In today’s talking points: Didi backed bike sharing programme expands in China; Alibaba to invest $305 million in Zhejiang supermarket chain; Alibaba opens a cloud data centre in Australia; Chinese prefer to buy insurances online, report says.
Didi backed bike sharing programme expands in China
Beijing based bike sharing firm ofo has raised US$130 million in venture funding last month after a capital injection from Didi Chuxing. It has now expanded its operations to 22 cities and increased its total bike count to 160,00. Rival bike sharing program Mobike has only entered its fifth city in comparison. Both companies are in contention to become the leader in the bike sharing sector. Ofo is currently much bigger than Mobike, with 1.5 million users in comparison to Mobike’s 200,000.
Alibaba to invest $305 million in Zhejiang supermarket chain
Alibaba Group Holding Lts. Plans to invest RMB2.1 billion (US$305 million) in Sanjiang Shopping Club Co., Ltd., a supermarket chain based in Zhejiang. The Chinese e-commerce giant is hoping to pursue a new retail model envisioned by its founder Jack Ma. Alibaba will obtain approximately 35% of Sanjiang via private share placement, share transfer and convertible bonds. In the event, stakes held by the company’s founder Chen Nianci and his affiliated would decrease to 36%.
Alibaba opens a cloud data centre in Australia
The largest China’s E-commerce company Alibaba Inc. announced on Monday a plan to open four new cloud data centres outside its home market by the end of 2016. The four new centres will be located in Sydney, Dubai, Frankfurt and in an undisclosed city in Japan. Due to the slowing economic growth in China, the company aims to find new opportunities abroad by competing with the big global giants such as Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp and IBM Corp. Alibaba believes that cloud services is one area where it can compete due to the industry. Ethan Yu, Alibaba Cloud Global General Manager, shared his views on most the recent plan of his company: “The four new data centres will further expand Alibaba Cloud’s global ecosystem and footprint, allowing us to meet the increasing demand for secure and scalable cloud computing services from businesses and industries worldwide”.
Chinese prefer to buy insurances online, report says
As more Chinese managing their wealth online, the number of insurance policies sold via the Internet has been more than doubled last year. Last Sunday the Insurance Association of China released an industry report which says the combined premiums of insurance policies sold online totaled 223.4 billion yuan ($32.5 billion) in 2015, increasing 160% compared to 2014. Life insurance premiums and property insurance premiums reached 146.6 billion yuan and 76.8 billion yuan last year, respectively. According to the report, by the end of 2015 ten largest insurers sold via the Internet 77.3 percent of the total amount, reaching 172.5 billion yuan. At the launch of the report Zhu Jinyuan, head of the association, said that online insurance has been expanding quickly and played an increasingly important role in the industry in the recent years.