The ACT team hand-picks the most readable news of the day from China’s booming tech industry. Don’t miss out on these headlines:
Innovation Works founded by Kai-Fu Lee is going public in China
Innovation Works, a venture capital fund founded by Kai-Fu Lee, former head of Google China and founder of Microsoft Research Asia, is going to be listed on National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ), or China’s “third board”. Lee will be the chairman of the company but won’t hold any share in the company. According to the public announcement, Innovation Works made a profit of RMB 7.97 million (USD 1.3 million) in the first half of 2015 after net losses two years in a row. Innovation Works has invested in Zhihu, a Quora-like forum that just finished its USD 55 million C-series funding led by Tencent.
Alibaba’s Ant Financial may take control of Tebon Securities with up to 75% stock
After taking stock in Tebon Securities in February, Alipay’s parent company Ant Financial has plans to acquire more of the company’s stocks. According to insiders speaking to the Securities Times, Ant Financial will take up to 75% controlling share in Tebon Securities. Ant Financial has confirmed that it is in talks with Tebon, but has not confirmed any details yet. Alibaba-backed Ant Financial may be listed on China’s Mainboard next year. If so, it would become the first internet-based financial service provider to go public in China.
Home product e-commerce platform launches China’s 1st smart pillow
The first smart pillow that claims to cure snoring was released Wednesday by home product e-commerce platform Dapu.com. It is being produced through a crowd-funding campaign on JD.com. Since the campaign launched two days ago it has already raised more than RMB 785,000 (USD 123,000). The pillow is supposed to reduce snoring by more than 80% over time and is selling for RMB 899. Dapu.com says the pillow can adjust a user’s sleeping position by inflating/deflating, and claims these adjustments reduce snore levels over time.
Fashion search engine Dress+ receives USD 10 million
On Thursday, visual fashion search engine Dress+ received RMB 63.6 million (USD 10 million) in its A-round financing, led by Youku Tudou and followed by LeBox Capital. Dress + enables buyers to find clothing similar to the styles they see in pictures and on videos. Dress + will also work with Youku Tudou to create a seamless buy-while-you-watch experience for users.
Huawei becomes the 2nd largest Android manufacturer in EU
Huawei rises to second place among Android manufacturers in Europe’s five biggest markets from the sixth in 2014, according to a recent release from market research company Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Europe’s big five markets include Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Huawei’s performance was especially strong in Spain and Italy but relatively anemic in the Great Britain as iOS held the strongest share.
Alibaba consolidates two film assets into Ali Pictures for USD 520 million
Ali Pictures has acquired Taobao Dianying and Yule Bao from Alibaba for RMB 3.3 billion (USD 520 million). Taobao Dianying is an online movie platform and Yule Bao is a digital media investing platform. The purchase will help Ali Pictures to create a comprehensive online and offline entertainment platform. Ali Pictures CEO Zhang Qiang said Ali Pictures will utilize the internet as a core platform which integrates fan management, investing, content production, promotion and distribution.
Campus delivery platform receives USD 6.3 million
Q-Quick Fish, or Kuaikuaiyu, a campus delivery app that hires students to deliver goods door-to-door, has received RMB 40 million (USD 6.3 million) in its A-round financing from Wheat Finance. In the last half year, it has seen a big shift in its operating model from a campus student delivery model into a virtual retail model, moving off campus and into the wider community. It hopes to convince locals to open their own virtual stores and deliver their own products. It already has over 4000 virtual stores on 1000 campuses in 300 cities.
Aiqiyi acquires 10-year WTA live broadcasting rights
Yesterday, Baidu-backed video platform Aiqiyi announced that it has signed a cooperation agreement with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) lasting ten years. Starting 2017, Aiqiyi will be the WTA’s sole video partner in China, and it will live broadcast over 2000 matches per year. Aiqiyi has also moved into broadcasting golf, wrestling, extreme sports and other high-end sports, hoping to build an audience of young educated, people with high incomes.
Chinese online conference site acquisition deal closes for USD 14.2 million
Eventown, a Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) online platform, has acquired event management platform Eventdove. The acquisition totals USD 14.2 million (RMB 90 million) in cash and stocks. Eventown will own 100% of Eventdove’s shares and its related brands. After the acquisition, Eventdove’s CEO Chang Jun will become Eventown’s CTO and his predecessor, Eventown’s original CTO, Ren Fake will become chief architect. Eventown said Eventdove’s team in Nanjing will not be affected and the team will become Eventown’s Nanjing R&D center.