Tuesday Tech Briefing: Didi, Alibaba, China Unicom
China’s largest private courier, SF Holding, has purchased DHL Group’s Greater China supply chain business for $792 million, which could further cement the former’s position in China.
The deal will give SF Holding access to DHL’s know-how in supply chain services, management expertise, and transportation and warehousing technology.
The latest tie-up marks another step in SF Holding’s expansion into commercial logistics, after its SF Express unit became the largest player in China’s consumer delivery sector amid an e-commerce boom. (Caixin)
Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing platform, is considering a foray into the hotel-booking business that would potentially trigger a competition with market leaders Meituan Dianping and Ctrip.
Didi has an eye on hotel reservations, and any foray into the business would likely be mainly through strategic partners such as Booking Holdings and Oyo. A Didi spokesman denied any plan for an official launch of a new business “in the near future” while adding that it is still “fully focused on safety and operational upgrades.”
The company has vowed to place safety over expansion in wake of two alleged rape and murders by its drivers. (South China Morning Post)
Swiss Cartier owner Richemont and Chinese internet giant Alibaba are teaming up on an online luxury retail joint venture.
Richemont has built its own e-commerce platforms by acquiring companies like Net-a-Porter and Yoox SpA, merging them to form a unit known as YNAP. YNAP owns 51 percent of the venture, while Alibaba has 49 percent.
The venture will create mobile apps and set up online stores on Alibaba’s Tmall luxury platform under Richemont’s Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter formats. It’s expected to build Alibaba’s credibility in selling jewels and $100,000 watches. (Bloomberg)
China United Network Communications Corp. Ltd. (CUCL), parent of wireless carrier China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd., said it will let partners take over its operations in five cities of Southwest China’s Yunnan province over the next 10 years — the latest Beijing initiative to invigorate big state-owned enterprises.
CUCL has become a key test case in China’s telecommunications industry as Beijing tries to breathe new life into big state-owned enterprises that operate in traditional sectors dominated by government-granted monopolies.
Such an arrangement could see the new partners become responsible for operating the company’s current services in those cities, including wireless and broadband. The partners will most likely share their revenue and profits with Unicom. (Caixin)
Chinese bike-sharing company Youon will form a joint venture with United Kingdom bicycle operator Cycle.land and roll out 1,000 new dockless bicycles in London in March, the companies announced on Monday. Youon will provide the bicycles and Cycle.land will be responsible for operating and maintaining them.
The U.K. will be Youon’s fourth overseas market, after Russia, India, and Malaysia.
Jiangsu-based Youon has 42.5 million registered users and runs both dockless and docked bike-sharing systems in 220 Chinese cities. Cycle.land is a peer-to-peer bike-lending service that was founded in 2016 by University of Oxford graduates. The company runs an online marketplace in which users rent out and hire bicycles from each other. (China Daily)
Chinese smartphone company OnePlus’ latest, the 6T, is launching in the U.S. through mobile operator T-Mobile US Inc. Thursday in what will be the first time the company’s handset is sold through a U.S. wireless provider.
Unlike most Chinese device-makers, which typically focus on mass-market products for domestic customers, OnePlus sells almost exclusively online. It derives two-thirds of its revenue from outside China. (Reuters)
Compiled by Shen Xinyue
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