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China Briefings 2021: HR software startup WorkTrans bags investment from Tencent, Sequoia

Last updated on January 9th, 2021 at 10:05 am

08 Jan 2021

Human resource software startup WorkTrans has raised a combined USD 190.5 million in Series C and Series D rounds of financing. Its US$50.5 million series C round was led by Sequoia Capital China and existing investors, while Tencent and the China Capital Investment Group joined its US$140 million series D funding round.

Founded in 2015, WorkTrans’s AI-powered SaaS platform provides human resource management tools such as attendance management, change management, staff turnover etc. The startup counts French retailer Carrefour (EPA:CA), and Chinese glass manufacturer Fuyao Glass (SHA:600660) among its clients.  

AI-chip startup Horizon Robotics raises USD 400 million Series C2

07 Jan 2021

Chinese semiconductor startup Horizon Robotics,  often touted as China’s answer to Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) has completed a USD 400 million Series C2 funding round led by UK-based investment firm Baillie Gifford, Yunfeng Capital, battery manufacturer CATL,  and others.

Alibaba eyeing USD 5 billion bond sale

07 Jan 2021

Tech giant Alibaba (HKG:0700) is reportedly eyeing a USD 5 billion US dollar denominated bond sale this month. 

Alibaba to shut down music streaming app Xiami next month

05 Jan 2021

Alibaba (HKG:9988) is shutting down its music streaming app Xiami next month, bringing to an end the tech giant’s entertainment ambitions. Founded in 2006, Xiami was acquired by Alibaba in 2013, as the company looked to expand into the entertainment industry.

China overtakes the US as world’s biggest box office market in 2020

02 Jan 2021

China overtook the U.S. as the world’s biggest box office market for the first time in 2020 with total box office revenues reaching CNY 20.42 billion (about USD 3 billion), considerably higher than the U.S. which raked in USD 2.28 billion according to data from Chinese online ticketing platform Maoyan Entertainment (HKG:1896) and and American media analytics firm Comscore (NASDAQ:SCOR). 

Imported films accounted for just about a sixth of China’s total box office in 2020, a staggering 55% year-on-year decline, attributed to the the pandemic which affected Hollywood release dates as well as diminishing appeal of foreign content. Foreign films’ share of China’s box office have been consistently declining over the years accounting for 38% of China’s annual box office in 2018, 35.9% in 2019, and just 16.3% in 2020. 

Click for more insights on China’s film industry. 

Chinese robot maker Flexiv raises over USD 100 million Series B

01 Jan 2021

Chinese robot maker Flexiv has closed its Series B round which raised more than USD 100 million from investors including Tencent-backed (HKG:0700) food delivery giant Meituan. Meta Capital, New Hope Group, Longwood, Jack Ma’s YF Capital, Gaorong Capital, GSR Ventures, and Plug and Play’s China and US ventures also participated in the funding round. The latest funding round brings the total amount raised to USD 122 million (the last funding round was in 2019 when Flexiv raised USD 22 million). “The strategic funding from leading companies and funds in various industries will mainly be used for mass production and marketing, new market development, and cutting-edge R&D,” said Flexiv CEO Shiquan Wang in a press release. “We will continue focusing on automation transformation of the manufacturing industry, while exploring new applications in a broader range of industries including services, agriculture, logistics, medical care, and so on,” he added.  

Founded in 2016, Flexiv designs and develops adaptive robots that combines industrial-grade force control, computer vision and AI technology.  The robots can be used in the fields of home appliances, consumer electronics, aerospace and aircraft, new energy, and automotive electronics.