H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (11 January 2019) – Tech industry searches for Next Big Thing at CES 2019; Data-hungry AI gadgets are key to next wave of technology, but consumers will need convincing

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (11 January 2019) – Tech industry searches for Next Big Thing at CES 2019; Data-hungry AI gadgets are key to next wave of technology, but consumers will need convincing


  • Alibaba-Backed AI Startup Megvii Is Said to Weigh IPO This Year (Bloomberg)
  • Chinese on-demand giants Meituan, JD.com invest in automation as delivery volumes surge (SCMP)
  • Lenovo Says It Is ‘Business as Usual,’ Despite China Worries (Barron’s)
  • Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun silent on US expansion plan amid trade war, focuses on European markets (SCMP); Xiaomi CEO Looks Past Selloff to 5G-Led China Smartphone Revival (Bloomberg); How to Make a 56,823% Return With Hong Kong’s Worst Ever IPO; Xiaomi Corp. is a perfect example of how taking a company public can make a select number of shareholders a lot of money, even if the IPO flops. (Bloomberg)
  • Trend Micro IoT Security 2.0 Enhances End User Protection and Device Makers’ Reputation; Latest version of IoT security platform improves protection, visibility and control (BW); DLT Solutions Joins Trend Micro’s Distribution Network to Accelerate the Delivery of Innovative Cybersecurity Solutions to the Public Sector (PRNW)
  • CUB Elecparts is using CES to introduce Blind Spot Monitoring for motorcycles (EFTM)
  • Nearmap on track for strong 2019, shares up on preliminary results (AFR)
  • Trade War Is Boon for Thai Electronics Maker Fabrinet Amid China Exodus; Lumentum, which supplies 3-D sensing components used in newer models of Apple Inc.’s iPhone, is Fabrinet’s biggest customer (Bloomberg)

BATTSS – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, TSMC, Samsung, Softbank

  • Alipay now has over 1 billion users worldwide (Technode)
  • Tencent creates technology committee to boost in-company collaboration (Technode)
  • The next phase of WeChat (Techcrunch); WeChat head Allen Zhang enjoys rock star fandom but all eyes are on next act for China’s everyday app (SCMP); In Tencent’s Future, It Won’t Be the Humans Who Chat; WeChat can transition from a platform that connects people to one that links businesses. (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Tencent again left off list of approved video game titles; Recent Tencent and Netease games are more hardcore . . . so require more reviewing and censorship. (FT)
  • Is Samsung getting serious about robotics? The company showed off a trio of robots and an exoskeleton at CES 2019 (Techcrunch)

FAANNMG – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Nvidia, Netflix, Microsoft, Google

  • Instagram’s Digital Ad Share to Double Despite Facebook Issues (Bloomberg)
  • What Amazon’s Alexa microwave teaches us about interacting with AI assistants (TNW)
  • Amazon to double down on gaming with a new streaming service (TC)
  • CES 2019: Belkin, Amazon quietly build a panopticon for the 21st century (AFR); Battle for connected home seizes the stage at CES (FT)
  • Amazon’s IMDb Launches Ad-Supported Streaming-Video Service; IMDb Freedive features a catalog of movies and TV shows and requires no subscription (WSJ)
  • Amazon to invest in French firm’s technology for self-driving forklifts (Reuters)
  • Apple’s Next Move: Be More Like Microsoft; Owning an Apple device used to be the only way to access the company’s services and software. Now that Apple is on the defensive, the walled garden may be holding it back from reaching vital audiences (WSJ); Apple’s Pressing Challenge: Build Its Services Business; Slowing iPhone sales heighten pressure to ignite a division with challenges of its own (WSJ)
  • 5 ways Apple needs to up its game if it wants to be a services company; From rethinking its video content strategy to turning the iPhone into a service, nothing should be off the table. (FastCo)
  • AI Being Used To Bust Those Netflix Account Moochers (Forbes)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • No Foot Fetishes or Affairs: Chinese Censors Crack Down on Short Videos; Industry group tells fast-growing sector to ramp up censorship (WSJ)
  • World’s Largest AI Startup Readies $2 Billion Fundraising (Bloomberg)
  • China’s e-wallet success is an example for Southeast Asia players (TIA)
  • The company behind YouCam Makeup app launches a new set of AR tools for beauty brands like Ulta (TC)
  • Thai spa and beauty booking platform nabs funding from 500 TukTuks, others (TIA)
  • The 9-year journey of Bukalapak: Growing beyond e-commerce (KRA)
  • Indonesia’s Akulaku to raise $100m Series D from investors including Alibaba’s Ant Financial (KRA)
  • Indonesia binges on e-commerce; Local champions are battling Chinese-backed firms across the archipelago (Economist)
  • Uber’s India rival Ola nears $6 billion valuation ahead of huge funding round (TC)
  • HSBC in blockchain platform talks with Bank Negara; In May 2018, HSBC and ING Bank successfully executed a live trade finance transaction for international food and agriculture conglomerate Cargill using the Corda scalable blockchain platform (Star)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Tech industry searches for Next Big Thing at CES 2019; Data-hungry AI gadgets are key to next wave of technology, but consumers will need convincing (FT)
  • Meet Caper, the AI self-checkout shopping cart (TC)
  • Badi gets $30M for AI-aided room rentals (TC)
  • 10 ways blockchain can help overcome the biggest challenges in commercial leasing; Commercial rentals and leases are stuck in the age of dinosaurs while disruption is happening in other industries (e27); Blockchain’s Occam problem; Blockchain has yet to become the game-changer some expected. A key to finding the value is to apply the technology only when it is the simplest solution available.(McKinsey); Occam’s blockchain shaver (FT); Blockchain beyond the hype: What is the strategic business value? (McKinsey); Putting a Blockchain Wrapper on the Financial System (Bloomberg)
  • Spotify’s increased focus on podcasts in 2019 includes selling its own ads (TC)
  • An AR glasses pioneer collapses; After 20 years, ODG falls apart as acquisition offers dissipate (TC)
  • Here are the most significant AI developments in 2018 (TIA)
  • 18-Wheelers At App Speed: An $800M Startup Is Trying To Pull An Uber On The Trucking Business (Forbes)
  • Thiel-Backed Fintech N26 Valued at $2.7 Billion to Take on U.S. (Bloomberg)
  • How Deep Learning Solves Retail Forecasting Challenges (Forbes)
  • ‘Family tech’ gadgets at CES show aim to take the pressure off parents (JT)
  • Cisco Sees Its Chance as Internet Traffic Builds (Barron’s)
  • Confused About the BI and AI Hype? Read This (Barron’s)
  • Can man ever build a mind? Artificial intelligence has problems. The biggest is that brains are nothing like computers (FT)
  • The Yelp Bears Are Getting Louder as the Stock Falls (Barron’s)
  • These Star Trek-style translation devices are smashing the language barrier, thanks to AI and cloud computing (SCMP)
  • Facial recognition: Coming to a gadget near you (SCMP)
  • The Folly of Investment Platforms (Bloomberg)


  • The Scale up! (SA)

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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