Asia

Big tech firms including Google, Facebook and Twitter have expressed major concern after Vietnam’s government passed a law that promises to introduce tighter restrictions on free speech online. The new regulation passed this week strengthens the government’s position on censoring the internet, drawing Amnesty International to decry that it leaves “no safe place for people to
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Naspers, the South Africa-based firm that famously backed Chinese giant Tencent in its infancy, is in talks to invest in Singapore-based startup Carousell, according to two sources with knowledge of discussions. Carousell offers a mobile app that combines listings with peer-to-peer selling across Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. That makes it well-aligned with Naspers’ portfolio,
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Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate connected to Alibaba which operates the Alipay mobile payment service, has confirmed that it has closed a Series C funding round that totals an enormous $14 billion. The rumors have been flying about this huge financing deal for the past month or so, with multiple publications reporting that Ant
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There have been two major developments in Chinese equities this month that have the potential to rewire the world financial system. The first, which I have covered extensively on TechCrunch, is the launch of Chinese Depository Receipts, which will provide domestic Chinese investors access to foreign stocks for the first time. Major Chinese tech companies
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After much negotiation with the Trump Administration, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross confirmed this morning that ZTE, the Chinese telecommunications giant, has agreed to a $1 billion fine. That penalty was assessed following an investigation showing that ZTE had violated U.S. sanctions by selling telecom technology to Iran and North Korea. Ross made the comments
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Grab, the ride-hailing firm that acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia business, is aiming to catalyze the early-stage startup scene in Southeast Asia after it launched an accelerator and investment unit called Grab Ventures. The six-year-old company has already made investments and acquisitions — backing startups like Drive.ai and buying Indonesia’s Kudo and India-based iKaaz — and Grab
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Locus, a three-year-old startup that helps companies map out their logistics, has pulled in $4 million in funding to grow its global footprint outside of its native India. The round is described as pre-Series B and it was provided by Rocketship.vc, Recruit Strategic Partners, pi Ventures and DSP Group’s Hemendra Kothari. Existing backers Blume Ventures, Exfinity Venture
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The upstarts of crypto aren’t just aiming to disrupt the startup status quo, some are rivaling traditional venture capital investors, too. That’s particularly evident today after Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange based on daily trade volumes, announced a $1 billion fund to back blockchain and crypto startups. The ‘Community Influence’ fund, which will be denominated in
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Google is increasing its focus on India after it released a new social app that’s aimed at building neighborhood communities within cities in the country. The company’s ‘Next Billion’ team in charge of emerging markets has dedicated significant resources to India. Its initiatives include data-friendly versions of YouTube and other popular services, its Tez mobile
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