China Booming Regardless of Strict Crackdown; Twitter Obtain Inexperienced Mild from Nigeria
In today’s ExchangeWire News Summary: China’s tech industry booms despite tough government pressure; Twitter ban lifted in Nigeria; and Turnip raise $12.5m (£9.1m) in a Series A round.
Where is China headed in 2022?
In 2021, China tightened control of the tech sector, and Alibaba can vouch for it after being hit with a record $2.8 billion (£2.04 billion) fine in April. But even amid a crackdown, China’s tech startups received a record $131bn (£95.5bn) in venture capital funding, a reported roughly 50% premium into 2020 Bloomberg. Data compiled by ExchangeWire estimates that funding for Chinese companies in the ad-tech and martech sectors reached US$607 million (£442.4 million) in the first half of 2021 alone.
The funding boom shows how popular China still is as an investment location. With a clear view of where tighter regulations are headed, startups have been able to shun the government’s no longer favored soft internet business and capitalize on key verticals like chips, robotics and SaaS products. Biotechnology reportedly hit $14.1bn (£10.3bn) last year, a tenfold increase from 2016. This will most likely continue into 2022 as platforms hope to avoid government firing lines.
Authorities are increasingly trying to curb risk-taking and anti-competitive practices in the technology sector, although it has been and continues to be successful. China’s market regulator has already fined tech giants this year and sanctioned units of Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings and Bilibili Inc for failing to report about a dozen deals. Fines of CN¥500,000 (£57,291) were imposed for each deal, which is the maximum in China under the 2008 Antimonopoly Law Reuters.
Chinese government tensions are also pushing aside US IPOs, confirmed by increased pressure on Didi Chuxing’s major New York listing, which led to their delisting in December and talks to begin IPO in Hong Kong. So perhaps it’s not surprising that China has outperformed the US in 2021 in a number of key investment areas: the most notable being a roughly $1.3bn (£947m) surge in VC investors for semiconductor makers, startup ups and integrated circuit designers comparison with US, based on research by Preqin.
The pressure is unlikely to ease as President Xi Jinping plans to continue cracking down on the “irrational expansion of capital” as he hopes for a third Communist Party presidential nomination.
Twitter clear after ban lifted in Nigeria
Twitter has been given the green light in Nigeria as the government today (13 January) lifts its seven-month ban on its activities. the First, a ban was imposed after the social media giant removed a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari that targeted secessionists and found it threatening. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), released a statement announcing the lifting of the suspension: “The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) directs me to inform the public that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the lifting of the suspension Suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria effective tonight, January 13, 2022 at 00:00. The approval was granted following a memo to the President by the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim.”
The suspension had been raised several times prior to this agreement, but the social networking site had failed to meet certain requirements. Late last year, the President informed the public during a TV program that while Twitter is an information-sharing platform, people still exploit its numerous features to “organize, coordinate and carry out criminal activities, send fake news and promote ethnic groups and religious feelings.” The Nigerian government had reportedly made 10 requests to proceed, but the California-based firm had failed on three requests – including regulating content and harmful tweets.
In a section of the statement on the recent green light, Abdullahi said: “Twitter has agreed to act in respectful recognition of Nigerian laws and the national culture and history upon which such laws are built, and to cooperate with the FGN and the broader industry, to develop a code of conduct in line with global best practices, applicable in almost all developed countries.”
Turnip raises $12.5m (£9.1m) amid boom in mobile gaming industry
mobile gaming community platform, Turnip, raised $12.5 million (£9.1m) in a Series A round co-led by Greenoaks and Elevation Capital, who previously stated: “We first met Turnip when it was a pre-product stage idea and we aligned with the vision of the team we worked with they just days after our initial conversation.” The startup is reportedly looking to deepen its presence in India and expand its presence in regions such as Southeast Asia and Latin America. SEA Capital and Vibe Capital backed the new investment, including a number of entrepreneurs including Andrew Chen of Andreessen Horowitz.
Elevation Capital previously led a $1.63m (£1.19m) seed round for the Bangalore-based platform in early 2021. Better Capital participated in the investment to help Turnip hire new talent. “Gaming fans love to watch their favorite creators, go out of their way to interact via paid YouTube chats, and often dream of getting a shoutout one day. For now, however, these interactions are basic and limited. We believe there is tremendous potential to enrich these engagements,” commented co-founder Aditya Sharma.
According to Accenture estimates, the mobile gaming sector generated $83.7 billion (£61 billion) in revenue in 2021, becoming the number one revenue generator for the video game market. To date, there are around 2.7 billion players, which is expected to grow by another 400 million over the next few years. A new social aspect within the gambling industry has enabled a rapid rise in popularity, meaning a slowdown in 2022 is unlikely, especially amid an advancing metaverse wave.
Also in the news:
– KKCG’s ARICOMA Group acquires ad tech and martech development company Clearcode
– Broadsign Board of Directors welcomes Michael Maas, CEO of AMI Entertainment
– Relevant Yield HB Manager extended its integrations to Amazon