Nov 07, 2018 05:40 PM

Wednesday Tech Briefing: Alibaba, Luckin Coffee, Tencent

1. Alibaba Plans to Import $200 Billion Worth of Goods to China

Alibaba Group Tuesday announced its 5-year plan to import $200 billion worth of goods from more than 120 countries.

It follows hot on the heels of a pledge from President Xi Jinping at the China International Import Expo Monday that the country will buy more than $30 trillion of foreign goods over the next 15 years, as well as an announcement from rival e-commerce company that it would purchase nearly 100 billion yuan ($14.4 billion) of overseas goods.

Alibaba’s plan involves retail subsidiaries including Tmall, Hema, Yintai and RT-Mart. (Caixin, link in Chinese)

2. Starbucks Competitor Luckin Coffee Seeks to Double Valuation to $2 Billion

China’s Luckin Coffee, which sprung up early this year and has expanded rapidly across the country, is seeking funds to double its $1 billion valuation, Caixin has confirmed.

Luckin has thrived in the Starbucks-dominated China market, as customers embrace its smartphone-focused cashless stores.

According to people familiar with the matter, Luckin plans to raise $300 million to $400 million. (Caixin, link in Chinese)

3. Tencent Announces Age Verification for All Gamers

Tencent Holdings Ltd. will require age-verification for all gamers by 2019, Bloomberg reports.

The age-verification system, first implemented on popular Tencent game Honor of Kings, requires the tech giant to check gamer IDs against police databases. The move comes in response to government efforts to tackle game addiction among minors.

Earlier this week Tencent announced a partnership with China’s phone maker OPPO to try and curb excessive gaming among teens. (Bloomberg)

4. NIO Reports $409.2 Million Net Loss in Q3

The newly-listed Chinese electric-car maker NIO Inc. announced a net loss of $409 million for the quarter ending Sept.30, with total revenues of $214 million.

The number of delivered ES8 cars, NIO’s first mass-market vehicle, reached 3,268 in the third quarter. In a statement, NIO said it is confident it will meet its delivery goal of 10,000 ES8s by the end of 2018.

In October, NIO’s stock fell as much as 5% on the New York Stock Exchange after getting a mixed early reception on Wall Street as analysts initiated coverage on the Chinese electric-car maker with “buy” and “hold” ratings. (Company press release)

5. SAIC Motor, China Mobile to Develop First 5G-Connected Vehicle

Domestic car maker SAIC Motor and telecom operator China Mobile have partnered up to develop China’s first 5G Internet-connected vehicle model for mass production.

Under the new agreement, the two companies also plan to jointly develop 5G networks, in-car entertainment systems and industrial Internet of Things applications. (Caixin, link in Chinese)

6. 3D Printing Startup to Take on Big Guns After Cash Infusion

Chinese 3D printing startup Ultracraft has raised 325 million yuan ($46.97 million) from investors led by IDG Capital, a company source has revealed to Caixin.

According to the source, other investors in the Guangzhou-based startup’s A-round fundraising include two Shenzhen-based investment firms.

Founded in 2015, Ultracraft specializes in providing 3D printing services, as well as developing its own 3D printers, which it sells to customers in sectors that include health care and consumer products. (Caixin)

Compiled by Ye Zhanqi

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