SILICON DRAGON NEWS      @SiliconDragon               March 11, 2019         
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Facebook Changes Sure Look A Lot Like China's WeChat Super-app 

Facebook's plans to integrate private messaging, groups and payments look a lot like innovations that  WeChat pioneered years ago. It's the latest example of China tech being copied in the West - a trend that has evolved from 15 years ago when China tech copied Silicon Valley, when China's Renren copied  Facebook. 
Tencent'WeChat is way more functional than Facebook, and makes it easy to shop, pay and connect.  WeChat has 1 billion users. 
Its  WeChat Pay, an instant mobile wallet that bypasses banking and credit card fees to pay for items via a mobile app scan, counts 900 million users. 
Its WeChat mini-shops, used by 200 million shoppers, blends content with commerce seamlessly with links to sales products that can be accessed only within WeChat. This is a China-first monetization approach for mobile apps.  Tesla and Walmart even got on board and launched mini-shops on the Chinese app. 
This is not the first time that Facebook has imitated a Chinese model. Short video app Lasso is another. 
Read more at Forbes , Facebook copies WeChat .

Fallen Bikes Catch VCs in China
China's bike-sharing craze and the demise of Chinese startup Ofo has left several prominent venture investors on the hook. As much as $2.2 billion in venture money was poured into Ofo within three years. Now Ofo bikes are going away.
Alibaba was the biggest investor in Ofo, leading a $866 million round a year ago with Hony Capital and CITIC.  Several experienced venture capital players also were backers -- Matrix Partners China, ZhenFund and GSR Ventures. Yuri Milner's DST Global had funded Ofo too.
China's bike-sharing sector developed overnight as an Uber-like model for bikes with a technology twist of QR codes and mobile payments to unlock dockless bikes. Bike-sharing was the largest startup fad, flooded with venture money and startups expanding too quickly. 
The young Chinese founder of Ofo, Dai Wei, had little managerial experience. Although Ofo retrenched from several markets overseas, it is too little, too late. Ofo is seeking to transition to an e-commerce model and is converting customer deposits for discounts.
It's a different scenario for Mobike in China. 
Read more at Silicon Dragon column,  Forbes:
Fallen bikes

Corporate venturing meets a venture-as-a-service model, with a new initiative developed by former Intel Capital investment director Sanjit Singh Dang. His recently launched U First Capital works with corporations as an outsourced service on identifying and funding cutting-edge technologies externally that can foster growth and realize investment returns.
U First Capital is working with its first client, DuPont Electronics &  Imaging, to hone in on opportunities for corporate investment in artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and connectivity technologies -- strategic growth areas for the specialty products division of the merged  DowDuPont. 
Co-founder and chairman Dang brings to U First Capital a good track record of investments during his nine-year tenure at Intel Capital . He has a good grasp on trends in emerging markets, too. 
Read about the new model: VaaS

Venture News
Qiming Venture is reportedly about to fund an Indian content platform, Pratilipi, the Chinese venture firm's first deal in India. 

GGV Capital has set up a branch office in Singapore -- part of the China venturing out to Asia story.  

Chinese drone maker eHang, invested in by GGV Capital, is reportedly preparing for an IPO that could raise $400 million to $500 million. The company underwent a technical filing for bankruptcy last year to close US operations and focus on the China market. eHang has innovated a flying taxi drone. 

Fund of funds Magic Stone Alternatives reaches $197 million toward a second China fund.  

500 Startups' Japan team is debuting a new fund, Coral Capital, for early bets on technology startups. 


Southeast Asian super-apps Go-Jek and Grab race to be region's leader in food, fintech, in ride-hailing. 
Sound familiar? This follows a China pattern.