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Foxconn investing US$10B in Wisconsin; Grab gets US$2B from SoftBank, Didi

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of recent investment deals and updates in the Asia-Pacific technology, media and communications sector.

TOP NEWS

* Chinese electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., or Foxconn Technology Group, will invest US$10 billion by 2020 to build a manufacturing facility in southeastern Wisconsin, eventually creating up to 13,000 new jobs in the state, U.S. President Donald Trump announced in a press briefing July 26. Nearly two weeks later Trump said Terry Gou, chairman of the Taiwan-headquartered Apple Inc. supplier, is considering tripling his US$10 billion investment in the U.S.

* LG Display Co. Ltd. will invest an additional 7.8 trillion South Korean won into OLED production, taking its total investment to 15 trillion won through 2020. The move is the LG Corp. unit's response to a growing demand for OLED in TVs and signage displays, as well as in the mobile and automotive industries, Reuters reported July 25.

* Singapore-based ride-hailing service GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd., which competes with Uber Technologies Inc. in Southeast Asia, said July 24 that it has received US$2 billion in funding from SoftBank Group Corp. and Chinese ride-sharing service Didi Chuxing. Grab expects an additional US$500 million in investments in the ongoing financing round, bringing the total to US$2.5 billion from existing and new investors.

STARTUP FUNDING

* U.S. graphic chip giant NVIDIA Corp. joined a series B funding round in Beijing-based autonomous truck startup Tusimple to hold a 3% stake in the company, without disclosing the investment amount, the South China Morning Post reported Aug. 4. Tusimple is now part of Nvidia's AI program for startups and will use the fresh capital for research, development and recruitment.

* SoftBank Group on Aug. 3 said that it made a US$250 million equity investment in U.S.-based online lender Kabbage Inc.

* Hong Kong-based digital wallet operator TNG FinTech Group will soon close a funding round that will give it a valuation of about US$500 million, a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News Aug. 3.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. said Aug. 2 that it has invested in U.K.-based Milky Tea, an independent game development and animation production studio.

* Chinese food delivery and restaurant review company Meituan Dianping is planning to raise up to US$5 billion in fresh capital, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 2, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter. Tencent Holdings Ltd. will participate in the funding round, according to the report.

* Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing on Aug. 1 said it would invest and collaborate with Taxify OÜ, a ride-sharing company operating in Europe and Africa. Didi Chuxing will invest an eight-figure U.S. dollar sum in its Estonia-headquartered partner, according to TechCrunch on Aug. 1.

* SoftBank-controlled Vision Fund is in talks to invest between US$1.5 billion and US$2 billion in e-commerce giant Flipkart India Pte. Ltd. after plans to sell the Japanese conglomerate-backed Snapdeal to Flipkart collapsed, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 1, citing people familiar with the matter.

* Nepal's CG Corp. Global teamed up with three partners to launch Prestellar Ventures, a US$100 million venture capital fund, which will be deployed to tech-enabled startups in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal, Press Trust of India reported July 30.

* Chinese bike-sharing startup ofo is looking to raise US$1 billion in a new funding round to be led by SoftBank, people familiar with the matter told Reuters July 28.

* WeWork Cos., SoftBank Group and Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital on July 27 said they plan to pour US$500 million into expanding the shared office space provider's operations in China. Hony Capital and SoftBank will own minority stakes in the venture.

* Mirae Asset Finance Group and Naver Corp. have invested 5 billion South Korean won in app startups through its jointly created fund, the Korean Economic Daily reported July 27. The two companies have invested 3 billion won in the anonymous work talk app Blind, and 2 billion won in the private couples app Between.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. is in advanced talks to invest US$400 million in Indian ride-hailing service Ola, The Economic Times (India) reported July 27, citing four people with knowledge of the matter. Bangalore-based Ola has raised almost US$400 million since November 2016, and if the talks with Tencent come to fruition, Ola could get a total of over US$800 million in fresh funding, the report said. The additional capital would bump Ola's valuation to more than US$4 billion, according to the report.

* Indian education technology startup Byju's has closed a new round of financing from Tencent Holdings Ltd., The Economic Times (India) reported July 25. Details of the investment were not disclosed. Tencent will join Facebook Inc.'s Mark Zuckerberg, Sequoia Capital, Sofina, Lightspeed Ventures, Verlinvest, Aarin Capital and the Times Group (Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd.)'s Times Internet as the edtech startup's investors.

* Singapore-based ST Engineering on July 25 said that it has set aside US$150 million for its Corporate Venture Capital, through ST Engineering Ventures Pte. Ltd., to invest in tech startups developing technologies or creating solutions in the areas of robotics and autonomous technology, data analytics and cybersecurity.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is establishing a US$10 million African Young Entrepreneurs Fund to grow startups in Africa, Devex reported July 24, citing Chairman Jack Ma's announcement at the YouthConnekt Africa Summit in Rwanda.

CAPITAL INVESTMENTS

* Toshiba Corp. said Aug. 3 that it would invest about ¥195 billion for the additional production facility being built at its main semiconductor memory plant in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, without its partner Western Digital Corp. Its subsidiary Toshiba Memory Corp. will bear the entire investment, which is ¥15 billion more than the initial plan.

* Naver Corp. is expected to have invested approximately 1.33 trillion South Korean won in core technologies including AI and voice recognition, Digital Times reported Aug. 3. The company has invested 560 billion won for internal R&D and 774.2 billion won for external investment, which marks the biggest investment in the company's history. The company is expected to inject a similar amount in technology investment for the second half of this year.

* State-owned telco BSNL will spend 1 billion Indian rupees to secure its broadband network with a cybersecurity infrastructure, The Economic Times (India) reported.

* Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd on Aug. 2 said that it invested A$20 million in its Gold Coast mobile network ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games to improve coverage in the region.

* Vonage Holdings Corp. said Aug. 1 that it made new investments in the Asia-Pacific region for cloud communication services.

* Vodafone Hutchison Australia on Aug. 1 revealed spending of nearly A$2 billion in 2017 on its mobile network and technology, which include 1,800 new and upgraded sites, spectrum license payments and the continued rollout of its fiber transmission.

* In a bid to expand its presence in the growing Asian market, Expedia Inc. on July 27 said that is investing US$350 million in Indonesia-based online travel agency Traveloka Holding Ltd. Holding Ltd. Related to the investment, the two companies will expand an existing global hotel supply partnership.

* Xiaomi Inc. has secured a US$1 billion loan to fund its international expansion efforts, TechCrunch reported July 27.

* Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd. on July 27 said that it will build or upgrade 41 sites across Australia's Central Coast region with an investment of A$10.2 million.

* Tata Industries Ltd., the holding company for new-age businesses for Tata Group, raised 2.5 billion Indian rupees through selling corporate bonds to Birla Sunlife Mutual Fund, Aditya Birla Finance and Kotak Mutual Fund as it seeks to refinance existing debt, as well as spend on general businesses, The Economic Times (India) reported July 27.

* Amazon.com Inc. invested 13.82 billion Indian rupees in its Indian data services arm, VCC Circle reported July 25, citing a July 18 filing to the Registrar of Companies.