Sarah Dai

Beijing

Sarah Dai

Sarah Dai, based in Beijing, covers technology and capital flows in the world of start-ups in Greater China. Previously, she worked as financial correspondent for Caixin Media in Hong Kong for over two years and wrote for China Daily in Beijing and London.

Latest from Sarah Dai

China’s e-commerce players look to ease coronavirus fears by freezing prices for masks, disinfectant

E-retailers including Taobao and Suning made pledges late on Tuesday as rumours spread that supplies of in-demand items such as surgical masks were running low.

22 Jan 2020 - 4:49PM

E-retailers including Taobao and Suning made pledges late on Tuesday as rumours spread that supplies of in-demand items such as surgical masks were running low.

China’s e-commerce players look to ease coronavirus fears by freezing prices for masks, disinfectant
Didi works with railway stations to smooth passenger rides home ahead of Lunar New Year

Didi has been integrated with China’s national railway booking system since 2016 and the new services are designed to ease transit congestion

21 Jan 2020 - 6:28AM

Didi has been integrated with China’s national railway booking system since 2016 and the new services are designed to ease transit congestion

Didi works with railway stations to smooth passenger rides home ahead of Lunar New Year
Meituan Dianping co-founder Wang Huiwen to retire amid management revamp

The senior management shuffle at Meituan, China’s largest on-demand services provider, follows recent leadership changes at major internet companies Alibaba and Baidu.

20 Jan 2020 - 9:31PM

The senior management shuffle at Meituan, China’s largest on-demand services provider, follows recent leadership changes at major internet companies Alibaba and Baidu.

Meituan Dianping co-founder Wang Huiwen to retire amid management revamp
Shanghai introduces facial recognition drug collection terminals to combat abuse by patients and pharmacists

New terminals being trialled at 31 health care organisations require pharmacists and buyers of controlled medicines to verify their identities through face scans, in one of China’s many recent applications of facial recognition technology.

17 Jan 2020 - 7:55AM

New terminals being trialled at 31 health care organisations require pharmacists and buyers of controlled medicines to verify their identities through face scans, in one of China’s many recent applications of facial recognition technology.

Shanghai introduces facial recognition drug collection terminals to combat abuse by patients and pharmacists
Tencent, Sequoia lead US$80 million funding for VipKid’s new education brand Dami Wangxiao

Known for its often aggressive parenting style and crops of tiger moms, China has taken a lead in online education, using AI and virtual reality to improve instruction

7 Jan 2020 - 2:14PM

Known for its often aggressive parenting style and crops of tiger moms, China has taken a lead in online education, using AI and virtual reality to improve instruction

Tencent, Sequoia lead US$80 million funding for VipKid’s new education brand Dami Wangxiao
Chinese attendees of CES consumer tech show offered free legal help in case US authorities seize their stuff

The extra caution and warning comes as the tech cold war between the US and China ratchets up, despite a phase one trade agreement being agreed in principle.

6 Jan 2020 - 7:05PM

The extra caution and warning comes as the tech cold war between the US and China ratchets up, despite a phase one trade agreement being agreed in principle.

Chinese attendees of CES consumer tech show offered free legal help in case US authorities seize their stuff
Baidu’s CEO calls for innovation partnerships on first trip to India, the next battleground for Chinese tech giants

Baidu is the latest Chinese tech company to eye India’s huge internet population, with CEO Robin Li promoting artificial intelligence-driven projects to increase productivity

6 Jan 2020 - 9:12PM

Baidu is the latest Chinese tech company to eye India’s huge internet population, with CEO Robin Li promoting artificial intelligence-driven projects to increase productivity

Baidu’s CEO calls for innovation partnerships on first trip to India, the next battleground for Chinese tech giants
Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi vows to do better after fleet owner attempts suicide, blaming company in note

Yan Baocai tried to kill himself last week, blaming the company for allowing unqualified vehicles to operate on its platform while refusing to work with companies such as his that use licensed cars.

3 Jan 2020 - 11:17PM

Yan Baocai tried to kill himself last week, blaming the company for allowing unqualified vehicles to operate on its platform while refusing to work with companies such as his that use licensed cars.

Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi vows to do better after fleet owner attempts suicide, blaming company in note
Alibaba’s tech brain trust sees new AI advances, industrial IoT among big trends in 2020

Alibaba’s Damo Academy, the e-commerce giant’s science and technology innovation brain trust, offers a glimpse of the new year’s top technology trends, including the AI sector’s progress in so-called cognitive intelligence.

3 Jan 2020 - 10:36PM

Alibaba’s Damo Academy, the e-commerce giant’s science and technology innovation brain trust, offers a glimpse of the new year’s top technology trends, including the AI sector’s progress in so-called cognitive intelligence.

Alibaba’s tech brain trust sees new AI advances, industrial IoT among big trends in 2020
Hangzhou dangles up to 30 million yuan in AI subsidies to support country’s push for global dominance

Hangzhou, home to some of China’s biggest tech giants such as Alibaba and NetEase, is the latest of dozens of Chinese cities to announce subsidies for AI development over the past year, as the country eyes global leadership in the field by 2030.

2 Jan 2020 - 10:41PM

Hangzhou, home to some of China’s biggest tech giants such as Alibaba and NetEase, is the latest of dozens of Chinese cities to announce subsidies for AI development over the past year, as the country eyes global leadership in the field by 2030.

Hangzhou dangles up to 30 million yuan in AI subsidies to support country’s push for global dominance
Short video app Kuaishou to give out record 1 billion yuan in digital red packets at 2020 Spring Festival Gala

The Spring Festival Gala, the world’s most-watched national TV broadcast, has become a promotional battleground among internet companies such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent handing out digital “red packets” or hongbao.

26 Dec 2019 - 10:34PM

The Spring Festival Gala, the world’s most-watched national TV broadcast, has become a promotional battleground among internet companies such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent handing out digital “red packets” or hongbao.

Short video app Kuaishou to give out record 1 billion yuan in digital red packets at 2020 Spring Festival Gala
China’s tech start-ups kiss goodbye to cash burning as investors focus on profits

2019 was a tough year for Chinese start-up entrepreneurs, with once free-flowing venture capital drying up and cash burning business models out of favour with investors

25 Dec 2019 - 9:30AM

2019 was a tough year for Chinese start-up entrepreneurs, with once free-flowing venture capital drying up and cash burning business models out of favour with investors

China’s tech start-ups kiss goodbye to cash burning as investors focus on profits
One in 20 Chinese workers could be replaced by robots in the next five years, according to survey

With the rising use of robots in production processes previously carried out by human workers, the jobs of up to 40 per cent of China’s manufacturing workforce could be “potentially affected”, according to a report.

20 Dec 2019 - 2:43PM

With the rising use of robots in production processes previously carried out by human workers, the jobs of up to 40 per cent of China’s manufacturing workforce could be “potentially affected”, according to a report.

One in 20 Chinese workers could be replaced by robots in the next five years, according to survey
China’s AI initiatives to pay off with broad industrial applications, iFlytek founder says

Liu Qingfeng, who serves as chairman at iFlytek, predicted a fast rate of AI adoption across most industries in China, resulting in increased efficiency at many businesses.

10 Dec 2019 - 10:19PM

Liu Qingfeng, who serves as chairman at iFlytek, predicted a fast rate of AI adoption across most industries in China, resulting in increased efficiency at many businesses.

China’s AI initiatives to pay off with broad industrial applications, iFlytek founder says
Will TikTok chief’s goodwill visit head off China scare tactics in Washington?

CEO of Chinese-owned short video app TikTok in Washington this week to answer questions on data privacy and censorship.

10 Dec 2019 - 6:47AM

CEO of Chinese-owned short video app TikTok in Washington this week to answer questions on data privacy and censorship.

Will TikTok chief’s goodwill visit head off China scare tactics in Washington?
China’s subways embrace facial recognition payment systems despite rising privacy concerns

Henan’s capital of Zhengzhou is first in China to roll out face scan payment system across its entire subway network, with 200,000 commuters signing up.

4 Dec 2019 - 6:38AM

Henan’s capital of Zhengzhou is first in China to roll out face scan payment system across its entire subway network, with 200,000 commuters signing up.

China’s subways embrace facial recognition  payment systems despite rising privacy concerns
China’s top fintech adviser sees ‘bright prospects’ for facial recognition payment systems

Despite concerns over data privacy, the use of facial recognition for payments will expand rapidly in China, says fintech official.

29 Nov 2019 - 10:30PM

Despite concerns over data privacy, the use of facial recognition for payments will expand rapidly in China, says fintech official.

China’s top fintech adviser sees ‘bright prospects’ for facial recognition payment systems
Chinese data mining firm MiningLamp, now a national AI champion, began by helping police solve crimes

Like Palantir, this Chinese start-up uses AI to help corporate clients and law enforcement convert huge volumes of data into actionable information.

26 Nov 2019 - 9:03AM

Like Palantir, this Chinese start-up uses AI to help corporate clients and law enforcement convert huge volumes of data into actionable information.

Chinese data mining firm MiningLamp, now a national AI champion, began by helping police solve crimes
Huawei seeks closer ties with Japan after creating 46,000 jobs and amid plan to spend US$10 billion

Huawei moves closer to Japan on supply chain and research links as China’s telecoms giant attempts to reduce dependence on US amid ongoing trade tensions.

22 Nov 2019 - 2:57PM

Huawei moves closer to Japan on supply chain and research links as China’s telecoms giant attempts to reduce dependence on US amid ongoing trade tensions.

Huawei seeks closer ties with Japan after creating 46,000 jobs and amid plan to spend US$10 billion
AI algorithm can predict chances of death from heart attack more accurately than human doctors

Algorithms developed by researchers in Pennsylvania calculate a patient’s survival rate within a year by analysing echocardiogram (ECG) results

19 Nov 2019 - 6:30AM

Algorithms developed by researchers in Pennsylvania calculate a patient’s survival rate within a year by analysing echocardiogram (ECG) results

AI algorithm can predict chances of death from heart attack more accurately than human doctors
Hong Kong university students fleeing campus clashes are offered jobs by Chinese tech companies

Chinese companies offer internships to university students in Hong Kong after city campuses turn into battlegrounds amid ongoing anti-government protests.

15 Nov 2019 - 6:05PM

Chinese companies offer internships to university students in Hong Kong after city campuses turn into battlegrounds amid ongoing anti-government protests.

Hong Kong university students fleeing campus clashes are offered jobs by Chinese tech companies
Chinese watchdog opens probe on Hikvision’s vice-chairman in fresh blow after US trade blacklist

The regulatory action puts further pressure on Hikvision after the surveillance systems giant was recently added to Washington’s trade blacklist.

14 Nov 2019 - 7:17PM

The regulatory action puts further pressure on Hikvision after the surveillance systems giant was recently added to Washington’s trade blacklist.

Chinese watchdog opens probe on Hikvision’s vice-chairman in fresh blow after US trade blacklist
China’s record Singles’ Day offers glimpse of future shopping trends as buyers embrace live streaming

At this year’s Double 11 Alibaba event, more than half of merchants saw growth from live streaming and over one million orders were placed through smart speakers

13 Nov 2019 - 11:56AM

At this year’s Double 11 Alibaba event, more than half of merchants saw growth from live streaming and over one million orders were placed through smart speakers

China’s record Singles’ Day offers glimpse of future shopping trends as buyers embrace live streaming
Chinese scholars use AI to screen newborns for genetic disorders via facial scan

The new assistive diagnosis tool was designed to detect more than 100 disorders with distinctive facial features, including Cornelia de Lange syndrome and Down syndrome.

12 Nov 2019 - 7:00AM

The new assistive diagnosis tool was designed to detect more than 100 disorders with distinctive facial features, including Cornelia de Lange syndrome and Down syndrome.

Chinese scholars use AI to screen newborns for genetic disorders via facial scan
Dutch chip maker ASML denies reports delayed China order is due to US pressure, says it needs export licence

EUV machines are crucial in the memory and semiconductor manufacturing process.

8 Nov 2019 - 8:29PM

EUV machines are crucial in the memory and semiconductor manufacturing process.

Dutch chip maker ASML denies reports delayed China order is due to US pressure, says it needs export licence
Didi revises Hitch service operation time after backlash over different treatment of men and women

The Hitch carpool service, expected to resume later this month after a year-long halt, will now operate between 5am and 8pm for all users

8 Nov 2019 - 2:55PM

The Hitch carpool service, expected to resume later this month after a year-long halt, will now operate between 5am and 8pm for all users

Didi revises Hitch service operation time after backlash over different treatment of men and women
Baidu CEO Robin Li has ‘more confidence’ for next year after company reports better-than-expected third quarter results on growth in video, cloud services

CEO said the AI market is not growing as fast as expected so the company will have to continue investing while waiting for commercial markets to mature

7 Nov 2019 - 10:49PM

CEO said the AI market is not growing as fast as expected so the company will have to continue investing while waiting for commercial markets to mature

Baidu CEO Robin Li has ‘more confidence’ for next year after company reports better-than-expected third quarter results on growth in video, cloud services
Tesla challenger Nio, Intel’s Mobileye to bring autonomous vehicles to China, other major markets

Shanghai-based Nio will engineer and mass-produce a self-driving system, designed by Intel subsidiary Mobileye, that will enable so-called Level 4 category autonomous vehicle operation.

7 Nov 2019 - 6:30AM

Shanghai-based Nio will engineer and mass-produce a self-driving system, designed by Intel subsidiary Mobileye, that will enable so-called Level 4 category autonomous vehicle operation.

Tesla challenger Nio, Intel’s Mobileye to bring autonomous vehicles to China, other major markets
How AI and human rights have been dragged into the US-China tech war, threatening wider split

The US move to blacklist China AI champions threatens to cleave global technology into rival US and China camps.

16 Dec 2019 - 10:18AM

The US move to blacklist China AI champions threatens to cleave global technology into rival US and China camps.

How AI and human rights have been dragged into the US-China tech war, threatening wider split
Chinese ride hailing giant Didi to resume car-pooling service after year-long halt over safety concerns

The once controversial service will resume in seven major Chinese cities on a trial basis, starting from November 20

6 Nov 2019 - 10:13PM

The once controversial service will resume in seven major Chinese cities on a trial basis, starting from November 20

Chinese ride hailing giant Didi to resume car-pooling service after year-long halt over safety concerns