TechSummit Rewind 142

This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Atlassian acquires Trello for $435M


Atlassian has acquired project management service Trello for $425 million. $360 million of that is in cash, with the remainder being paid out in restricted shares and options. The deal is expected to close before Mar. 31.

This is Atlassian’s 18th and largest acquisition, according to company president Jay Simons. The company plans to keep the Trello name and brand alive and current users shouldn’t see any immediate changes.

“[Trello] is a breakout product and have achieved incredible momentum.”

-Jay Simons, Atlassian president

Microsoft, Qualcomm invest in Team8


The venture arms of Microsoft and Qualcomm have invested in Isreali cybersecurity company Team8.

According to Team8, it brings the company’s total fundraising total to over $92 million.

Tencent launches “mini programs” on WeChat


Tencent has launched its own take on mobile apps within its WeChat app.

The “mini programs” can be found on WeChat by searching within the app or scanning a QR code.

Activehours raises $22M in Series A funding


Activehours, a Palo Alto, CA.-based financial services startup, has raised $22M in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners.

“This is a service for the barista, or the person working in bookstores, or a teller at a bank. It is the 50 percent of [the U.S. population] that has revolving debt on their credit cards – plus another big cross section of those who don’t.”

-Dana Stalder, Matrix Partners general partner

Baidu, BAIC Motor team up for Level 3 autonomous vehicles


Baidu and Chinese state-owned passenger vehicle manufacturer BAIC Motor have formed a strategic partnership to produce and promote autonomous vehicle technology in China.

Baidu Intelligent Vehicle, the company’s autonomous driving research and development arm, will work with the automaker on two key projects: a BAIC-built vehicle equipped with Baidu’s telematics solution that’ll be shown off at April’s Shanghai auto show and a Level 3 autonomous vehicle that’ll be trialed on limited roads by the end of the year.

Level 3 autonomy still requires human drivers to be present and capable of taking the steering wheel if needed to prevent accidents, but continuous monitoring isn’t required.

The companies will also collaborate on HD maps for use in autonomous driving, and BAIC will provide OEM solutions including CarLife, CoDriver, and MapAuto for Baidu’s intelligent vehicle program.

CarLife, a smartphone integration application for connected cars, has been deployed in nearly 150 car models from 60 automakers including Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and Shanghai GM.

Baidu has also agreed to launch a new research lab as part of their joint efforts.

“The future of the automobile industry lies in the deep integration and synergistic innovation between traditional automobile manufacturers and internet companies. Our strategic partnership with Baidu will help upgrade the intelligent technology capabilities of both companies, while establishing a model for development in the smart vehicle industry.”

-Feng Li, BAIC president

Alibaba files first lawsuit over counterfeit goods sold on e-commece site

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in Hangzhou

Alibaba has sued vendors Liu Huajun and Wang Shenyi for selling fake Swarovski watches on its Taobao platform.

The lawsuit was filed in the Shenzend Longgang People’s district court, according to Alibaba, and asks for $201,613 for “violation of contract and goodwill.”

The company tapped big data and “surreptitious purchases” of suspected counterfeit goods to identify such sale and the location of the sellers in Shenzhen. Its data analysis pointed to the e-store, which was registered on Taobao in Nov. 2015, and Alibaba arranged for samples of the product to be examined by the brand owner for its authenticity. In August 2016, Luohu District police confiscated 125 fake Swarovski watches and two Swarovski official seals, worth an estimated $28.8 million.

“Selling counterfeits not only violates our service agreement, it also infringes on the intellectual property rights of the brand owner, puts inferior products in the hands of consumers, and ruins the hard-earned trust and reputation Alibaba has with our customers.”

-Jessie Zheng, Alibaba Group chief platform government officer

The company planned to take further legal actions against online retailers peddling counterfeit goods on its e-commerce platform, according to Zheng. Alibaba will apply litigation in the hope that jail sentences and financial penalties would deter against the sale of fake goods.

According to Alibaba, over 2,000 of its employees were dedicated to fighting counterfeit sales and another 5,000 volunteers worked with the company to identify fake goods on its platforms.

“We take a holistic and technology-driven approach to IPR-enforcement. Big data analytics enhance our ability to identify and pursue counterfeiters and make it increasingly difficult for these illicit sellers to hide in the shadows.”

-Matthew Bassiur, Alibaba global intellectual property enforcement head


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