AI Start-Up Baichuan Secures USD$300m; Amazon Announces Expansion to South Africa

In today's ExchangeWire news digest: China's Baichuan amasses USD£300m (~£246m) in funding; Amazon announces it will launch in South Africa next year; and X trials a paid-subscription model for users.

China’s Baichuan raises USD$300m in latest funding round

AI start-up Baichuan has raised USD$300m (~£246m) from investors including Alibaba, Tencent, and Xiaomi. The company was one of the first to receive China’s approval to release a chatbot to the public and, on Tuesday (17th October), launched the newest version of its generative AI model, Ernie 4.0.

Amazon to launch in South Africa next year

Retail behemoth Amazon has announced it will take its operations to South Africa in 2024. In a press release, the company stated that the move will help independent sellers in the country to “rapidly launch, grow, and scale their businesses while leveraging the innovative capabilities provided by Amazon.”

X trials USD$1 annual subscription

Elon Musk’s X is reportedly testing a new paid subscription model for users. For a fee of USD$1 (~£0.82) a year, new website users of the platform will be able to share, like, or reply to posts. The model, which will be introduced to new users in the Philippines and New Zealand, is Musk’s latest attempt to eradicate bots on the site.

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Fact of the Day

+USD$1bn – Baichuan's valuation, following its latest funding round.

Source: Silicon Angle