-founded by Alibaba’s Jack Ma).

Financial terms were not disclosed. According to the announcement, Jack Ma’s stake in Ant Financial wouldn’t be bigger than his in Alibaba Group. It was previously reported that the national pension fund had acquired a 5% stake.

Ant Financial’s businesses include Alipay (online payments), Alipay Wallet (mobile payments and other mobile services), Ant Micro (small business loans), MyBank (online only banking), Yu’ebao (mutual fund), Zhao Cai Bao (a marketplace for investment and financial products and services).

The company now has a total of 400 million active users, with more than half being consumers of the personal investment products on its platform, according to the company. Mobile users account for 80%. It had had 17 million overseas users as of October 2014., the leading ratings and reviews service, has had on its platform 2.5 million merchants from 800+ foreign cities in 200+ countries, the company announced today.

Smartphone maker Meizu, in which Alibaba invested US$590 million earlier this year, sold 8.9 million units in the first half of 2015, a 540% increase.

Xiaomi sold 34.7 million and Huawei Honor shipped 20 million in H1.

Alcatel-Lucent has signed frame agreements with two Chinese telcos, China Mobile and China Unicom.


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