chairman

Alibaba goes big on Russia with joint venture focused on gaming, shopping and more

Alibaba is doubling down on Russia after the Chinese e-commerce giant launched a joint venture with one of the country’s leading internet companies. Russia is said to have over 70 million internet users, around half of its population, with countless more attracted from Russian-speaking neighboring countries. The numbers are projected to rise as, like in many parts of the world, the growth of smartphones brings more people online. Now Alibaba is moving in to ensure it is well placed to take advantage. Mail.ru, the Russia firm that offers a range of internet services including social media, email and food delivery to 100 million registered users, has teamed up with Alibaba to launch AliExpress Russia, a JV that they hope will function as a “one-stop destination” for communi...

Jack Ma says he isn’t about to retire from Alibaba but is planning a gradual succession

Reports of Jack Ma’s impending retirement are greatly exaggerated, it seems. Ma, the co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, has pushed back on claims that he is on the cusp of leaving the $420 billion Chinese e-commerce firm. The New York Times first reported that the entrepreneur plans to announce that he will leave the firm to pursue philanthropy in education, a topic he is passionate about — Ma is a former teacher. But that news was quickly rebutted after Ma gave an interview to the South China Morning Post — the media company that Alibaba bought in 2016 — in which he explained that he plans to gradually phase himself out of the company through a succession plan. When reached for comment, Alibaba pointed TechCrunch to the SCMP report which claims Ma’...

Security tokens will be coming soon to an exchange near you

Sunny Dhillon Contributor More posts by this contributor Amazon’s next conquest will be apparel The rise of experiential commerce While cryptocurrencies have generated the lion’s share of investment and attention to date, I’m more excited about the potential for another blockchain-based digital asset: security tokens. Security tokens are defined as “any blockchain-based representation of value that is subject to regulation under security laws.” In other words, they represent ownership in a real-world asset, whether that is equity, debt or even real estate. (They also encompass certain pre-launch utility tokens.) With $256 trillion of real-world assets in the world, the opportunity for crypto-securities is truly massive, especially with regards to asset classes like real estate and fine art...

Golden Gate Ventures hits first close on new $100M fund for Southeast Asia

One of the fascinating things about watching an emerging startup ecosystem is that it isn’t just companies that are scaling, the very VC firms that feed them are growing themselves, too. That’s perhaps best embodied by Golden Gate Ventures, a Singapore-based firm founded by three Silicon Valley entrepreneurs in 2011 which is about to close a huge new fund for Southeast Asia. Golden Gate started out with a small seed investment fund before raising a second worth $60 million in 2015. Now it is in the closes stages of finalizing a new $100 million fund, which has completed a first close of over $65 million in commitments, a source with knowledge of discussions told TechCrunch. A filing lodged with the SEC in June first showed the firm’s intent to raise $100 million. The source told TechCrunch...

PDP LGA Chairman shot dead in Lagos, 5 others arrested

By Evelyn Usman & Esther Onyegbula There was blood bath, weekend, during a meeting of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s members at Igbosuku village, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, as the Apapa Local Government chapter Chairman, Mr. Borishade Adeniyi, was shot dead during a fight that broke out between factions. PDP LGA Chairman, Borishade Adeniyi shot dead Five chieftains of the party were subsequently arrested. They are Engr Kehinde Fasasi, Eti-Osa Local Government PDP chairman; Mr. Rotimi Kujore, Lagos Island Local Government chapter chairman; Alhaji Fatai Adele, Mushin Local Government; Mr. Ismail Abiola, Amuwo Odofin Local Government, and Dr. Amos Fawole, Surulere Local Government. At press time, they were being detained at the State Criminal Inves...

Malta paves the way for a decentralized stock exchange

Malta AKA “Blockchain Island” has been making waves lately in the world of cryptocurrency and governance. Their latest move involves the crypto exchange Binance and the ICO builders at Neufund. The plan is simple: Neufund will help MSX, the Malta Stock Exchange’s skunkworks, create tokenized securities. Binance has agreed to carry these securities on its own exchange, essentially creating a straight path to regulated tokens via the already regulated Malta Stock Exchange. In short, this enables Malta to become the first country to be able to offer tokens alongside traditional equities as well as an easy way to go public in multiple ways including via ICO. The plan is still in the pilot stage. This year they will begin “the public offering of tokenized equity on Neufund’s primary market whic...

Alibaba boosts its offline reach with $2B+ investment in outdoor digital marketing firm

Alibaba is investing big bucks into offline distribution. The Chinese e-commerce giant has forked out $2.23 billion in exchange for a sizeable piece of Focus Media, a Shanghai-based company that operates outdoor digital advertising screens across China, Singapore and Hong Kong, according to a U.S. filing. The deal itself is broken up into a few pieces. Alibaba itself is paying $1.43 billion for a 6.62 percent share of Focus Media, which is listed in Shanghai, It is also spending $504.7 million to buy 10 percent of an entity (managed by Focus Media founder and chairman Jason Nanchun Jiang) which controls 23.34 percent of Focus Media. In addition, an Alibaba-aligned fund called ‘New Retail Strategic Opportunities’ is buying 1.37 percent of Focus Media, while Alibaba itself is planning to exe...

Hans Vestberg to take over as Verizon’s CEO in August

Verizon today announced CEO Lowell McAdam is stepping down from his post as August 1, 2018, seven years to the day he took the spot. He will stay on as Executive Chairman of the Board through the end of 2018 and as Non-Executive Chairman thereafter. Hans Vestberg, Chief Technology Officer of Verizon as well as Executive Vice President and President of Global Networks (that’s a long title), will take over as the Chief Executive Officer of the telecom giant who also owns Oath and therefore TechCrunch. McAdam has led Verizon as its CEO since August 2011 and became Chairman on January 2012. In addition to various mergers and acquisitions in the telecom industry, McAdam acquired AOL in 2015 and Yahoo in 2017 to form a digital media and advertising subsidiary. Vestberg is relatively new at Veriz...

UK report urges action to combat AI bias

The need for diverse development teams and truly representational data-sets to avoid biases being baked into AI algorithms is one of the core recommendations in a lengthy Lords committee report looking into the economic, ethical and social implications of artificial intelligence, and published today by the upper House of the UK parliament. “The main ways to address these kinds of biases are to ensure that developers are drawn from diverse gender, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and are aware of, and adhere to, ethical codes of conduct,” the committee writes, chiming with plenty of extant commentary around algorithmic accountability. “It is essential that ethics take centre stage in AI’s development and use,” adds committee chairman, Lord Clement-Jones, in a statement. “The UK has a ...

House Committee will block leakages in Lagos 2018 budget – Chairman

The Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Appropriation on Tuesday said  it would scrutinise the state’s 2018 budget and block leakages. The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu (APC- Eti-Osa II), told newsmen in Lagos that the lawmakers would ensure judicious allocation of resources for the growth and development of the state. ““Traditionally, the House of Assembly will scrutinise the budget. We are going to ensure that we go deep. Every step we have taken is for the people of Lagos. ““We will ensure that the money for the people of the state is judiciously and strictly applied for development purposes. “”We will weed out any devil in the system who may want to outsmart the government or be fraudulent,’’ he said. The chairman said that the committee wou...