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


  • 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)


  • Lincoln on How to Handle Criticism (BP)

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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