Briefing: Toyota reportedly to invest in Didi, eyes China’s mobility market

Toyota mulls $548m investment in Chinese ride-hailer Didi Chuxing - Nikkei Asian Review What happened: Toyota Motor Corp is planning to invest about 60 billion yen (around $548 million) in Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi, hoping to gain a foothold in the world's largest auto market. It is also reportedly considering setting up a new joint company with Didi offering mobility services in China.…

Luckin may not last, but its model will

A worker strolls past a Luckin Coffee in Beijing on April 9, 2019. (Image credit: TechNode/Cassidy McDonald) I’ve spent a lot of the last month trying to understand Luckin Coffee. I’ve untangled how the convenience-focused upstart was built with money from a network with arguably a few too many personal interests at stake and explained the rationale behind questionable freebies and discounts.……

Briefing: Urban courier Lalamove raises $300 million, joins unicorn rankings

On-demand logistics startup Lalamove raises $300M for Asia growth and becomes a unicorn -TechCrunch What happened: Chinese on-demand logistics platform Lalamove has secured $300 million in a Series D led by Hillhouse Capital Group and Sequoia Capital China to support further expansion into Southeast Asia and entry to India. This latest round of fund-raising raises the Hong Kong startup to…

Profit, not politics, is what matters in Tencent’s Reddit stake

Screenshot of Reddit's front page on Feb. 14. (Image: Technode) As initially reported last week on Feb. 11, Reddit confirmed a Series D funding round led by $150 million from Tencent, placing the company at a $3 billion post-money valuation. The influx of cash will likely allow the online discussion platform, long billed as the “front page of the internet,” to further scale up and compete for…

Asia crypto experts stay positive despite current bear market

From left: TechNode editor-in-chief John Artman and panelists Patrick Dai, Jack Liu, and Edith Yeung. Image credit: TechCrunch 中国 “One day in crypto is like a year in any other technology space.” At TechCrunch 2018 this past Tuesday, 500 Startups partner Edith Yeung’s statement seemed fitting. This time last year, Bitcoin’s value was close to $10,000. After the value peaked, however, it and…

Explainer: China’s tech ecosystems and the barriers between them

Image credit: Pexels Deng Shuang, a 34-year-old mother of one, wants to share baby shoes she found on Taobao to a mom friend via WeChat. Instead of sharing it directly from Taobao to Wechat, Deng has to go through a very clumsy process: she has to copy an auto-generated Taobao link for the item and then paste it in WeChat before she can send it. A small sharing barrier between two of China’s…

China’s ride-hailing resurgence is just another step into the future of mobility

Image credit: Jens Schott Knudsen via Flickr China’s ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing earned the title of “Uber Slayer” in 2016. By selling its China business to its rival, Uber confirmed that the Chinese market was not only full of potential but peril. These days, however, things are changing with new arrivals challenging Didi’s dominance. Meituan Dianping, the Tencent-backed O2O service…

Ofo applies for e-scooter scheme license in San Francisco

Ofo is one of 12 companies including Lyft and Uber applying for licenses to run an electric scooter hire scheme in San Francisco. Ofo’s protracted application for a permit to run the city’s first bike share scheme was rejected by authorities, meaning the US scooter craze could be the bike company’s chance to have a visible (bright yellow?) presence in the tech center. The quality of the Chinese…

A curated guide to Beijing’s startup scene, part 1

This is the first of two parts on local resources for eager entrepreneurs in Beijing. Budding entrepreneur in Beijing? Sourcing startups but not sure where to start? Just trying to get a sense of the innovation landscape in one of the most important tech hubs in China? Having answered these questions myself here on the ground in the last few months, I’ve written down what I’ve learned where it…

Analyse Asia 250: China tech giants’ acquisitions & its impact to Asia with Jon Russell

Editor's note: This originally appeared on Analyse Asia, a weekly podcast hosted by Bernard Leong, dedicated to dissecting the pulse of business, technology, and media in Asia. The podcast features guests from Asia’s vibrant tech community. Jon Russell, from TechCrunch joined us in a two-episode arc to discuss the major acquisitions that are shaking the Asia landscape from Southeast Asia to…