Category Archives: China

The other smartphone business

With the smartphone operating system market sewn up by Google’s Android platform, which has a close to 90% share globally, leaving Apple’s iOS a slender (but lucrative) premium top-slice, a little company called Jolla and its Linux-based Sailfish OS is a rare sight indeed: A self-styled ‘independent alternative’ that’s still somehow in business. The Finnish startup’s b2b licensing sales pitch is intended to appeal to corporates and governments that want to be able to control their own destiny where device software is concerned. And in a world […]

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Africa Roundup: Kenya’s BRCK acquires EveryLayer, Nigeria’s TeamApt eyes global expansion

Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK acquired the assets of Nairobi-based internet provider Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer in a purchase deal of an undisclosed amount in February. Based in Nairobi, Surf is a hotspot service provider aimed at offering affordable internet to lower-income segments. BRCK is a five-year-old venture that pairs its rugged Wi-Fi routers to internet service packages designed to bring people online in frontier and emerging markets. With the acquisition, BRCK gains the assets of San Francisco-based EveryLayer and its Surf subsidiary, including 1,200 hotspots and […]

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Tiger Global and Ant Financial lead $500M investment in China’s shared housing startup Danke

A Chinese startup that’s taking a dorm-like approach to urban housing just raised $500 million as its valuation jumped over $2 billion. Danke Apartment, whose name means “eggshell” in Chinese, closed the Series C round led by returning investor Tiger Global Management and newcomer Ant Financial, Alibaba’s e-payment and financial affiliate controlled by Jack Ma. Four years ago, Beijing-based Danke set out with a mission to provide more affordable housing for young Chinese working in large urban centers. It applies the co-working concept to housing by renting […]

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As shared kitchens heat up, a China-based startup, Panda Selected, nabs $50 million led by Tiger Global

A few weeks ago, we told you that former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick looks to be partnering with the former COO of the bike-sharing startup Ofo, Yanqi Zhang, to bring his new L.A.-based company, CloudKitchens, to China. Kalanick didn’t respond to our request for more information, but according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), his plan is to provide local food businesses with real estate, facilities management, technology and marketing services. He might want to move quickly. Kitchens that invite restaurants to share their space to focus on […]

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China’s social credit system won’t tell you what you can do right

For the past few years, China has been rolling out a Black Mirror / Harry Potter-esque social rating policy known as the Social Credit System (SCS). Far from just a credit score in the financial sense, an SCS score can determine whether a person can buy business class tickets on trains (or take the train at all) or have access to flights. Apps are rumored to exist that would tell users whether they are standing near someone with a debt listed in the system, so … they can walk […]

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Scooter startup Bird tried to silence a journalist. It did not go well.

Cory Doctorow doesn’t like censorship. He especially doesn’t like his own work being censored. Anyone who knows Doctorow knows his popular tech and culture blog, Boing Boing, and anyone who reads Boing Boing knows Doctorow and his cohort of bloggers. The part-blogger, part special advisor at the online rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation has written for years on topics of technology, hacking, security research, online digital rights and censorship and its intersection with free speech and expression. Yet, this week it looked like his own free speech […]

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Atari teams up with some startup to pretend to make blockchain-based games

Animoca Brands will produce and publish blockchain-based versions of RollerCoaster Tycoon and Goon Squad worldwide (excluding China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau); the new titles will feature the integration of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The term of the Agreement extends through to 31 March 2022. In honor of this exciting announcement I’d like to propose the following blockchain-based products available for license to those hunting for a quick buck: Blockchain! The Musical Blockchain Cereal Blockchain Brand Kombucha Blockchain & Me, An Alien Adventure Blockchain Whiskey Blockchain Soda Blockchain […]

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Lightspeed is raising its largest China fund yet

Lightspeed China Partners, the China-focused affiliate of Silicon Valley-based Lightspeed Venture Partners, has set a $360 million target for its fourth flagship venture fund, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. If the target is reached, the fund will be Lightspeed China’s largest yet, per PitchBook. Lightspeed China’s previous two funds each closed on $260 million. The VC raised $168 million for its debut fund in 2013. Lightspeed China is led by David Mi (pictured). Mi, an investor in multiple billion-dollar Chinese companies, […]

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The trust dilemma of continuous background checks

First, background checks at startups, then Huawei’s finance chief is arrested, SoftBank’s IPO is subscribed, and I am about to record our next edition of TechCrunch Equity. It’s Thursday, December 6, 2018. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new – provide your feedback directly to the author (Danny at danny@techcrunch.com) if you like or hate something here. The dilemma of continuous background checks My colleague John Biggs covered the Series A round for Israel-based Intelligo, a startup that provides […]

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Foxconn or Foxgone? Tariffs, Wisconsin and iPhone fires

First some notes on SoftBank’s rumored expansion into China and its weird fund math, then Foxconn and then quick notes on tech depression, Huawei and more. TechCrunch is experimenting with new content forms. This is a rough draft of something new — provide your feedback directly to the author (Danny at danny@techcrunch.com) if you like or hate something here. SoftBank has fund visions (and a Vision Fund) for China? That, and more money Kane Wu at Reuters reported overnight that SoftBank is looking to open an office […]

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