Your daily dose of China's tech
March 25, 2019


“Chinese millennials and post-millennials have higher education and are willing to job-hop in search of higher pay and more freedom. It is a headache for all manufacturers.”

Zhang Ying, a recruiter in Dongguan, a manufacturing hub in Guangdong province

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From jail to java: How Luckin’s CMO is hacking China’s coffee market, Part 2

Luckin Coffee, China’s convenience-focused Starbucks rival, is reportedly preparing for a US IPO with a valuation of around $3 billion. A key part of Luckin’s IPO narrative is that it’s a legitimate challenger to the American java giant. At the end of last year, Luckin announced plans to overtake Starbucks in both number of physical stores and coffees sold in China.

Luckin CMO Yang Fei reckons the company has what it takes to get there. He’s got confidence that freebies and discounts can be used to attract and build a stable core of loyal users. In this article we’ll take a deep dive into the theory that has made him a cult figure among Chinese startups. Yang Fei is an unlikely star: In the past five years, he’s gone from prison to C-suite.

TechNode contributor Michael Norris takes us on a deep dive into the coffee chain that’s heating up the market in China. Here’s the second of three articles on Luckin.

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Murder on the Didi Express

What: A Didi driver has allegedly been murdered by a passenger in the central Chinese city of Changde, once again drawing attention to safety standards on the ride-hailing platform.

Stabbed: The incident occurred early Sunday morning when a 19-year-old suspect stabbed the driver before disembarking, according to law enforcement in the city.

Background: This is not the first time a Didi driver has been killed by a passenger. In 2017, a driver was killed by 22-year-old passenger Li Qingbing in Foshan, a city in Guangdong province. Li later appeared in court and pled guilty to the crime. A year later, a driver was killed in southwest China’s Guizhou province after being robbed of more than RMB 2,000 (around $300). His body was later found under a bridge.

Panic buttons: Didi has implemented a number of safety upgrades, including a panic button for passengers and a driver-passenger blacklisting function. According to an announcement last week, nearly 140 million people have added an emergency contact to their Didi app. However, most of the focus has fallen on passenger safety.

- Chris Udemans and Jill Shen


Concentrated daily news
Tencent is eyeing the increasingly saturated payment market in India with a UPI-based (Unified Payments Interface) WeChat Pay app. Tencent executives met with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to discuss obtaining a license, according to Indian internet media Entrackr.

Popular sports commentary app Hupu has disappeared from major Android stores as well as Apple’s China App Store. Its parent company runs a website with sports-related news and other content, as well as an e-commerce app called Shihuo.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has acquired Israel's augmented reality company InfinityAR, the companies announced on Sunday. Neither disclosed financial details of the deal, but Alibaba could be paying more than $10 million, according to an estimate from the market source cited by Israeli financial daily Globes.


Small drops to get smart on China's tech world
  • Drone pilots wanted: Demand for drone pilots is rising in China’s rural areas. (SCMP)
  • New bedfellow: Faraday Future has struck a deal with Chinese online videogame company The9, which will contribute $600 million to develop a new electric car for the Chinese market. (The Verge)
  • Profit before IPO: Zoom has filed for its listing after a net positive income in 2018. (CNBC)
  • Injured investors: Investors in electric car manufacturer Nio are taking legal action against the company for deception and alleged violations of US securities laws. (TechNode)

That's all for today!

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