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.


  • 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)


  • 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)

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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