Posted on

Japan Briefings: Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi to double engineer headcount in Japan

10 Dec 2020

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi (HKG:1810) is reportedly doubling its engineer workforce at its Japanese research and development center next year, in an effort to expand its market share in consumer electronics.

Japan industrial output rises for fifth straight month

30 Nov 2020

Japan’s industrial production rose by 3.8% month-on-month (MoM) in October 2020, compared with a 3.9% rise a month earlier, marking the fifth straight month of growth according to data from Ministry of Economy Trades & Industry (METI).

Japan consumer prices fall 0.7% YoY, biggest drop since March 2011

20 Nov 2020

Japan’s consumer prices, which excludes volatile fresh food costs, fell 0.7% YoY in October, marking the third straight month of declines and the biggest year-on-year drop since March 2011, according to latest government data.

Japan Q3 2020 GDP up 5% QoQ

16 Nov 2020

Japan posted a 5% QoQ GDP growth for the quarter ended September 2020, a reversal from the 8.2% QoQ contraction recorded in Q2 2020. The positive Q3 2020 GDP growth put the brakes on three quarters of contraction in the world’s third-largest economy, and was also the fastest quarterly growth since 1980 when comparable data became available.

Walmart sells majority stake in supermarket chain Seiyu to KKR and Rakuten

16 Nov 2020

US retail giant Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is selling an 85% stake in Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu to investment firm KKR (NYSE:KKR) and Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten (TYO:4755) for about USD 1.6 billion. The deal values Seiyu at JPY 172.5 billion and the sale will mean Walmart will nearly exit from its operations in Japan.

According to the agreement, KKR will acquire a 65% stake in Seiyu while Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce company, will acquire a 20% stake, through a newly created subsidiary named Rakuten DX. Walmart will retain a 15% stake in Seiyu.

Softbank and KDDI to invest USD 38 billion into 5G

04 Nov 2020

Two of Japan’s biggest mobile network operators, Softbank (TYO:9984), and KDDI (TYO:9433) are planning to invest a total of USD 38 billion into 5G wireless networks over the next decade.

Interactive video solutions startup Paronym raises USD 6.5 million Series B

28 Oct 2020

Interactive video solutions Saas startup Paronym has raised USD 6.5 million in Series B funding led by Japan Post Capital, and NTT Docomo Ventures. InVent (the venture capital arm of Thailand’s telecom giant Intouch Holdings) participated. The fresh capital will be used to help Paronym expand into Thailand. Tokyo-based Paronym’s SaaS solution – TUG – is an interactive video technology that enables users to tag information to objects in the video such as persons, places, clothing. The technology has tremendous potential in the areas of e-commerce and advertising.

Genesia Ventures closes USD 75 million fund

26 Oct 2020

Tokyo-based venture capital firm Genesia Ventures has announced the closing of its second fund which aims to invest in early stage startups in Japan and Southeast Asia. The fund raised USD 75 million, short of its USD 80 million target.