Horizons Funds 3D Auto Tech Deal In LA, China’s Edge In AI, What’s Next After Mobile

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use - VC panelSpeaking at Silicon Dragon’s recent VC and tech forum in San Francisco, Chris Evdemon of Sinovation Ventures commented that China does not need Facebook because it already has better sites with more functionality for Chinese users. Of course, one of these is Tencent’s social messaging app WeChat. But it’s also Alibaba-owned UC Web, which is looking to outwit Google and Facebook in Asia.

As smartphone penetration plateaus in China, internet companies are eagerly hunting for the next major platform that will sustain continuous growth. But before the dawn of the next technological revolution, how to maintain growth momentum in such a saturated market is the biggest question for all players. Tencent-owned China Tech Insights recently published a report that delves into the top trends and predictions for China’s tech sector.

It’s well understood that Chinese investments in America will be an increasingly important area of focus. What is lesser known is the ones that don’t work out. This post from the Paulson Institute outlines two attempted Chinese acquisitions of U.S. commercial aviation firms – one that failed and one that succeeded. It’s an interesting read to see what went wrong and right with the transactions. As for wrong, a lack of understanding of the industry by the Chinese acquirer, amateurish negotiations, and a shoddy partnership between a Chinese state entity and a private player. As for right, a more seasoned state-owned enterprise more familiar with mergers and acquisitions. Read more here: Paulson Institute.

Why China has an edge in artificial intelligence. Its large talent pool and and size of its online population are only two of many factors, writes Kai-Fu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures.

Hugo Barra is leaving Chinese tech company Xiaomi after his high-profile hire two years ago from Google and going back to Silicon Valley. Just a matter of timing and burn-out or a sentence for Xiaomi?

New age robotics madness: staying in a hotel in Shanghai and unexpectedly awakened at 1am by a robot mistakenly bringing food to my room – as tweeted by Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Bitcoin magazine.

Trump team at Davos: We don’t want a trade war with China, we just want a better deal.

In China, the number of people who go online through cellphones has reached 695 million, according to the government-linked China Internet Network Information Center. This is the trend as Chinese has passed right over the PC era. In another mind-blowing statistic, the number of Internet user has soared to 731 million users.

China’s Liaoning province faked economic data from 2011 to 2014 – a rare admission from a provincial governor. South China Morning Post.

DEALS

Li Ka-Shing’s tech-focused VC firm Horizons Ventures has invested $23 million in a Series A financing of an innovative auto manufacturing technology startup in Los Angeles. The startup, Divergent 3D, relies on a flexible and customizable 3D printing platform to churn out cars with reduced materials, energy and cost. Peugeot has recently signed on a strategic development partner. CEO Kevin Czinger told Silicon Dragon that the startup evolved from a failed attempt in China a few years ago where he lost control of strategic direction of the company to venture investors. He’s brought his former team with him to Divergent 3D.

Chinese bike-sharing startup Mobike snags strategic investment from Foxconn, just weeks after pulling in $250 million in a Series D funding.