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Chinese tech companies take the lead in battle for Southeast Asia

Digital wallets the ultimate target of the groups' aggressive pursuit of startups

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  © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- The $2 billion investment by China's Didi Chuxing and Japan's SoftBank Group into Southeast Asian riding-hailing company Grab marks a new record for venture fundraising in the region. But it may be surpassed sometime soon as Chinese technology companies look to Southeast Asia as the perfect nesting place for their first overseas strongholds.

Chinese tech players have increasingly courted Southeast Asia startups since late 2015, investing at least $3.27 billion so far, according to CB Insights, a New York-based research firm focusing on startups.

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