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:
Tencent invests USD 1B in China’s largest O2O Meituan-Dianping after its merger
Caixin, a Chinese investigative magazine, reported that internet giant Tencent will invest USD one billion in the new Meituan-Dianping company. The company is currently seeking USD 3 billion in fundraising. As part of the agreement, Meituan’s executives will start operating the company. Meituan’s former CEO Wang Xing will be the CEO of the new company, in charge of management and operations. Dianping’s ex-CEO Zhang Tao will be the chair of the new company, responsible for long-term strategy. A few former senior executives of Dianping will retire.
IDC Report: 355.2 million smartphones shipped globally in Q3
Market research firm IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report shows that the total global shipment of smartphones reached 355.2 million units in the third quarter of 2015, a 6.8% growth compare to the third quarter in 2014. This resulted in the second-highest shipment in a single quarter. However, this number is still lower than IDC’s expectation of 363.8 million units shipped. NetEase reports that the lower turnout is because iPhone shipment has slightly dropped and because consumers are not so keen on the prices of Android-based flagship products from several top OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).
Tencent Q3 report: mobile market key growth point for company with USD 4 B YOY revenues
Tencent’s Q3 financial report shows that the mobile market is a key growth point for the company. In the third quarter of 2015, revenues for Tencent increased by 34% year-on-year to RMB 26.6 billion. In this quarter, Tencent focused on several strategic points, like Wechat payment, enhanced performance-based advertising, and smartphone games. Active WeChat users reached 650 million, a 39% annual increase. Ads in mobile devices contributed over 65% of Tencent’s ad margin.
JD.com to shut down Paipai.com
JD.com announced on Monday that it will stop providing service to C2C e-commerce platform Paipai.com starting from December 31, 2015 due to its inability to eliminate fake products on the platform. After a three-month transition period, JD.com will completely cease the operation of Paipai.com on April 1, 2016. In a note to Paipai.com’s users, JD.com said Paipai.com will no longer accept the applications of any new merchants.
China Post foresees over 760 million Double 11 deliveries this year
China’s State Post Bureau has estimated that Double 11 shopping day deliveries this year will total over 760 million from Nov. 11-16. The bureau says the peak period will be from Nov. 11-13. In this time, China Post may process over 140 million deliveries on a single day. The Beijing, Tianjin, Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, Fujian and Shandong areas will process the highest volume of deliveries.
Sina founder’s new education platform receives several million USD angel investment
According to information from insiders, customized education platform Limi has received several million USD in an angel investment from Northern Light Venture Capital. Limi’s focus is on elementary school math, and it currently cooperates with over 600 elementary schools, over 10,000 teachers, and over 300,000 students. It was founded in April by CEO Huo Liang, one of the founding members of Sina.
IDC predicts USD 13B in revenue for Alibaba on Double 11 shopping day
Market research company IDC predicts that Alibaba may see a total GMV of RMB 82 billion (USD 13 billion) on China’s Double 11 shopping day, in a conservative estimation. In the upper estimate, Alibaba may achieve RMB 87 billion in GMV. Tmall’s revenue in 2014 was RMB 57.1 billion. IDC also points out that pre-orders on Alibaba have seen a significant increase; meanwhile 80% of consumers will browse for products on Alibaba’s mobile applications and 65% will finish the transaction on their mobile phones.
WeChat-based shopping service receives USD 79M from Hainan Airlines
Sun Taoyong, CEO of Weimob, has announced RMB 500 million (USD 79 million) in C-series funding from Hainan Airlines, which will boost Weimob’s valuation up to RMB two billion (USD 317 million). Weimob’s product Mengdian is a WeChat-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform provider, which primarily supports marketing and e-commerce on WeChat. According to Sun’s internal letter, the company aims to list on China’s third board next year. Mengdian claims to host 1.2 million registered retailers as of July 2015.
Mobile shopping surpasses PC in China for the first time
Chinese people will shop more on their mobile phones than on their PCs this year. According to Bain and Co.’s latest report, mobile e-commerce in China will surpass PC online shopping for the first time in 2015. It is expected that Chinese people will complete 55% of e-commerce orders on their mobile phones. This report shows that, as of 2014, mobile e-commerce has already taken over 35% of the e-commerce market in China, a higher percentage than many countries. The ratio of mobile e-commerce in the UK, USA and Korea in 2014 is 27%, 22% and 18% respectively. The total value of online sales in 2014 in China reached RMB 2.9 trillion.
iPad Pro available for preorder Wednesday
On Tuesday, Apple announced that the iPad Pro will be available for preorder online in over 40 countries and regions starting Wednesday, coinciding with the Double 11 shopping day in China. It will be available in stores a few days after the online launch. A 32 GB wifi version starts at RMB 5888 (USD 926) in China, USD 799 in the US. iPad Pro accessories include the Apple Pencil for RMB 728 and the Smart Keyboard for RMB 1288. Apple is hoping that the iPad Pro will revive the declining tablet market. However, industry observers have forecast that iPad sales will continue to decline, since tablets do not make many technological breakthroughs, generally speaking. The launch of the iPad Pro, marketed towards businesses, will test this prediction.
Baidu to discuss potential first investment in India
Baidu is in talks with India’s largest discounted shopping site Mydala.com to invest in the e-commerce site with up to USD 100 million, according to The Times of India. This deal will be Baidu’s first investment in an Indian company if it goes through. Mydala was established 6 years ago. Info Edge holds 44% of its shares and the rest of the shares are owned by its founders and employees. Baidu set up an office in Gurgaon, India in January and the Chinese search giant has 45 million active users in India.