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China temporarily halts Tencent from releasing new apps

China’s industry regulator has suspended Tencent from updating its existing apps or releasing any new apps in line with its “temporary administrative guidance” against the tech giant, state outlet China Star Market reported Wednesday. Earlier this month, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) required 38 apps from companies including Tencent to minimize the collection and use of user data. Tencent responded by saying it is enhancing the user protection features within its apps to “complete regulatory inspection,” the report said. [China Star Market, in Chinese]

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Baidu launches sign language virtual host for 2022 Winter Olympics

In preparation for the Olympics, Chinese tech giant Baidu rolled out a sign language virtual host on Wednesday in partnership with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. The digital female host is intended to translate events during the 16-day Winter Olympic Games slated to start on February 4, 2022. The virtual figure is supported by Baidu’s digital star operating platform, which adopts speech recognition and natural language processing technologies. [Xinmin Evening News, in Chinese]

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Xpeng Q3 revenue beats expectations as EV sales soar

Xpeng Motors on Tuesday reported better-than-expected third-quarter results buoyed by strong demand for its electric vehicles. The company delivered 25,666 cars in total during Q3, the highest number this quarter from any of China’s new breed of EV-only carmakers established since 2014. The company’s revenue of RMB 5.7 billion ($887.7 million) beat the analysts’ forecast average of RMB 5.2 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Xpeng chief executive He Xiaopeng said the company expects to deliver up to 36,500 vehicles in the Q4, while expanding its sales network to over 350 stores by year-end, up from 271 as of September. [Xpeng release]

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Dada Group beats Q3 revenue estimates

Dada Group, a JD-backed delivery and retail platform, reported Tuesday that its revenue grew 23%, to RMB 1.7 billion ($263 million) in the third quarter of this year, surpassing the high end of analyst estimates compiled by Yahoo Finance. For the quarter ending September, the company’s total gross merchandise volume jumped 74.6% year on year, to RMB 37.2 billion.  Yet the firm’s net losses for the quarter widened 20% year on year, to RMB 543 million. In the fourth quarter, Dada forecasts total revenue of between RMB 2.0 billion and RMB 2.1 billion. [Dada Group press release]

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VW-backed Gotion to supply lithium-ion batteries to Great Wall Motors

Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors has signed a framework agreement with battery maker Gotion High-Tech to supply battery packs for its electric vehicles with an initial capacity of over 10 gigawatt-hours (GWh) from 2022 to 2025, according to an announcement released Tuesday. The deal reflects a trend in the booming EV industry in which auto manufacturers are racing to put capacity in place to meet surging demand. Gotion, whose biggest shareholder is Volkswagen with 26%, in July revealed plans to build a battery plant with the auto giant in Germany. [Gotion statement, in Chinese]

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China fines tech giants as anti-monopoly crackdown continues

China’s State Administration of Market Regulation imposed fines on several major Chinese tech firms on Friday for failing to disclose 43 deals in violation of anti-monopoly legislation. Some of the biggest names in China tech such as Alibaba, JD, Tencent, Baidu, ByteDance, and Meituan were fined RMB 500,000 ($78,000) for each violation. Tencent and Alibaba were the worse hit in this latest regulatory crackdown, with 13 and 12 deals included on the list respectively. [SAMR press release, in Chinese]