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Alibaba pondering second HK listing; Tencent leads investment in travel app

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

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is considering raising US$20 billion through a second listing in Hong Kong, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News. The tech giant, which made its New York market debut in 2014, is working with financial advisers on the offering and plans to confidentially file a listing application in the second half of 2019, the report said.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. led an investment of US$250 million in Chinese travel app Beijing Mafengwo Network Technology Co. Ltd., Caixin reported. Other investors included General Atlantic Service Company LP and Qiming Venture Partners. Mafengwo aims to have an IPO within two years.

Startup funding

* Deepcore Inc., the early-stage venture capital arm of SoftBank Group Corp., will set up a second fund in two to three years to invest in artificial intelligence startups, Bloomberg News reported.

* Trax Technology Solutions Pte Ltd., a Singapore-based startup that produces an image recognition technology used by consumer companies, is finalizing a deal to raise US$100 million at a pre-money valuation of about US$1.1 billion, Bloomberg News reported.

Capital investments

* Baidu Inc. and China CITIC Bank Corp. Ltd.'s financial technology joint venture, aiBank, is looking to raise up to 7 billion Chinese yuan through a private funding round, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Deliberations regarding the financing are ongoing and details of the deal may change. The joint venture aims to complete the financing in the coming months.

* Khazanah Nasional Bhd., the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia, is in talks with SoftBank Group about a possible investment in the US$100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund LP, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

* Thailand's Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund will increase its registered capital by 15.8 billion baht, Money and Banking Online reported. The money raised will be invested in telecom towers and fiber optic cables.

* Australia-based Uniti Wireless Ltd. announced the completion of an oversubscribed capital raising of A$15 million via placement of 15 million new ordinary fully paid shares at A$1 apiece to institutional and private shareholders.

* Tencent participated in a funding round for U.K.-based artificial intelligence platform Ltd Prowler said it raised US$24 million from new and existing investors, valuing the company at US$100 million. The company said the funding will be used to support its product expansion and growth.

Other funding

* Taiwan-based Pegatron Corp. signed a letter of intent with Indonesian electronics company PT Sat Nusapersada Tbk to invest up to 15 trillion rupiah to assemble chips for Apple Inc. smartphones, Reuters reported.

* Tokyo-based virtual YouTuber management company mikai Inc. raised about ¥120 million through private equity placement with investors including local virtual meetup app Cluster Inc., The Nikkei reported.

* Lenovo Group Ltd. plans to invest at least US$300 million to build a smart manufacturing facility in Shenzhen this year, Sina reported. The facility will cater to Lenovo and its clients.

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