SILICON DRAGON NEWS                                       Dec. 18, 2017         

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Ford's Deal To Sell Cars Direct Via Alibaba
In China Could Transform Auto Buys 
Alibaba-Ford cars 
Alibaba 's latest business model innovation -- a car vending machine -- is a great example of the creativity that is coming from China today. It makes you wonder why Detroit did not think of this idea. But at least Detroit is involved, through an alliance with
Ford Motor  to test online, direct auto sales in China. 
 Early next year, Alibaba plans to open two giant car vending machines in Shanghai and Nanjing. 
The system totally  bypasses the ubiquitous car salesman. It works via a smartphone app. Once buyers pick out a car online and customize it, a giant vending machine that rotates like a ferris wheel (see photo) delivers their car for a three-day test drive, then consumers return to buy it or select another model. Alibaba members can opt for five test drives per month. Did we say this is cool?  Read  Forbes:
Death of a Car Salesman
Bike Sharing to Blockchain: Can China Go Global? 
From bike sharing to blockchain, can China really go global? It's a question that's facing China's tech economy as more Chinese companies large and small do venture abroad.  But as China moves forward, will China's top down, heavy approach cause it to fall victim to its own regulations?
These questions were explored this past week at a  Silicon Dragon salon  in New York with the China Institute. Though big picture concerns and an oppressive caution in China are noticeable, the overall mood at this tech-centric event was festive and high energy.
A VIP dinner afterwards at New Legend restaurant highlighted how Chengdu is moving ahead as one of China's tech capitals, though it's best known among tourists for its pandas and tasty Sichuan cuisine.
Mobike, Agile, Qiming Dinda, Pierre, Michael
Shuo surrounded Tip, Zvi R, Jeannie Robert, Connie
Florian Bohnert, Shuo Chen, Gary Rieschel, Dinda Elliott, Pierre DuPont, Michael Jaliman, Tip Fleming, Zvi Waldman, Rebecca Fannin, Jeannie Yi, Connie Chen, Robert  Schuerger
Spotlite , a two-month-old video live streaming app with monetization options for singers, raises $10 million from Sequoia Capital China and BlueRun Ventures . Forget YouTube, SoundCloud, - Spotlite could be the next talent incubator and money maker for budding singers.  
Chinese artificial intelligence chip maker ThinkForce has raised $68 million) in a Series A round from Sequoia Capital China, Hillhouse Capital, Jack Ma-backed Yunfeng Capital and Yitu Technology, an AI startup specializing in machine vision and hardware. 
AI chips is one space where China is greatly out-investing US VCs. 

Haitao Capital, a China-focused AngelList syndicate, is 
doing its first deal, a first round in insurance tech platform The CareVoice

Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital India invest $10 million in interior design firm HomeLane, a startup to simplify and streamline the process of home furnishing. 
Oracle is buying an Australian software construction group,  Aconex , in  $1.6 billion deal. 

Why cryptocurrencies could push the dollar from world reserve currency status. Bitcoin could be less than 10 years away from taking that role. 

VIP Dinner Outing in NYC: Nathan Low, Michael Jaliman, Rebecca Fannin, Shuo Chen, Alton Delane, Dinda Elliott, Robert Schuerger