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Chinese Tech Titan Baidu Taps Hollywood and Madison Avenue for Global Outreach
One of China's tech titans,
, is pursuing a new global business twist that takes the Beijing-based search company far from its roots in search to Hollywood movie promotion, Madison Avenue advertising, and social media.
It sounds far fetched, and the timing might be better given US-China tensions. But
Baidu is making a play beyond China and is gaining traction with its latest outreach that blends search, artificial intelligence, advertising, and media overseas.
Baidu has recently aligned with social networks
Pinterest, and movie producers
Paramount, among others, in about a dozen sales partnerships. Baidu's distinct strategy for its global business unit is part of a trend of Chinese technology companies going outside China and transitioning from an original core line of business.
Like others within China's BAT or
Tencent, the template is to enlarge the ecosystem and boost revenues and profits.
After shutting its online marketplace for domestic merchants in China several months ago, Amazon is trying a different tactic to tackle the Chinese market: opening a pop-up outlet on Pinduoduo, the hot Chinese social commerce upstart, to sell 1,000 overseas items through the holidays to Chinese consumers.
ByteDance stepped up efforts to separate its popular social media app TikTok from much of its Chinese operations before CFIUS started looking into its $1 billion acquisition of social media app Musical.ly in 2017, which kickstarted its U.S. growth. ByteDance is setting up a team in Mountain View to oversee data management and is hiring more U.S. engineers, according to CNBC. ByteDance, the world's top unicorn, is seeking to avoid the fate of Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Co., which has agreed with a U.S. regulatory request to divest or exit its investment in gay dating app Grindr.
Tencent has led a strategic financing of Chinese education service provider Gaosi, just seven months after funding of $140 million from Warburg Pincus.
Matrix Partners China has led a Series A, $14 million investment in Shanghai-based biotech firm Ennovabio, which is working on a brain cancer drug.
Threatbook, a Chinese cybersecurity startup based in Beijing, has raised $14 million in a Series C investment co-led by
EV charging services provider
Newlinks Technology Group
has been funded with $110 million in a Series C financing led by
Nio Capital, the investment unit of electric car maker Nio, participated in the deal. Nio is a Joy Capital portfolio company.
DEALS: INDIA, SE ASIA
Indian bike rental startup
Bounce has snared $150 million from well-placed investors who know this business model can work:
B Capital, Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital India and others. A year ago, Bounce bought the Indian unit of China's failing bike share leader
Further evidence that India is taking to shareable scooters as
Vogo Scooter is looking to raise venture capital, after Indian ride hailing firm
Ola invested $100 million in Vogo. Flipkart founder has invested in both
Dental cosmetics startup in Singapore,
Zenyum, bags $13.6 million in an initial funding for regional expansion from
Sequoia Capital India and others.
Alibaba financial affiliate
Ant Financial is planning to launch a $1 billion fund to invest in emerging companies in Southeast Asia and India.
Ant Financial is already a backer of India's digital payment platform
Mapping China's tech giants: from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute comes this tracking of 23 key Chinese technology companies as their impact spreads.
ON THE CIRCUIT
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