Posted on

China roundup: Keep down internet upstarts, cultivate hard tech

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch’s China roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world.
The tech industry in China has had quite a turbulent week. The government is upending its $100 billion private education sector, wiping billions from the market cap of the industry’s most lucrative players. Meanwhile, the assault on Chinese internet giants continued. Tech stocks tumbled after Tencent suspended user registration, sparking fears over who will be the next target of Beijing’s wrath.
Incisive observers point out that the new …

Read More

Posted on

Edtech’s venture-backed globalization pauses at China

U.S.-based edtech investors are increasingly going global, but recent regulatory crackdowns in China, which instructed local K-12 tutoring startups to go non-profit, have led to a chill among check-writers looking at the country.
When I first started reporting on edtech over a year ago, U.S.-based investors often cited China as validation of the opportunity for direct-to-consumer businesses in the K-12 world. The success of Chinese edtech was used to predict the surge of U.S.-based consumer edtech, which saw parent adoption surge during the pandemic.
On Saturday, however, the Chinese government rolled out legislation aimed …

Read More

Posted on

In search of a new crypto deity

Hello friends, and welcome back to Week in Review!
Last week, I wrote about tech taking on Disney. This week, I’m talking about the search for a new crypto messiah.
If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox from the newsletter page, and follow my tweets @lucasmtny.

The Big Thing
Elon has worn out his welcome among the crypto illuminati, and the acolytes of Bitcoin are searching out a new emperor god king.
This weekend, thousands of crypto acolytes and investors have descended on a Bitcoin-themed conference in Miami, a very …

Read More

Posted on

Tencent helps Chinese students skip prohibitively low speeds for school websites overseas

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students enrolled in overseas schools are stranded as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt life and airlines worldwide. Learning at home in China, they all face one challenge: Their school websites and other academic resources load excruciatingly slowly because all web traffic has to pass through the country’s censorship apparatus known as the “great firewall.”
Spotting a business opportunity, Alibaba’s cloud unit worked on connecting students in China to their university portals abroad through a virtual private network arrangement with American cybersecurity solutions provider Fortinet to provide, Reuters reported last July, saying Tencent …

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

Tencent Music now has joint labels with all ‘big three’ record labels

The music streaming arm of Tencent is further tightening its ties with the “big three” record label companies, its major licensing partners. Tencent Music Entertainment announced Tuesday that it has formed a new joint label with Warner Music Group, following similar deals with Universal Music Group in August 2020 and Sony Music Entertainment in early 2018.
The collaboration will take advantage of “Warner Music’s global resources and experience in supporting artists’ careers, as well as TME’s massive influence in mainland China’s music and entertainment market,” TME says in an announcement.
The joint label established with UMG similarly aims to …

Read More

Posted on

TikTok parent ByteDance joins patent troll protection group LOT Network

LOT Network, the non-profit that helps businesses of all sizes and across industries defend themselves against patent trolls by creating a shared pool of patents to immunize themselves against them, today announced that TikTik parent ByteDance is joining its group.
ByteDance has acquired its fair share of patents in recent years and is itself embroiled in a patent fight with its rival Triller. That’s not what joining the LOT Network is about, though. ByteDance is joining a group of companies here that includes the likes of IBM, the Coca-Cola Company, Cisco, Lyft, Microsoft, Oracle, Target, Tencent, Tesla, VW, Ford, …

Read More

Posted on

China court accepts ByteDance case filing against Tencent over alleged monopoly

ByteDance is bringing its battle with archrival Tencent to the court at a time when the Chinese government moves to curve the power of the country’s internet behemoths.
The Beijing Intellectual Property Court has permitted a ByteDance lawsuit brought against Tencent to proceed, a ByteDance spokesperson confirmed with TechCrunch. Upstart new media company ByteDance alleged that Tencent’s restrictions on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, are in violation of China’s anti-monopoly draft rules. Douyin is headquartered in Beijing while Tencent’s base is in Shenzhen.
For three years, Tencent has blocked Douyin from its flagship networking apps …

Read More

Posted on

Chinese esports player VSPN closes $60M Series B+ round to boost its international strategy

Esports “total solutions provider” VSPN (Versus Programming Network) has closed a $60 million Series B+ funding round, joined by Prospect Avenue Capital (PAC), Guotai Junan International and Nan Fung Group.
VSPN facilitates esports competitions in China, which is a massive industry and has expanded into related areas such as esports venues. It is the principal tournament organizer and broadcaster for a number of top competitions, partnering with more than 70% of China’s esports tournaments.
The “B+” funding round comes only three months after the company raised around $100 million in a Series B funding round, led by Tencent Holdings.
This funding round …

Read More