H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (13 February 2019) – Pinduoduo’s bid for calm has its limits

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (13 February 2019) – Pinduoduo’s bid for calm has its limits


  • Pinduoduo’s bid for calm has its limits (Reuters)
  • Chinese smartphone brands strengthen their grip on India, with Xiaomi displacing Samsung from top spot (SCMP)
  • CyberAgent president “regrets relying too much on a single game title” as Dragalia Lost underperforms (PG)
  • Rakuten to Invest in Mobile Industry Innovator Altiostar (PN)
  • Carrier KDDI to expand financial services with Kabu.com buy; Japan’s second-largest wireless provider hurries to diversify from smartphones. (Nikkei)
  • Seoul Semiconductor supplies LEDs to Dutch lighting firm (Investor)
  • Tencent Partner Nexon Signals More Weakness in China Games (Bloomberg)
  • Chroma to buy 20.5% of Camtek (Digitimes)
  • Carsales hit by mixed result at home, but international revs up (AFR)

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

  • Tencent’s Supercell posts second consecutive year of falling sales (FT)
  • Asian chipmakers’ profits plunge after smartphone downturn; Samsung margins shrink 14 points while SK Hynix cuts investment by 40% (Nikkei)

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

  • How Xbox’s ‘Netflix for games’ is expanding players’ horizons (Age)
  • Amazon, GM in talks to invest in electric pickup truck maker Rivian: sources (Reuters)
  • Amazon gobbles up eero to round out its smart home plan (Wired)
  • Your Smart Light Can Tell Amazon and Google When You Go to Bed (Bloomberg)
  • Publishers Chafe at Apple’s Terms for Subscription News Service; Apple plans to keep about 50% of subscription revenue from ‘Netflix for news’ service, likely won’t share customer data with publishers (WSJ)
  • Google Cloud Chief’s Plan to Catch Amazon and Microsoft: Sales Reps; CEO Thomas Kurian seeks to borrow approach to growth from former employer Oracle (WSJ); Google’s New Cloud Boss Targets Old Issue: Selling to Big Firms (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • How will China’s internet economy develop further? (Part one) (KRA)
  • I. Shows Promise as a Physician Assistant; A so-called neural network analyzed the medical records of 600,000 hospital patients in China, diagnosing their conditions as accurately as doctors did in some cases (NYT)
  • China has produced another study showing the potential of AI in medical diagnosis (qz)
  • Asian investors embrace data centers to ride out property slump; Facilities offer attractive returns amid slowdown, but regulations loom (Nikkei)
  • Japanese self-drive cars map developer to buy rival U.S. startup: Nikkei (Reuters)
  • Sider of code review support SaaS raises funds and provides enterprise version (TC)
  • Trevari runs a subscription-based platform through which subscribers join book clubs that meet in person. A four-month membership ranges from 190,000 won to 290,000 won, excluding the cost of purchasing books. (Investor)
  • India’s Swiggy goes beyond food to offer product delivery from local stores (TC)
  • Southeast Asia eclipses China as world’s mobile economy hot spot; Thais, Indonesians and Singaporeans are big-time online bankers, shoppers and ride-hailers (Nikkei)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • SaaS Valuations Revisit Record Highs; public SaaS companies are once again worth around ten times their revenue as their share prices recover from December’s disturbance. (CB)
  • Ubisoft and Mozilla team up to develop Clever-Commit, an AI coding assistant (TC)
  • Voice assistants in use to triple to 8 billion by 2023 (TC)
  • What Spotify’s big podcast purchases mean for the future of the medium (Age)
  • EA Paid Twitch Gamers to Battle Back Against Fortnite (Barron’s)
  • PayPal Can Gain Nearly 60%: Fund Manager (Barron’s)
  • Shopify profit forecast misses on higher spending, shares fall (Reuters)
  • Antipodes say disruptors distract from main tech game (AFR)
  • IBM says Watson AI services will now work on any cloud (Reuters)
  • Akamai earnings beat on cyber-security strength (Reuters)
  • TV Streaming Apps Can Learn From The Love of Free Shipping; As online shoppers continue to choose free delivery over faster shipping, it’s food for thought for the media industry. (Bloomberg)
  • Is Trump’s AI executive order a Sputnik moment for the US? (SCMP)
  • Why People Still Don’t Buy Groceries Online (Atlantic)
  • Airbnb-style space is the new warehouse trend; “Because customers today demand such fast delivery when they order online, companies need more smaller locations rather than fewer larger locations” (Age)
  • Jobvite raises $200M+ and acquires three recruitment startups to expand its platform play (TC)
  • The automotive industry often describes a connected vehicle as a “smartphone on wheels.” Nothing, however, is further from the truth. (EE Times)
  • Is Globalfoundries seeking a buyer? (DT)



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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