China Tech Newsletter – July 10-13, 2015

Xiaomi has joined a group of Sichuan Province-based companies to apply for approval to set up a private bank, according an announcement released by Hebang, one of the Sichuan companies, on July 10. (via National Business Daily)

Tencent and Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial were of the first batch to be approved to set up private banks. Tencent’s WeBank and Ant Financial’s MyBank, both launched earlier this year, provide online-only banking services.

Shunwei Capital Partners, the venture capital firm co-founded by Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, has raised US$1 billion for its fourth fund that will focus on mobile, internet services for rural areas and smart hardware, Mr. Lei announced on July 11.

Shunwei has invested in more than 100 startups since its establishment in 2011 with a total of US$750 million and RMB1 billion (about US$160m) raised previously.

Meituan, the leading group-buying and lifestyle service provider, saw 190% year-over-year growth in gross merchandise volume (GMV) which reached RMB47 billion (about US$7.6b) in the first half of 2015, with 95% from mobile.

Hotel booking service contributed 15% of the total GMV and Maoyan (“Cat’s Eye”), a separate app for movie tickets booking, contributed 13%.

The company estimates it has 62% of China’s group-buying market and 50% of food delivery market.

Its platform has had 1.6 million merchants from 1100 cities. The company has 130 million “annual active users”. (It’s unclear how “annual active user” is calculated.)

Online learning platform Coursera has had one million registered users in China, its largest market outside the U.S.

It has recently added China’s leading online payment service Alipay.

Classified ad site has begun providing used car loans by partnering with Bank of Beijing Consumer Finance Company and online finance product provider 9Fbank. (via Jinghua)

In late 2014 the company rolled out Haoche, a customer-to-customer used car marketplace, which provides valuation experts and takes a 3% transaction fee.

ZTE shipped 26 million smartphones that generated RMB12.7 billion (about US$2b) in revenue in the first half of 2015. The total shipments in 2014 was 48 million. (via Sina Tech)

Education software developer Knowbox has raised US$10 million Series A funding led by TAL Education Group (NYSE:XRS) with participation from CEO Liu Qiangdong (a.k.a. Richard Liu) and existing investor Legend Star.

Knowbox has developed desktop programs and mobile apps for students and teachers at public schools. Its competitors include Yiqizuoye which announced US$100 million Series D round of financing earlier this year.

Online video content and service provider (SZ:300431) announces to invest RMB50 million (about US$81M) in a subsidiary of Shenzhen Shoushi Technology Ltd. (our translation) for a 51% stake. The investee will operate an online platform for live performances.

Mobvista, a mobile advertising network helping Chinese apps acquire users in overseas markets, announced Series B round of funding from Haitong Leading Capital Management and the venture capital arm of China Securities on July 10.(via TechWeb)


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