Bite-sized news about China tech.

Xiaohongshu to block Taobao text links

Jul 26, 2021

Chinese social shopping app Xiaohongshu is planning to block external links to Alibaba-owned Taobao in August, after allowing them last year. The ban only applies to Taobao links in Xiaohongshu’s text-based reviews, while those embedded in the app’s livestreaming feature will be still available. [Tencent Tech, in Chinese]

China vows to improve food delivery labor rights

Jul 26, 2021

Chinese authorities called for food delivery platforms to guarantee drivers are paid local minimum wages and to provide social insurance. The “Guidelines” also call for platforms to make changes to improve driver safety, including reducing pressure for fast deliveries, and offer better dispute resolution processes. Guidelines are not legally binding until implemented through regulations. The action follows months of public and official criticism of the working conditions of food delivery drivers. [State Administration of Market Regulation press release, in Chinese]

Faraday Future makes Nasdaq debut

Jul 23, 2021

Electric vehicle maker Faraday Future debuted on the Nasdaq on Thursday. The company’s shares gained 1.45% from an issuing price of $13.78 during its first of trading day. The California-based EV startup has no product offerings yet and plans to produce a limited-edition $180,000 EV in the next 12 months. Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting, who filed for bankruptcy in 2019, founded Faraday in 2014 and now serves as its chief product and user officer. [CNBC]

Nio begins exports to Norway

Jul 23, 2021

Nio announced Thursday it had started exporting vehicles to Norway. The company has shipped an undisclosed number of ES8 premium crossovers from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Port, which are scheduled for September delivery. The Chinese electric vehicle maker exported the first batch of battery charging and swap facilities to Norway earlier this month, after revealing a Europe expansion plan in May. [Nio press release, in Chinese]

China’s online retail sales hit RMB $1.8 trillion

Jul 23, 2021

China’s online retail sales increased 10.9% year-on-year to RMB 11.8 trillion ($1.8 trillion) in 2020, state-backed media People’s Daily reported. The figure represents roughly a quarter of the country’s overall consumer retail sales. Livestream sales reached RMB 388 million by the end of December, more than doubling from March 2020. [People’s Daily Online, in Chinese]

HeyTea leads $15 million investment in coffee chain Seesaw

Jul 22, 2021

HeyTea led a RMB 100 ($15 million) A round in upscale Seesaw Coffee as the Chinese bubble tea chain ups its investment in coffee, ChinaVenture reports. The proceeds will be used for storefront expansion, supply chain upgrading, and digitization. Seesaw, a Shanghai-based a specialty coffee chain, operates more than 30 stores across five first-tier cities in China. [ChinaVenture]

China now has 365 million 5G subscribers

Jul 22, 2021

Chinese telecommunication companies have built 961,000 base stations for the next-generation 5G network by the end of June, said the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in a July report. China has 365 million 5G subscribers, growing 83.4% from the end of the last year, the ministry said. China launched its commercial 5G networks in November 2019. [MIIT, in Chinese]

Jack Ma tops Forbes China’s charity list for 2020

Jul 22, 2021

Forbes China named Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma as the biggest charity donor with nearly $500 million donations in 2020 in its annual China charity list. Tencent’s Pony Ma came in third with about $402 million, and ByteDance’s Zhang Yiming was fifth with $189 million. [Forbes China, in Chinese]

Beijing fines Tencent, Kuaishou over illegal child content

Jul 22, 2021

China’s internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), fined Kuaishou, Tencent’s messaging app QQ, Alibaba’s Taobao, and Weibo for spreading illegal child content, including promoting extravagance, pornographic and violent content. The regulators asked the companies to “rectify” and “clean up” inappropriate child-related content by a specific deadline without providing details. [CAC statement, in Chinese]

WeRide acquires autonomous truck company MoonX

Jul 21, 2021

WeRide has fully acquired Shenzhen-based autonomous truck firm MoonX, for an undisclosed sum, a move that would expand the Chinese robotaxi unicorn’s reach. MoonX runs a fleet of 20 roborigs test that has logged 300,000 kilometers on public roads in Shenzhen, Xiamen, and other cities. The company was founded in 2018 by Yang Qingxiong, a former chief scientist at WeRide predecessor JingChi. [WeRide press release, in Chinese]

Meituan launches ride-hailing WeChat mini-app

Jul 20, 2021

Life services platform Meituan recently launched a ride-hailing WeChat mini-app called Meituan Dache. The company relaunched a standalone ride-hailing app with the same name a week ago after a three-year hiatus. Meituan is expanding its ride-hailing service after Chinese regulators banned Didi from accepting new users during a cybersecurity review. [Tech Planet, in Chinese]