Funding Lawlessness: A Chinese App used for connecting to the country’s ubiquitous Wifi hotspots without a login or password just raised substantial money in a series A venture funding round, according to a source at Northern Light Venture Capital, one of its investors.
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Wifi Master Key shares login data with all the users of hotspots run by China Mobile, one of the country’s big three telecom giants, which offers blanket coverage in all China’s major cities.
China cynics might think that a business model that looks like brazen theft is a pretty good summary of the country’s whole business model in the tech sphere. The reality is somewhat more nuanced. Wifi has been assiduously promoted as a public good by the powers-that-be, and China Mobile is, after all, a state-controlled (if publicly-listed) company. Wifi Master Key would argue it just helps to deliver that public good by getting round an infuriating bureaucratic.
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