Sunday, 2024 April 14

KrASIA Weekly: Growing public scrutiny of Chinese tech giants?

Hi there, it’s Robin

Winston Churchill once said: “ The price of greatness is responsibility”.

This phrase still holds true today, at least for the Chinese tech majors who got listed recently.

After a stunning IPO debut last week, the Nasdaq-listed Pinduoduo (PDD) is now fighting in the courts of public opinion. This Chinese e-commerce marketplace is accused by Skyworth, an electronics manufacturer, of allowing counterfeit goods to be sold, in addition to a lawsuit in New York before its public listing.

The New York Times reported that Daddy’s Choice Technology, a Chinese household goods company, claimed that PDD ‘knowingly permitted’ the sales of fake diapers that carry its brand on PDD’s platform.

The share price of this fast-growing PDD has plunged from its debut high, according to Beijing News reports.

Another example would be the risky peer-to-peer (P2P) lending play of the HK-listed Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. With large parts of China’s P2P lending sector crumbling, Xiaomi now says: “It doesn’t have anything to do with those lenders. It only let them use its platform for advertising purposes.’’

Yet, those affected by failing P2P platforms are claiming that the reason they bought into these platforms is that Xiaomi endorsed them.

Evidently, the Shanghai Securities News reported of Xiaomi’s share price falling below its official issue price again during an intraday trade on August 2.

While not explicit, users tend to have implicit trust in these great and rapid-growing Chinese tech giants while using their product & platform.

Perhaps just like China’s P2P market, it is time for the law to step in – to protect users who will ultimately lose in the unfortunate events of frauds, counterfeits, and scams, even as tech companies continue to grow in power.

Apple, for instance, has become the first tech firm to hit the $1 trillion valuation mark this week. Google is also planning to enter back into China to compete against Baidu and Jinri Toutiao, the flagship product of Beijing-based Bytedance Technology as the Chinese market is simply too big to miss.

The above China story can serve as good precedence for Southeast Asia, given the close similarities and the growing presence of Chinese tech firms in the region.

In Indonesia, for example, closer regulation of P2P platforms is happening, just like the case in China. The country’s financial regulators have warned companies who are not yet registered with the authorities to not operate P2P platforms, even as waves of startups there have been pushing their way into the online lending space.

The mirror image of the battle between Chinese O2O platform giant Meituan & Didi Chuxing in China’s ride-hailing sector is also seen in the SEA region.

Even as Go-Jek goes live in Vietnam with Go-Viet this week, Grab went on to raise $2b to further its overseas expansion plans. The fight is on.

And more than just a reflection, Chinese tech behemoths are already in the region.

Alibaba’s Lazada is set to intensify competition, as it announced this week of commission-free shopping to boost merchant acquisition numbers.

China’s crypto agnostic blockchain platform imToken has also launched its International Version 2.0 in Singapore this week, after shifting its headquarters to the lion city.

Read on to find out more interesting stories from last week, and feel free to tip us if you have news clue or you just want to talk with us, email us at and we are looking forward to hearing from you.


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