US bans all sales to Chinese phone maker ZTE — [Reuters]

The US has banned its companies from selling equipment to Chinese phone maker ZTE for seven years, amid rising trade war tensions between the two superpowers.

The ban was enacted after the phone maker was found to have breached an agreement on taking punitive actions against employees when it was discovered to have shipped US goods to Iran illegally (where it has sanctioned trade); it had already previously paid a US$890 million fine for the violation.

The ban would be a major stumbling block to ZTE’s operations as 25 to 30 per cent of its parts are provided by American companies. ZTE is also the fourth largest smartphone maker in the US.

ZTE has set up a crisis management group to tackle the ban.

Tencent co-leads US$159 million Series C round in Chinese big data company MiningLamp [DealStreetAsia]

Tencent and Huaxing Growth Capital have led a US$159 million Series C round into Chinese big data analytics firm MiningLamp.

MiningLamp was founded in 2014 and offers two main solutions: human-robot interaction system LiteMind, and Nest, a database to store and search images.

The company previously received funding from Sequoia Capital China, Share Capital, Surfilter Network Technology, and Heaven-Sent Capital Management Group.

Also Read: Indian music streaming company Gaana claims 60M monthly active users; raising US$115M led by Tencent

Rotimatic maker Zimplistic raises US$30 million in Series C round [e27]

The company behind the IoT-powered Indian flatbread (roti) maker, Zimplistic, has raised a US$30 million Series C funding round led by Credence Partners and EDBI.

The startup plans to use the new funding to convert “25 per cent of the world’s population that eats flatbreads” into Rotimatic users.

Currently, Zimplistic has generated over US$20 million in revenue and has over 30,000 customers.

Logistics startup Pando raises US$2 million in seed round led by Nexus Venture Partners [press release]

Pando, a startup that digitises logistics, has raised US$2 million in a seed round led by Nexus Venture Partners with participation from Kashyap Deorah at Hypertrack, Girish Mathrubootham at Freshdesk, Nishant Rao at Sirion Labs and P Balaji at Vodafone. 

Pando’s main product is the Pando Enterprise Suite, which helps companies digitise, monitor and optimise their supply chain operations all on one screen.

Philippines’ PLDT to sell part of its Rocket Internet stake [DealStreetAsia]

Germany-based internet venture builder, Rocket Internet, will buy back some of its stake, 6.8 million shares worth US$202 million, from Philippines-based telco giant PLDT via a public share purchase offer.

PLDT previously owned 6.1 per cent of Rocket Internet. If the sale goes through, its stake in the company falls to 2 per cent.

PLDT said that proceeds from the sales will go to funding part of company’s expenditure for the year.

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