SILICON DRAGON NEWS                                       July 24, 2017         
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Silicon Dragon

Silicon Valley Risks Losing Its
Status As Top Startup Hub 
Shuttershock SF

Silicon Valley is hot -- too hot! 
It's all the fault of a convergence of technologies that are all exploding: robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, drones, ride sharing, and mobile for everything from entertainment to payment to good old-fashioned communication. There's also the China factor, the intermingling of Chinese talent, capital and technologies with Silicon Valley that has spurred innovation like never before.
But Silicon Valley is at risk of losing its premier status as the world's innovation capital and leading startup hub. While the great climate and scenery continue to be lures, it's simply becoming too pricey for many workers even in well-paying corporate tech jobs or well-funded startups.
Read ForbesWho Can Afford It?  

To the south, LA tech startups are on the upswing, with 382 venture financings last year for a total $5.2 billion, and 208 deals in first half of 2017, according to CBI Insights. 
LA already counts several unicorns such as Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jessica Alba's The Honest Company.
View LA Tech Map.  


China's order for the country's banks to stop lending to 
Wanda for financing of six of its overseas acquisitions sends another jolt to China-Hollywood dealmaking.
At least four of Wanda's deals, including the $3.5 billion purchase of 
Legendary Entertainment , have already closed. But the ban appears to prohibit loans even to those units for day-to-day operations or for restructuring.
Wanda and other Chinese acquirers in the U.S. have faced capital controls since late last year that limited expansion into unrelated and high-priced deals.  
It's clear that u
nconventional dealings such as off-balance-sheet borrowing or building up stakes in American movie producers and European soccer teams - all of which Wanda has done - are a no-go for now for Wanda and others.  
Read more: Variety

Hear from China-Hollywood dealmakers directly:


Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator is reportedly raising a $1 billion fund to invest in startups. Its focus is increasingly overseas and on startups it doesn't incubate. 

A Chinese clone of Amazon Go, Xiaomai, has raised $19 million to expand its cashier-free convenience stores from Aplus Capital with  Chenshan Capital.     

Baidu and  JDI may join other tech titans Tencent and Alibaba to invest $12 billion in state-owned mobile carrier China UnicomReuters

A three-month-old Chinese startup that operates self-service karaoke booths has lured in $15 million from Matrix Partners China, Vertex Ventures China, GSR Ventures and  DCM. 
The founding team for Xingtang miniKTV is from Baidu .  
Sequoia Capital India and investment firm Mission Holdings have backed Singapore-based martial arts media company One Championship, bringing its total funding past the $100 million mark.

Thailand's data analytics startup Zanroo has brought in $7.4 million from Bangkok-based angel investor Shift Ventures.  

Along with GM and BMW, Japanese investor Softbank and Greylock Partners have invested $159 million in Palo Alto-based Nauto, a startup that scales data to help perfect autonomous driving. Here's an interesting read by Greylock's Reid Hoffman about doing the deal.   

Google has acquired very young AI startup Halli Labs in Bangalore.  This marks the second Indian startup Google has acquired - the previous deal was in 2014 for cybersecurity firm Imperium.

IDG Ventures India and Jungle Ventures have invested $4 million in a Series A financing of Indian financial services company Vayana, a B2B payments startup located in Pune.

Roomorama, Singapore's answer to Airbnb, has stopped accepting bookings and shut down, blaming increased competition and regulatory headwinds. Airbnb opened a Singapore office in 2012, the same year Roomorama took in $2.1 million in seed funding and bulked up with a merger. 

WeWork is gearing up to launch its co-working spaces in Japan, thanks to  new 50-50 JV with Softbank. Plans are to open in Tokyo in early 2018.

Alibaba and Tencent are pushing into Southeast Asia's large and dynamic startup scene with investments in fast-growth tech look-alikes, not surprising to book readers of Startup Asia.     


Several recent articles have pointed to China's lead in mobile payments and staff-free convenience shopping.
- China's massive shift to mobile payments: NYT
- In China, bots are chatty online shop assistants. AdAge
- Meet Bingobox, the Chinese version of Amazon Go powered by WeChat, now in Shanghai  TechInAsia

New struggles   for Silicon Valley giants show how China is becoming a no go. Facebook had its messaging app WhatsApp blocked in China. And both Apple and LinkedIn have named new chiefs in China to shore up sluggish sales, while Apple also invested mega $ in a data center in China to comply with Chinese local law. More here: NYT 

 China aims to be the AI capital of the world by 2030 - something Kai-fu Lee has commented on.

South Korea legalizes bitcoin. #Cryptocurrency


Tokyo robotics maker ZMP delivers sushi