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E-commerce startup citiesocial raises $2.75M led by Alibaba’s fund for Taiwanese entrepreneurs

Citiesocial, a Taipei-based startup that helps emerging brands break into Asia’s e-commerce market, has raised $2.75 million led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, a non-profit backed by Alibaba Group to support local startups. CDIB Capital and returning investor Cherubic Ventures also participated. The capital will be used to expand citiesocial

As Cook and Pichai leave China, Valley confronts rising internet tyranny in world’s second largest market

It’s been a bad few months for internet freedom in China (and really, a bad few decades, but who is counting?). The government brought into force a broad-ranging “cybersecurity law” earlier this year that empowers Beijing to take unilateral control over critical internet infrastructure, while also mandating that foreign companies

Financial tech startup WeLab raises $220M from investors including Alibaba, the IFC and Credit Suisse

WeLab, a financial tech startup that operates online lending platforms in Hong Kong and China, has raised $220 million in combined equity and debt financing. The round, which WeLab says is its Series B+, brings its total funding so far to $425 million. Investors include the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs

MyMusicTaste, which allows fans to request live events, gets $11M Series C

MyMusicTaste, a Seoul-headquartered service that lets fans campaign to bring their favorite artists to their city, plans to double the concerts it organizes next year after raising an $11 million Series C. The round was led by KTB Network, with participation from Stonebridge and Yellow Dog. All three are new investors,

Sony reboots Aibo with AI and extra kawaii

The rumors had it right: Sony is rebooting its robot dog, Aibo, announcing a new four-legged companion AI-powered bot incoming with the same brand name but more rounded corners and visible facial features for extra kawaii, including a pair of expressive, puppy-dog eyes. Deep learning tech, fish-eye cameras and a series of

SoftBank Group will buy a 5% stake in ZhongAn, China’s first online-only insurance agency

SoftBank Group has agreed to be a cornerstone investor in the initial public offering of ZhongAn, China’s first online-only insurance agency, on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today. SoftBank Group will buy a 5 percent stake in the company, or about 72 million shares, at the offer price, which is

Prisma shifts focus to b2b with an API for AI-powered mobile effects

The startup behind the Prisma style transfer app is shifting focus onto the b2b space, building tools for developers that draw on its expertise using neural networks and deep learning technology to power visual effects on mobile devices. It’s launched a new website, Prismalabs.ai, detailing this new offering. Initially, say Prisma’s co-founders,

SparkLabs launches its latest accelerator program in Taipei

Accelerator network SparkLabs launches its newest program today in Taipei. Headed by managing partner Edgar Chiu (pictured above), SparkLabs Taipei will focus on preparing Taiwanese startups to enter other countries. Chiu was COO of Taipei-based app developer Gogolook when it was acquired by Naver, one of Korea’s largest Internet companies, in

The ORII smart ring lets you control your smartphone using only your voice

ORII is a new smart ring that gives you full hands-free control of your smartphone. The device connects to your phone with Bluetooth and it can be used to provide crystal-clear audio, which makes it an interesting tool for those with sight or hearing issues. It works using bone conduction technology so

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