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China

Vegetable Sales Startup Valued at $2.8bn

 2 min read / 

Chinese startup Meicai, which helps farmers sell vegetables to restaurants, has been valued at $2.8bn after raising $450m in a funding round led by Tiger Global Management, China Media Capital and Genesis Capital.

Founded only four years ago, Meicai, meaning “beautiful vegetable,” is now looking to expand in the costly fresh foods market.

Based in Beijing, the company started out with a goal to source vegetables for around 10 million small and medium restaurants in China. It allows owners to order specialities like bok choy and eggplant directly from farms simply by using an app on their smartphone.

Mecai is the latest player in the industry aiming to shake up conventional retail operations by cutting out middlemen in the food distribution chain.

The investment Mecai received is a prime example of the high valuations Chinese companies are fetching in a market saturated with capital. Last year, half of the world’s ten biggest deals were with companies based in the Asian nation and a total of $65bn was injected into ventures in greater China according to researcher Preqin.

Ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing had the largest round of funding ever for a technology company with $5.5bn from investors.

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China

China’s 2017 GDP Beat Estimates as Xi Announces Change

 1 min read / 

china gdp 2017

China’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2017, the fastest rate in two years.

For the fourth quarter, GDP grew by 6.8%, exceeding government expectations which had estimated a growth rate of 6.5%.

The announcement on Thursday comes at a time of great economic change for China. Following his re-election to a second term, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping announced plans to refocus future economic development in the PRC, with emphasis on industrial upgrading and environmental protection.

China’s rapid rise to the world’s second-biggest economy has been attributed to quantitative-focused government targets, like long-term GDP targets, which have led to higher industrial output year-on-year. However, officials are worried that continuing stimulus policies of this kind will become too aggressive, with projects that are unlikely to see any meaningful return.

Nevertheless, China is still expected to announce a high growth target at the 2018 annual session to be held in March.

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China

Tencent Targets Game Cheats

Tencent Cheats

Ahead of releasing PlayerUnknown in China, Tencent is cracking down on cheat software.  

Editor’s Remarks: The world’s largest video game company, Tencent, is collaborating with Chinese police to unearth criminal rings that make and sell programs that allow players to cheat. So far, there have been 30 such cases with over 120 people arrested and many doing jail time. PlayerUnknown has around 27 million users worldwide, and shattered video game records in 2017; around half of these users are in China despite the game not yet being officially released there. It is suspected that there are around 5m cheats on the game’s network – the majority of whom, it is believed, are also Chinese.

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Americas

Bitmain Considers Canada Move

Bitmain Canada

The Chinese bitcoin miner is looking to expand abroad and is eyeing up Canada.

Editor’s Remarks: Although Bitmain has not confirmed that it is seeking an overseas relocation because of China’s recent announcement that it will clamp down on cryptocurrency trading, it is unlikely to be a coincidence. Just a few days ago, the company said it had also opened a new branch in Switzerland, which would play an essential role in its further global expansion. Now, it has publicly said that it is considering an expansion to Canada’s Quebec region, which will give Bitmain access to cheap hydropower to power its mining operations, leading a number of crypto miners to move there.

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