Friday Tech Briefing: JD.com, Tencent, Geely
BIG TECH COMPANIES
1. Tencent Shares Fall Amid Tightened Rules on Gaming
What: Tencent Holdings Ltd. vowed Thursday to introduce “the strictest” identity registration system on its flagship game amid government efforts to tackle game addiction among minors.
Shares of Hong Kong-listed Tencent closed down 3.14% on Thursday in reaction to the move, which could trim user penetration for one of its hottest titles, “Honour of Kings,” the Chinese version of “Arena of Valor.”
Why it’s important: The announcement came just days after Beijing issued other controls on video games, citing concerns of vision problems among students.
As China’s top game developer and publisher, Tencent is inclined to follow government orders, even at its own cost.
Big picture: In the second quarter, Tencent suffered its first quarterly profit drop in 13 years after the government froze the approval of new games in March. (Source: Caixin)
2. JD.com Founder Attended Boozy Dinner on Night of Alleged Rape, Caixin Told
What: JD.com Inc. founder and CEO Liu Qiangdong attended a boozy dinner with around 20 others at a Japanese restaurant about 20 minutes by car from the University of Minnesota. He was alleged to have committed rape later that night, sources told Caixin.
The Chinese billionaire, who also goes by Richard Liu, was taken into custody by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Aug. 31 at about 11:30 p.m. local time and released without bail the next day at around 4 p.m., police said.
Why it’s important: Liu, who was born to a peasant family in East China’s Jiangsu province, became one of China’s richest men by establishing his e-commerce giant JD.com, which is listed in the U.S. with a market value of around $40 billion.
On Thursday, JD.com gained 3% before the market opened, following a loss of around 11% on the previous trading day. (Source: Caixin)
3. Toyota in Talks with Geely in Hybrid Vehicle Tech Cooperation
What: “Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday it is in talks with Chinese automaker Geely about cooperation in gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle technology,” Reuters reported.
Why it’s important: “Japan’s biggest automaker has been increasingly embracing new automotive technologies for future growth, and has also embarked on a strategy to ramp up sales in China, the world’s biggest auto market.”
Big picture: Geely has just become China’s third biggest automobile seller, overtaking Japanese rivals Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp. in the first half of 2018. (Source: Reuters)
4. BYD Opens Access to Auto Ecosystem for App Developers
What: Chinese car maker BYD Co. Ltd. announced that it will allow app developers to access data on sensing and control systems in its vehicles, enabling them to develop applications for its driving ecosystem.
Why it’s important: This is a “crucial moment” for automakers to embrace change, BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said. Wang believes that the automobiles of the future will be smart devices instead of mere transportation machines.
Big picture: Shenzhen-based BYD, which began as a rechargeable-battery producer in the late 1990s, has developed into the country’s leading new-energy vehicle company, thanks largely to its robust capacity to build its own batteries. (Source: Caixin, link in Chinese)
DEALS AND FUNDRAISING
5. Chinese Food Startup Miss Fresh Raises $450 Million
What: Miss Fresh, a grocery e-commerce startup, announced on Thursday that it has raised $450 million from investors that include Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Why it’s important: Miss Fresh, founded in 2014, delivers fresh produce to customers in 20 Chinese cities, and plans to eventually expand operations to 100 cities. The company’s existing backers include Lenovo Group Ltd. and China Growth Capital.
(Source: Caixin, link in Chinese)
Compiled by Ye Zhanqi
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