Image: Phuong Uyen Vo Hoang via Unsplash
Welcome to China Business News, NEO’s weekly roundup of top business developments as reported by news outlets in China and the region.
This week’s highlights:
- Siengine, a Chinese chip company founded by Geely, completed a nearly one billion RMB Series-A funding round. The round was led by Sequoia China, along with Neusoft Corporation, Beyond Capital and China Fortune-Tech Capital, among others. No post-investment valuation was disclosed. In March, Siengine received a strategic investment of several hundred million RMB from FAW Group. The financing gives the company a more comprehensive portfolio of investors to help get its products to car producers. Many investors are optimistic about Siengine’s further development, believing that Geely’s support can give Siengine a leg up over other startups. Siengine’s representatives believe that smart cockpit and self-driving system chips are the key to win competition in the smart cars sector. (Caixin)
- Tencent plans to close its NFT digital collection platform Phantom Core, sources close to the company revealed, including laying off its team and adjusting its business direction to avoid policy risks. Once Phantom Core is closed, Tencent will need to determine what to do with the assets purchased by platform users. The market rumor is that Phantom Core will be wholly transferred to a blockchain company in Hainan, with the launch of a new app to follow. However, Tencent insiders are refuting this version. People familiar with Tencent’s innovation sector also revealed that Tencent has made an overseas version of Phantom Core. In China, NFT digital collections are not classified as illegal businesses, and Chinese regulations do not touch NFT auctions. But NFT has the same technical basis as homogenized tokens, and in China there are fears as to whether NFT minting and circulation will be further incorporated into the regulatory policy in the context of the country’s crackdown on virtual currency trading. (Caixin)
- Didi, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform, was fined more than eight billion RMB for violating cybersecurity law. A source in China’s State Internet Information Office said the administrative penalties imposed on Didi are different from general administrative penalties and have special characteristics. The company did not follow the relevant laws and regulatory requirements to implement network security, data security and personal information protection obligations, according to the source. The regulatory departments ordered Didi to correct the situation, but the company hasn’t yet carried out a comprehensive and in-depth rectification, officials said. (China News Center)