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Ant Group-backed Ubox plans for a $500 million Hong Kong IPO

Jul 29, 2021

Ubox, a Chinese vending machine maker backed by Ant Group, hopes to raise as much as $500 million through a Hong Kong IPO, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Valued at around $1 billion, Ubox could go public as early as this year. The Beijing-based company makes and operates vending machines that incorporate technologies such as facial recognition and artificial intelligence. The company has over 100,000 machines in more than 300 cities across China and overseas. [Bloomberg]

Hefei in talks with Xiaomi to host EV plant

Jul 28, 2021

Officials in the east China city of Hefei are in talks with Xiaomi to set up an electric vehicle (EV) plant, 36Kr reports. Hefei-based JAC Motors is expected to assemble cars for Xiaomi, said the report. JAC Motors also assembles cars for Chinese EV maker Nio in Hefei. Xiaomi announced it would invest $10 billion into making EVs in March. Officials from cities including Xi’an and Wuhan have also expressed interest in hosting the plant. [36Kr, in Chinese]

Online grocer Dada Group launches autonomous delivery open platform

Jul 27, 2021

Dada Group, the JD-backed joint venture behind on-demand grocer JD Daojia, announced the launch of an autonomous delivery open system. The system has been adopted by JD’s omnichannel supermarket brand Seven Fresh and Tencent-backed Yonghui Supermarket to deliver on-demand orders to more than 10 neighborhoods in Beijing and Shanghai. Partnered with JD Logistics and autonomous delivery vehicle developer White Rhino, the platform promises to deliver all orders within one hour. [Techweb, in Chinese]

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]

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