Tech in Asia weekly briefing︱May 19th

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East Asia

🇨🇳 Mainland China

  • Tencent’s gaming business rose by 31% in Q1 2020 thanks to a surge of users during the lockdown
  • The US Bureau of Industry and security announces plans to restrict Huawei’s ability to use US technology and software to design and manufacture its semiconductors
  • Zoom suspends individual users in China from hosting meetings as the country’s annual congress draws close (a major political event always met with strict internet controls)
  • Mining giant BHP Group to complete its first blockchain iron ore transaction with Chinese steel producer Baosteel
  • TikTok parent company ByteDance leads $6 million investment found in financial AI startup Lingxi
  • Statistics show 93% of children in China are now online
  • Online helmet sales boom and prices rise following an announced crackdown on those not wearing helmets by the police bureau

🇯🇵 Japan

  • Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba, resigns from SoftBank’s board of directors. Ma did not give a reason but has been pulling back from his business roles to focus on philanthropy
  • “Amazon of Japan” Rakuten acquires engineering company Innoeye in a push to communications services
  • A new television advertisement for bitFlyer, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, is the first to air in over two years following revised crypto laws
  • A research team with participants from Osaka University develop 3D-printed food that helps reduce calorie intake due to its shape
  • Study reveals 31.7% of students rely solely on mobile or tablet devices to search for jobs, with many not having access to a computer at home

🇰🇷 South Korea

  • AI startup Aizen raises $4.2 million in series B funding to expand into Southeast Asia
  • South Korea’s largest cinema chain tests completely contactless cinema experience

Southeast Asia

🇮🇩 Indonesia

  • Indonesia to impose a 10% digital services tax on non-resident companies
  • Tech-enabled coffee chain Kopi Kenangan raises $109 million in series B funding led by Sequoia Capital

🇸🇬 Singapore

  • Healthtech startup Holmusk raises $21.5 million in series A funding
  • Foreign exchange platform Spark Systems raises $16.5 million in series B funding from HSBC and Citi
  • Data protection startup Dathena raises $12 million in series A funding
  • Sales platform LeadIQ receives $10 million in series A funding round
  • E-retailer Iuiga raises $7 million in series A funding round led by Indonesian conglomerate to expand into Southeast Asia
  • Uber to shut down regional headquarters in Singapore amid 3,000 global layoffs
  • Ride-hailing platform Gojek partners with Deliveroo and other startups for delivery jobs

🇵🇭 Philippines

  • Home services e-commerce platform GoodWork raises $1.6 million in seed funding led by California-based VC

South Asia

🇮🇳 India

  • General Atlantic to invest $870 million in Jio Platforms
  • India’s contract-tracing app reaches 100 million users in 41 days
  • Logistics aggregator that works with D2C consumer sellers including social media influences raises $13 million to expand overseas
  • Agritech startup Intello Labs raises $5.9 million in Series A funding
  • Amazon Prime Video to premiere 7 Indian films as theatres remain closed
  • Spotify signs deal with Saregama to add more than 100,000 tracks to their India catalogue
  • Significant layoffs from food delivery startups Zomato and Swiggy , as well as interior design marketplace Livspace  

🇧🇩 Bangladesh

  • UAE bank opens Bangladesh remittance corridor using Ripple’s blockchain technology 

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