H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (4 April 2019) – Pinduoduo burns through cash in attempt to buy future growth; E-commerce group’s sales and marketing expenses to woo customers wipe out revenues

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (4 April 2019) – Pinduoduo burns through cash in attempt to buy future growth; E-commerce group’s sales and marketing expenses to woo customers wipe out revenues


  • Pinduoduo burns through cash in attempt to buy future growth; E-commerce group’s sales and marketing expenses to woo customers wipe out revenues (FT)
  • The Apple-designed chip list consists of one built with Universal Scientific Industrial for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (AI)
  • Bilibili raises $824 million on strong demand for bond, share offering (Technode)
  • Xiaomi forms chipmaking company to advance AIoT strategy (Technode)
  • Trend Micro’s Industrial IoT Joint Venture, TxOne Networks, Offers Sneak Peek of Solution to Securing Industrial Machinery (BW)
  • Toei Animation: ‘Dragon Ball Super’ Panel Reportedly Reveals Anime’s Comeback (CB)
  • SiliconExpert and Zuken Team to Deliver Critical Component Data Intelligence to Engineers (Menafn)
  • Foxconn shrinks Android arm and relocates staff as orders dry up; Tech giant shifts resources to newly launched automotive electronics (Nikkei)
  • IRESS sees 50% surge in Q1 income protection sales (FR, MI)
  • Pentamaster conserving cash to grow smart control business (Edge)

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

  • Taobao introduces new ‘value for money’ promotion area to take on Pinduoduo (KRA)
  • Yahoo spin-out Altaba is selling its entire Alibaba stake and closing down (TC); The Alibaba-Yahoo Saga Is Ending. A Major Holder of Chinese Web Giant Will Liquidate. (Barron’s)
  • Tencent invests in e-commerce platform Youzan to boost enterprise business (Technode)

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

  • Big brands zoom in for their Instagram close-ups; Paid advertising has become big business since the platform launched in 2017 (FT)
  • Forget putting a ding in the universe: The incredible shrinking Apple (Age)
  • Media Companies Take a Big Gamble on Apple. Executives have been burned by their previous dealings with big tech companies. But Apple’s promise of a billion devices worldwide was too good to pass up. Even for Rupert Murdoch. (NYT)
  • What Chinese consumers think of Apple’s pivot to software (Technode)
  • YouTube a gold mine, so why all the rubbish? (AFR)
  • Amazon (sub)prime – Part II (FT)
  • Amazon Schooled on AI Facial Technology By Turing Award Winner (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Ruhnn, a loss-making Chinese startup that makes influencers, raises $125M in U.S. IPO (TC)
  • Asia tech companies fuel $23bn convertible bonds boom; Flood of offerings in first quarter illustrates shift among fast-growing groups (FT)
  • China scrambles to tap EV battery recycling opportunity; Wave of used lithium-ion cells a potential gold mine for battery makers and recyclers alike (Nikkei)
  • Internet banks struggling to stay afloat; K bank, Kakao Bank suffer net losses for 2 straight years (KT)
  • Verizon kicks off world’s first 5G, beating South Korea to the punch (Nikkei)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Adobe brings content-aware fill for videos to After Effects (TC)
  • Wayve claims ‘world first’ in driving a car autonomously with only its AI and a SatNav (TC)
  • Onfido, which verifies IDs using AI, nabs $50M from SoftBank, Salesforce, Microsoft and more (TC)
  • Dating Startups Aim For Disruption, But Good Ideas Can’t Buy Them Love (CB)
  • Updater’s unicorn valuation on hold after prospective investor walks (AFR)
  • Andreessen Horowitz Is Blowing Up The Venture Capital Model (Again) (Forbes)
  • What tech hasn’t learnt from science fiction; Never mind the future: where are the books tackling Silicon Valley’s current challenges? (FT)
  • Buy Intel Stock Because It Dominates AI and Autonomous Driving, Analyst Says (Barron’s)
  • Fastest Electric Car Chargers Are Waiting for Batteries to Catch Up (Bloomberg)
  • Shorts line up for a Lyft ride despite surge pricing (Reuters)
  • A Hundred Days Later, Tech Stocks Poised to Erase Their Whole Rout (Bloomberg)
  • Kamen Aims to Deliver AI to FedEx (EET)


  • How we think about the innovation hype cycle (II)
  • Job and the Mystery of Suffering: Spiritual Reflections Paperback – March 1, 1998 (Amazon)

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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