Excerpts of recent events shaping China’s technology landscape and its significance to people in other parts of the world. This week, rumors spread from Huawei’s automotive chips to Tencent’s possible acquisition of its video rival iQiyi.
Huawei may bring the technology behind its Kirin smartphone processor into the car. According to a report from 36Kr, a Chinese science, and technology publication, Huawei has signed a strategic agreement with domestic electric vehicle giant BYD. BYD will use Kirin chips to digitize the “cockpit” (often called the cockpit) in its cars.
The Kirin chip was developed by Huawei’s semiconductor subsidiary Hisilicon to hedge U.S. sanctions and be self-sufficient in core smartphone technology. It is worth noting that with the support of Warren Buffet, BYD has previously announced that it will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon car chip in its electric vehicles.
This cooperation plan starts in 2019. Could potential cooperation with Huawei be part of BYD’s initiative to reduce its dependence on cars and import technology? BYD said, “There is currently no information to disclose”, and Huawei declined to comment on this rumor.
Given the close cooperation between the two, the potential alliance is not surprising. In March 2019, both companies established a strategic partnership in Shenzhen to apply Huawei’s AI and 5G technologies to BYD’s alternative energy vehicles and monorails.
ByteDance erodes Tencent’s territory
According to public information disclosed by the government, ByteDance just paid RMB 1.1 billion (US$160 million) for a large piece of land to build an office in the central area of Nanshan District, Shenzhen. Shenzhen is home to many Chinese technology giants such as Tencent, Huawei, and DJI.
Given the city’s rich manufacturing and logistics resources, it also has offices in China for foreign retail giants such as Lazada and Shopify.
This puts TikTok’s parent company ByteDance in an important position in Tencent’s backyard. As we all know, ByteDance actively attracts the entrenched talents of Baidu, Alibaba, and Baidu technology by providing profitable software packages.
Entering Shenzhen will undoubtedly give the company more opportunities to contact Tencent’s talent pool.
This may help promote the development of video games. For a long time, this field has been dominated by Tencent, the world’s largest game publisher. At the same time, NetEase, the world’s second-largest gaming company, is next door to Guangzhou, just an hour’s drive from the center of Shenzhen.
BYD has taken a bigger step-the automaker is eager to become self-sufficient in the production of electric vehicles. After raising RMB 1.9 billion (US$270 million) in Series A financing in late May, its chip manufacturing subsidiary BYD Semiconductor completed another RMB 800 million (US$113 million) in A this week.
The Financing round, which is due to the strong interest of investors in participating in the only Chinese company that can manufacture the core chip part of electric vehicles, called insulated gate bipolar transistors or IGBTs.
Robot startup Geek+ receives $200 million in financing
Geek + is a startup company that specializes in manufacturing logistics robots similar to Amazon Kiva machines and has just completed a substantial C round of financing. As retail companies in China and North America increasingly want to automate warehouses, the company is worth a look.
Shake in the video stream
Reuters reported this week that Tencent had invited Baidu to become the largest shareholder of iQiyi, a video streaming giant controlled by Baidu. Tencent’s video platform goes hand-in-hand with iQiyi to co-produce variety shows and dramas, which will convince Chinese viewers to pay for online content.
Both companies have invested heavily in video production. IQiyi fell from Baidu to the NASDAQ listing, and the net loss in the first quarter of this year expanded from RMB 1.8 billion last year to RMB 2.9 billion (US$406 million).
Selling iQiyi to the financially strong Tencent may further ease Baidu’s financial burden. Baidu is busy responding to the threat of byte hopping to its core advertising business. Both Tencent and iQiyi declined to comment on this report.
Chinese gay dating app Blued publicly listed on NASDAQ
Despite limited support for the LGBTQ community in China, Blued is a Chinese application used by millions of gay people. It has been quietly blossoming in the past few years and hopes to raise US$50 million from the US initial public offering.
The online retailer’s stock price rose 5.7% to HK$239 (US$30.8) on the first day of its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Several Chinese companies listed in the US have applied for listing in Hong Kong because the new bill will impose more scrutiny on Chinese companies trading on the US stock market.