H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (18 January 2019) – Why Appen is only now becoming a tech company; New policy puts revenue squeeze on China’s payments giants Tencent & Alibaba who must place 100 percent of their customer deposit funds under centralized, interest-free accounts as Beijing moves to rein in financial risks

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (18 January 2019) – Why Appen is only now becoming a tech company; New policy puts revenue squeeze on China’s payments giants Tencent & Alibaba who must place 100 percent of their customer deposit funds under centralized, interest-free accounts as Beijing moves to rein in financial risks


  • Maoyan Entertainment, China’s biggest online movie ticketing platform, is seeking to raise as much as $345 million in a Hong Kong initial public offering. (Bloomberg)
  • Apple Supplier Nidec Issues Profit Warning, Blames Weak Chinese Demand; ‘I’ve been a manager for almost half a century, but this is the first time I’ve seen such a large single-month drop in orders for us,’ CEO says (WSJ)
  • Line Bets Mizuho and Nomura Could Help Open 78 Million Wallets (Bloomberg)
  • Fifth-generation iPad mini coming in the first half of 2019, says Taiwan suppliers; GIS is like to provide the touch system for over 40 percent of new iPad devices in 2019 (AI)
  • Afterpay shares soar after strong US launch (AFR)
  • Why Appen is only now becoming a tech company (AFR)
  • Carsales CEO Cameron McIntyre wants half his business to be global (AFR)
  • Atlassian surges after joining billion dollar club in ‘ripper’ second quarter (AFR)
  • Bravura, The $900m Aussie fintech winning big from wealth management (ID)

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

  • Baidu seeks to play catch up in mobile app race with bet on world’s most-watched TV show (SCMP)
  • Alibaba and Tencent dominate China new economy deals as market cools to lowest level in three years (SCMP); China’s Tencent and Alibaba hit the brakes after dealmaking binge; Weaker macro environment could increase internet giants’ reliance on investment income (FT)
  • New policy puts revenue squeeze on China’s payments giants; Starting this week, non-bank payments companies must place 100 percent of their customer deposit funds under centralized, interest-free accounts as Beijing moves to rein in financial risks (TC); China’s payment companies can no longer collect interest on transfers (Technode)
  • WeChat’s new candy to lure corporate clients: customised “red envelopes” (KRA)
  • Game of Thrones Is Coming to Phones in China, Thanks to Tencent (Bloomberg)
  • Taiwan Semiconductor: wafer wobbles; Investors rely on chipmaker’s tech prowess to pull it through but it could be difficult (FT)
  • The most powerful person in Silicon Valley; Billionaire Masayoshi Son–not Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, or Mark Zuckerberg–has the most audacious vision for an AI-powered utopia where machines control how we live. And he’s spending hundreds of billions of dollars to realize it. Are you ready to live in Masa World? (FastCo)

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

  • Google is buying Fossil’s smartwatch tech for $40 million (TC)
  • Microsoft to launch its biggest AI, IoT lab in Shanghai1 min read (Technode)
  • Apple reportedly looking to subsidize Watch with Medicare plans (TC)
  • Apple’s Guidance on Its Services Revenue Left Analysts With More Questions; The iPhone maker’s services business got a boost from new accounting rules, but some analysts and investors didn’t catch the change (WSJ)
  • Amazon investors want it to quit selling facial-recognition tech to the government (CNN)
  • Netflix’s Strategy Is Growth, So It Can’t Have Growing Pains; It has to have rapid expansion to distract from a big cash bonfire and looming IOUs. (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Chinese AI unicorn Megvii bets $300 million on smart logistics1 min read (Technode)
  • China steps up push to nurture cybersecurity companies to support digitisation of economy (SCMP)
  • India’s Ola is adding a monthly billing option for its ride-hailing customers (TC)
  • Mirae Asset, Naver invest W56b in Indonesian e-commerce unicorn (Investor)
  • Classplus: Classroom confidential; The startup makes it easier for tutors to manage students and assignments through an app (Forbes)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Former Facebook engineer picks up $15M for AI platform Spell (TC)
  • OrCam’s MyMe uses facial recognition to remember everyone you meet (TC)
  • VC funding of cybersecurity companies hits record $5.3B in 2018 (TC)
  • Nike’s auto-laced future; Nike’s Adapt BB shoe has utility for pros, but is also a lens into a connected future (TC)
  • The Attention Economy Is a Malthusian Trap; Big tech companies now trade at one of the smallest premiums in history. (Atlantic)
  • All the startups the PayPal Mafia have invested in since 1995 (qz)
  • ServiceNow CEO John Donahoe Wants Clients to Embrace Digital Transformation (Barron’s)
  • Why This Venture Capitalist Believes Uber Is a Better Bet Than Lyft (Fortune); What Investors Should Know Before Uber and Lyft Go Public (Barron’s)
  • The gadgets of the future know everything wrong with you right now (CNN)
  • Niantic valued at almost $4bn as it arms for AR war (FT)
  • Driverless Cars Tap the Brakes After Years of Hype; Developers take a more cautious, low-key approach in testing and talking about autonomous vehicles after Uber crash (WSJ)
  • Fidelity looks to AI as the future of portfolio management and asset selection (SCMP)
  • Cool Tech or Meaningful Disruption? The Dilemma Of The Venture Investor (Forbes)



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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: