Wednesday, 23 May 2018

腾讯与广州市金融局就金融安全战略合作-Tencent Tech

What happened: China’s tech giant Tencent signed a strategic cooperation deal with Bureaux of Financial Affairs of Guangzhou Municipality on financial regulatory technology. The two parties will work together and optimize financial security alert system Lingkun (灵鲲) based on data collected in Guangzhou.

Why it’s important: Tencent’s ties with government officials just deepened again. Apart from cooperation with Guangzhou, Tencent financial services have signed deals with Beijing, Shenzhen and Jiangxi province, to co-develop fintech. Tencent also confirmed that they will keep building strategic cooperation with financial regulatory authorities across the country. -Jiefei Liu

氪空间北京、上海将开12家社区 明年底管理面积达150万平米 – Tencent Tech

What happened:  36Kr announced that it will set up 12 Kr Space community offices in Beijing and Shanghai in 100 days. The plan will add an extra of 10,000 work seats to Kr Space’s current landscape. By the end of 2019, Space expects to have 220,000 community members. According to Zhong Shu, president of Kr Space, new offices will be located in central business districts in the two cities including Beijing’s finance district street and Shanghai’s Lujiazui.

Why it’s important: While 36Kr’s such ambition implies co-working business’ strong moves in China, beyond innovation incubation and 36Kr communities’ utilization of media and channel resources, an interesting question to think about is whether there will be a cap for the co-working industry. How many co-working spaces does the market actually demand, and why there’s demand for increasing numbers of co-working spaces – the stagflation of real economy’s performance and some employment problems may answer the questions. – Runhua Zhao

Tencent’s WeChat allows residents in China’s most populous province to skip government queues – SCMP

What happened: WeChat now allows residents of Guangdong province to skip queues at government offices by allowing them to gain access to numerous services from their smartphones. The app can handle 142 government functions including traffic violation payments, marriage registration appointments, and travel document applications.

Why it’s important: The move forms part of a greater effort to digitize government services across China. WeChat has already been involved in a program in Guangzhou to provide digital ID cards in the city’s Nansha district. Alipay is working on a similar service in Zhejiang and Fujian provinces. Most recently, Tencent and the Beijing government announced an initiative to digitize health service cards for hospital visits. The two parties hope to create a system of interoperability in healthcare in the Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei regions. —Christopher Udemans

ZTE Estimates at Least $3 Billion in Losses From U.S. Ban – Bloomberg

What happened: ZTE is estimating losses of at least RMB 20 billion as a result of the US ban on exports to the company.

Why it’s important: ZTE is becoming the foil for China-US trade dealings. Clients are pulling out of deals with ZTE as expenses mount. The news comes as Trump tweeted that a $1.3 billion fine could be imposed instead of an export ban [see item below]. Insiders at ZTE also revealed that the company also has a plan in place called “TO” to prepare unused factory capacity to immediately leap into action if the ban is lifted. – Frank Hersey

Trump floats management changes instead of sanctions for China’s ZTE – Reuters

What happened: US president Trump has proposed a management reshuffle for ZTE instead of the current ban on US manufacturers selling components to the telecommunications company. ZTE is facing the ban because it continued to trade with Iran and North Korea while the countries were under sanctions. The company shut down most of its production after the ruling was announced.

Why it’s important: Trump’s proposal was not welcomed by US lawmakers which in turn could negatively affect current trade talks between China and the US. Instead of the ban, the US president proposed a fine of up to $1.3 billion. – Masha Borak

百度回应“李彦宏小三”传闻:纯属子虚乌有 已报案 – TechWeb

What happened: Baidu has had an eventful few days. COO Lu Qi resigned and now rumors are spreading online that Baidu founder Robin Li may be preparing to file for divorce. Baidu has since denied the rumors in a public statement and filed charges with the police.

Why it’s important: Baidu has been falling behind Alibaba and Tencent as a triumvirate of the leading Chinese internet giants. Lu Qi was brought in to drive forward the company’s AI efforts and his resignation now leaves this development in an uncertain territory. A divorce that can change the board structure and shareholder power balance of Baidu is the last thing that the embattled tech firm needs right now. – Linda Lew

China’s Xiaomi expands into France and Italy, bucking slow smartphone growth in region-TechNode CN

What happened: Xiaomi announced on May 22 that it has launched sales in France and will enter Italian market two days later to further foray into the western Europe market. Xiaomi’s products will be sold through its offline stores, its own e-commerce platform, as well as the channels through partner platforms including Amazon and Cdiscount.

Why it’s important: Facing a saturating local market and already established presence in Southeast Asia market, the Chinese smartphone maker is expanding further to the European market, like several other Chinese peers such as Huawei. The current move comes six months after Xiaomi entered Spain, its first stop in Western Europe. –Emma Lee

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