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Huawei to spend on internet of things; SoftBank to invest US$1.6B more in 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

* Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s consumer business group, said the company will invest up to US$7 billion this year on research into internet of things, National Business Daily reported.

* SoftBank Group Corp. will invest an additional US$1.6 billion in Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd., despite the Chinese ride-hailing app's losses in 2018, TechNode reported.

* U.S.-based internet satellite startup OneWeb LLC raised US$1.25 billion in its latest funding round, led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group. OneWeb said the investment will help the company accelerate the development of a global communications network.

Startup funding

* LINE ScaleUp by LINE Thailand Co. is investing US$20 million into an undisclosed local startup to help it reach the unicorn status, Prachachat reported. A unicorn is a startup with a valuation of US$1 billion or more.

* Babel Inc., a Japanese online video advertisement startup, raised ¥340 million from companies including internet media service provider CyberAgent Inc., Tokyo-based AI specialized incubator Deepcore Inc. and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co. Ltd. Babel plans to use the capital to strengthen its vision to become a global video advertising agency.

Capital investments

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s AI Labs will allocate 100 million yuan for research and development projects around Chinese dialects, TechNode reported.

* NTT Docomo Inc. announced an investment in Finland-based cloud gaming startup Hatch Entertainment Oy. The investment was made through Docomo's venture capital arm NTT Docomo Ventures Inc.

* The Australian government announced plans to invest an additional A$160 million in the Mobile Black Spot Program, which aims to address connectivity issues across Australia. In a similar move, Telstra Corp. Ltd. is investing A$23.3 million to build 131 mobile stations and smart cells to enhance the coverage of customers residing in regional areas.

* Xiaomi Corp.'s Indian business received two investments worth more than US$500 million in January and March this year, according to filings at India's Ministry of Corporate Affairs accessed by Inc42. The company will reportedly use the capital to enter the white goods sector and expand its Mi Home retail stores.

* Star India Pvt. Ltd. and STAR US Holdings Inc. infused a total of 10.66 billion Indian rupees in Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary that runs video-on-demand platform Hotstar. According to Television Post, the fresh funding comes as Hotstar scales up its content and technology.

Other funding

* Microsoft Corp.'s venture capital fund M12 led a A$40 million funding round in Skedulo Pty. Ltd., an Australian mobile workforce management platform, according to The Australian Financial Review.

* Naspers Ltd. is earmarking about US$1 billion in India this year in its push to find investments that can replicate the success of its backing for Tencent Holdings Ltd., a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. As a first step, the South African conglomerate is reportedly in discussions to invest about US$200 million in business loan provider Capital Float and payment security platform Wibmo Inc.

* Baidu Inc. led a 3 billion yuan funding round for WM Motor Technology Co. Ltd., a Shanghai-based electric vehicle maker, TechNode reported.

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