Hello and welcome again to TechCrunch’s China Roundup, a digest of latest occasions shaping the Chinese tech panorama and what they imply to folks in the remainder of the world. This week, we’ve a number of heavy-hitting rumors swirling round, from Huawei’s chips for automobiles to Tencent’s potential buyout of its video rival iQiyi.
China tech at residence
Huawei’s foray into autos
Huawei is likely to be bringing the know-how behind its Kirin smartphone processor into automobiles. According to Chinese tech publication 36Kr, Huawei has signed a strategic take care of home electrical automobile large BYD, which might be utilizing the Kirin chips to digitize the “cockpits” (usually confer with the drivers’ cabins) in its automobiles.
The Kirin chips are developed by Huawei’s semiconductor subsidiary HiSilicon to hedge in opposition to U.S. sanctions and turn into self-sufficient in core smartphone applied sciences. What’s noticeable is that BYD, backed by Warren Buffet, had beforehand introduced to undertake Qualcomm’s Snapdragon automotive chips in its electrical automobiles, a partnership that was set to start in 2019. Could the potential collaboration with Huawei be a part of BYD’s transfer to lower reliance on imported applied sciences?
BYD mentioned it “doesn’t have data to reveal in the intervening time,” whereas Huawei declines to touch upon the rumor.
The potential alliance wouldn’t be all that stunning given the duo has already been working collectively intently. In March 2019, the businesses, each Shenzhen-based, unveiled a strategic partnership to use Huawei’s AI and 5G applied sciences in BYD’s different power automobiles and monorails.
More large strikes from BYD — the automaker is speeding to turn into self-sufficient within the manufacturing of electrical automobiles. After elevating a 1.9 billion yuan ($270 million) Series A in late May, its chipmaking subsidiary BYD Semiconductor accomplished one other 800 million yuan ($113 million) Series A+ spherical this week, apparently resulting from traders’ immense curiosity in getting concerned in the one Chinese firm able to making the core chip a part of electrical automobiles known as insulated gate bipolar transistors, or IGBTs.
ByteDance encroaches on Tencent’s turf
ByteDance simply paid 1.1 billion yuan ($160 million) for a giant plot of land to construct places of work within the coronary heart of Shenzhen’s Nanshan district, in keeping with public data disclosed by the federal government. Shenzhen is residence to a number of Chinese tech heavyweights, together with Tencent, Huawei and DJI. It additionally homes the China places of work of overseas retail giants comparable to Lazada and Shopify, given town’s wealthy manufacturing and logistics sources.
That offers ByteDance, the mother or father of TikTok, a major presence in Tencent’s yard. ByteDance is thought to have aggressively lured skills from the entrenched tech trio of Baidu, Alibaba and Baidu by providing profitable packages. Being in Shenzhen will little doubt give the corporate extra entry to Tencent’s expertise pool.
This could assist it in its push into video gaming, an space that has lengthy been dominated by Tencent, the world’s greatest video games writer. Meanwhile, the world’s second-largest video games firm — NetEase — is true subsequent door in Guangzhou, an hour’s drive away from central Shenzhen.
Shakeup in video streaming
Reuters reported this week that Tencent has approached Baidu to turn into the most important shareholder in iQiyi, the video streaming large managed by Baidu. Tencent’s video platform competes neck to neck with iQiyi to churn out selection reveals and dramas that can persuade Chinese audiences to pay for on-line content material.
Both firms are bleeding cash on video manufacturing. IQiyi, which shed from Baidu to checklist on Nasdaq, widened its internet loss to 2.9 billion yuan ($406.zero million) in Q1 this 12 months, up from 1.Eight billion yuan the 12 months earlier than. Selling iQiyi to deep-pocketed Tencent could additional ease the monetary burden on Baidu, which is busy dealing with ByteDance’s risk to its core promoting enterprise. Both Tencent and iQiyi declined to touch upon the report.
Robotics startup Geek+ raises $200 million
Geek+, a startup that focuses on making logistics robots which might be analogous to these of Amazon’s Kiva machines, simply closed a considerable Series C spherical. The firm is one to observe as retail firms in China and North America are more and more trying to automate their warehouses.
China tech overseas
China’s homosexual relationship app Blued goes public on Nasdaq
Despite restricted help for LGBTQ communities in China, Blued, a Chinese app utilized by hundreds of thousands of homosexual people, has been quietly blossoming over the previous few years and is eyeing to lift $50 million from a U.S. preliminary public providing.
JD.com goes public in Hong Kong
JD’s long-awaited secondary itemizing is right here. The on-line retailer’s shares rose 5.7% to HK$239 ($30.8) on its first day of buying and selling on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Several U.S.-listed Chinese firms have filed to checklist in Hong Kong due to a brand new invoice that can impose extra scrutiny on Chinese companies buying and selling on the U.S. inventory markets.