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NetEase invests $120 million in global gaming firm Kepler

Sep 28, 2021
Chinese gaming giant NetEase invested $120 million in game publisher Kepler Interactive. Kepler’s CEO didn’t disclose the company’s valuation but said that the deal would make NetEase a minority investor. Headquartered in London and Singapore, Kepler is currently focused on PC and console games and looking to bring in mobile games and animations. [Reuters]

Several Alibaba apps now support Tencent’s WeChat Pay

Sep 28, 2021
Several Alibaba affiliated apps now support Tencent’s WeChat Pay, a rival of Alibaba’s Alipay. The apps include food delivery service Ele.me, video app Youku, e-commerce site Kaola, entertainment ticketing platform Damai, and online reading app Shuqi. The change came less than a month after Beijing asked companies to stop blocking links to rivals’ services. Other Alibaba apps such as second-hand trading service Idle Fish and grocery app Freshippo are waiting for Tencent’s approval to support WeChat pay. [Sina Tech, in Chinese]

Alibaba starts developing highly autonomous trucks

Sep 28, 2021
On Monday, Alibaba’s Damo Acadamy said it is developing highly autonomous trucks and expects to deploy them on a large scale after three years. The Chinese e-commerce giant has begun small-scale testing with Cainiao, the company’s logistics unit. Alibaba’s Vice President Wang Gang told Chinese media Caixin that the company may partner with traditional automakers in the future. [Caixin, in Chinese]

Alibaba’s Amap launches taxi ride-hailing platform in Beijing

Sep 27, 2021
Amap, Alibaba’s ride-hailing and map platform, rolled out a new taxi ride-hailing platform called “Beijing Taxi” (our translation) on Sunday. Amap is partnering with Beijing’s Taxicab and Livery Association and aims to digitize the city’s taxi services. More than 100 taxi operators in the capital city have joined. Users can access the service through the Amap app and its mini-programs on Alipay and WeChat. [Beijing Daily, in Chinese]

Baidu-JOYY deal unlikely to get approval: report

Sep 27, 2021
Baidu’s $3.6 billion acquisition of YY Live, a streaming business of social media firm JOYY, is unlikely to win the approval of China’s antitrust regulator, Reuters reported on Sept. 24, citing two unnamed sources. Chinese search engine giant Baidu announced it would buy YY Live in November. [Reuters]
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