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Li Dongmei




Ex Baidu Chief Scientist Andrew Ng To Raise $150M AI Fund

Andrew Ng (pictured), former vice president and chief scientist at Baidu Inc., has stayed busy since leaving the Chinese search engine in March. After launching online courses on artificial intelligence (AI), Ng's latest move is to raise a US$150 million venture capital fund to back AI start-ups.

China's Venture, PE Sector Slows In July As Investors Remain Cautious

Venture capital deals in China saw a sharp slowdown in July as investors remain cautious in deploying capital to start-ups and companies. A total of 173 venture capital deals were recorded last month, down 21% from June, and 53% from July 2016. A total of US$2.6 billion was raised in July, a decline of 14% month-on-month, and 24% from a year earlier, according to data released by ChinaVenture.

China's Central Bank Rejects Alibaba, Tencent's Push For Cashless Society

Alibaba and Tencent wanted to kill cash. But their dreams of a cashless society may get crushed first. Concerned about the declining use of China's fiat currency and alarmed by reports of merchants refusing the RMB as payment, the People's Bank of China has taken action to ban, or at least limit the use of the word "cashless" in promotional materials published by digital payment giant Alibaba's Ant Financial.

China Goes Cashless With Consumers Spending $5.5 Trillion Via Mobile Payments, 50 Times More Than Americans

Chinese consumers spent US$5.5 trillion via mobile payment platforms last year, about 50 times more than their American counterparts. By the end of 2016, Tencent alone saw both its active mobile payment accounts and average daily payment transactions exceed 600 million, according to a new report released by Tencent Research Institute, The Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, and research firm Ipsos.

Chinese MiniKTV Start-Up Raises $15M From Matrix, GSR

Chinese start-ups continue to redefine investor imagination and break new venture fundraising records. Xingtang miniKTV, a three-month-old company operating self-serving karaoke boxes in Chinese cities, has raised US$15 million from investors including Matrix Partners China, Vertex Ventures China, GSR Ventures and DCM.

Venture-Backed BGI Genomics Completes $250M IPO On Shenzhen ChiNext

Chinese gene sequencing giant BGI Genomics Co., Ltd. today completed an initial public offering on the ChiNext board in Shenzhen, raising around RMB1.7 billion (US$250 million). The successful IPO comes after the company previously failed to list in the U.S. and Hong Kong, as well as an unsuccessful bit to achieve an A-share float via a reverse merger.

Warburg Pincus Leads $60M Series B Round In Logistics Robot Maker Geek+

Warburg Pincus has led a US$60 million series B financing round in Geek+, a Beijing-based logistics robot developer whose technology, similar to Amazon's Kiva robot, is designed to improve automation at warehouses. Existing shareholders including Volcanics Venture also participated in the round, which is the largest single round of fundraising in the logistics robot industry globally to date, says Warburg in an announcement. The new round follows a RMB100 million (US$14 million) series A+ round in Geek+ led by Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore's Temasek Holdings, in March. Founded in 2015, Geek+ provides one-stop intelligent logistics robot solutions enabled by artificial intelligence and robot technologies. Its solutions cover storage, order picking, material handling and parcel sorting. The robot can perform a wide range of functions such as order division and consolidation, intelligent inventory replenishment and products return, SKU correlation analysis, robots routes optimization, automated collision and congestion control, and dynamic shelf optimization. "As the AI technologies are maturing, we are seeing increasing market demand and new applications. In particular, the traditional, capital-intensive and labor-intensive logistics industry provides huge market potential for AI technologies," said Jericho Zhang, principal of Warburg Pincus. "With the rapid development of China's …

Tencent Invests $66M In TCL's Smart TV Unit In Exchange For 16.67% Stake

Tencent Holdings Ltd. has agreed to invest RMB450 million (US$66 million) in the smart TV unit of China's biggest television maker, TCL Corp. The deal is Tencent's latest investment in the smart TV sector as the technology giant seeks to replicate its dominance in mobile phones content in a broader distribution channel.