Google inks patent deal with Tencent

 Google has yet more news from China after the U.S. search firm announced a patent cross-licensing agreement with Chinese tech giant Tencent. The terms were not disclosed, but Google said the tie-in with Tencent, which is valued at over $500 billion, covers “a broad range of products and technologies” and is “long-term.” The two firms pledged to work together on… Read More

Google is investing in Indonesia-based Uber rival Go-Jek

 Google is back investing in ride-hailing companies. The U.S. search firm and China’s Meituan-Dianping are among the tech giants set to invest in Go-Jek, the Indonesia-based rival to Grab and Uber, a source with knowledge of discussions told TechCrunch. We understand a deal could be completed as soon as next week, though whether Go-Jek announces it is unclear since it has history of… Read More

Hike unbundles its messaging app to reach India’s next wave of smartphone users

 How do you compete with the world’s largest chat app in its strongest market? Hike, the Indian messaging app valued at more than $1 billion, is taking a unique approach to battling WhatsApp which involves dismantling its service, layering it on budget Android phones and offering free connectivity. The company, which is backed by the likes of Tencent and Foxconn, today unveiled… Read More

Google moves into Shenzhen in latest China expansion

 A month after announcing plans to open its first AI lab in China, Google is expanding again through a move into Shenzhen. The U.S. tech giant has opened an office in the Chinese city, which borders Hong Kong and known for being a global hardware hub, according to an internal email obtained by TechCrunch. This isn’t a fully-blown Google campus, instead the company has taken up space within… Read More

Grab, Uber’s rival in Southeast Asia, pulls in strategic investment from Hyundai

 Grab, Uber’s closest rival in Southeast Asia, continues to slowly release information about its newest funding round after it revealed it has netted a strategic investment from Hyundai. To recap, the Singapore-based firm raised a massive $2 billion led by SoftBank and China’s Didi Chuxing last July with plans to extend the round by a further $500 million. Back in August, it… Read More

South Korea may or may not ban bitcoin exchanges and that’s the news

 The price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies dropped significantly today off the back of ‘news’ that South Korea’s government might ban trading exchanges. As ever in the world of crypto, the slightest ripple of information can be taken out of context, and that appears to be the case here. Reuters reported comments from Korean Justice Minister Park Sang-ki who said claimed… Read More

China’s Kunlun completes full buyout of Grindr

 Nearly two years to the day of its majority investment in Grindr, China-based tech firm Kunlun Group has fully acquired the gay dating app. Grindr is among the, if not the, world’s most popular LBQT dating app with a claimed 3.3 million daily users. Kunlun, which is best known for games but is part of a consortium that acquired Opera’s browser business, bought 60 percent of the… Read More

India’s national ID database is reportedly accessible for less than $10

 The nightmare is a reality in India. Reports from the country suggest that the government’s national ID system — Aadhaar, which holds personal data belonging to more than one billion people — was compromised. On the slight positive side, the breach wasn’t down to hackers — at least on this occasion. The access hole was publicized after Indian newspaper The… Read More

The News Lens takes a big step for Asian indie media with its first acquisition

 Founded four years ago to reach millennials disenchanted with Taiwan’s scandal-obsessed media, The News Lens is growing up fast. The Taipei-based company announced it has agreed to buy Inside, one of Taiwan’s best-known technology news sites. Not only is this The News Lens’ (known as TNL) first acquisition, but founder and chief executive officer Joey Chung says it also makes… Read More