Sep 26, 2018 03:44 PM

Wednesday Tech Briefing: Baidu, AutoNavi, Alipay

1. Electric-Scooter Maker Niu Files for $150 Million U.S. IPO

Chinese electric-scooter startup Niu Technologies Group Ltd. filed for an IPO in the U.S. Monday, looking to raise as much as $150 million.

The company claims to be China’s largest manufacturer of lithium ion battery-powered scooters, with a market share of 26% and a sales network that covers 150 Chinese cities, as well the third-largest electric-scooter player in Europe with a market share of 11.1%.

In 2017, Niu’s net losses shrank to 184.7 million yuan ($26.93 million) from 232.7 million the year earlier on revenue of 769.4 million yuan. (Caixin)

2. AutoNavi, Alipay Partner on Mobile Transportation Service

Alibaba-backed mapping business AutoNavi announced a partnership with Alipay Monday to provide users with a one-stop mobile transportation experience.

AutoNavi’s taxi hailing feature is now a mini-app that users can open on the Alipay platform. At the same time, AutoNavi can access other online transport platforms such as Didi and Ctrip.

AutoNavi has 426 million monthly active users, according to statistics from QuestMobile published in July. As of August 2018, Alipay has more than 700 million active users in China. (Tencent Tech, link in Chinese)

3. Oyo Rooms Receives $1 Billion in Financing, Expands Chinese Business

Oyo Rooms, an Indian budget hotel chain, has received $800 million in investments and an investment commitment of $200 million, making for a $1 billion financing round, the company announced Monday.

This round was led by SBIA and included international investment groups such as Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia and Greenoaks Capital.

Oyo will use $600 million to continue to its expansion in China and to increase investments in technology and talent. (Announcement, link in Chinese)

4. Property Giant Evergrande Drives Further Into Car Industry

China Evergrande Group will pay 14.5 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) for a minority stake in Guanghui Group, increasing the property developer’s stake in the car industry.

Evergrande is China’s third-largest property developer by sales, with total assets of 1.77 trillion yuan as of June.

Founded in 1994, Guanghui Group‘s biggest revenue generator is the Shanghai-listed unit China Grand Automotive Services Co. Ltd., which operates nearly 800 car dealerships across the country. In 2017, Guanghui posted a net profit of 3.94 billion yuan and a revenue of 176 billion yuan. (Caixin)

5. Baidu Opens Up Its Mini-App Platform

Baidu has opened its fledgling mini app platform to institutional developers such as companies, media and the government. The platform was first released in July to select developers, and is set to become open-source by the end of 2018.

During the platform’s closed test run over the past two months, it attracted over 100 million monthly active users. So far, Bilibili, iQiyi, Kuaishou and other app companies have confirmed that they will join Baidu’s open-source alliance. The platform’s launch comes more than a year after Tencent launched its own within WeChat. (Caixin, link in Chinese)

6. Beijing Grants 34th Driverless Road Test License

Didi and Tencent have joined the list of companies vying to test driverless vehicles on roads, with the total number of licenses granted in Beijing reaching 34.

So far, Baidu has licenses to test 25 vehicles and Daimler AG, Didi Chuxing and have two licenses each, while Nio, Beijing New Energy Automotive and Tencent have licenses for one vehicle each.

As of August, self-driving vehicles have safely driven some 45,000 kilometers on 44 roads in Beijing. (Techweb, link in Chinese)

Compiled by Shen Xinyue

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