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H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (30 March 2019) – Japan aims to produce 250,000 AI experts a year + How to Dare to Begin

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (30 March 2019) – Japan aims to produce 250,000 AI experts a year + How to Dare to Begin

Companies

  • Chinese AI iFLYTEK courts New Zealand (NR)
  • People.cn, the online unit of China’s influential People’s Daily, is boosting its numbers of human internet censors backed by artificial intelligence to help firms vet content on apps and adverts, capitalising on its unmatched Communist Party line (Reuters)
  • Profits for Midea-backed robot maker Kuka fall 80% in 2018 (Technode)
  • Robot maker Fanuc’s CEO steps back after 16 years at controls; Son of founder presided over doubling of market capitalization (Nikkei)
  • Zuken Partners with Delta Sigma (TL)
  • Koh Young Technology: Go to the market of brain surgery robot. Production base in Yeoju (HK)
  • Foxconn earnings beat market estimates on booming 5G demand; Network and computing equipment offsets slowing iPhone sales (Nikkei)
  • Getac launches a ruggedized K120-Ex Windows 10 tablet for explosive environments; New Getac rugged tablet solution drives safety and productivity in hazardous industries (ZDnet)
  • GaAs foundry Win Semi expects pick-up in capacity utilization (DT)

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

  • Alipay now counts more than 160,000 mini-apps, as the race between platforms intensifies (KRA)
  • Alibaba has acquired Teambition, a China-based Trello and Asana rival, in its enterprise push (TC)
  • Investors to Naspers: Show Us the Tencent Money (Barron’s)
  • Taiwan to block Tencent and Baidu streaming sites on security risk (Nikkei)

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

  • Jail time and billions in fines under fast-tracked crackdown on social media giants (Age)
  • Apple, in rare reversal, pulls plug on wireless charging mat (Reuters); For the first time in years, Apple is canceling a product before its release (qz)
  • Apple Has $130 Billion in the Bank, So Why Is It Being So Frugal With Streaming TV? (Barron’s)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Big investors begin to shun China’s unlisted startups; Quarterly fundraising drops by half under trade war pressures (Nikkei)
  • China’s top market regulator calls for crackdown on online ad content (Reuters)
  • SF Express shutters grocery stores amid slowing e-commerce growth (Technode)
  • Bytedance acquires cloud-based productivity tool Mubu (Technode)
  • Japan aims to produce 250,000 AI experts a year (Nikkei)
  • KAKEHASHI adds high-risk drug description display and automatic posting function to electronic drug history system (TC)
  • “OYO LIFE” where you can live in Tokyo without security deposit, key money, brokerage fee, from property search to contract with smartphone (TC)
  • State of pay: The race to become Indonesia’s leading mobile wallet (KRA)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • The rise of the ubiquitous voice assistant (TNW)
  • AI Will Permeate Our Lives Soon (EET)
  • 5 European companies that are (really) advancing AI (TNW)
  • ServiceNow teams with Workplace by Facebook on service chatbot (TC)
  • Toast, the restaurant management platform, has raised $250M at a $2.7B valuation (TC)
  • In market debut, Lyft counters Uber with ‘nice guy’ image (Reuters); Unicorns high valuations with equally big losses; Lyft is the latest star to hit the market but losses have risen to $2.3bn since 2016 (FT); I Asked Lyft’s Founders How They Plan to Turn a Profit (Bloomberg)
  • Newly issued bonds in high-disruption industries have higher yields; the increase in credit risk can be largely attributed to an increase in the rate at which new and fast-growing firms displace incumbents, a phenomenon defined as ‘disruption’ (Voxeu)
  • Nine Reasons Why Disney+ Will Succeed (And Why Four Criticisms are Overhyped) (Redef)
  • Will Subscription Coffee Carry The Breakfast Wars? (Pymnts)
  • Cashless Backlash in U.S. Fails to Dent a $95 Trillion Industry (Bloomberg)
  • Elliott hikes stake in German 3D printer SLM Solutions to 29 percent (Reuters)
  • Volkswagen, Siemens to collaborate on industrial cloud technology (Reuters)
  • Daimler buys Torc Robotics stake for self-driving trucks (Reuters)

Life

  • How to Dare to Begin (TSOL)
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MOI Asian Investing Summit 2019 (10-11 April) – VALUE 3.0: Avoiding the Ever-More Value Traps & Investing in a Selected Under-the-Radar Group of Winners with Exponential Edge

This week, we like to share our presentation material for the upcoming MOI Asian Investing Summit 2019 (April 10-11).

CHAPTER ONE | Page 3-20
VALUE 3.0: Avoiding the Ever-More Value Traps & Investing in a Selected Under-the-Radar Group of Winners with Exponential Edge

  • Microsoft’s Satya Nadella Hits Refresh with A.I. & SaaS | The Ascent of the Recurring-Revenue SaaS Business Model
  • The Misunderstood Japan & Salesforce.com | Avoiding FOMO With Highly Profitable & Positive Free Cashflow Generative Innovators
  • Value 3.0: Uncomfortable Structural Break in the Market’s Multi-Year Appraisal of Business Vs Comfortable Mean Reversion in Valuation Over 2-3 Years
  • Linear Vs Non-Linear Business Model: Foxconn/Hon Hai Vs Appen – Both With an Army of 1 Million Workers?
  • Beyond Moat: The Catapult of 4Cs Exponential Edges – Community Edge, Curiosity Edge, Circumspection Edge, Compellingness-Craftsmanship Edge
  • H.E.R.O. : Honorable. Exponential. Resilient. Organization – Philosophy, Framework & Process to Systematically Identify & Invest in Exponential Innovators
  • Avoiding Asian-Style Accounting Tunneling Fraud & Misgovernance Risks; Why Big-4 Audited Listed Asian Companies With Supposedly High Net-Cash & High Margin Unravel In Fraud
  • Valuation & Evolution Path of 10X Compounders
  • Long-Term Investment Returns of Listed Asian SMID-Cap Innovators Vs Can Mega-Cap Tech Elephants Still Dance Under Regulatory Techlash Heat

CHAPTER TWO | Page 21-48; APPENDIX | Page 51-87
(1) Beyond Moat Competitive Advantages: What’s the Exponential Edge? | (2) Variant Perception: What’s the Difference in View? Why Mispriced? | (3) Why Now? Fundamental Catalysts? | (4) Risks: What Can Go Wrong? | (5) Why Undervalued? Why Can It Doubled Over the Next 3-5 Years?

  • XIA Shudong 夏曙东, founder and Chairman of TransInfo Technology 千方科技 (SZSE: 002373), China’s #1 intelligent traffic system (ITS) innovator powered by big data & AI
  • SHAO Xue 邵学, founder and Chairman of Beijing Thunisoft 华宇软件 (SZSE: 300271), China’s #1 software/AI innovator in smart judicial court
  • Shokei Suda 須田将啓, founder and CEO of Enigmo Inc (TSE: 3665), Japan’s #1 social fashion C2C eCommerce innovator
  • LEE Kyung-min 이경민, founder of Minwise (KOSDAQ: 214180), Korea’s #1 mobile authentication services & virtual bank account settlement innovator

Download the presentation slides in PDF (Link)

We are thankful as always to be invited by John Mihaljevic, Chairman of MOI Manual of Ideas Global, to speak at the upcoming Asian Investing Summit 2019 to take place live online on April 10-11. We look forward to sharing with the MOI community of investors about the distinctive value opportunity in a selected group of under-the-radar Asian SMID-cap exponential innovators who generate high profitability and positive free cashflow in solving high-value problems for their customers and society with a higher sense of purpose, as well as the learning insights from our investment mistakes as the world shifts structurally from Value 2.0 (the world where Charlie Munger nudged Warren Buffett from the Ben Graham-style of statistically cheap net-net asset plays in Value 1.0 towards Value 2.0 in qualitative investing in outstanding companies at reasonable prices) to Value 3.0 where disruptive innovation forces sweeping across industries create ever more “value trap” losers and a selected under-the-radar group of winners with exponential edge.

Our emotional labor of love over the past months in sharing openly our research ideas (to battle-test our ideas by critiques and avoid blindspots in investing) and setting up the proper regulated and transparent UCITS fund structure to protect investors’ interests has deepened our conviction for the positive change that we will make together with H.E.R.O. – and we are now in the final stage of giving birth in April 2019 to H.E.R.O., the only Asia SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry and guarding investors’ interests in the regulated UCITS fund structure with daily NAV & daily liquidity and no exit fees.

To our interested clients who have been asking, we sincerely apologize for the prolonged labor in the birth of HERO over the past months as we have been preparing for a coordinated delivery of our whole family of Swiss fund series and HERO will also be invigorated with the healthy seed from farsighted committed long-term institutional clients to journey far to compound value for investors. Do watch out in the coming weeks for our press release on the birth and launch of H.E.R.O.

If you are not moving forward in this exponential world, you are going backwards. If you want to join us at the leading edge of opportunity, if you identify yourself in the values and bigger sense of purpose in H.E.R.O., or you wish to tell from your heart to your most important person, son, daughter, wife, husband, or best friend that you are a farsighted and thoughtful explorer in the H.E.R.O.’s Journey participating in the long-term exponential growth of a selected group of outstanding entrepreneurs, standing up for the embracement of the human spirit, please contact us via email or WhatsApp at +65 9695 1860. Thank you very much for your patience and support and we look forward to growing exponentially with you as we explore the H.E.R.O.’s Journey together.


It started with rethinking a few questions. Question No. 1: Can the megacap tech elephants still dance? Or is this the better question: Is there an alternative and better way to capture long-term investment returns created by disruptive forces and innovation without chasing the highly popular megacap tech stocks, or falling for the “Next-Big-Thing” trap in overpaying for “growth”, or investing in the fads, me-too imitators, or even in seemingly cutting-edge technologies without the ability to monetize and generate recurring revenue with a sustainable and scalable business model? How can we distinguish between the true innovators and the swarming imitators?

Question No. 2: What if the “non-disruptive” group of reasonably decent quality companies with seemingly “cheap” valuations, a fertile hunting ground of value investors, all need to have their longer-term profitability and balance sheet asset value to be “reset” by deducting a substantial amount of deferred innovation-related expenses and investments every year, given that they are persistently behind the innovation cycle against the disruptors, just to stay “relevant” to survive and compete? Let’s say this invisible expense and deferred liability in the balance sheet that need to be charged amount to 20 to 30% of the revenue (or likely more), its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lurks and lies in wait. Would you still think that they are still “cheap” in valuation?

Consider the déjà vu case of Kmart vs Walmart in 2000s and now Walmart vs Amazon. It is easy to forget that Kmart spent US$2 billion in 2000/01 in IT and uses the same supplier as Walmart – IBM. The tangible assets and investments are there in the balance sheet and valuations are “cheap”. Yet Kmart failed to replicate to compound value the way it did for Walmart. Now Walmart is investing billions to “catch up” and stay relevant. Key word is “relevancy” to garner valuation.

We now live in an exponential world, and as the Baupost chief and super value investor Seth Klarman warns, disruption is accelerating “exponentially” and value investing has evolved. The paradigm shift to avoid the cheap-gets-cheaper “value traps”, to keep staying curious & humble, and to keep learning & adapting, has never been more critical for value investors. We believe there is a structural break in data in the market’s multi-year appraisal (as opposed to “mean reversion” in valuation over a time period of 2-5 years) on the type of business models, the “exponential innovators”, that can survive, compete and thrive in this challenging exponential world we now live in. Tech-focused innovators with non-linear exponential growth potential are the most relevant multi-year investment trend and opportunity.  

During our value investing journey in the Asian capital jungles over the decade plus, we have observed that many entrepreneurs were successful at the beginning in growing their companies to a certain size, then growth seems to suddenly stall or even reverse, and they become misguided or even corrupted along the way in what they want out of their business and life, which led to a deteriorating tailspin, defeating the buy-and-hold strategy and giving currency to the practice of trading-in-and-out of stocks. On the other hand, there exists an exclusive, under-the-radar, group of innovators who are exceptional market leaders in their respective fields with unique scalable business models run by high-integrity, honorable and far-sighted entrepreneurs with a higher purpose in solving high-value problems for their customers and society whom we call H.E.R.O. – “Honorable. Exponential. Resilient. Organization.”, the inspiration behind the H.E.R.O Innovators Fund, (surprisingly) the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry.

The H.E.R.O. are governed by a greater purpose in their pursuit to contribute to the welfare of people and guided by an inner compass in choosing and focusing on what they are willing to struggle for and what pains they are willing to endure, in continuing to do their quiet inner innovation work, persevering day in and day out. There’s a tendency for us to think that to be a disruptive innovator or to do anything grand, you have to have a special gift, be someone called for. We think ultimately what really matters is the resolve — to want to do it, bring the future forward by throwing yourself into it, to give your life to that which you consider important. We aim to penetrate into the deeper order that whispers beneath the surface of tech innovations and to stand on the firmer ground of experience hard won through hearing and distilling the essence of the stories of our H.E.R.O. in overcoming their struggles and in understanding the origin of their quiet life of purpose, who opened their hearts to us that resilience and innovation is an art that can be learned, which can embolden all of us with more emotional courage and wisdom to go about our own value investing journey and daily life.

As the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused listed equities fund in the industry, we believe we are uniquely positioned as a distinctive and alternative investment strategy for both institutional and individual investors who seek to capture long-term investment returns created by disruptive forces and innovation without herding or crowding to invest in the highly popular megacap tech stocks, and also provide capital allocation benefit to investors in building optionality in their overall investment portfolio.

The H.E.R.O. HeartWare Weekly highlights interesting tech news and listed Asian emerging tech innovators with unique and scalable wide-moat business models to keep yourself well-informed about disruptive forces and innovation, new technologies and new business models coming up, and the companies that ride on and benefit from them in some of the most promising areas of the economy in Asia as part of our thought leadership for our Asia HERO Innovators Fund to add value to our clients and the community. Hope you find the weekly report to be useful and insightful. Please give us your candid feedback and harshest criticisms so that we can improve further to serve you better. Besides the BATTSS (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, TSMC, Softbank, Samsung), do also tell us which Asian tech entrepreneurs & CEOs whom you admire and respect and why – we will endeavor to do up profiles of them for sharing with the community. Thank you very much and have a beautiful week ahead.

Warm regards,
KB | kb@heroinnovator.com | WhatsApp +65 9695 1860
www.heroinnovator.com

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (29 March 2019) – AI Powers a New Innovation Machine; How Collaborative Platforms and Ecosystems Are Changing Innovation + Ask yourself these five questions to find your best self; Finding an “alter ego” for yourself is a self-development strategy that can help you navigate the struggles that life presents with more grace and more grit.

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (29 March 2019) – AI Powers a New Innovation Machine; How Collaborative Platforms and Ecosystems Are Changing Innovation + Ask yourself these five questions to find your best self; Finding an “alter ego” for yourself is a self-development strategy that can help you navigate the struggles that life presents with more grace and more grit.

Companies

  • China Regulator to Set Time Limits on Hot Short-Video Apps (Bloomberg)
  • The World’s Greatest Delivery Empire; In China, Meituan has reshaped city life—and heightened a rivalry with a certain competitor. (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Qutoutiao Gets Alibaba Backing Amid Spending Spree (Bloomberg)
  • Line plots transition from messaging into payments; Social media platform names founder Shin Jungho as co-chief executive to drive shift (FT); Line Founder Named Co-Chief Executive as Japan Goes Cashless (Bloomberg)
  • Rakuten’s $24bn Lyft windfall reveals hidden ambitions; Japan’s e-commerce pioneer quietly builds portfolio of tech investments as online mall share falters (Nikkei)
  • An AI translation function of 74 languages in the world is added to the tablet terminal of JapanTaxi in business tie-up with Sourcenext (TC)
  • Sony Pictures Sells Stake in Crackle TV Unit to Chicken Soup for the Soul (Bloomberg)
  • Google Maps apologizes for going rogue in Japan; The navigation tool has placed a school in the sea, among other things. (BT)
  • Machvision approved for listing on TWSE mainboard (DT)
  • Garmin Stock Is Trading at an 11-Year High and a Big Shareholder Just Made a Huge Sale (Barron’s)
  • KL-based Cuscapi acquires tech firm Amplify Me for US$1.6M; Malaysian company Cuscapi Bhd’s moves will migrate its existing customers from an aging client or server platform to cloud-based technology platform (e27)
  • Sova brokerage chooses Iress as provider of order management, post-trade processing software (EM)
  • For Appen and Figure Eight, some of the most important assets of their business models are the enormous, disparate labor pools they tap into in order to power their services; the work often serves a dual purpose: completing the project at hand while also training algorithms to do the work in the future (TB)

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

  • Baidu launches a specialized video search app (KRA)
  • Alibaba accuses Meituan CEO of libel for questioning founder’s integrity; Meituan CEO Wang Xing still thinks Ma “has an integrity problem,” referring to the spinoff of Alibaba financial payment subsidiary Alipay without board approval in 2011. (TN)
  • Consumer group accuses Alibaba’s Fliggy, Ctrip of price optimization; Some 88% of the Chinese consumers believe that online shopping platforms, including those for travel bookings and ride-hailing, leverage user data they collect for personalized pricing to make users pay as much as possible (TN)
  • Alibaba acquires Chinese productivity app Teambition (TN)
  • Taobao doubles down on used car sales with Guazi and Souche (TN)
  • WeChat’s new mini-program logistics linkup raises e-commerce stakes (TN)
  • Tencent leads $296 million Series D round in Chinese big data solutions provider (TN)
  • Could The Worst Be Over For China’s Tencent? (Forbes)

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

  • Facebook is not our friend, no matter what their adverts say; Failure to act quickly on anti-vaccine and violent content shows how little they care (FT); How Facebook grew too big to handle; The tech giant’s ‘growth team’ brought it over a billion users – but did it also sow the seeds for the company’s current troubles? (FT)
  • Why Instagram’s Move Into Shopping Is Good News for Facebook Stock (Barron’s)
  • Why it’s hard to escape Amazon’s long reach (Wired); Amazon TV Director: Networks Should Scare You More Than Amazon; Amazon is spending billions to find its Game of Thrones moment (Medium)
  • Tech Investor Is Afraid Apple May Be Losing Its Innovation DNA (Barron’s); Beneath the glitz of Apple’s latest event, an air of quiet desperation (Age); How Apple Card works (TC); Millions Are Being Lost To Apple Pay Fraud-Will Apple Card Come To The Rescue? (Forbes); Apple promises customers a safer digital world – for a price (CNN)
  • Is Apple Saying Goodbye to Fashion? When Apple introduced the Apple Watch five years ago, the whole tech industry began to flirt with style. But interest in wearables has cooled. (NYT)
  • The Big Problem for All the New Gaming Platforms; Google and Apple were the first to unveil a “Netflix for video games,” but Microsoft has the big-name games. (Bloomberg)
  • Buy Microsoft Stock Because of Its Big Cloud Deals, Says JPMorgan (MW)
  • The battle to control artificial intelligence; One man holds the future of artificial intelligence in his hands. But is Google the right company to usher in the future of humanity? (AFR)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • This state-backed AI unicorn has helped Chinese police arrest 10,000 criminals; Initially focused on finance, Cloudwalk grew into the biggest AI supplier to Chinese banks, which use its facial recognition technology in ATMs (SCMP)
  • Alibaba-backed fintech startup gets funding to take small biz loans to China (TIA)
  • Online streaming service Leshi struggles to turn itself around; Once-hot Chinese company logs nearly $300m net loss as diversification backfires (Nikkei)
  • How an Esports Queen Trounced Billionaire Heirs: One woman navigated this cutthroat, male-dominated world to build China’s biggest club, beating out rivals who came from riches. (Bloomberg)
  • Developers’ lives matter’ – Chinese software engineers use Github to protest against the country’s 996 work schedule (Bloomberg)
  • This Hong Kong Startup Uses Technology To Change Everyday Grocery Shopping (Forbes)
  • Coming soon to a Geely car near you – Danish bank Saxo’s retail finance platform; Company wants Chinese investors to access 40,000 financial instruments trading on its platforms through dashboard app (SCMP)
  • Japan is far ahead of the rest of the world in evocative machines, even though it’s not yet a formal discipline. There is a unique Japanese technology emerging from the nexus of AI, robotics, and healthcare, and it’s something that could utterly transform our world. (TIA)
  • Cash-obsessed Japan slowly buying into digital payment systems (JT)
  • Viva Republica faces hurdles in launching Korea’s 3rd internet-only bank (Investor)
  • SendBird looks to break up messenger monopoly (Investor)
  • Indian hotel unicorn Oyo says surpassing Marriott only the start; Tech startup kicks off global expansion of room rentals in Tokyo (Nikkei); OYO acquires midscale Chinese hotel brand Qianyu (ET)
  • Shopmatic acquires 50.1% stake in Octopus (LM)
  • BigBasket joins unicorn club with new $150 million funding round (ET)
  • Singaporean startup DocDoc offers smart matches in medical care; It’s more than matchmaking for medical treatment. (KRA)
  • Carro launches car subscription service in Singapore (TIA)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Softbank-backed firm wants to put 100,000 cloud-based robots in the market by 2021, to seek US$300 million in private funding (SCMP)
  • Palantir wins $800 million contract to build the US Army’s next battlefield software system (TC)
  • WeWork Lenders Are Getting Cold Feet; Rapid growth has left many bankers in Europe reluctant to provide more money to its landlords, threatening future growth. (Bloomberg)
  • French start-up turns up the heat with ceramic storage (AFR)
  • The robots coming to choose your groceries (AFR)
  • SoftBank-backed Improbable makes a big bet on video games; Virtual simulation start-up’s losses increased tenfold last year as it ramped up spending (FT)
  • Time Out audience engagement hit by Facebook changes; Media group gains momentum from digital advertising campaigns and food markets (FT)
  • Lyft’s insurance problem (FT)
  • Tech IPOs Aren’t the Milestones They Once Were; Changes in capital markets and startups have made going public less momentous. (Bloomberg)
  • Schwab Switching to Subscription-Based Fee in Netflix-Like Move (Bloomberg)
  • How 5G Will Transform the Way We Live and Work (Bloomberg)
  • Financial Management Startup Carta Is Raising New Funding at a $1.8 Billion Valuation (Bloomberg)
  • Tech Stocks Morph Into a Three-Headed Monster (Bloomberg)

Life

  • Different Kinds of Information (MH)
  • AI Powers a New Innovation Machine (BCG); How Collaborative Platforms and Ecosystems Are Changing Innovation (BCG)
  • Ask yourself these five questions to find your best self; Finding an “alter ego” for yourself is a self-development strategy that can help you navigate the struggles that life presents with more grace and more grit. (FastCo)
  • Equity Financial Assets: A Tool for Earnings Management?A Case Study of a Chinese Corporation (Abacus)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (28 March 2019) – Would you like fries with that? McDonald’s drive-throughs will start making personalised suggestions based on artificial intelligence

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (28 March 2019) – Would you like fries with that? McDonald’s drive-throughs will start making personalised suggestions based on artificial intelligence

Companies

  • US ban bruises earnings at 4 Chinese tech companies; ZTE posts net loss for 2018 after sanctions damaged operations and image; Sales growth in 2018 fell for the other companies banned by the U.S., excluding Huawei. Hikvision shrunk to 19% from 31% (Nikkei)
  • Japan Internet Giants Join Forces as Payments Race Heats Up; Line and Mercari become allies to take on SoftBank, Rakuten; The race is on for dominance in Japanese cashless transactions (Bloomberg); Japan’s Line and Mercari form mobile payment partnership; Chat app operator, e-retailer aim for scale to survive intense competition (Nikkei); Japan’s Line and Mercari form mobile payment partnership; Chat app operator, e-retailer aim for scale to survive intense competition (Nikkei)
  • Missteps mar Japanese e-tailer Zozo’s fashion house look; Aggressive expansion creates bargain-basement image; “Zozotown is being used as a place to get rid of inventory” (Nikkei)
  • Sony to conduct tests on remotely driven cars with NTT Docomo (JT)
  • BizLink looks to electric vehicles to drive growth (TT)
  • Mechanical motion control component and industrial robot maker Hiwin Technologies has reported net profit of NT$5.392 billion (US$175 million), hiking 96.96% on year to hit a company record. (DT)
  • Hong Leong goes live with Iress ViewPoint (FE)

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

  • Alibaba-owned Lazada to bolster financial services offerings (Technode); A Payments App Backed by Jack Ma That’s Mimicking Ant Financial (Bloomberg)
  • Tencent rolls out logistics interface for vendors on WeChat; Not only does this move allow Tencent to step further into e-commerce, it also encourages additional usage of its e-wallet. (KRA)
  • Tencent leads in Series B round for Chinese patient-centric business Shuidi (KRA)
  • Naspers CEO Bets on Dutch Listing to Fix Tencent Discount (Bloomberg)

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

  • How Facebook could target ads in age of encryption; Zuckerberg promises privacy, but experts warn metadata can be mined to build behavioural profiles (FT)
  • The Enormous Numbers Behind Amazon’s Market Reach (Bloomberg)
  • Gmail will now let you interact with messages just like web pages right in your inbox (TNW)
  • How Apple’s Event Reveals The Strategic Flaw In Its Thinking (Forbes)
  • Apple vs. Netflix: Turf wars flaring in big tech reflect limits to growth (JT); Apple Services May Be Worth More Than the iPhone Business, Analyst Says (Barron’s); Apple Is Betting Big on Digital Subscriptions. Here’s Why. (Barron’s); Apple Still Doesn’t Get the News-Subscription Business; To appeal to users, the latest service needs to give access to major publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. (Bloomberg); Apple’s Current Products Could Be the Key to Success for Its New Services (Barron’s); The New Apple Services That Will Generate the Most Revenue, According to an Analyst (Barron’s)
  • Netflix’s Challenge in India: The Competition Is Cheaper (Barron’s)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • From Big Macs to Nikes: Hong Kong AI start-up Miro uses computer vision to track your sneakers in races (SCMP)
  • Appetite for food-delivery apps wanes among small restaurant owners (Technode)
  • Bytedance to launch K-12 online education platform (TC)
  • When did Huawei get so very good at making phones? It seems the answer to the question of how phone cameras got to be so good is straightforward: artificial intelligence. (AFR)
  • Eight more companies given go-ahead to list on Shanghai’s new tech board (SCMP)
  • Can China’s tech industry up its game and take the lead when it comes to innovation and research? China recently signalled its ambition to become a global tech superpower (SCMP)
  • China property giants face call of tech sirens (Reuters)
  • China’s green-vehicle makers feel the blues as subsidies ebb; BYD’s profit drops as automakers bleed cash to keep prices low amid rising sales (Nikkei)
  • Google-Backed AI Startup Seeks $1 Billion Valuation Before Its IPO (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Closing the $6 Trillion Electric-Car Gap; Beijing is redirecting subsidies to charging infrastructure. This is commendable, but implementation will be key. (Bloomberg)
  • China can excel in consumer robotics, says Credit Suisse Asset Management specialist (SCMP)
  • Bukalapak launches capital funding solutions Modal Mitra for kiosk owners (e27)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • McDonald’s Stock Is Up Because the Company Is Betting on Artificial Intelligence (Barron’s); Would you like fries with that? McDonald’s drive-throughs will start making personalised suggestions (SCMP)
  • The Slack AI assistant automating creative tasks and driving data-driven decision making (TNW)
  • Before breaking up with Shopify, Mailchimp quietly acqui-hired LemonStand, a Shopify competitor (TC)
  • The Irrational Exuberance Of Lyft’s IPO: Will The Bubble Burst? (Forbes)
  • Adobe to Unveil Software Platform, Taking on Salesforce (Bloomberg)
  • Unilever to pick ‘trusted publishers’ for digital advertising (Reuters)
  • Auto1 Challenges EBay, Scout24 With German Car Classifieds Push (Bloomberg)

Life

  • Lincoln on How to Handle Criticism (BP)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (27 March 2019) – Coding will be mandatory in Japan’s primary schools from 2020

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (27 March 2019) – Coding will be mandatory in Japan’s primary schools from 2020

Companies

  • Meituan adds grocery delivery to its ‘everything’ app (Technode)
  • Livestream app Inke’s 2018 profits fall on lack of innovation as segment weakens (Technode)
  • China video-streaming firm iQIYI targets raising $1.1 billion in convertible bonds (Reuters)
  • Google charts its own course to the future in Japanese maps; Users gripe about quality as internet powerhouse pulls back from local partner Zenrin (Nikkei)
  • Global firm Hosokawa Micron launches state-of-the-art lab facility at Sci-Tech Daresbury (BMS)
  • Viva Republica finalizes consortium for internet-only Toss Bank which includes Korea Electronic Certification Authority (KH)
  • Sea’s e-commerce platform could turn profit ‘in couple of years’; Shopee has focused on building scale to face competition (FT)

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

  • Technology and big data analysis drive 80-time average growth in fund size at world’s most-used money market fund platform; Since its move to include funds from outside managers, Yu’e Bao has expanded into a cash management platform with 20 funds (SCMP)
  • Alibaba’s Tmall online supermarket aims to cover almost all Chinese households (KRA)
  • com and Alibaba export AI and robot logistics expertise; E-commerce giants expand delivery and warehouse solutions beyond China (Nikkei)
  • Huawei bets on high-end handsets to dethrone Samsung in Europe (Nikkei)
  • Move Over Warren Buffett–For This $200 Billion Man From Japan (Forbes)

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

  • Apple Stock Will Plunge Because There’s Not Much Profit in New Services, Goldman Sachs Says (Barron’s); All the Businesses Apple Wants to Disrupt — and Whether It Can (Barron’s); With iPhone sales slowing, Apple bets on video, gaming, news and a credit card (Economist); Apple’s new services could either be Netflix ‘poison’ or barely meaningful (MW); Apple Is Reinventing Itself as the Ultimate Middleman; The company just launched three new ways to take a cut of your paycheck-and one card to pay for it all. (Slate); Apple’s Services Event (Stratechery); Apple spotlights services with TV, gaming and credit card offerings (Reuters); Apple News+, at $10 a month, could deliver more content than multiple subscriptions (Reuters); Apple Card puts customer first, Goldman second (Reuters); Goldman’s Apple pairing furthers bank’s mass-market ambitions (Reuters); The real choice you make when you subscribe to Apple services (Wired)
  • As Amazon Leads Cashless Charge, States and Cities Push Back (Bloomberg)
  • Netflix pilots $4 mobile plan in India to woo users (Reuters)
  • Nvidia-Mellanox deal underestimates China anti-monopoly risk (Technode); Nvidia CEO says no plans for more acquisitions after Mellanox deal (Reuters)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Beijing gave its biggest electric-vehicle maker $1 billion in help toward a single year of sales (qz); China Scales Back Electric-Car Subsidies to Spur Innovation (Bloomberg)
  • Bytedance reportedly launches reading app (Technode); Douyin tests long videos to win new users (KRA)
  • Can China’s tech industry up its game and take the lead when it comes to innovation and research? (SCMP)
  • This 31-Year-Old Built A Billion-Dollar Business By Developing AI-Powered Facial Recognition Tech (Forbes)
  • Japan’s mom-and-pop shops gain global e-commerce platform (Nikkei)
  • Coding will be mandatory in Japan’s primary schools from 2020 (Nikkei)
  • D-WAVE’s “Leap”, which will lease approximately 1.7 billion yen of quantum computers for free, will finally be officially released in Japan (TC)
  • Indonesia to fix motorbike ride-hailing rates; may hurt Grab, Go-Jek (Reuters)
  • Indian Railways has earned $3 million in just parking charges from taxi aggregators (qz)
  • Coles turns to robots in grocery home-delivery overhaul (Age); Welcome to supermarkets 3.0: Robots, AI and dark stores (Age)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Spotify acquires true crime studio Parcast to expand its original podcast content (TC); Spotify to buy podcasting business Parcast for more than $100m; Music streaming group makes third podcasting acquisition in two months (FT)
  • Adobe and Salesforce announce Customer Data Platforms to pull data into single view (TC); Adobe announces two new analytics tools to help marketers fill in the customer picture (TC); Adobe launches its Commerce Cloud, based on its Magento acquisition (TC); Adobe announces deeper data sharing partnership with Microsoft around accounts (TC); Adobe, Microsoft to take on Salesforce’s marketing software, with LinkedIn as a weapon (Reuters)
  • Unicorns aren’t profitable, and Wall Street doesn’t care (TC)
  • Hello Alfred launches new platform to reach more buildings and improve accessibility (TC)
  • Lola.com raises $37M to take on SAP and others in the world of business travel (TC)
  • How the Internet of Things is making the world a safer haven (e27)
  • Vlocity nabs $60M Series C investment on $1B valuation (TC)
  • Travis Kalanick’s new venture buys UK ‘dark kitchens’ business; Ex-Uber chief looks to expand outside US through acquisitions; Travis Kalanick’s CloudKitchens would enable restaurants to share facilities and cut overheads (FT)
  • The PDF is dead: e-invoicing surge to speed up payment times (Age)
  • McDonald’s $300 Million Deal Is Another Feat for a Tech Dynasty (Bloomberg)
  • Oracle Trims Staff During Difficult Transition to Cloud Services (Bloomberg)
  • Online furniture retailer Wayfair Inc. will open a physical store in its home state this year, the latest e-commerce company looking to impress customers with showrooms and displays rather than just websites and Facebook posts. (Bloomberg)
  • Online mattress retailer Casper to hire IPO underwriters – sources (Reuters)
  • 3 New SaaS Venture Rounds And Their Supporting Growth Metrics (CB)
  • Depressed and Anxious? These Video Games Want to Help (NYT)

Life

  • How to pursue your dream when everyone says it won’t work (FastCo)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (26 March 2019) – Deep Science AI joins Defendry to automatically detect crimes on camera

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (26 March 2019) – Deep Science AI joins Defendry to automatically detect crimes on camera

Companies

  • China Literature Ltd., which operates one of the country’s leading online literature platforms, had signed 7.7 million writers and offered 112 million online literature works by the end of 2018 (Xinhua)
  • Investors take legal action against Nio for ‘misleading statements’ (Technode)
  • USI Collaborates with Microsoft to Launch the World’s First Azure Sphere Combo Module Designed to Meet Data Security and Connectivity Needs (ITN)
  • New Applications with Operational Updates in WiseChip Transparent OLED Displays Series (ITN)
  • Altium Launches “Altium Academic Programs” to Empower Next Generation of Technology Innovators (PRNW)

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

  • Alibaba acquires Israeli startup Infinity Augmented Reality (TC)
  • Samsung Issues Rare Profit Warning on Slump in Memory-Chip Price (Bloomberg)
  • Only ‘No. 1’ companies will survive in AI era, says SoftBank CEO; Rivalry heats up as ride-hailing companies head to public markets (Nikkei)

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

  • Facebook crumbles around its lonely king (MW); Social media executives will be threatened with the introduction of jail sentences unless the industry co-operates with stopping their platforms being used to spread terrorist and extremist material. (AFR)
  • Apple leaves a lot of questions about its subscription services unanswered (MW); Apple wants investors to focus on its services business. Regulators may, too (CNN); Tim Cook says Apple Card is a game changer. Experts are not so sure (CNN); What Apple’s Credit Card Means For Fintech (Forbes); Apple Card will make credit card fraud a lot more difficult (TC); Apple TV+ makes Facebook Watch look like a joke (TC); Apple TV+ joins crowded market for streaming options (Reuters); Apple’s not building a Netflix-killer. It’s got something bigger in mind (Age); Apple Launches $10 a Month Magazine, News Subscription Service (Bloomberg); Apple Shows Off Apple TV+ Video Service, Taking on Netflix (Bloomberg); Apple Debuts Apple Arcade Gaming Subscription Service (Bloomberg); Even Oprah Can’t Paper Over Apple’s Services Flaws; The iPhone maker’s big event highlights some half-baked ideas. (Bloomberg); Apple’s next big things are not things – hardware giant shifts to services with TV streaming, news, credit card and games; The strategic transformation of the tech giant into a content provider puts it in competition with Netflix and other streaming services (SCMP); Apple working on games subscription service for gadgets: Bloomberg (Reuters); Apple stretches to take on Netflix, Amex, Disney (Reuters)
  • Apple’s new ‘Sesame Street’-themed TV show will teach kids coding basics (TC)
  • Why Netflix Won’t Be Disrupted by New Competition From Apple (Barron’s); Why Netflix Won’t Be Part of Apple TV (NYT)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China no match for US unicorns in AI, big data and robotics as it continues to play catch-up in R&D, says Credit Suisse (SCMP)
  • Yunji, a startup that enables social commerce via WeChat, files for $200M US IPO (TC)
  • This small team is building a social credit system app for China’s youth to determine who’s naughty or nice; A state-linked company partnering with the Communist Youth League Central Committee has launched a big-data credit app aimed at incentivizing positive action (SCMP); Life as one of China’s 13 million ‘deadbeats’ means slow trains, special ring tones; Individuals on a national list of ‘discredited individuals’ are barred from taking airplanes and high-speed trains (SCMP)
  • Xenodata, which develops the financial information AI analysis service “xenoBrain”, to raise 780 million yen (TC)
  • Aussie ‘influencer’ platform shoots for US stars after big capital raise (AFR)
  • Airwallex becomes the fastest Aussie unicorn after $US100m raise (AFR); Airwallex enables customers to create international bank accounts instantly, access interbank exchange rates and send money through local and international clearing networks to more than 130 countries. (Age)
  • Delhivery leading e-commerce logistics market is not a winner-takes-all game, says expert (FE)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Deep Science AI joins Defendry to automatically detect crimes on camera (TC)
  • Can AI be a fair judge in court? Estonia thinks so (Wired)
  • McDonald’s to buy AI company Dynamic Yield; Acquisition will help burger group customise its menu displays based on differing variables (FT); McDonald’s is acquiring Dynamic Yield to create a more customized drive-thru (TC); McDonald’s $300 Million Tech Deal Will Revolutionize Menus (Bloomberg)
  • Warnings of a Dark Side to A.I. in Health Care (NYT)
  • The Unicorn Stampede Is Coming (Bloomberg)
  • Tradeweb Markets plans to raise up to $709 million in IPO (Reuters)
  • Naspers Brings SoftBank-Style Mega-Tech to Europe; A $100 billion technology investor is about to land in the continent. (Bloomberg)
  • Pinterest’s future relies on pegging global sales (Reuters)
  • Lyft: Last Mile or Last Straw? (Morningstar)

Life

  • In the face of adversity, are you a Guernsey or a Brahman? (FS)
  • Mind your emotions: why emotional agility is the key to personal growth (Medium)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (25 March 2019) – HEROZ AI automatically proposes stock portfolio based on financial theory in new service for SMBC Nikko Securities; AI can be trusted to take our 911 calls

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (25 March 2019) – HEROZ AI automatically proposes stock portfolio based on financial theory in new service for SMBC Nikko Securities; AI can be trusted to take our 911 calls

Companies

  • HEROZ AI automatically proposes stock portfolio based on financial theory in new service for SMBC Nikko Securities (TC)
  • Vision Travel and Direct Travel enhance booking capabilities through Serko’s Zeno (TW)
  • Are Info Edge investors betting too much on Zomato valuations? (LM)

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

  • Samsung scouts AI startups in Paris (Investor)

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

  • Amazon gets an edge with its secret squad of PhD economists (CNN)
  • Amazon makes own play for the beauty sector as online brands pick up steam (MW)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • The Complex Fortune Growing Inside World’s Most Valuable Startup (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Ping An Insurance finds success with focus on tech; Aggressive R&D begins to pay off and complement main business (Nikkei)
  • Disaster survivor brings AI solutions to Asian insurance (Nikkei)
  • The growth of global accommodation marketplace Airbnb in Australia has proven a boon for local property management start-up Hometime, which credits the platform for quadrupling its revenue in 13 months. (AFR)
  • $500m ‘Black Mirror’ app chases ASX IPO (AFR)
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is the world’s most popular smartphone game. Indian cities have banned it, fearing it turns children into ‘psychopaths’ (SCMP)
  • Delhi drives push for electric vehicles in India; $1.5bn in government subsidies will support electric scooters, three-wheelers and buses Bangalore electric scooter maker (FT)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • AI can be trusted to take our 911 calls (TNW)
  • Banks use AI to catch rogue traders before the act; Technology presents an opportunity to spot errant bankers before misconduct takes place (FT)
  • Google Search Moves Hurt Pinterest’s Growth, IPO Filing Shows (Bloomberg)
  • Could Walmart be the next big company to launch a game streaming service? (TC)
  • Smart grids are essential to prevent old power infrastructure from holding back the US economy (TNW)

Life

  • Dirty Work For Robots: How Two Young Immigrant Entrepreneurs Created Oven-Sized Roombas To Chase A $5B Opportunity (Forbes)
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