Chinas

How China’s Ant is evolving from a payments app into a technology champion

This is the second in a series of four articles analysing the Hong Kong and mainland stock markets, delving into the reforms, emergence of the Star Market as a solid fundraising venue, upcoming technology champions and the way forward. You can read part one here.

When Starbucks was looking to boost its digital traffic in China to help sales recover from store closures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, it turned to Alipay.

The Chinese mobile app with 900 million users scattered across the nation integrated a pre-order and pickup feature for Starbucks into its popular app last month, a service that was previously only available on Starbucks’ own mainland mobile app. The Seattle-headquartered chain of coffeehouses said on July 28 that it sees its China sales substantially recovering by the end of September, boosted by such digital initiatives.

Ant Group, the operator of Alipay, is preparing an initial public offering … Read More

Founder Hits Jackpot Thanks to China’s Love of Stock Trading

(Bloomberg) — When the coronavirus put a halt on people’s lives in China in February, Justin Jin’s old university classmates thought about selling face masks to make money. The 21-year-old suggested they instead try their luck with two stocks: Tesla Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

That’s when Jin’s two friends began using the Futubull app, one of the Chinese platforms that allow mainland investors to buy foreign equities. The decision paid off. Both stocks soared as part of a global rally that has enticed a wave of novice investors.

“When I first started, there were only three or four friends who used Futu,” Jin said. “Now there are at least three or four dozen.”

Thanks to them and many others, Futu Holdings Ltd., a Chinese online brokerage and wealth-management platform, now counts more than 1 million registered users, a 23% increase from the first quarter. Its American depositary receipts have

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Microsoft To Spin-Off Xiaoice, China’s Teenage Chatbot

Microsoft (MSFT) has announced the spin-off of the AI chatbot Xiaoice into a separate company according to an announcement made in Chinese by the company on Sunday.

The virtual teenager was previously described by Microsoft as ‘much more than a chatbot.’ In a 2018 blog post, Microsoft wrote “many prize her as a dear friend, even a trusted confidante. Sometimes the line between fact and fantasy blurs. She gets love letters and gifts.” The secret of her success: she can learn, with increasing success, to relate and interact with humans through nuance, social skills, and, importantly, emotions.

Going forward, Microsoft has appointed Dr. Shen Xiangyang as chairman of the new company, Li Di as chief executive officer, and Chen Zhan as general manager of the Japanese branch. All related work will be completed within the next few months.

According to the statement, Microsoft will maintain investment rights in

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