Ecommerce behemoth Alibaba and Foxconn — the company that manufactured most of the smartphones you’ve ever owned — have led a 2.2 billion yuan ($347.74 million) funding round in Chinese electric car maker Xiaopeng Motors, according to an Alibaba press release.
- Other investors in Xiaopeng include Morningside Venture Capital, Yuri Milner, and GGV Capital (disclosure: SupChina partners with GGV on the 996 Podcast.) The company has raised more than 5 billion yuan so far.
- Xiaopeng intends to take on “other Chinese companies and Tesla in the electric-car and autonomous-driving sectors,” according to Alibaba’s press release. Its products will combine “the advantages of the internet, artificial intelligence and traditional manufacturing.”
- The G3 SUV, its first model, was released in October 2017. The company is positioning it as “the vehicle of choice for those with a ‘geek lifestyle.’”
- Further reporting: Reuters — Alibaba and Foxconn are pouring millions into a Chinese electric carmake; Bloomberg — Alibaba, Foxconn invest $350 million in Chinese car startup.
- Security in tech
Intel warned Chinese companies of chip flaws before U.S. government / WSJ (paywall)
“Decision to disclose issue to select few customers, including Lenovo and Alibaba, has ripple effects through security and tech industries.”
- The Party in your boardroom
Command and control: China’s Communist Party extends reach into foreign companies / Washington Post
- News and media business
BuzzFeed partners with Chinese news aggregator Toutiao / China Film Insider
News aggregator Jinri Toutiao has tied the knot with American media outlet BuzzFeed, reaching an agreement to share the latter’s content on its platform.
Weibo trending function suspended after regulator calls it ‘obscene’ / Caixin (paywall)
The “hot tag” function, which features celebrity news, and “the site’s Quora-like Q&A section” were suspended until Saturday for “rectification.”
- The internet of everything
Tencent leads $5.4 billion investment in Wanda Commercial / Bloomberg
- Shadow banking and financial regulation
Banking regulator takes aim at risks / Caixin (paywall)
“China’s banking regulator has a long to-do list for 2018: clean up financial holding groups, reduce excessive leverage and contain “shadow banking,” or potentially risky lending outside the formal banking system.”
China’s first bitcoin exchange acquired by Hong Kong investors / Bloomberg
Ford China chief Jason Luo resigns, effective immediately / CNBC
He cited personal reasons.
- On-demand transport
Quick take: Beijing’s shared-bike swarm shrinks, but barely / Caixin