WeChat Pay and Alipay partner QFPay raises $20 million to develop new digital payment solutions

Digital payments startup QFPay announced today that it has raised $20 million in new funding led by returning investors Sequoia Capital China and Matrix Partners. MDI Ventures, the investment arm of state-owned Indonesian telecom Telkom Indonesia, Rakuten Capital and VentureSouq also participated as new strategic investors. According to Crunchbase, this brings QFPay’s total raised so […]

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Africa Roundup: Canal+ acquires ROK, Flutterwave and Alipay partner, OPay raises $50M

in July, French television company Canal+ acquired the ROK film studio from VOD company IROKOtv. Canal+ would not disclose the acquisition price, but confirmed there was a cash component of the deal. Founded by Jason Njoku  in 2010 — and backed by $45 million  in VC — IROKOtv boasts the world’s largest online catalog of Nollywood: a Nigerian movie […]

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Flutterwave and Alipay partner on payments between Africa and China

San Francisco and Lagos based fintech startup Flutterwave has partnered with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba to offer digital payments between Alipay and African merchants. Flutterwave is a Nigerian founded B2B payments service (primarily) for companies in Africa to pay other companies on the continent and abroad. Alipay is Alibaba’s digital wallet and payments platform. In […]

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Hellobike, survivor of China’s bike-sharing craze, goes electric

Just two years ago, investors were heavily pouring money into China’s dockless bike-sharing startups. Now that boom has busted with derelict bikes littering the streets of cities. Meanwhile, a new race has started for two-wheelers with motors — and one of the main players is a survivor from the bike-sharing craze. Blessed with fundings from […]

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Meituan, Alibaba, and the new landscape of ride-hailing in China

Instead of switching between apps to secure a ride during rush hour, people in China can now hail from different companies using a single app. Some of the country’s largest internet companies — including ride-hailing giant Didi itself — are placing bets on this type of aggregation service. The nascent model is reminiscent of a […]

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Image recognition, mini apps, QR codes: how China uses tech to sort its waste

China’s war on garbage is as digitally savvy as the country itself. Think QR codes attached to trash bags that allow a municipal government to trace exactly where its trash comes from. On July 1, the world’s most populated city Shanghai began a compulsory garbage sorting program. Under the new regulations (in Chinese), households and […]

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China’s Alipay adds sought-after beauty filters to face-scan payments

In China, striving for accuracy in a piece of facial recognition software isn’t enough. As Alibaba’s e-wallet affiliate Alipay has recently demonstrated, the way software presents a user’s look is also crucial to its success. On Tuesday, Alipay announced on social media platform Weibo (in Chinese) that it’s added beauty filters to its pay-with-face system […]

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China’s Alipay adds sought-after beauty filters to face-scan payments

In China, striving for accuracy in a piece of facial recognition software isn’t enough. As Alibaba’s e-wallet affiliate Alipay has recently demonstrated, the way software presents a user’s look is also crucial to its success. On Tuesday, Alipay announced on social media platform Weibo (in Chinese) that it’s added beauty filters to its pay-with-face system […]

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Splyt wants to connect the world’s ride-hailing apps for easy international roaming

The vision of a universal global ride-hailing service is over. Uber’s decision to exit markets like China, Southeast Asia and Russia coupled with the failure of its rivals to develop a proposed roaming system, means that global travelers must install multiple apps if they are to take advantage of on-demand taxis. That’s unless a little-known startup […]

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Cartier, Bulgari and other luxury brands are flocking to WeChat

Not long ago, people in China would need to visit a posh, stylish mall for luxury shopping. That’s rapidly changing as high-end brands race to embrace digital channels, which aren’t just the obvious options of ecommerce platforms or brand-owned sites. In China, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Bulgari and other luxury brands are now connecting and selling […]

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