Posted on

Tesla supplier Delta Electronics invests $7M in AI chip startup Kneron

Despite a persistent semiconductor shortage that is disrupting the global automotive industry, investors remain bullish on the chips used to power next-generation vehicles.
Kneron, a startup that develops semiconductors to give devices artificial intelligence capabilities by using edge computing, just got funded by Delta Electronics, a Taiwanese supplier of power components for Apple and Tesla. The $7 million investment boosts the startup’s total financing to over $100 million to date.
As part of the deal, Kneron also agreed to buy Vatics, a part of Delta Electronics’ subsidiary Vivotek, for $10 million in cash. The new assets nicely complement Kneron’s business as …

Read More

Posted on

China gets serious about antitrust, fines Alibaba $2.75B

Chinese regulators have hit Alibaba with a record fine of 18 billion yuan (about $2.75 billion) for violating anti-monopoly rules as the country seeks to rein in the power of its largest internet conglomerates.
In November, China proposed sweeping antitrust regulations targeting its interent economy. In late December, the State Administration for Market Regulation said it had launched an antitrust probe into Alibaba, weeks after the authorities called off the initial public offering of Ant Group, the financial affiliate of Alibaba.
SAMR, the country’s top market regulator, said on Saturday it had determined that Alibaba had been “abusing market dominance” since 2015 …

Read More

Posted on

Beyond Meat opens its first production plant in China

About a year after Beyond Meat debuted in China on Starbucks’s menu, the Californian plant-based protein company opened a production facility near Shanghai to tap the country’s supply chain resources and potentially reduce the carbon footprint of its products.
Situated in Jiaxing, a city 85 km from Shanghai, the plant is Beyond Meat’s first end-to-end manufacturing facility outside the U.S., the Nasdaq-listed company said in an announcement on Wednesday.
Over the past year, competition became steep in China’s alternative protein space with the foray of foreign players like Beyond Meat and Eat Just, as well as …

Read More

Posted on

Augmented reality’s awkward phase will be long and painful

Howdy friends, this is the web version of my Week in Review newsletter, it’s here to entice you to sign up and get it in your inbox every week.
Last week, I showcased how Twitter was looking at the future of the web with a decentralized approach so that they wouldn’t be stuck unilaterally de-platforming the next world leader. This week, I scribbled some thoughts on another aspect of the future web, the ongoing battle between Facebook and Apple to own augmented reality. Releasing the hardware will only be the start of a very messy transition from smartphone-first …

Read More

Posted on

Jack Ma’s absence from public eye sparks Twitter discussions

The world’s attention is on Jack Ma’s whereabouts after reports noted the billionaire founder of Alibaba and Ant Group had been absent from public view since late October.
On October 24, Ma delivered fiery remarks against China’s financial system to an audience of high-rank officials. Days later the Chinese authorities abruptly halted Ant’s initial public offering, an act believed to be linked to Ma’s controversial speech. The Chinese government subsequently told the fintech behemoth, which had thrived in a relatively lax regulatory environment, to “rectify” its business according to the law. The future of Ant hangs …

Read More

Posted on

Global investors flee from Chinese tech stocks after the government crackdown on Ant and Alibaba

Global investors are running from Chinese tech stocks in the wake of the government’s crackdown on Ant Group and Alibaba, two high-flying businesses founded by Ma Yun (Jack Ma) that were once hailed as paragons of China’s new tech elite.
Shares of major technology companies in the country have fallen sharply in recent days, with Bloomberg calculating that Alibaba, Tencent, JD.com and Meituan have lost around $200 billion in value during a handful of trading sessions.
Already reeling from the last-minute halt of the public debut of Ant Group, a major Chinese fintech player with deep ties to …

Read More

Posted on

China’s e-commerce titan Alibaba hit with antitrust probe

China’s top market watchdog has begun a probe into Alibaba over alleged anti-competition practices at the e-commerce firm, the latest of Beijing’s efforts to curb the country’s ever-expanding internet titans.
The State Administration for Market Regulation said Thursday in a brief statement that it is investigating Alibaba over its “choosing one from two” policy, in which merchants are forced to sell exclusively on Alibaba and skip rivaling platforms JD.com and Pinduoduo.
“Today, Alibaba Group has received notification from the State Administration for Market Regulation that an investigation has been initiated into the Company pursuant to the …

Read More

Posted on

Alibaba ‘dismayed’ by its cloud unit’s ethnicity detection algorithm

Chinese tech giants have drawn international criticism after research showed they have technologies that enable the authorities to profile Muslim Uyghurs.
The cloud computing unit of Alibaba, Alibaba Cloud, developed a facial recognition algorithm that can identify a person’s ethnicity or whether a person is “Uyghur”, according to research from surveillance industry publication IPVM.
China has repeatedly defended its controversial “vocational training programs” imposed upon its Muslim ethnic minorities, including Uyghurs, Kazakhs and others, as part of what the government calls counter-terrorism efforts.
Alibaba said in a statement that it is “dismayed” to learn that Alibaba Cloud tested a …

Read More

Posted on

AutoX becomes China’s first to remove safety drivers from robotaxis

Residents of Shenzhen will see truly driverless cars on the road starting Thursday. AutoX, a four-year-old startup backed by Alibaba, MediaTek and Shanghai Motors, is deploying a fleet of 25 unmanned vehicles in downtown Shenzhen, marking the first time any autonomous driving car in China tests without safety drivers or remote operators on public roads.
The cars, meant as robotaxis, are not yet open to the public, an AutoX spokesperson told TechCrunch.
The milestone came just five months after AutoX landed a permit from California to start driverless tests, following in the footsteps of Waymo and Nuro.
It also indicates that …

Read More

Posted on

Alibaba vies for a piece of China’s booming EV market

There’s no lack of news these days on China’s tech giants teaming up with traditional carmakers. Companies from Alibaba to Huawei are striving to become relevant in the trillion-dollar auto industry, which itself is seeking an electric transition and intelligent upgrade as 5G comes of age.
State-owned automaker SAIC Motor, a major player in China, unveiled this week a new electric vehicle arm called Zhiji, in which Alibaba and a Shanghai government-backed entity are minority shareholders. The tie-up comes as Chinese EV startups like Xpeng and Nio and their predecessor Tesla see their stocks soaring in recent months.

Read More