Small Chance Tron (TRX) Could Partner with Alibaba (BABA)?

It is just that; a small chance that would mean everything for TRON (TRX). There isn’t anything official that has been communicated yet. But a look at the revolving door reveals the coming ins and going-ons that could be a part of the bigger picture. The link between TRON or Justin Sun and Alibaba keeps strengthening every other day, pushing forth the thought that a partnership is on the cards.

The biggest clue that TRON could partner Alibaba sometime in the near future comes from Jack Ma himself. The Chinese business tycoon and avid entrepreneur has a tendency of investing in projects founded by his former students and protégés.


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The best example of how Jack Ma could be the link between TRON and Alibaba comes from Weixing Chen. Chen is the founder of Kuadi, a ride share app similar to Uber. Alibaba invested heavily in the start-up that now threatens to overshadow Uber. Factor in the fact that Weixing Chen is a TRON team member and a close friend of Jack Ma. Add to that fact the fact that Justin Sun is also heavily associated with partnering Kuadi. This seemingly meshed up friendship could be a stepping stone for TRX’s links with the Chinese behemoth.

Connect the dots and you’ll see why this makes sense. TRON’s founder Sun is one of the best students of Ma, having graduated from Hupan University, where the Alibaba founder is the principal. Remember that Justin Sun graduated as the first millennial student of the highly competitive university. As such, the CEO of one of blockchain’s fastest growing projects may have endeared himself even more to his investment role model. It wouldn’t be a big shock if Sun himself tweeted about the possibility of a partnership before the end of Q2.

Don’t misread or misquote this because as I have said, nothing official has been communicated yet. A lot of misinformation out there has led to unnecessary FUD in the crypto industry.

Justin Sun has maintained a bullish aura about TRON’s future, something that comes out as an assurance of a game-changing partnership. The build-up towards the cryptocurrency’s Mainnet launch in May has been a cause for optimism for the community.

Yet that doesn’t compare to what partnering a global brand like Alibaba would do to the fledgling cryptocurrency. And thus any small chance it would happen holds a lot of expectation. Before the big one arrives, TRON has (and still is) trying to partner some of the projects that some kind of connection to Alibaba. Apart from Peiwo that is associated with Sun, other companies that have joined the crypto include Ofo and BikeShare. Kuadi could be next.

One more clue relates to the TRON team. There are strong connections to the Chinese giant in the team. Zhao Hong (also called Marcus) used to work for Alibaba as a data mining Chief; Wang Lifen has been referred to as Jack Ma’s longtime friend; Weixing Chen is the founder of Kuadi and good friend of Ma; and finally Lucien Chen former employee of both Alibaba and Tencent, who now works for TRON as Technical lead.
I believe these clues point to the fact that anything that is likely to happen will have a strong bearing on where the cryptocurrency will be at the end of 2018 or a few years down the line.

TRON’s flagship project is enabling a decentralized web through leveraging blockchain technology. The platform offers fast, scalable, and high transactions per second (TPS). Other than that, it seeks to revolutionize the entertainment industry through its smart contracts layer, similar to what Ethereum is.

The crypto has gained a lot of interest this year, especially as its Mainnet launch approaches. TRON, whose TRX currency is still an ERC-20 token, is currently ranked 10th on the market. It has a market capitalization of $5.08 billion and traded $717 million worth of TRX today. It traded at $0.077 against the US dollar. With future prospects indicating positive growth, what may push it across the finish line to the top is a deal with a company that will pull in millions of users. Is there a chance it could happen soon?


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Alibaba Invests in Chinese Facial-Recognition Startup

It underscores the e-commerce giant’s move into businesses that use artificial intelligence

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is leading a $600 million funding round in SenseTime Group Ltd., which makes surveillance systems using facial recognition for law enforcement and commercial applications.

The funding values Beijing-based SenseTime at more than $4.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the company. It also underscores Alibaba’s move into businesses that use artificial intelligence, the technology that underpins facial recognition.

Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services Group has developed a mobile-payment system based on facial recognition, and Alibaba is also using AI to develop so-called smart cities where technology is used to dispatch police, speed traffic flow and regulate other public services.

Smart cities and cloud computing are likely areas of cooperation with Alibaba, SenseTime Chief Executive Xu Li said in an interview.

“They have strong infrastructure capabilities to build a cloud and deliver fundamental resources, while we may be good at building computer vision and related infrastructure,” Mr. Xu said. “The capabilities between us complement each other quite well.”

Alibaba’s Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said in a statement his company was impressed with SenseTime’s technology that allows computers to recognize images, as well as its development of deep-learning technology, in which software mimics the way neurons in the brain process information.

Alibaba’s share in the $600 million Series C funding round wasn’t disclosed. Other investors include Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Chinese electronics retailer Suning.com Co.

Founded in 2014, SenseTime is among a handful of Chinese AI startups that got their start selling facial-recognition systems to local police agencies. With a vast network of surveillance cameras, China is using facial recognition to identify criminal suspects as well as to influence behavior, such as discouraging jaywalking.

The technology also has commercial applications, with some companies now using it instead of badges to grant employees access to their workplaces. Mr. Xu said SenseTime would use the new funding to focus on expanding the technology’s commercial applications and AI capabilities.

SenseTime is also developing algorithms for autonomous driving, in which it currently partners with Honda Motor Co. , and is also working with Shanghai’s government to use AI to ease traffic congestion.

 


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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To Buy a Car in China, Hit the Vending Machine

Internet giant Alibaba aims to disrupt China’s auto retail landscape with an experiment that sidesteps car salesmen

GUANGZHOU, China— Eric Zhou is interested in buying a Ford Kuga sport-utility vehicle. So last week, he picked up the car for a three-day test drive from a vending machine.

Mr. Zhou never visited a dealership or spoke to a salesperson. He booked the test drive online, then showed up at a service center where employees can identify would-be buyers using facial-recognition technology. His SUV was then delivered from the eight-story “vending machine”—essentially an automated parking garage.

“This is so much more efficient and convenient than traditional dealerships,” said Mr. Zhou, 38 years old.

It’s the first of several such car-vending centers that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. plans to open across China this year—part of the company’s latest effort to translate its success in online retailing to the physical shopping world.

Alibaba is betting on the experiment to succeed in China, where consumers have enthusiastically embraced the e-commerce economy. Mr. Zhou buys clothes, home appliances and even the construction materials needed for his recent home renovation without going into a traditional store.

The car-vending concept has been tried in the U.S.—with limited success. Carvana, a used-car dealer in Phoenix, has been operating such structures since 2013. Customers can search for, purchase, finance and trade-in vehicles online, then have the option of picking it up from a giant vending machine filled with cars.

But the model hasn’t taken off more broadly in the U.S., where many consumers prefer to negotiate a deal in person, and have the salesperson help them with tasks such as pairing their smartphone with a car’s Bluetooth, said David Sullivan, a Michigan-based analyst with AutoPacific Inc.

China’s automotive retail climate is different—and ripe for disruption, analysts say.

China’s consumers, often first-time car buyers, are more open to trying out new concepts, said Dean Stoneley, Ford’s Asia Pacific vice president for marketing. Ford has seen sales in China decline sharply in recent months as domestic competitors become more popular. Ford is now searching for new ways to engage customers, as more and more go online to do their car-buying research, Mr. Stoneley said.

“A car vending machine is the ultimate word in friction less commerce—you don’t have to deal with salespeople trying to talk you into things you don’t want, and you don’t have to haggle over price,” said Jessica Wolfe, a principal in the Consumer and Retail practice of A.T. Kearney, a consulting firm. “You can think for yourself, do the research, and make the purchase when you’re ready on your phone. That’s exactly how millennials like to transact.”

At the vending center, attendants are available to explain a car’s basic features and to answer questions. Ford said each car has contact details of local dealerships where customers can go with questions or problems.

China’s internet giants are experimenting with bringing the principles of e-commerce into other corners of the physical retail world as well. Just as Amazon.com Inc. is experimenting with unmanned supermarkets, Chinese e-commerce companies are taking stakes in malls and supermarkets, digitizing such operations as they seek growth beyond their core online retail business. In some cases, they’re aiming to use the vast troves of data they have gleaned from e-commerce to change the way consumers shop in the real world.

Alibaba is experimenting with using augmented reality mirrors and vending machines in malls to allow consumers to “virtually” try on various lipstick colors and buy them on the spot through Alibaba’s online platforms.

JD.com Inc., which made its name in online ordering and delivery, is also getting into brick and mortar with a chain of clerk less convenience stores where shoppers can pay using facial-recognition technology.

Under the auto vending-machine program rolled out by Alibaba last week, customers go to Alibaba’s Tmall website to book the test drive, which is free for those with high scores on the Sesame Credit rating system by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services Group. Without a high credit score, consumers have to fork out 99 yuan ($16) to test-drive selected Ford sedans and 198 yuan for other models including a Ford Mustang sports car.

Alibaba is currently offering only Ford models, but it is in talks with other foreign and domestic brands to expand the inventory, said Lu Huan, the marketing director for Tmall’s automotive division.

The vending machine in Guangzhou saw brisk business on its first day of operation. In the first two days, Ford received 450 orders to test-drive the vehicle, Mr. Stoneley said. Ford declined to say if the new approach has resulted in any sales yet.

The vending machine helps to ease anxiety for potential car buyers, who are often tense when they enter a dealership expecting a hard sell, said James Chao, a Shanghai-based automotive consultant at IHS Markit.

Still, Mr. Chao said car brands face a challenge with this approach: Without a salesman, it may be tougher to convert a test drive to an actual sale, or to respond to customer feedback in the process.

“With extended test drives you don’t have someone seated next to you, listening to your feedback and trying to overcome your objections,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons that the auto retail process has stayed the same in the last 30 years.”

 


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author;  Liza Lin
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