• Taiwan seed accelerator: Taiwan start-ups’ future is in mainland China July 21, 2017 12:02 am
    New start-ups from Taiwan, where the entrepreneurial environment is lacklustre, should shift their focus to mainland China where there are abundant opportunities and capital, according to an industry veteran who recently started investing in start-ups. “There is a [longstanding] culture that works against Taiwanese entrepreneurs as the government and people have the tendency to want to build up huge enterprises to fend off external competition ,” Richard Kang, a partner at Taiwan...
    Li Tao
  • Wyre to help Chinese vendors repatriate overseas earnings July 19, 2017 12:30 am
    There is rising demand to transfer overseas funds to China, as mainland vendors seek to repatriate earnings from goods sold on Amazon, according to a specialist in blockchain technology to settle transactions between parties in different countries. Amazon has made its logistics services available to small and medium-sized companies in China through its Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service since 2015. The FBA programme offers transportation and cross-border logistics services, including freight...
    Amanda Lee
  • Naked Hub joins with JustCo to create Asia’s No 1 co-working space July 18, 2017 1:15 pm
    Shanghai-based co-working space operator Naked Hub on Tuesday announced its merger with Singapore’s JustCo, creating the largest premium co-working space operator in Asia to compete with industry leader WeWork. Naked Hub, the co-working arm of hospitality brand Naked Group, currently has 21 co-working locations across China, Hong Kong and Vietnam, whereas WeWork currently operates 14 co-working locations across North Asia. Following the merger with JustCo, Naked aims to have 41 spaces up...
    Zen Soo
  • Venture capital firm First Eastern bets on China’s fintech development July 17, 2017 9:59 am
    First Eastern Investment Group, a Hong Kong-based private equity and venture capital firm, is betting big on the future of financial technology in China. Chief executive Victor Chu said he expects to invest in 10 fintech companies in the mainland and Hong Kong this year. The company has already put money into two such firms, one in Beijing, the other in Hong Kong. “China now is a leader in terms of fintech development and we hope to bring its technologies to global markets,” said...
    Celia Chen
  • Did Shanghai’s commissar just endorse bicycle-sharing apps with his ride around city? July 17, 2017 12:00 am
    Shanghai’s most senior official appeared to give his tacit approval to the city’s popular bike-sharing schemes recently when he very publicly chose two wheels to carry out an inspection tour along the city’s Huangpu riverfront. For users and operators of the services, this apparent endorsement from Shanghai Communist Party boss Han Zheng has provided some relief from the uncertainty surrounding the attitude of the authorities to the bicycle-sharing concept. The future of the...
    Daniel Ren
  • QR code takes a baby step in world conquest as group adopts global cashless payment format July 16, 2017 10:00 am
    A version of the QR code, the ubiquitous data-storage format that dominates daily life in the internet age in mainland China, is taking a significant step abroad, after a global organisation that supports unified payment systems adopted and published the specifications for transactions using the code. EMVCo, a consortium for smart payments that’s collectively owned by American Express, Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay, on Saturday published the first version of QR code specifications, or...
    Daniel Ren
  • Blockchain sharpens Dianrong’s edge in P2P lending to small businesses July 16, 2017 7:18 am
    Dianrong, one of China’s top peer-to-peer lending platforms, is combining blockchains to its loans assessment system, aimed at helping small and medium suppliers with unsteady cash flows breach the last mile of creditworthiness to obtain financing. The proof of concept was in March, when Dianrong (點融) set up Chained Finance with FnConn, the financing arm of Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of consumer electronics. Chained Finance originated US$6.5...
    Zen Soo
  • At Hong Kong tech conference, former Juventus, Chelsea and Italy legend Gianluca Vialli is just another guy with a start-up pitch July 14, 2017 1:00 am
    There’s surely not many places that Gianluca Vialli can go without being accosted by fans. He won almost every trophy there is to win as a football star with Sampdoria, Juventus and Chelsea. But at the Rise tech conference in Hong Kong, he’s just one of thousands of entrepreneurs and investors hoping to become or discover the next Facebook or Google. From around Asia and beyond, the pitches are on display all over the cavernous space: “A self-service dining solution”;...
    James Porteous
  • DayDayCook raises fresh funds to enhance step-by-step instructional videos on recipes July 13, 2017 12:55 pm
    Hong Kong startup DayDayCook on Thursday said that it closed a 100 million yuan (US$8.6 million) round in venture capital financing, as it looks to expand into mainland China. The 100 million yuan Series B round was led by K11 Investments, Hong Kong businessman Adrian Cheng and the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, an investment unit of Alibaba Group. The latest fundraising round follows a previous 35 million yuan Series A+ round also led by the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund last year, and a previous US...
    Zen Soo
  • Recap: Day 3 of 2017 Rise conference on technology and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong July 13, 2017 6:08 am
    The third and final day of the 2017 Rise Conference in Hong Kong featured a number of discussion sessions from startups to debating whether the internet bubble is bursting. Here’s a recap of some of the sessions on the third day: In the session titled “Innovate or Die,” the Lan Kwai Fong Group’s chairman and serial entrepreneur Allan Zeman said Hong Kong is slow in adopting new technology, especially in the new field of financial technology, or fintech, because there are...
    Bien Perez, Josh Ye
  • What’s your risk appetite? Your robo-adviser has the answer July 12, 2017 11:32 am
    China is quickly embracing robo-advisers which provide investment tips over the traditional investment advisers, on grounds that algorithms driven by big data analysis provide better money-making advice than the humans. The wealth management industry has been transitioning its focus on mere product sales to higher value-added service-based offerings over the past few years, a result of the segmentation of different products and their underlying volatility based on financial advisers’...
    Li Tao
  • Enterprises will be the main drivers of China’s push to implement artificial intelligence July 11, 2017 2:00 pm
    Private enterprises are poised to drive China’s push to rival the United States in implementing artificial intelligence across a broad swathe of industries, aided by the sheer size of the mainland consumer market, fast-developing “smart” infrastructure and a growing focus to innovate by organisations of all sizes, technology experts said. Their views on AI as an opportunity to transform traditional industries, including transportation,...
    Bien Perez
  • US tech stocks now in reach of Chinese investors with Tiger Brokers’ mobile app July 11, 2017 2:03 pm
    The favourable track record of listed tech companies in the US inspired one Chinese entrepreneur to offer an app-based trading service so that Chinese-speaking investors could share in the benefits. “We have 100 million stock investors in mainland China who are contributing to the businesses of Chinese technology firms, but they are unable to invest in these firms which are listed in the United States and profits have been taken by international investors,” Wu Tianhua, founder and...
    Li Tao
  • Meet regtech, the fastest growing segment of financial technology July 11, 2017 10:39 am
    As the rise of protectionist and nationalist sentiments fragment international trade regulations, regulatory technology, or regtech, is becoming a new darling of the technology industry, as businesses demand automated solutions to meet onerous regulatory demands. “A large institution now has to operate with hundreds of different regulatory frameworks,” said Tim Hwang, chief executive of FiscalNote, a New York-based regtech firm, at the Rise conference in Hong Kong. “So what we...
    Josh Ye
  • Recap: Day One of 2017 Rise talks about AI, fintech and regtech July 11, 2017 4:30 am
    This year’s edition of the Rise Conference in Hong Kong opened with lively discussions on centre stage, which set the tone for this three-day event. • John Collison, the co-founder and president of US payments provider Stripe, said in his session on “Building for Asia’s New Economy” that the company is setting up operations in Hong Kong, following strategic partnerships with Ant Financial’s Alipay service, the largest third-party payments platform of...
    Bien Perez, Josh Ye
  • World Bank leads Compare Asia’s funding to spur Hong Kong customers to switch banks July 11, 2017 12:48 am
    Compare Asia Group, the parent company of MoneyHero, a Hong Kong-based price comparison website, said it’s completed a US$50 million series B fundraising round led by the World Bank’s private sector arm the International Finance Corp., underscoring the popularity of financial technology, or fintech, in helping consumers find the best bargain for financial services from credit cards to mortgages. The four year old company will use the funding to enhance its user experience to help...
    Alun John
  • Chatbots set to take over most customer service work, say Hong Kong start-ups July 11, 2017 12:30 am
    While mainland China is developing into a powerhouse in natural language processing (NLP) technology, Hong Kong is also looking to crash the party with several start-ups working on chatbots for specific applications, including ones that can communicate in Cantonese. Chatbots, computer programmes which conduct conversations via auditory or textual methods, have become substantially smarter in recent years, growing in tandem with the rapid rise of artificial intelligence. Inside the AI revolution...
    Josh Ye
  • E-commerce will triumph over bricks and mortar in the final frontier of retailing July 9, 2017 4:45 am
    Hong Kong’s retailing and grocery landscape is the land that’s been forgotten by time and technology. Its stubborn resistance to change is formidable. It’s one of the reasons why visitors to the city are astonished to find that a city with so much capital and education is so far behind China in technology. Last week, I reflected on how the city’s luxury malls and department stores are more reactive than proactive to technology. At their best, they are aware of online...
    Peter Guy
  • Xiaomi needs to think out of the box to keep growth on even keel July 7, 2017 8:00 am
    How can a successful company be one without a strategy? Founded in 2011, Chinese technology firm Xiaomi has quickly built a cult-like following among its fans and a reputation as “the Apple of China”. The firm started with a great idea: produce iPhone-ish smartphones, distribute them through online channels and price them to significantly undercut other phones but while earning margins for the sale of each device. The result is that over the past six years, Xiaomi has produced some...
    Andrew Delios
  • Internet whizz Yat Siu on programming at 13 and landing a job at Atari as a schoolboy July 6, 2017 5:00 am
    HOME COMPUTING I was born and raised in Austria. English is the language I use for business but German is my mother tongue. My father came from Hong Kong and my mother’s family was from Taiwan, although she was born in Lisbon, Portugal. My parents both studied music in Vienna. I had rigorous classical music training growing up and piano is my main instrument. My parents were always fascinated with new technology and really attuned to whatever gadgets were available at the time. They would...
    Enid Tsui