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Alibaba Invests $2.9B In China Hypermarket Chain Sun Art In New Retail Push

Chinese Internet retail giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited has formed a strategic alliance with French retailer Auchan Retail S.A. and Ruentex Group to pursue new opportunities in China’s food retail sector. As part of the strategic alliance, Alibaba will invest a total of HK$22.4 billion (US$2.88 billion) to obtain an aggregate 36.16% stake in Sun Art Retail Group Ltd., a Chinese hypermarket operator listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Alibaba is buying the stake from from Ruentex, for around …

China News App Toutiao Said Seeking To Buy Insurance Broker

Chinese news app Toutiao appears to be the latest Chinese media platform looking to get into financial technology. According to local news reports, the five-year-old company with a valuation estimated at US$20 billion is looking to acquire an insurance broker in China to break into the insurance business, but without having go through the time consuming process of obtaining an insurance license. 

Alibaba Leads US$335M Series E Round In Chinese Used Car Transaction Platform Souche

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has led a US$335 million series E round in Chinese used car online transaction platform Souche, with participation from Warburg Pincus, Primavera Capital and CMB International. This round takes place less than 12 months after the a US$100 million series C round completed in November 2016 led by Ant Financial, and less than 6 months after a US$180 million series D round completed in April 2017 led by Warburg Pincus. After this round of financing, Alibaba …

Alibaba Launches $15B Global R&D Program To Rival Amazon in Tech Innovation

In a bid to establish itself as a leading player in global technology innovation, Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., today announced plans to spend up to US$15 billion on research and development, establish seven research labs and recruit 100 top scientist worldwide over a three-year period.

Alibaba Expands Online Gaming Business With Ejoy Acquisition

Alibaba is becoming a serious player in the online gaming sector. The technology giant founded by Jack Ma today announced that it has acquired online gaming company Ejoy and revealed plans to establish for the first time a dedicated gaming unit to expand into the lucrative sector.

Alibaba’s IKEA-like Super Store Marks Next Step In Offline Retail Expansion

Alibaba has taken another step in its quest to become ubiquitous in the daily life of every Chinese consumer, this time taking a page out of the play book of international retail giant Ikea. Three days ago, Alibaba opened a bright, colorful, all inclusive home furnishing flagship store in Hangzhou that looks and feels very much like an IKEA store, but is fully augmented by Alibaba’s online e-commence technology.

SoftBank Vision Fund Eyes $500M Investment In ZhongAn Insurance’s US$1.5B IPO

SoftBank Vision Fund, a US$93 billion investment fund backed by SoftBank Group Corp with a significant commitment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is considering a US$500 million investment in the Hong Kong initial public offering of ZhongAn Online Property and Casualty Insurance Co., Ltd. ZhongAn Online is China’s first Internet-only insurer jointly established by Alibaba Group, Tencent Holdings and Ping An Insurance in 2013. The company is geared toward raising US$1.5 billion in an IPO in Hong Kong at …

Ant Financial’s Agriculture Insurance Joint Venture Gets Regulatory Green Light

An agriculture insurance joint venture between Ant Financial Services Group and China United Insurance Holding Co. has received a green light from China’s insurance regulator, making it the first agriculture technology company co-established by an insurer to achieve regulatory approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC).

Chinese Machine Vision Firm Yi+ Raises $14M Round

Yi+, a Chinese artificial intelligence start-up developing machine vision technology for content marketing, has raised a RMB100 million (US$14 million) series B round from Haitong Securities, financial services company Bairongjun Group and The Bank of Beijing.

Chinese Innovation QR Code Mobile Payment Wants To Conquer The World

China is going cashless, no doubt. Chinese consumers spent a total of US$5.5 trillion via mobile payment platforms last year, or simply put, it was about 50 times more than their American counterparts (around US$112 billion), according to data from Forrester Research and iResearch. The credit of the country’s multi-trillion dollar mobile payment market goes to China’s third-party QR code-scanning mobile payment platforms, led by WeChat Pay and Alipay. Statistics show that from 2013 to 2016, the number of transactions …

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.

Alibaba Partners With Macau To Drive Smart City Projects

Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and the Government of the Macau Special Administrative Region have entered into a strategic partnership framework agreement, under which Alibaba will support Macau’s implementation of smart city initiatives using cloud computing technologies.