Momo buys Tantan, China’s Tinder, for $600M as Chinese social networks consolidate

 WeChat is far and away the biggest messaging platform in China at the moment, and that is helping to drive a push among the smaller players to get together for better scale. Today, Momo, the Chinese location-based social networking app that has more recently made a big push into dating services and is traded on Nasdaq with a market cap of around $6 billion, announced that it has… Read More

Chinese police are using smart glasses to identify potential suspects

 China already operates the world’s largest surveillance state with some 170 CCTV cameras at work, but its line of sight is about to get a new angle thanks to new smart eyewear that is being piloted by police officers. The smart specs look a lot like Google Glass, but they are used for identifying potential suspects. The device connects to a feed which taps into China’s state… Read More

Annual smartphone shipments in China declined for the first time in 2017

 China’s smartphone market is no longer growing after it witnessed its first annual decline in shipments during 2017, according to new figures released today. The writing was on the wall with a market decline first noted in Q2 but this is the first time a drop has been sustained over a twelve-month period. That’s according to data from analyst firm Canalys which reported that… Read More

US-China biotech startup XtalPi lands $15M from Google, Tencent and Sequoia

 Google continues to increase its presence in China after it joined Sequoia China and Tencent in a $15 million investment for XtalPi, a U.S.-China biotech firm that uses artificial intelligence and computing to accelerate the development of new drugs. The search giant remains blocked in China, but that hasn’t stopped it from making a series of moves in recent months. It is opening an… Read More

Mike Moritz and the declining America worker

 Storied Sequoia investor Mike Moritz threw fire into the tech Twitter gumbo with his observations of hard-working Chinese workers and slothful Silicon Valley engineers. Moritz, a billionaire, clearly needs page views to fund his retirement. The major money quote about Silicon Valley is this: “In recent months, there have been complaints about the political sensibilities of speakers… Read More

AI voice assistant developer Rokid raises $100M Series B extension to build its US presence

 Rokid, a Chinese startup that makes an AI voice assistant and smart devices, just raised a Series B extension round led by Temasek Holdings, with participation from Credit Suisse, IDG Capital and CDIB Capital. The size of the round was not released, but a source familiar with the deal told TechCrunch that it is $100 million. 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