Caixin
Aug 27, 2018 10:38 AM

Monday Tech Briefing: Didi, Alibaba, JD.com

BIG TECH COMPANIES

1. Another Female Passenger Murdered by Didi Driver Despite Safety Revamp

What: A female passenger in Zhejiang province was raped and killed by a driver registered with China’s largest car-hailing service Didi Chuxing while she was using the service on Friday afternoon. A suspect surnamed Zhong has been arrested, local police said.

Why it’s important: The case comes just three months after Didi revamped the safety measures of its car-pooling feature Didi Hitch after a female flight attendant was murdered during her travel. Didi apologized in a statement on Saturday and promised to compensate the victim’s family. Didi said that another passenger had complained about Zhong’s behavior one day before the murder, but that it did not immediately investigate. (Source: Caixin)

2. Inke’s First-Half Profit Rises 21.8% To 409 Million Yuan, Revenue 17.9% To 2.28 Billion Yuan

What: Mobile live-streaming platform Inke Ltd. saw its revenue rise 17.9% in the first half of the year to 2.28 billion yuan, while its profit rose 21.8% to 409 million yuan, the company announced Sunday. Inke also reported a 30% year-on-year increase in average monthly active users in the second quarter, to 26.38 million, while its number of paying users decreased 20.3% year-on-year to 1.98 million.

Why it’s important: China’s mobile platform usage and entertainment spending have grown rapidly in recent years. Chinese consumers spent 189.2 billion yuan on “mobile culture” and mobile entertainment in 2017, compared to 39.3 billion yuan in 2012. (Source: Press release)

3. Alibaba Delivers 41% Profit Drop

What: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s shares closed down 3.16% on the New York Stock Exchange after reporting a 41% drop in profit in the second-quarter. Profit in the quarter was 8.7 billion yuan ($1.3 billion), while revenue rose 61% to 80.9 billion yuan.

Why it’s important: Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce company, said its profit decline was due to 11 billion yuan of compensation expenses granted to employees as a result of the rising valuation of the company’s related payment unit, Ant Financial Services Group. Alibaba said that if not for these expenses, profit would have increased by 33%. But its second-quarter revenue has beaten the average projection of $11.8 billion by 28 analysts, according to Yahoo Finance. (Source: Caixin)

POLICY

4. Bilibili Returns to Major App Stores After Month of ‘Rectification’

What: Video-streaming app Bilibili has returned to major app stores a month after being taken offline by Chinese authorities. China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism said Bilibili had been found to have allowed “unsuitable” content on its platform.

Why it’s important: The Ministry of Culture and Tourism kicked off an inspection of 27 online animation and music streaming providers in China in July, aimed at cleaning up “vulgar” and “pornographic” content on those sites. The inspection was one of the latest operations targeting China’s short video industry. (Source: Caijing, link in Chinese)

5. JD.com Reports Internal Corruption Cases

What: Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com published an internal anti-corruption report on Friday that identified 17 former employees accused of corruption and embezzlement. JD.com said the 17 people had been fired, including four whose cases were passed along to police for criminal investigations.

Why it’s important: This is the third internal anti-corruption report that JD.com has published since 2015. Other Chinese companies, including on-demand online services provider Meituan-Dianping, have previously announced similar anti-corruption crackdowns, mirroring the ongoing government campaign to stamp out corruption. (Source: Caixin)

DEALS AND FUNDRAISING

6. Qudian to Terminate Partnership With Ant Financial

What: Qudian Inc. confirmed in its second quarter report that its partnership with leading internet financial services provider Ant Financial Services Group will end in August, cutting off an access point for online users. Qudian’s New York-traded shares plunged more than 5% Friday morning.

Why it’s important: Under the three-year-old partnership, Qudian has operated through Ant Financial’s payment app Alipay and used Ant’s credit scoring system in its lending business. Qudian said it does not expect the non-renewal to have a material impact on its current business. Qudian reported revenue of 2.2 billion yuan ($323 million) for the second quarter, up 125% from a year ago. Net profit rose 42% to 724 million yuan. (Source: Caixin)

Compiled by Shen Xinyue


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