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748

Chinese Users Can Now Book And Pay For Karaoke Sessions Inside WeChat

TECHINASIAChina’s wannabe pop stars can now subject their friends to drunken renditions of Jay Chou tunes without carrying cash. WeChat, the popular messaging app owned by Tencent, announced yesterday it will incorporate karaoke services from inside the app. (more…)

China, Fintech news, InspirAsia, Mobile payments/banking, news

April 10, 2015

972

Alibaba steps up China online finance network push with new index, bank

REUTERS: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) and its finance affiliate accelerated a drive to be a full-fledged Chinese online financial network, with the launch on Thursday of an e-commerce tracking stock index and plans for a June start of an internet bank. (more…)

China, Fintech news, InspirAsia

April 9, 2015

1003

Hong Kong Tycoon Li Ka-shing Ventures Deeper Into Tech

THE WALL STREET JOURNALWhen the venture-capital fund of Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, hosted a gathering of its portfolio companies in Shanghai last year, it broke the ice with a scavenger hunt. 

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China, InspirAsia, news

March 29, 2015

1139

Yuri Milner’s Unparalleled Global Tech Gold-Mining Machine

FORBES: How a Russian investor Yuri Milner established his “gold-mining machine” (firm DST) and why he believes that the future belongs to Asia. China lifted Milner up from ranked 35 to 20 in the Forbes ranking of the best investors. Investments in Alibaba and smartphone vendor Xiaomi opened Yuri Milner’s way to the Forbes’ top 20 investors. In the past year the entrepreneur preferred China to the US.

(more…)

Analytics, China, Fintech news, Global trends, InspirAsia, news

March 25, 2015

711

Chinese FinTech startup iMaibo is raising up to US$10M Series A

E27.CO: China’s iMaibo, a stock market app, has grown from 10,000 to 100,000 active daily users within nine months, brought on a new CEO and is looking to raise a Series A round of US$5-10 million (more…)

China, Fintech news, InspirAsia, news

March 20, 2015

1348

WeChat Now Has 500 Million Monthly Active Users

TECHINASIA: Messaging app WeChat now has 500 million monthly active users (MAUs), parent company Tencent revealed today. The new figure for Q4 2014 is up from 468 million in Q3 last year, and up from 355 million at the end of 2013. (more…)

China, Fintech news, InspirAsia, news, p2p-payments

March 18, 2015

667

Xiaomi To Offer Financial Services Direct Through Its Smartphones

Channel NewsAsia: Xiaomi has added a function that allows users to buy money market fund offered by mutual fund manager Efund. The service competes directly with similar products offered by Alibaba and Tencent. (more…)

China, Fintech news, InspirAsia, news

March 17, 2015

784

Watch Alibaba’s Jack Ma Demonstrate Face Recognition-Enabled Payments

TECHINASIA: Yesterday at Cebit in Hanover, Alibaba founder Jack Ma took the stage to wax philosophical on entrepreneurship and the future of technology. While he oozed charisma on stage, the real treat came at the end of his address. After noting how online payments can sometimes be troublesome, the founder took out his smartphone and paid for a set of stamps on Alibaba using face-recognition technology (more…)

China, Fintech news, InspirAsia, news, p2p-payments

March 16, 2015

817

Secure Messaging App Wiper Adds Bitcoin Support, Gets Yanked In China

TECHCRUNCH: Wiper, a chat application designed to provide users with control over their sent and received messages, recently rolled out support for bitcoin transactions between its users. The tool is simple, allowing individuals to send cryptocurrency to others inside the app’s main chat interface. But CEO Manlio Carrelli told TechCrunch that Wiper was “removed from the iOS App Store in China due to violating that app store’s policies,” and that “Apple [had] explained to [the company] by phone that this violation was related to Wiper enabling bitcoin payments.” (more…)

China, Cryptocurrencies, Fintech news, InspirAsia, news, p2p-payments

March 15, 2015

731

Series C crunch will leave hundreds of Chinese startups without funding in 2015, says local VC

TECHINASIA: The lack of venture capital against the background of increased demand for it may lead to a shortage of money for growth-stage (Series C) startups in China
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Analytics, China, Global trends, InspirAsia, news

March 13, 2015

689

Snapchat Is Raising Money From Alibaba at a $15 Billion Valuation

BLOOMBERG: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. plans to invest in Snapchat Inc., the mobile application for sending disappearing photos, at a valuation of $15 billion, people familiar with the situation said. China’s biggest e-commerce company intends to invest $200 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

(more…)

China, Deals

March 12, 2015

703

Alibaba, Prince Alwaleed Go In On Snapchat’s $500M Round

TECHCRUNCH: Snapchat, one of the ten most popular instant messengers in the world, has raised $200M from Alibaba Group and Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal at the valuation of $19B. Alibaba’s only weakness against its traditional rival – Chinese Tencent – is the lack of a strong position in the messaging market. With this investment (as well as the investment of $215M in Tango messenger last year) Alibaba is trying to strengthen its position in the market by diversifying assets and insuring itself against the negative effects of the growing popularity of instant messengers as a means for communication, shopping, financial transactions, etc.

(more…)

China, Deals, Fintech news, InspirAsia

March 11, 2015