CENTERED With H.E.R.O. Issue 2: Resilient Amidst Trade War – Japan’s AS ONE AI X RPA, Exponential Innovators Highly Impervious to Trade War Risks | 27 May

0% in OEM/ODM + 0% in component makers + 0% in semiconductor & related sector + 0% in capital equipment, tech hardware & big-ticket items + 100% singular focus in a portfolio of highly-profitable listed Asia SMID-cap tech-focused exponential innovators = Higher probability of resiliency in both fundamentals and investment returns that are highly impervious to the US-China trade war risk and market volatility which have escalated since 6 May 2019.

For instance, AS ONE (TSE: 7476), Japan’s #1 specialist B2B platform business model that carved out a profitable niche selling through catalogs and its ecommerce (EC) site AXEL a vast array of over 3 million items of laboratory & healthcare instruments and consumables & disposables, is up 7.6% since 6 May 2019 to a market value of over US$1.69 billion, extending its YTD gains to 23%. AS ONE had announced on 13 May 2019 a strong set of FY03/2019 results with earnings at a record high and 10 consecutive years of sales increase.

Contributing to EC sales were increased customers of the EC single-source purchasing system (158 companies compared with 135 at end–FY03/2018), where products and services are sold through an electronic catalog directly incorporated into the customer’s purchasing system, and increased sales to online retailers, such as MonotaRO, Misumi, Askul and Amazon, whose end users are small companies. Its new state-of-the-art automated Kanto Distribution Center (DC), more than twice as large as the current largest base, the Osaka DC, will start operation in May 2020, a strategic expansion that will lead to the achievement of their goal of 100bn yen in sales from the current 66.7bn yen.

AS ONE has also adopted artificial intelligence X robotic process automation (AI x RPA) to increase its efficiency and margins as it scales up. Medical institutions, hospitals and researchers “have various specialized needs, such as they want a tool and equipment that can make the experiment in a vacuum state or under zero gravity. Our strength is to deliver these products seamlessly and speedily”, commented CEO Takuji Iuchi, the third-generation business leader. Because the product is low volume-high-mix in nature, or small in quantity and many types, customer interface, inventory & logistics management and business process integration are the critical backbone systems of the company. The intelligent automation of this backbone through AI X RPA has given AS ONE an exponential edge to improve the quality and speed in responsiveness to their customers.

Including AS ONE, the portfolio of 40 H.E.R.O. innovators, which has an average market cap of US$1.41bn (median market cap of US$810m), delivered strong interim results growth amidst the US-China trade tensions: overall weighted sales rose 30.5% YoY and operating profit grew faster with increasing returns to scale at 58.7% YoY, supporting the portfolio returns.

An overwhelming majority (82.5%) of the 40 HERO portfolio stocks are highly profitable “SaaS (software-as-a-service), information & data analytics/AI” companies and “platform business models”, a group which we believe is highly impervious to trade war risks. 10% are indispensable medtech innovators with high recurring-revenue high-profitability business models. EC, cybersecurity and IoT highly-profitable companies account for the remainder 7.5%.

The recurring and predictability nature of the revenue model in growing monthly or annual paying subscribers have made SaaS companies a bedrock of investment resilience in a volatile market environment with growing regulatory and trade-war risks rattling across industries. SaaS recurring-revenue business model with high profitability, positive free cashflow and low customer churn rate account for 55% of portfolio stocks.

And unlike many of the SaaS companies in the US or China or most of everywhere else that are still loss-making and cash-burning, a selected group of Japan’s listed under-the-radar exponential innovators have quietly built highly profitable business models generating positive free cashflow.

John Somorjai, EVP of Corporate Development and Salesforce Venture at CRM giant Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) commented on 4 Dec 2018 that having investing in over 280 SaaS companies in 18 countries since 2009, “Our highest returns to date have been from the U.S. and Japan markets.” Long overlooked by investors, Japan is still regarded by the superficial macro investors as the land of the aging dinosaur-like companies such as Toshiba with weak population demographics. Farsighted investors are now seeing strong growth of Japan’s tech industry as Japan’s public cloud services market, the fourth biggest in the world, is projected to more than double from the 2017 level to $13 billion in 2022, according to IDC forecasts.

We are grateful to have the investment interest and positive feedback about the quality of our research ideas by farsighted professional investors. These include the super investor in Singapore who’s the former managing director at one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund and the founder of a successful billion-dollar boutique hedge fund in Asia ex-Japan equities, who commented that most Asian funds invest in the typical “old-tech” companies who are component makers or OEM/Apple-suppliers exposed to unpredictable capex spending cycles, and that he likes that no other funds are like us in having a pure and singular focus on exponential innovators with recurring-revenue business models who are forging their own categories of growth to solve high-value problems for their customers.

One of our focused portfolio stocks, a Korean-listed SMID-cap tech innovator with dominant 80% domestic market leadership in recurring information & big data services, remains resiliently positive since 6 May 2019. Since we highlighted this Korean firm about three months ago to one of our advisory clients, a business owner/CIO of an established Asia ex-Japan value fund management company in Singapore who manages sovereign wealth and pension/endowment money, the stock is up over 40% to a market value of over US$750m. We are grateful to be able to deliver our recently operationalized bespoke investment solution for family offices, UNHW, corporates and long-term institutional investors with satisfactory results to this wise business owner/CIO client whom we like and respect and care for.

Farsighted investors are experiencing first-hand and benefitting from the flight-to-quality effect in the market to quality listed innovators that are most relevant in this exponential world, because each time the market corrects, the stronger hands of longer-term farsighted investors will accumulate more and more of these quality innovators, while the weaker short-term opportunistic hands sell out, creating a resiliency effect in these stocks. Listed profitable SMID-cap tech innovators with non-linear exponential growth potential are the most relevant and mispriced multi-year investment trend and opportunity.

Inspiration for CENTERED With H.E.R.O.: Our clients, just like our H.E.R.O. innovators and business owners, understood the profoundness that it’s not about a Maslow-type pyramid that they need to scale upwards in profits and returns; the H.E.R.O. journey is not upwards, but a deeper journey inwards and towards the center, about the kind of person you want to become through the work you build and invest in to serve those you care about.

CEO Takuji-san has a grander purpose to make AS ONE into “a company that employees can tell from your heart to your most important person, son, daughter, wife, husband, best friend that ‘It is such a nice company, there is no one else!’”

Deeper and inwards towards the center. As Einstein elucidates: “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value” – Amid all of life’s chaos and challenges, a restorative balm to all of us to be Centered in values with focus and purpose to be of value in serving an idea larger than ourselves and the people we care deeply for.

 

Thus far, of the 72 entrepreneurs and CEOs whom we had highlighted in our previous weekly research brief HeartWare, less than one-third are in our focused portfolio of 40 HERO Innovators, while the rest (50+) are in our broader watchlist of 200+ stocks.

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 recurring-revenue profitable 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 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.

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

CENTERED With H.E.R.O. Issue 1: Resilient Amidst Trade War – Japan’s BrainPad +AI, Korea Data Leader, Oceania MedTech Disruptor | 20 May

Farsighted investors are cognizant that exponential innovators are resilient both in fundamentals and investment returns amidst the overall market volatility arising from the escalating US-China trade tensions since 6 May 2019.

For instance, BrainPad (TSE: 3655), Japan’s leading big data/artificial intelligence and data management platform SaaS (software-as-a-service) cloud innovator, is up 46% since 6 May 2019 to a market value of over US$550 million after it announced on 10 May 2019 a strong set of cumulative third-quarter results in which sales increased 30% YoY and operating profit jumped 2.1 times YoY on expanding margin from 18.2% to 26.5%, while revising upwards its full-year forecast by 25-50%.

Business leaders who appreciate the profound impact of exponential H.E.R.O. innovators include one of the world’s most influential international management thinkers, author and German co-founder of one of the world’s most profitable and successful global management consulting group, who commented on 6 Nov 2018, “Dear KB, Many thanks for the article on BrainPad, really interesting. It’s a very good text. I showed the article on BrainPad to the head of our A.I. unit. I find BrainPad intriguing.” BrianPad is up 79% during a turbulent market since the prescient comments by this leading global business management thought leader and entrepreneur.

One of our focused portfolio stocks, a Korean-listed SMID-cap tech innovator with dominant 80% domestic market leadership in recurring information & big data services is up 5.5% since 6 May 2019. Since we highlighted this Korean firm about three months ago to one of our advisory clients, a business owner/CIO of an established boutique fund management company in Singapore who manages sovereign wealth and pension/endowment money, the stock is up over 40% to a market value of over US$750m. We are grateful to be able to deliver our recently operationalized bespoke investment solution for family offices, UNHW, corporates and long-term institutional investors with satisfactory results to this wise business owner/CIO client whom we like and respect and care for.

Rattled by trade war concerns, investors are getting out of major US tech stocks and funds are flowing into Australia and New Zealand SMID-cap tech stocks which are increasingly on the radar of fund managers, joining the local superannuation funds who have been increasing their allocation to local tech stocks in their portfolio. 30% of the focused portfolio of 40 H.E.R.O. innovators are Oceania-listed tech stocks with recurring-revenue business models which include SaaS (software-as-a-service) cloud and medtech innovators.

For a Southeast Asian UNHW/family office client who owns a hospital operator as a key asset in his business portfolio, we have advised a portfolio of Asian-listed SMID-cap medtech innovators to multiply his investment returns and business profit by becoming the distributor for both equipment and consumables with his hospital operator, while benefiting the society/health of his home country. These include an Australia-listed medtech innovator who developed a fully automated medical equipment with unique ultrasound technology that produces water-based super-oxidizer ultra-fine mist into the air to kill off super-bacteria, fungi, viruses (including the highly-resistant HPV virus) and cross-infection risks in the hospital environment, even in shadowed areas created by crevices, grooves and imperfections on the probe surface.

It’s a recurring-revenue low-risk business model: Recurring consumables >58% of revenue with replacement/upgrade of capital equipment after 5-7 years. It has a global installed base over 17,000 units (>15,000 in US, >700 in EMEA, >1,390 in Asia/ME). Penetration rate: US (39%), UK (12%), Europe/ME (2%), Asia (3%). It has a 10-year IP runway from now till 2029: Covered by 14 patent families, active to 2025, including patents relating to consumables to 2029. Governments around the world are also issuing guidelines to adopt this innovation: The French Ministry of Health recently issued in April 2019 a new guidance requiring high-level automated disinfection (bacteria, mycobacterial, virucidal and fungicidal) to protect patients and staff in hospitals/clinics, in line with international guidelines for high-level disinfection.

This medtech innovator has remained resiliently positive since 6 May 2019 with a market value of ~US$1bn, operating profit margin 27%, ROE (= OP/Equity) 21.6%, ROA 18.8%, and a healthy balance sheet with net cash as % market value at 4.9% (US$48.6m).

Including BrainPad, the Korean-listed data leader, and the Oceania-listed medtech innovator, the portfolio of 40 H.E.R.O. innovators, which has an average market cap of US$1.46bn, delivered strong interim results growth amidst the US-China trade tensions: overall weighted sales rose 29.9% YoY and operating profit grew faster at 58.3% YoY, supporting the portfolio returns.

Farsighted investors are experiencing first-hand and benefitting from the flight-to-quality effect in the market to quality listed innovators that are most relevant in this exponential world, because each time the market corrects, the stronger hands of longer-term farsighted investors will accumulate more and more of these quality innovators, while the weaker short-term opportunistic hands sell out, creating a resiliency effect in these stocks. Listed profitable SMID-cap tech-focused innovators with non-linear exponential growth potential are the most relevant and mispriced multi-year investment trend and opportunity.

Heartwarming conversations are energizing amidst the market volatility and I appreciate very much the personal dialogue on VALUE 3.0-era value investing with Arko Kadajane, who’s in charge of equities and external funds at the European family office of the Skype founders, when he was in Singapore visiting us this week. I have great respect for Arko’s 15-years-leadership in creating value at the family office, which speaks volume about both the firm’s culture and his values. One of our acid tests is “Are you proud and happy if your children were to work in the company that you are investing in” – to identify compounders with a greater sense of Purpose to create value and serve their customers/community.

Above all, we shared with Arko that our clients, just like our H.E.R.O. innovators and business owners, understood the profoundness that it’s not about a Maslow-type pyramid that they need to scale upwards in profits and returns; the H.E.R.O. journey is not upwards, but a deeper journey inwards and towards the center, about the kind of person you want to become through the work you build and invest in to serve those you care about.

Deeper and inwards towards the center. As Einstein elucidates: “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value” – Amid all of life’s chaos and challenges, a restorative balm to all of us to be Centered in values with focus and purpose to be of value in serving an idea larger than ourselves and the people we care deeply for.


Thus far, of the 72 entrepreneurs and CEOs whom we had highlighted in our previous weekly research brief HeartWare, less than one-third are in our focused portfolio of 40 HERO Innovators, while the rest (50+) are in our broader watchlist of 200+ stocks.

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 recurring-revenue profitable 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 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.

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

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (15 May 2019) – The Spectacular Implosion of Dr. Cho’s ‘Nefarious Network’: Hong Kong’s markets are plagued by stock manipulation, share pledging, cross-ownership and margin lending. Regulators say they’re going to take action.

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (15 May 2019) – The Spectacular Implosion of Dr. Cho’s ‘Nefarious Network’: Hong Kong’s markets are plagued by stock manipulation, share pledging, cross-ownership and margin lending. Regulators say they’re going to take action.

Companies

  • Ctrip CEO says trade war is putting Chinese tourists off US, with many opting for ‘more welcoming’ nations (SCMP)
  • Cloud provider Xunlei discards dubious past, reveals partnership with Youku (TN)
  • Yunji raises $121 million in IPO-but is the company a pyramid scheme? (TN)
  • Bilibili Stock Tumbled Despite the Chinese Anime Site’s 1st-Quarter Revenue Growth (Barron’s)
  • Trend Micro Delivers the Industry’s Most Complete Security Across Cloud and Container Workloads (SB)
  • Toei Releases Impressive Dragon Ball Profits for 2019’s First Quarter (CB); ‘Dragon Ball’ anime powers Toei back to profit growth; Mobile game based on franchise also contributes to turnaround (Nikkei); Bandai Namco sales and profits up last year, led by gaming segment (GI)
  • SK Innovation to invest US$490 million to build a second assembly in China to supply batteries for electric vehicles (SCMP)
  • Key Apple suppliers suffer big profit drop as iPhone woes bite; Foxconn and Pegatron see major drop as tariff challenge looms (Nikkei)
  • Quanta warns shifting out of China may be ‘no cheaper’ than tariffs (Nikkei)
  • Investment platform operators such as Netwealth and HUB24 stand to reap a share in $35 billion in new fund flow as a direct result of the opposition’s plan to abolish franking credit refunds. (AFR)
  • Global investors eye ASX tech darlings as investors, rattled by trade war concerns, get out of the major US technology names (AFR)

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

  • Baidu’s education business shifts from consumer-facing to enterprise (TN)
  • After Jack: Alibaba searches for new growth in the post-Ma era; Challenge to Amazon and Microsoft in cloud services could bring conflict with Washington (Nikkei); When the guru steps down: tech companies face the succession question; Jack Ma has been gradually handing power to Daniel Zhang for years (Nikkei)
  • Alipay extends mobile payment services to 300,000 retailers in Japan; The number of merchants supporting Alipay in Japan has surged to more than 300,000 from about 50,000 in early 2018 (SCMP)
  • Tencent Music Stock Gets It Right the Second Time (MF)

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

  • Facebook Takes Step to Police Content on Its Live Service (NYT)
  • Apple’s newest iPhone game-only the second the company has ever developed for its own App Store-appears to be targeted at a very small and specific demographic: Omaha-area billionaires aged 85 and up. (qz)
  • Amazon rolls out Alexa Guard, to help protect your home while you’re out (TC)
  • Attention, Amazon Shoppers: Google Wants Some of Your Spending Money (NYT)
  • Google’s latest app, Rivet, uses speech processing to help kids learn to read (TC)
  • Google Express becomes an all-new Google Shopping in big revamp (TC)
  • Google Makes New Push to Bolster Travel-Related Searches (Bloomberg)
  • Google Unveils Slew of New Digital Ad Formats in Amazon Battle (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Content emerges as new driver of Chinese e-commerce (TN)
  • Huawei launches AI-backed database to target enterprise customers (TC)
  • Ant Financial-backed Hello Chuxing seeks hefty financing that would take valuation to USD 4 billion (KRA)
  • Chinese developers elbow into Japan’s mobile game market (Nikkei)
  • Ten-second menu app “Taberly” adds an online ordering function to buy ingredients with just a few taps, and announces procurement of 250 million yen (TC)
  • Taiwan Helping Tech Firms That Choose Southeast Asia Over China (Bloomberg)
  • In India election, a $14 software tool helps overcome WhatsApp controls (Reuters)
  • India’s largest mobile wallet company Paytm now offers a credit card (TC)
  • Big Upsurge In E-Commerce Drives Southeast Asia’s Online Economy (Forbes)
  • Ecommerce: What the past 10 years mean for the future; The past decade has seen the emergence of ecommerce unicorns, big-ticket acquisitions, and deep-pocketed global investors. The final draft of the ecommerce policy will determine who holds the edge in the next decade (Forbes)
  • Paytm CEO suddenly has no problem with “the most evil” company’s WhatsApp Pay (qz)
  • Uber’s IPO flop bodes ill for Grab and Go-Jek; Southeast Asian ‘decacorns’ must show path to profitability, say experts (Nikkei)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • AI at the Barbican: in the realm of mind games; A wide-ranging new exhibition in London explores developments in artificial intelligence (FT)
  • Driverless electric truck starts deliveries on Swedish public road (Reuters)
  • Adobe brings new Amazon and Google integrations to Magento (TC)
  • Disney to Buy Comcast’s Hulu Stake and Take Full Control of Streaming Service (NYT)
  • Match now offers dating coaches who help its members with profiles, dating challenges (TC)
  • Intel’s new boss wants to teach the chipmaker new tricks; When fear of missing out meets financial ruthlessness (Economist)
  • Questions Persist About Uber’s Profits-And Its Stock Falls Further (Forbes); Uber and Lyft Might Never Be Profitable. Investors Are Waking Up to That. (Barron’s); Uber Eats Needs to Deliver More Than Ever; Its explosive growth is crucial at a time when Uber’s largest business, ride hailing, is slowing. (Bloomberg); Uber’s IPO Debacle Raises Hairy Questions for WeWork (Bloomberg)
  • San Francisco just banned facial-recognition technology (CNN)
  • CrowdStrike IPO: 5 things to know about the cybersecurity unicorn (MW)
  • Ken Fisher: Subscription Advice a “Stupid Model” (Barron’s)
  • EDA Vendors Spread Wings as Market Softens (EET)

Life

  • The Spectacular Implosion of Dr. Cho’s ‘Nefarious Network’: Hong Kong’s markets are plagued by stock manipulation, share pledging, cross-ownership and margin lending. Regulators say they’re going to take action. (Bloomberg)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (14 May 2019) – How to Increase Your Personal Agency

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (14 May 2019) – How to Increase Your Personal Agency

Companies

  • Tencent Music profit beats as paid subscribers grow (Reuters)
  • Zoom Video Analysts Like Its Growth But Caution on Valuation (Bloomberg)
  • Taiwan’s Foxconn readies chip boss to succeed Gou as chairman – sources (Reuters)
  • Greatech Technology Bhd, an industrial automation solutions provider, aims to raise RM73.05mil from its initial public offering (IPO (Star)

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

  • Alipay now serves over 300,000 merchants in Japan (KRA)

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

  • Microsoft’s Cloud Business Is Closing In on Amazon Web Services, Analyst Says (Barron’s)
  • Apple revamps its TV app ahead of streaming service launch (Reuters)
  • Netflix Bull Says ‘Bulletproof’ Service Can Handle Disney+ Challenge (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China AI cancer diagnosis start-ups face capital shortage; Stricter licensing regime makes it tougher to commercialise medical tech (FT)
  • China’s regulator urges brokerages to monitor investors’ funding needs to trade on Nasdaq-style market; Retail investors must meet minimum investment threshold of US$72,900 to trade stocks on the new board, which is likely to debut in the middle of this year (SCMP)
  • TikTok’s overseas issues (TN)
  • China’s Leshi on verge of delisting as debts pile up (Nikkei)
  • US reveals tariffs on $300bn of Chinese goods, including phones; Asian tech companies prepare to initiate contingency plans (Nikkei)
  • KDDI rolls out new ‘price down’ smartphone plans for Japan amid government push for lower rates (JT)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • ServiceNow acqui-hires mobile analytics startup Appsee (TC)
  • Mailchimp expands from email to full marketing platform, says it will make $700M in 2019 (TC)
  • Slack aims to be the most important software company in the world, says CEO (TC)
  • ADT Stock Tanks Because Google Is Helping People Manage Their Own Home Security (Barron’s)
  • The Web’s All-Seeing Eye: This Startup Is Getting In On Google’s Game By Searching A Trillion Facts (Forbes)
  • A senator wants to ban video games like Candy Crush from offering ‘loot boxes’ in-app purchases (CNN)
  • Shopify Stock Is Falling After an Analyst Said Bullish Targets Are Already Priced In (Barron’s)
  • Uber Is a Market Bellwether for All the Wrong Reasons; The point when investors start demanding profits from money-losing tech companies would mark the end of low inflation. (Bloomberg)
  • Pinterest’s Surge Triggers Cautious Reviews From Wall Street (Bloomberg)

Life

  • Podcast #507: How to Increase Your Personal Agency (AOM)
  • How I Built This with Guy Raz: Belkin International: Chet Pipkin (NPR)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (13 May 2019) – Gates’s Law: How Progress Compounds and Why It Matter

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (13 May 2019) – Gates’s Law: How Progress Compounds and Why It Matter

Companies

  • Pinduoduo wants you to buy a product together with 9,999 strangers; Pinduoduo is spending big bucks hoping to kickstart a new social shopping frenzy (KRA)
  • Chinese social apps Momo, Tantan and DingTalk suspend user posts amid government crackdown; Tantan is China’s biggest dating platform, with 90 million registered users and six million daily active users (SCMP)
  • So Young, More Beautiful – The Allure of China’s Plastic Surgery Market (PD)
  • Fanuc to build new plant to harness 5G and self-driving demand; Robot maker to invest $28m to mass-produce equipment for high-end lenses (Nikkei)
  • Delta to invest up to NT$13bn in Taiwan (TT)

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

  • Lazada extends e-commerce edge in Southeast Asia despite lull in overall visits to site; The Alibaba-backed e-commerce company scored the highest average monthly active users in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Singapore (SCMP)
  • Tencent links up with the State Grid of China to build industrial internet infrastructure for the power sector (KRA)
  • Despite propaganda concerns, Tencent launches subscription-based video streaming app in Taiwan (KRA)
  • Masa’s $100 Billion Fund Plays a Game of Hot Potato; The trick in venture capital is finding someone to buy your stake for more than you paid. A listing would grant new sources of cash. (Bloomberg); SoftBank’s Market Value Slides $9 Billion as Uber IPO Flops (Bloomberg)
  • Apple Partner TSMC Starts Building Chips for the Next Generation of iPhones (Bloomberg)

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

  • Facebook files lawsuit against South Korea data analytics group; Social network says case against Rankwave relates to misuse of ad and marketing services (FT)
  • TV networks emerge as obstacles on YouTube’s hunt for ads (Reuters)
  • Amazon rolls out machines that pack orders and replace jobs (Reuters)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Douyin competitor Kuaishou targets USD 4 billion in revenue and profitability in 2019 (KRA)
  • Fashion platform Mogu connects livestreamers and brands (TN)
  • China’s ‘data doors’ scoop up information straight from your phone; The security screeners scan more than your face, picking up MAC addresses and IMEI numbers (SCMP)
  • METI and JETRO to boost e-commerce support for Japanese firms via Japan Mall websites (JT)
  • Hotstar, Disney’s Indian streaming service, sets new global record for live viewership (TC)
  • India’s most popular services are becoming super apps; Companies like Paytm and Amazon bundle other services to give users an all-in-one experience (TC)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Markets Are 10X Bigger Than Ever (EG)
  • Bosch goes for platinum-light fuel cells (Reuters)
  • What’s next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Avengers: Endgame is not really the end. Spider-Man, Black Panther, Guardians and more-here’s a comprehensive list-and possibilities-of what’s coming at you from the superhero stables (Forbes)
  • MuleSoft chases Aussie transformation mania (AFR)
  • The investor who turned down Uber at a $5m valuation; ‘Aargh’ says Mark Suster, who went to Open Angel Forum in 2010 (FT)
  • As TV Industry’s $20 Billion Week Starts, Signs That Streaming Isn’t King Yet; The so-called upfronts are traditional television’s annual hype-fest, and a way locking advertisers into lucrative deals. They’re also a reminder of the medium’s continuing relevance (NYT)
  • AI arms race risks rise of uncontrollable killer robots; US, China and Russia poised to field unmanned weapons before global rules take shape (Nikkei)
  • Uber Is Too Mature and Immature; It has the hallmarks of a slowing, established company and the unprofitable economics of an upstart, making it hard for investors to love. (Bloomberg); Morgan Stanley Got Rich Clients Into Uber. Then the IPO Stumbled (Bloomberg)
  • French start-up targets hi-tech anti-pollution mask at Asia’s health-conscious consumers; Founder says US$220 price tag should not deter consumers who value their health above all else. (SCMP)

Life

  • Gates’s Law: How Progress Compounds and Why It Matters (FS)
  • Police arrest Kangde Xin’s major shareholder in a show of force to support regulator’s crackdown on corporate malfeasance; Police arrested Zhong Yu, the major shareholder and former chairman of Kangde Xin, after its auditor refused to sign off on the listed company’s cash position (SCMP)
  • Best World confirms allegations that CEO’s brother-in-law owns main customer in China (ST)
  • Degrees of Confidence (MH)
  • What Does It Mean to Be Great? Not What You Think. (ZR)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (11 May 2019) – Secret of sensor giant Keyence’s super-high margin + Japan’s Google-backed AI pioneer plots a quantum leap; Analyzing retail data only scratches the surface of Abeja’s ambitions

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (11 May 2019) – Secret of sensor giant Keyence’s super-high margin + Japan’s Google-backed AI pioneer plots a quantum leap; Analyzing retail data only scratches the surface of Abeja’s ambitions

Companies

  • Zoom and Its Profits Face Analyst Scrutiny After 121% Rally (Bloomberg)
  • Momo will temporarily suspend the ability of users to post social newsfeeds on its platform between May 11, 2019 and June 11, 2019 and undertake other self-inspection measures pursuant to directives of relevant government authority (PRNW)
  • Secret of sensor giant Keyence’s super-high margin (Nikkei)
  • Delta Electronics plans to hire 7,000 employees over next 3-5 years (FT)
  • Meet The Asian E-Commerce Head Who’s Expanding Globally, But Not In China (Forbes)
  • Life360 passes first day of ASX litmus test (AFR)

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

  • SoftBank hedges bet on mobile with Yahoo deal (Nikkei); SoftBank/Vision Fund: Uberoptimistic Group remains reliant on the mature and fiercely competitive telecoms industry (FT)

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

  • In the World of Dating, All-Powerful Facebook Is Now the Underdog (Barron’s)
  • Nest, the company, died at Google I/O 2019 (ARST)
  • Netflix Signs Deal With Alibaba to Add Chinese-Language TV Show (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China’s Electric-Car Mania Draws Parallels to the Dot-Com Bubble (Bloomberg)
  • TikTok Is the New Music Kingmaker, and Labels Want to Get Paid; They’re seeking a better deal after they missed the rise of the social video platform and sold music rights for a flat fee. (Bloomberg)
  • In China, Even Healthcare for All Isn’t Enough; As the country tries to expand private insurance, its tech companies should lead the way. (Bloomberg)
  • Social selling startup Beidian raises RMB 860 million, challenges Pinduoduo (TN)
  • Shakeout looms for China’s electric car market, as 80 per cent of start-ups predicted to go under; Only 20 to 30 electric vehicle makers may survive, says Beijing Electric Vehicle Co senior executive (SCMP)
  • Japan’s Google-backed AI pioneer plots a quantum leap; Analyzing retail data only scratches the surface of Abeja’s ambitions (Nikkei)
  • Japan’s ‘information banks’ to let users cash in on personal data (Nikkei)
  • Panasonic sets $9bn sales target at new China-focused segment; Electronics maker eyes innovation hub for connected appliances (Nikkei)
  • JG Summit to pump $50m into Southeast Asian startups (Nikkei)
  • Ovo, Grab’s mobile wallet in Indonesia, introduces ‘pay later’ feature (KRA)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Zillow’s future vision ramping up fast, and it’s good news for homebuyers & sellers (TBP)
  • Silicon Valley will soon get its own stock exchange (qz)
  • Lyft’s revenues double, losses quintuple-and prospects darken; The same is likely to be true of Uber when it lists. Only more so (Economist); Uber IPO: the long ride to profitability; The billions raised from the listing will help its strategy, but how much longer can it continue without making a profit? (FT); As Uber goes public, the fight against its broken business model continues (ET); Uber’s dull thud may startle unicorn herd (Reuters)
  • American pay-television is in decline; This will have far-reaching consequences for the industry (Economist)
  • How real-estate barons have ridden the tech boom; Digitisation has created unlikely winners: real-estate barons (Economist)
  • WeWork’s starry valuation dazzles landlords, reaffirms doubters (Reuters)
  • Jumia falls sharply after Citron claims fraud; Africa-focused ecommerce site targeted by short seller (FT); Wall Street’s Silence Is Deafening as Citron Takes Aim at the Amazon of Africa (Bloomberg)
  • Marvell Doubles Down on Automotive Ethernet (EET)
  • Artificial Intelligence Detects IEDs at Military X-Ray Checkpoints (EET)
  • After Delivering 5,000% Share Jump, Ambu CEO Makes a Sudden Exit (Bloomberg)
  • Game Development Platform Unity Raising Funding at $6 Billion Valuation (Bloomberg)

Life

  • ‘Relentless focus kept me going’: Achal Bakeri, Chairman and MD of Symphony (HBL)
  • The Empty Promise of Data Moats (a16z)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (9-10 May 2019) – The Company Behind Gore-Tex Is Coming for Your Eyeballs; W.L. Gore, the classic American innovator, is building artificial corneas, and reinventing itself in the process.

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (9-10 May 2019) – The Company Behind Gore-Tex Is Coming for Your Eyeballs; W.L. Gore, the classic American innovator, is building artificial corneas, and reinventing itself in the process.

Companies

  • Online lesson platform GSX Techedu plans US IPO (KRA, Nikkei)
  • China’s CAR Rental raises USD 200m via bond sales to repay old debt (KRA)
  • Recruit invests in Indian AI chatbot platform Techbins (SI)
  • Daifuku’s visualisation and simulation approach to baggage handling (IAR)
  • Sony’s market value stays discounted even as profits pick up; Investors balk at array of businesses with capitalization at half of peak (Nikkei)
  • Trend Micro Reports Solid First Quarter 2019 Results (BW)
  • Recruit invests in Indian AI chatbot platform Techbins (SI)
  • Terry Gou’s right-hand woman tipped to become next Foxconn chief; ‘Money Mama’ Huang seen maintaining mogul’s ties to group (Nikkei); Foxconn to shift some output from Shenzhen to Taiwan (Nikkei)
  • Innodisk Displaying IoT-Ready Solutions and Resolution at IoT World 2019 (PRNW)
  • Shopee beats Lazada in terms of number of visits across Southeast Asia in Q1 2019 (KRA)
  • Afterpay forced to change name for UK launch by Dutch rival (Age)
  • Atlassian shares hit a record after Goldman analysts recommend buying the stock (CNBC)

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

  • How Garena became extremely important for Tencent’s future (e27)
  • Tencent and Ant Financial win Hong Kong virtual bank licenses; Xiaomi- and Ping An-backed ventures also gain approval from monetary authority (Nikkei)
  • Tencent, Alibaba, Xiaomi units win Hong Kong online banking license (Reuters)
  • WeChat users can now add songs to the videos they post (M(
  • Alipay’s mutual aid platform Xiang Hu Bao now covers senior citizens in China (KRA)
  • Masayoshi Son claims Vision Fund LPs are already up 45% – but that’s mostly paper gains (TC); SoftBank profit grows 36% relying heavily on investment stakes; Vision Fund generates returns but debt and thin cash flow cast shadow (Nikkei); SoftBank’s Son declares second $100bn tech fund will launch soon (Nikkei); Son’s $100 Billion Mammoth Can Still Move Fast; The SoftBank Vision Fund just had its busiest and most profitable quarter, and it still has the Uber IPO to come. (Bloomberg); SoftBank’s Big Bets Start to Pay Off With $3.8 Billion Uber Gain (Bloomberg); What Uber’s IPO Tells Us About SoftBank’s Big Ride-Hailing Bet (Bloomberg); Son’s $100 Billion Mammoth Can Still Move Fast; The SoftBank Vision Fund just had its busiest and most profitable quarter, and it still has the Uber IPO to come. (Bloomberg)
  • Samsung unveils world’s highest-resolution image sensor (Investor)

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

  • Break up Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is too strong, says company’s co-founder (JT)
  • Amazon upgrades its Blink outdoor security camera with better battery, two-way talk (TC)
  • Amazon Hit by Extensive Fraud With Hackers Siphoning Merchant Funds (Bloomberg)
  • Google and Qualcomm launch a dev kit for building Assistant-enabled headphones (TC)
  • Google Maps’ AR navigation makes walking directions foolproof (Age); Assistant thinks on the fly, and other Android updates coming soon (Age)
  • Google Fights Back (BT)
  • Waymo at 1,000 Riders: The Self-Driving Frontrunner Inches Forward (Bloomberg)
  • Microsoft is building a virtual assistant for work. Google is building one for everything else (qz)
  • The $1 trillion miracle of Microsoft; Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has a completely different style to that of his predecessors, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. It’s helped turn the tech giant from a market laggard into the world’s most valuable company (AFR)
  • Netflix acquires kids’ educational content co. StoryBots (TC)
  • Services are the new battleground for Apple (AFR)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • WeChat challenger Toilet pivots to e-commerce, rebrands as Haoji (TN)
  • Chinese mom-focused social commerce platform Beidian raises USD 126 million; Anyone can open a shop on Beidian to sell and share products, and receive commissions from sales. (KRA)
  • Co-chiefs of China’s top chipmaker SMIC fighting over strategy; Pair battle over whether to pursue profits or state demands for cutting-edge technology (FT)
  • Chinese fintech firms cosy up to banks as collaborators instead of disrupters they shift towards retail banking (SCMP)
  • Slump in China Stocks Threatens to Spoil Tech Board Plan (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Robocars Are Being Lapped By Their U.S. Competitors (Bloomberg)
  • Chinese AI unicorn Megvii raises US$750 million ahead of planned IPO (SCMP)
  • China now has 202 unicorns, says report (KRA)
  • Three shifts in Chinese clean tech recast climate villain as savior; Solar is finally cheaper than fossil fuels; wind and EVs are not far behind (Nikkei)
  • Douyin set to add “Products” category to its search bar (KRA)
  • China’s Microsoft challenger Kingsoft files for Shanghai tech board listing (TN)
  • Toyota, Panasonic to set up company for ‘connected’ homes (Reuters)
  • Taiwanese solid-state battery maker ProLogium seeing adoption in electric vehicles (TN)
  • Seoul to spend W240b for next-generation chip tech (Investor)
  • How HaloDoc aims to open greater access to healthcare for all Indonesians; Medical facilities in Indonesia are not evenly distributed. HaloDoc wants to help tackle this challenge (e27)
  • RIP Indian Handsets: Micromax, Intex, Lava and Karbonn hold only 3 percent market share (Forbes)
  • BigBasket gets funds from Alibaba, Mirae as investors bet on Indian startups; Online grocery retailer receives $150 million (Nikkei)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • How Artificial Intelligence could help with early detection of breast cancer (MW)
  • SaaS startups are changing the founder/investor dynamic (TNW)
  • com to bolster caregivers’ screening checks (MW)
  • Uber’s global ‘alliances’ create frenemies that cloud long-term prospects (TN); Data and delivery: how Uber aims to move things around the world (Age); Uber Is Going Public: How Today’s Tech; I.P.O.s Differ From the Dot-Com Boom (NYT); The answer to Uber’s profit challenge? It may lie in its trove of data (Reuters); Uber has recipes to avoid delivery indigestion (Reuters); Uber’s losses are nothing like young Amazon’s (Reuters)
  • Lyft stops providing key data after IPO, then insults investors’ intelligence (MW); How Lyft disguises its losses (qz); Lyft takes some gas out of Uber’s IPO (Reuters)
  • Square teams up with Postmates for delivery partnership (MW)
  • Roku stock surge adds another $100 million to short sellers’ paper losses this year (MW)
  • IBM Could Struggle in the Cloud, Analyst Says – and Watch Out for Activist Investors (Barron’s)
  • Citron Research’s Andrew Left slams Jumia as a ‘fraud’ and ‘worthless’ (MW)
  • With new Fit technology, Nike calls itself a tech company (TC); Sick of Getting Returned Sneakers, Nike Tries a New Sizing App (Bloomberg)
  • Symantec CEO to step down in abrupt departure as company warns on profit (Reuters)
  • Rent the Runway just opened its largest brick-and-mortar store yet (TC)
  • Pandora expands its music-and-podcasts product Pandora Stories with help from SiriusXM’s guests (TC)
  • Pearl, the healthcare spinout from LA-based AI startup, GumGum, raises $11 million (TC)
  • Robotics startups won’t win without also incorporating AI, as Karakuri’s fundraise shows (TC)
  • Printify raises $3M to expand its marketplace for custom printing (TC)
  • Slack: Why your company needs to find its hedgehog (TNW)
  • How 5G will transform the way we use computers (Age)
  • Live music streaming pioneer Boiler Room touches down in China (KRA)
  • Disruptions of the last decade: How technology has changed the way we live, work and socialise (Forbes)
  • TripAdvisor Stock Tumbles Because Investors Don’t Like the Look of the Road Ahead (Barron’s)
  • “ServiceNow’s differentiated technology in automation and process management positions them well to build a strong ecosystem connecting all major portions of the company’s IT and business operations” (Barron’s)
  • WeWork: leaser of last resort (FT)
  • How Intel found itself ‘in a little bit of a bathtub’; Chief Bob Swan cautions chipmaker faces anaemic revenue growth and slipping margins; Intel’s stock is down almost 20 per cent in the past two weeks alone (FT)
  • BrainBox AI has announced the launch of a new product that combines deep learning, cloud-based computing and algorithms to support a self-sustaining commercial building (BK)
  • Managing data as an asset: An interview with the CEO of Informatica (MK)
  • Disney Writes Off Its Vice Stake in Latest Sign of Trouble (Bloomberg)
  • New York Times Company Continues to Add Online Subscribers as Digital Advertising Grows (NYT)
  • Real Estate’s Latest Bid: Zillow Wants to Buy Your House (NYT)

Life

  • The Company Behind Gore-Tex Is Coming for Your Eyeballs; W.L. Gore, the classic American innovator, is building artificial corneas, and reinventing itself in the process. (Bloomberg)
  • Asia is home to 50% of world’s fastest growing companies; Tencent leads 1,679 ‘ten baggers’ and India emerges as top incubator, data show (Nikkei)
  • How toxic company culture is derailing billion-dollar M&As (TNW)
  • SGX to Best World: Is main customer in China a related party? Firm had declared Changsha Best an independent party in offensive against short-seller; separate report says Dora Hoan’s brother-in-law is behind it (BT)
  • Berkshire Takes Tax Hit as Victim of ‘Ponzi-Type’ Solar Scheme (Bloomberg)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (8 May 2019) – This Little-Known Stock Nearmap Rallies 149% to Take Australia’s No. 1 Spot + Robert Browning on Artistic Integrity, Withstanding Criticism, and the Courage to Create Rather Than Cater

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (8 May 2019) – This Little-Known Stock Nearmap Rallies 149% to Take Australia’s No. 1 Spot + Robert Browning on Artistic Integrity, Withstanding Criticism, and the Courage to Create Rather Than Cater

Companies

  • Zoom Video shares rise following clearance for federal use (MW)
  • China’s Meituan Dianping pushes its short delivery service to more customers in search for profit; The Beijing-based company’s delivery system currently has more than 600,000 active daily couriers, and serves over 3.6 million merchants in China (SCMP)
  • SeaTown Invests $3.17 Million in Tencent Music (FID)
  • China Is Losing Its Grip on Companies Due to Trump’s Trade War; Delta Electronics is expanding in India, Taiwan and elsewhere (Bloomberg)
  • Afterpay rival Flexigroup inks deals with Myer, IKEA, health groups (AFR)
  • Shares in Nearmap., which provides aerial images and location data that allow businesses to conduct virtual site visits, have surged 149 percent this year, making it the biggest gainer on the benchmark index. (Bloomberg)
  • TCS set to become world’s third-largest IT services company (LM)

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

  • Baidu founder Robin Li says his firm shipped more smart screens than speakers in February; Smart speakers with display screen are gaining traction. (KRA)
  • Tencent aims to digitize Beijing Tourism Group’s 7,000 offline businesses (KRA)
  • Tencent trials AI diagnosis program for Parkinson’s in London (FT)
  • Smart appliances slow to pick up Samsung’s recipe for recovery (Nikkei)

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

  • A Tax That Could Fix Big Tech: Putting a levy on targeted ad revenue would give Facebook and Google a real incentive to change their dangerous business models. (NYT)
  • Google unveils new privacy tools, smarter AI assistant, cheaper phones (MW); Google brings augmented reality to Search (TC); Google Search will offer better news coverage, and soon, support for podcast search (TC); Google is bringing AI assistant Duplex to the web (TC); Google Assistant gets driving mode (TC); Google Lens can translate foreign language text in photos and read it back to you (TC); Google Assistant gets more personalized through a new ‘Picks for You’ feature (TC); Google’s I/O developer conference is no longer just about tech (qz)
  • Google Face Match brings privacy debate into the home; New ‘smart display’ pushes boundaries of acceptance for recognition systems Google at-home device (FT)
  • Google Will Give Users More Control Over Who Tracks Them Online (Bloomberg)
  • Google Debuts Cheaper Pixel Phones After Premium Handsets Flop (Bloomberg)
  • YouTube TV (AVC)
  • How the Apple Store Lost Its Luster; In interviews, current and former employees say brand building became more important than serving shoppers. (Bloomberg)
  • Apple teams up with SAP to help clients develop iPhone business apps (Reuters)
  • Microsoft’s Newest Offerings Aim at Cloud-Computing Market (Barron’s)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Online education platform Hujiang’s Hong Kong IPO application expired: report; company had been running with increasing deficits from 2015 to 2017, with respective net losses of RMB 280 million, RMB 422 million, and RMB 537 million (TN)
  • Shanghai district installs comprehensive surveillance system; City Brain’s 1,100 security cameras are a test case for constant monitoring (Nikkei)
  • Japan Inc. will defy its critics and innovate once more; Faced with an aging society, companies can overcome conservatism and embrace a digital world (Nikkei)
  • NTT to launch AI-based genome screening for preventive medicine (Nikkei)
  • Brankas wants to bring Southeast Asia’s banks and e-commerce into the digital era (TC)
  • After Indonesia introduced minimum tariffs for online motorcycle taxi rides, platforms are already seeing a dip in demand (KRA)
  • Big Basket raises $150 million to expand its operations (Forbes)
  • The Rise of India’s New Billionaires (And the Fall of the Old); New entrepreneurs are growing wealthy in areas like technology (Bloomberg)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Match Group Stock Is Jumping Because Facebook Hasn’t Killed Tinder (Barron’s); Match Group Beats Estimates as Tinder’s Popularity Grows Abroad (Bloomberg); Match Group adds more Tinder subscribers, shares surge (Reuters)
  • Square acquires conversational AI startup Eloquent Labs (TC)
  • Bubble-driven boom in M&As hides steep costs long-term (TC)
  • This tablet on a stick isn’t RoboCop, but it’s a smart solution to risky traffic stops (TNW)
  • LinkedIn wants Indians to spend more time on its platform. But how far can colourful emojis go? (qz)
  • The Farm Automation Breakthrough Bringing The High-Tech West Coast And Rural Rust Belt Together (Forbes)
  • Casper, With Competition Growing, Wants To Be More Than A Mattress Company (Forbes)
  • A Vision of the Dark Future of Advertising; Companies will know more about you than you can even imagine (Medium)
  • Why Tech Giants Are So Desperate to Provide Your Voice Assistant (HBR)
  • Lyft unveils Waymo partnership as loss widens to $1.1 billion (JT)
  • NCR Weighs a Sale After Receiving Takeover Interest (Bloomberg)
  • Spotify Turns the Anti-Apple Volume Up to 11 (Bloomberg)
  • Americans Have So Many Subscriptions They Need Apps to Track and Cancel Them (Bloomberg)
  • As IPO looms, Uber clings to hard-knuckled tactics in pursuit of growth (Reuters)

Life

  • Chinese gaming company Kingnet confirms its boss has been arrested for market manipulation (KRA)
  • Robert Browning on Artistic Integrity, Withstanding Criticism, and the Courage to Create Rather Than Cater (BP)
  • Seneca: Curbing Anger: The Stoic’s Cure for the Most Destructive Emotion (Medium)
  • Make Friends With the Monster Chewing on Your Leg, and Other Tips for Surviving Startups (FR)
  • Will You Choose Alive Time or Dead Time? Not having control over our circumstances is frustrating, but it doesn’t mean we’re helpless (RH)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (7 May 2019) – Word’s new AI editor will improve your writing

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (7 May 2019) – Word’s new AI editor will improve your writing

Companies

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

  • Alibaba re-evaluates India strategy, may focus on smaller deals; The potential shift in strategy follows Alibaba’s disappointments at some of its large e-commerce bets in India (LM)

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

  • Facebook is pivoting (TC)
  • Facebook’s contract workers are looking at your private posts to train AI (Verge)
  • Word’s new AI editor will improve your writing (TC); Microsoft wants you to work less (TC); Microsoft wants to reinvent documents and collaboration with its new Fluid Framework (TC); Microsoft and GitHub grow closer (TC); Microsoft and Red Hat launch a new event-driven Kubernetes autoscaling tool (TC); Microsoft’s IntelliCode for AI-assisted coding comes out of preview (TC); Microsoft open-sources its quantum computing development tools (TC); Microsoft launches a new platform for building autonomous robots (TC); Microsoft aims to modernize and secure voting with ElectionGuard (TC, JT); Microsoft is building Word into a serious Google Docs competitor (qz)
  • Microsoft Forms Pact With VMware to Keep Up With Amazon (Bloomberg)
  • It’s Microsoft vs. Comcast in infrastructure push to expand rural broadband (MW)
  • Google Maps Could Point the Way to Alphabet Stock Gains (Barron’s)
  • Apple has bought around two dozen companies in the past 6 months, Tim Cook says (MW)
  • Apple’s New Video Service Is Unlikely to ‘Move the Needle’ on Profit, Analyst Says (Barron’s)
  • Apple to Reveal New Home-Grown Apps, Software Features at WWDC; Tech giant will woo developers with new tools, but also compete with them through its own software. (Bloomberg)
  • Ford Partners With Amazon to Enable Package Deliveries to Trunks (Bloomberg)
  • Amazon squares up to local ecommerce groups in India; Online retail is booming in smaller cities as data prices fall and more people get web access (FT)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Jiangsu Hengshun Vinegar attributes some of its increase in profit to the AI taste-testing machines which increased productivity, improved product quality and stability, reduced production costs and provided technical support to promote traditional cuisine outside the country (SCMP)
  • DeepGlint: the Chinese AI firm that helped police catch a criminal who had been on the run for 20 years (SCMP)
  • Chinese Startup DouYu Delays U.S. IPO Launch on Trade Jitters (Bloomberg)
  • Trump’s Tariffs on Chinese Electric Cars Seen as Likely to Last (Bloomberg)
  • Tencent-backed health care giant DXY expands to cosmetic medicine (TN)
  • Chinese video platform Kuai says its users in smaller cities love instructional videos (KRA)
  • Failed anonymous chat app pivots to social shopping (TIA)
  • Future standard to democratize image analysis AI raises 400 million yen (TC)
  • South Korea’s booming ‘webtoons’ put Japan’s print manga on notice (JT)
  • SendBird, a startup that enables developers to add messaging to their apps with a couple of lines of code, snags additional $50M for messaging API tool, as it extends Series B to $102M (TC)
  • Grocery startup BigBasket becomes India’s newest unicorn with new $150M investment (TC)
  • The world won’t take China’s money-and India’s online travel firms are benefiting (qz)
  • Medlife acquires Myra Medicines for express delivery and data science capabilities; The e-pharmacy platform plans to invest $100 million to expand its operations, build additional services and gain greater market share (Forbes)
  • Power Thieves Drain India’s Electric-Car Hopes; Widespread theft of electricity and a lack of charging stations render the country’s green-vehicle targets unrealistic. (Bloomberg)
  • Uber Eats targets business customers in Australia ahead of IPO (Age)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • ServiceNow Unveils Google Pact on Path to $10 Billion Sales Goal (Bloomberg)
  • Dropbox adds cold storage layer to reduce cost of storing less-frequently accessed files (TC)
  • Carta, formerly known as eShares, had moved beyond replacing paper records and into selling as a monthly service appraisals of the fair market value of private companies’ common stock in order to determine their strike price (TC)
  • Thunes raises $10M to make financial services more accessible in emerging markets (TC)
  • VisaDB tells you all about your next destination – weather, paperwork, and plugs to bring (TNW)
  • SaaS startup Black Lake raises RMB 150 million as factories shift to the cloud (TN)
  • PagerDuty offers a subscription service that allows businesses to improve the constant interplay between software developers and operators – so-called DevOps – within their organization and lets them use real-time data to address incidents that occur (MW)
  • Chewy Inc., the rapidly growing online seller feeding on the “pet humanization” trend, is going public. (MW)
  • Stock Picks From Space; Investors are using real-time satellite images to predict retailers’ sales. Is that cheating? (Atlantic)
  • What Pinterest is hiding, and why it may get in the way of a higher stock price (MW)
  • Roku Stock Has Doubled and Will Keep Rising on Strong Ad Sales, Analyst Says (Barron’s)
  • Forgers Are Forcing a $9 Trillion Business Into Digital Age (Bloomberg)
  • The Sports TV Bubble Shows Signs of Weakness; Sinclair’s deal to buy the former Fox regional sports networks values them at less than expected. (Bloomberg)
  • Lyft Shares Sell Off as Driver Strike Highlights Regulatory Risk (Bloomberg)
  • Flexera’s Owners Pursue Sale for Up to $3 Billion; Flexera helps companies with IT services including software security, cloud management and software-as-a-service management (Bloomberg)

Life

  • Buffett Confronts Tech-Driven Change Amid Investor Questions; “We just sat there sucking our thumbs,” Munger said of failing to invest in Google. “Maybe Apple was atonement.” (Bloomberg)
  • To Master Your Work, Work to Master Your Mind (NW)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (6 May 2019) – ‘We screwed up’ not buying Google shares, Berkshire’s Munger says

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (6 May 2019) – ‘We screwed up’ not buying Google shares, Berkshire’s Munger says

Companies

  • So-Young plastic surgery: wrinkle twinkle; So-Young accounts for a third of all plastic surgery procedures booked by Chinese people online by sales (BT)

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

  • Tencent aims to blend internet and industry in bid for new growth; Push to expand beyond consumer services comes as gaming segment faces headwinds (Nikkei)
  • SoftBank mulls IPO of $100 billion Vision Fund: source (Reuters)

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

  • How Apple News+ could be the forbidden fruit for publishers (Age)
  • The making of Amazon Prime, the internet’s most successful and devastating membership program; An oral history of the subscription service that changed online shopping forever. (Vox)
  • Netflix Isn’t Being Reckless, It’s Just Playing a Game No One Else Dares (Netflix Misunderstandings, Pt. 3) (Redef)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Chinese AR start-up develops smart glasses to help police catch suspects (SCMP)
  • China’s largest satellite operator feels heat from 5G competition; Threat to TV pushes China Satcom toward maritime Wi-Fi and ‘smart shipping’ (Nikkei)
  • Q&A with Taiwan’s ‘Startup Minister’ Chen; After TSMC and UMC, Taiwan Needs a New Model (EET)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • How exactly Stitch Fix’s “Tinder for clothes” learns your style (qz)
  • Jumia’s rise exposes challenges of online shopping in Africa; Pan-African start-up wrestles with issues of logistics, traffic and customer trust (FT)
  • Forgers Are Forcing a $9 Trillion Business Into the Digital Age (Bloomberg)
  • MercadoLibre Soars to Record as Payments Growth Impresses Street (Bloomberg)
  • Spotify Stock Is Risky Because the Music Industry Isn’t Changing Fast Enough (Barron’s)
  • Apps Take Center Stage in Chipotle’s Food Fight; Digital ordering and food delivery have moved beyond talking points and pilot programs to become big money-makers. (Bloomberg)
  • Visualizing the Unicorn Landscape in 2019 (VC)
  • Using Smart Speakers to Engage with Your Customers (HBR)
  • Robots Edge Closer to Unloading Trucks in Amazon-Era Milestone; New Siemens, Honeywell devices work at least as fast as people. ‘The job is miserable inside that trailer.’ (Bloomberg)
  • Fifty Years of AMD, a Tech Leader (EET)
  • How Audioburst Makes Talk Radio And Podcasts More Digestible (Pulse)
  • Distracted by Tech While Driving? The Answer May Be More Tech (NYT)

Life

  • ‘We screwed up’ not buying Google shares, Berkshire’s Munger says (Reuters); Buffett leans in to fintech and Asia in search of gems; Paytm and Amazon stakes mark departure from Oracle of Omaha’s tech aversion (Nikkei); Buffett says Amazon stock purchase doesn’t deviate from value-investing principles (MW); Here’s How Warren Buffett Answered a 9-Year-Old’s Question About Investing in Tech (Barron’s)
  • The future of stroke patients may depend on the part-time job of a Canadian surgeon (qz)
  • Visionary Photographer Edward Weston on Creativity and the Importance of Cross-Disciplinary Curiosity (BP)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (4 May 2019) – Reversion to the Mean Is Dead. Investors Beware.

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (4 May 2019) – Reversion to the Mean Is Dead. Investors Beware.

Companies

  • E-commerce upstart Yunji shines in downsized Nasdaq IPO; Yunji’s aggressive expansion in its earlier years drew the attention of Chinese authorities, who slapped the company with the equivalent of a $1.4 million fine in 2017 for violating pyramid (Nikkei)
  • Persistent Systems extends partnership with Trend Micro from endpoint security to virtual server security (CRN, NB)
  • Daikin to spend $900m on polymer output for chip equipment (Nikkei)
  • We’re very focused on the Australian market: ReadyTech (AFR)
  • GBST provides update on Bravura Solutions takeover proposal (MF)
  • ViTrox Sets Up German Subsidiary (iconnect)

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

  • SoftBank Has a Bigger, Weirder Vision (Bloomberg)

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

  • Facebook’s quest is to find new ways to make money; Mark Zuckerberg’s next act will be a mass experiment (FT)
  • Old Facebook finally wants you to ‘Meet New Friends’ (TC)
  • Machine Learning Challenges at Facebook Scale (EET)
  • Amazon prepares to battle with Alibaba in Asia’s cloud (Nikkei)
  • Amazon’s One-Day Shipping Is a Perk Few Retailers Can Match (Bloomberg)
  • Warren Buffett Buys Into a Different Amazon; A less growth-charged, more profitable profile may have attracted Berkshire Hathaway stock pickers to the e-commerce giant. (Bloomberg)
  • Huawei Overtakes Apple to Become Second Biggest Smartphone Maker (Bloomberg)
  • SEC hits failed Apple sapphire glass manufacturer with fraud charges (TC)
  • Google spends hundreds of millions of dollars on content review: letter (Reuters)
  • Microsoft launches a fully managed blockchain service (TC)
  • Microsoft brings Azure SQL Database to the edge (and Arm) (TC)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • How Chinese Unicorn Mobvoi Regained Its Original AI Vision After Ticwatch Detour (Forbes)
  • QR code scams strike China, from merchants to traffic tickets; Scammers rip off people trying to pay parking tickets (Nikkei)
  • Shenzhen AI start-up Intellifusion helps city police identify jaywalkers and banned drivers (SCMP)
  • We Should Worry About How China Uses Apps Like TikTok; Illiberal innovations created for China’s vast surveilled and censored domestic market are increasingly popular overseas. (NYT)
  • 20x the market opportunity of ride-hailing: Ankur Mehrotra on Grab Financial’s strategy and products (KRA)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Spotify’s leanback instant listening app Stations hits iOS (TC)
  • DAZN vs. ESPN: Loaded With A-List Athletes-Canelo, Ronaldo, LeBron-The Billionaire-Backed Streaming Site Wants To Be The Worldwide Leader In Sports (Forbes)
  • The flood of tech IPOs risks worsening inequality; When the bull run ends, it will drag down valuations of everything considered ‘growth’ (FT)
  • The low-key smart tech that works for cities; Eye-catching data services do not always improve citizens’ lives. The most innovative are the least obvious (FT)
  • Nasdaq chief doubles down on data as NYSE fight intensifies; Adena Friedman tries to position New York exchange group as hub for technology (FT)
  • The trade war rumbles on – but US chip makers are cautiously optimistic despite lingering soft demand (SCMP)
  • Zoom Video Surges Past Lyft and Pinterest as Value Tops $20 Billion (Bloomberg)
  • Elon Musk Makes $500 Billion Autonomy Pitch to Investors (Bloomberg); Tesla’s $2 bln capital raise repeats sins of past (Reuters)
  • If This Is a Tech Bubble in Stocks, It’s the Expansionary Phase (Bloomberg)
  • Uber’s First Wall Street Buy Rating Endorses Comparisons to Amazon (Bloomberg); Uber’s IPO Disclosures Leave One Big Unanswered Question (Bloomberg)
  • Ocado’s Warehouse Robots Are Three Times Faster Than Amazon’s (Bloomberg)
  • MercadoLibre Soars to Record as Payments Growth Impresses Street (Bloomberg)
  • Expedia Shares Fall as Home-Rental Business Vrbo Goes Slow (Bloomberg)

Life

  • How Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner enlightened the Oracle of Omaha (MW)
  • Reversion to the Mean Is Dead. Investors Beware. (Barron’s)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (3 May 2019) – Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway, finally, has invested in Amazon.com, says he has been an ‘idiot’ not to buy into Amazon.com

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (3 May 2019) – Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway, finally, has invested in Amazon.com, says he has been an ‘idiot’ not to buy into Amazon.com

Companies

  • Chinese cosmetic surgery app So-Young has pretty debut on Nasdaq (Nikkei)
  • YY’s Like is now among the top ten apps in Indonesia (KRA)
  • Delta Electronics to expand China production for EV market (Digitimes)
  • Resmed back on track after better-than-expected third quarter (Age)
  • Volt bank to build mortgage platform with IRESS (ITN)
  • Nanosonics to Showcase Innovative trophon2 at ACOG 2019 Annual Meeting; HLD solution proven to reduce risk of ultrasound probe cross-infection without harm to environment (BW)
  • Bravura announces $165m raising to aid GBST acquisition (ID)
  • India’s Kajaria Ceramics rises; Jefferies starts coverage with ‘buy’; poised to benefit the most from a fillip to organised volumes, courtesy tightening compliance and the recent ban on coal gasifiers in Gujarat, which should shrink the price diff (Reuters)
  • This one stats shows how Nearmap is growing exponentially faster; LTV has grown from $480 million as at December 30 2017 to $1.07 billion as at December 30 2018 to what it revealed today as over $1.4 billion as at March 31 2019 (MF); NEA Showcases Strong Growth In 1H19; Customer Lifetime Value Exceeds $1B (KKM)

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

  • Samsung’s chip and smartphone segments face falling profits (Nikkei)

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

  • Facebook open-sources Ax and BoTorch to simplify AI model optimization (TC)
  • Mark Zuckerberg unveils plans for Facebook’s future; Social network warns integrating its messaging apps will take years; Facebook is encouraging its users to communicate in groups, rather than via individual public posts (FT)
  • Instagram Is the New Mall; The platform is allowing influencers to sell things to users directly through their posts. (Atlantic)
  • How Facebook and Google are using algorithms to predict your next thought (TNW)
  • Google launches CallJoy, a virtual customer service phone agent for small businesses (TC)
  • Google Strategy Teardown: Google Is Turning Itself Into An AI Company As It Seeks To Win New Markets Like Cloud And Transportation (CBI)
  • YouTube touts first new original programme under free strategy (Reuters)
  • Want to Predict Apple’s Stock Price? Watch Its Suppliers. (Barron’s)
  • iPhone hard hit as global smartphone shipments continue nosedive (TC)
  • Why Amazon didn’t make the cut in China (TIA)
  • Alexa in-skill purchasing, which lets developers make money from voice apps, launches internationally (TC)
  • Amazon Can’t Duck Williams-Sonoma Suit Over Furniture Sales (Bloomberg)
  • The Most Valuable Company (for Now) Is Having a Nadellaissance; Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has more subscribers than Netflix, more cloud computing revenue than Google, and a near-trillion-dollar market cap. (Bloomberg); The Most Valuable Company (for Now) Is Having a Nadellaissance; Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft has more subscribers than Netflix, more cloud computing revenue than Google, and a near-trillion-dollar market cap. (Bloomberg)
  • Microsoft makes a push to simplify machine learning (TC)
  • Microsoft rolls out new cloud services for AI and blockchain, partnering with JP Morgan; Microsoft is also releasing tools to let users make AI models without having to write the underlying code (SCMP)
  • Microsoft Is About to Show Off for Software Developers. Watch What It Says About the Cloud. (Barron’s)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • We Should Worry About How China Uses Apps Like TikTok; Illiberal innovations created for China’s vast surveilled and censored domestic market are increasingly popular overseas. (NYT)
  • Chinese tech companies revel in convertible-bond boom; Cash-hungry businesses have tapped investors for a record $4.6bn this year (FT)
  • China in pole position for 5G era with a third of key patents; US and Japan lose market share, as Huawei and ZTE bulk up (Nikkei); How 5G will unlock the industrial internet, driving another dimension of mobile connectivity (SCMP)
  • ‘Ghost restaurants’ ride Asia’s food delivery boom; With no storefronts, takeout-only eateries offer less risk for would-be owners (Nikkei)
  • BrainCo CEO says his ‘mind-reading’ tech is here to improve concentration, not surveillance (SCMP)
  • Huawei said to introduce world’s first 5G TV amid increased security scrutiny of its products (SCMP)
  • Money’s too tight to mention for China’s outsized electric vehicle industry (Technode)
  • Toyota AI Ventures launches $100M fund to invest in robotics and autonomous tech (TC)
  • Supermicro Asks Suppliers Not to Provide Chinese-Made Motherboards (TET)
  • AI learns to read Korean, so you don’t have to; Artificial intelligence solved a problem reading character-based scripts in the search for key documents (FT)
  • Indonesia brings regulations for on-demand motorcycle taxis into effect (KRA)
  • Go-Pay aims to simplify mutual funds investments in Indonesia through a partnership with Bibit (KRA)
  • Behind the scenes of InMobi’s journey to unicorn (TIA)
  • Malaysia’s GHL enables GrabPay QR payments (TIA)
  • Deskera reportedly raises US$100M+ in extended Series A funding round at US$500 valuation (e27)
  • How Paytm killed its e-commerce dream in India; Paytm Mall’s losses mounted and in the financial year 2018. It posted a loss of nearly Rs 1,800 cr. (ET)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • FanDuel is now charging inactive users $3 per month for not playing (TC)
  • FreightHub, the European digital freight forwarder, collects $30M Series B (TC)
  • Flume Health is an insurance administrator cutting costs by pre-approving prices and paying on-demand (TC)
  • Adtech veteran Quantcast is latest tech giant to face GDPR privacy probe (TC)
  • Inspection robots are climbing the walls to monitor safety conditions in hazardous locations (TC)
  • Tinder launches ‘Festival Mode’ to connect music festival goers with profile badges (TC)
  • Spotify launches voice-enabled ads on mobile devices in a limited US test (TC)
  • Palantir’s software was used for deportations, documents show (TC)
  • Verizon reportedly seeking to sell Tumblr (TC)
  • How streaming services are changing the way music is made (qz)
  • This US mayor joked cops should “mount .50-caliber” guns where AI predicts crime (qz)
  • Checkout.com raises record $230m in Series A funding; London-based payments start-up that competes with Adyen secures valuation close to $2bn (FT)
  • Making a killing: The Uber IPO is a moral stain on Silicon Valley (Age)
  • One SaaS metric we monitor closely is net dollar retention. Net dollar retention tells you what percent of revenue from current customers you retained from the prior year, after accounting for upgrades, downgrades, and churn. (CB)
  • Expedia Shares Fall as Home-Rental Business Vrbo Goes Slow (Bloomberg)
  • Zynga Soars as Analysts Rave About `Compelling Investment’ (Bloomberg)
  • Square Slides as Street Wonders If It’s ‘Running Out of Steam’ (Bloomberg)

Life

  • How i built this with Guy Raz: Live Episode! Peloton: John Foley (NPR)
  • Buffett says Berkshire Hathaway, finally, has invested in Amazon.com: CNBC (Reuters); Billionaire Buffett says he has been an ‘idiot’ not to buy into Amazon.com (Reuters)
  • The quest to find companies that have a lasting competitive edge: Finding companies protected by what Warren Buffett calls a “moat” is easy to talk about, but hard to do (Economist)
  • “The idea that rewards promote focus and skill is only true to a point; when the rewards get high enough it spins the other direction, because mental bandwidth that would otherwise go toward strategy and reason is overwhelmed by dreaming about the reward” (MH)
  • Adam Savage on Great Tools, Great Projects, and Great Lessons (#370) (TF)
  • China’s biggest online health care platform Ping An Healthcare and Technology fires back at short-seller report that labelled the firm ‘Ponzi scheme’ (SCMP)

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (2 May 2019) – AI is already changing how cancer is diagnosed

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (2 May 2019) – AI is already changing how cancer is diagnosed

Companies

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

  • Samsung Bets It Can Sell Smart-Home Tech by Building the Homes (Bloomberg)

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

  • Facebook won’t tell you one critical detail about its first major redesign since 2004; Unveiling the social network’s redesign, Mark Zuckerberg talked up online groups or digital ‘living rooms’ where people can have more intimate convers (MW)
  • Facebook is doubling down on AI to clean up the social network (CNN); Facebook Wants AI to Screen Content, But Fairness Issues Remain (Bloomberg)
  • Facebook wants to bring your entire body into virtual reality (CNN)
  • iPhone hard hit as global smartphone shipments continue nosedive (TC)
  • Apple’s future comes down to four crucial questions (Age)
  • Alexa in-skill purchasing, which lets developers make money from voice apps, launches internationally (TC)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China’s Mass Surveillance More Sophisticated Than Thought (Bloomberg)
  • Huawei to challenge Samsung, Apple electronics lead with 5G TV; Chinese tech company also aims to be a top PC maker in three years (Nikkei)
  • Calsonic lines up key public-private funding for $7bn Magneti deal; Calsonic aims to combine its expertise in electronic parts for self-driving systems with Magneti’s skill in electronic control units to compete with such global rivals as Bosch (Nikkei)
  • Tour package recommendation platform Tripstore operator raises W7.1b (Investor)
  • Rent my wheels: India’s Drivezy brings driver and owner together; Peer-to-peer vehicle-sharing service eyes expansion in US and Southeast Asia (Nikkei)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • AI is already changing how cancer is diagnosed (TNW)
  • Walmart’s Vudu teases original streaming programming, ‘shoppable’ content (MW)
  • GrubHub Soars 10% as CEO Buys Nearly $1 Million in Shares (Bloomberg)
  • Creepy Billboards Track Consumers With AI Cameras That Target Ads Based On Mood (ZH)
  • “Organized Crime Scheme” Ad-Click Fraud Is Costing Companies $50 Billion A Year (ZH)
  • Shopify Bulls Pile on With Even Higher Stock Price Expectations (Bloomberg)
  • Square Sees Revenue Falling Short of Estimates as its cash-register and payments-processing businesses see increasing competition (Bloomberg)
  • Airbnb Spawned an Ecosystem of Startups That Sweat the Details so Owners Don’t Have to; Money has been pouring into digital travel startups that help keep the noise low and the sheets crisp (Bloomberg)
  • TE Connectivity: An Industrial Company You’ve Never Heard of Has a Lot to Say About the Market (Barron’s)
  • When manipulation is the digital business model; Ever looked for an online cancel button and struggled to find it? ‘Dark patterns’ may be to blame (FT)
  • India’s Oyo hotel chain buys @Leisure for €369m; Acquisition of Amsterdam-based group aimed at boosting presence in short-term property rental; Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal says the acquisition reflects holidaymakers’ increasing preference (FT)
  • Bosch Makes Another Bet on Fuel Cell Technology (Bloomberg)

Life

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (1 May 2019) – Microsoft, Slack, Zoom, and the SaaS Opportunity + A $4.4 Billion Accounting Error Burns Investors in China; One of China’s largest listed drugmakers Kangmei Pharmaceuticals said it overstated cash holdings by $4.4 billion

H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (1 May 2019) – Microsoft, Slack, Zoom, and the SaaS Opportunity + A $4.4 Billion Accounting Error Burns Investors in China; One of China’s largest listed drugmakers Kangmei Pharmaceuticals said it overstated cash holdings by $4.4 billion

Companies

  • Momo Announces a Recent Development about Tantan (PRNW); Pomerantz Law Firm Investigates Claims On Behalf of Investors of Momo Inc (Yahoo)
  • Subsidies gas up turnaround at Buffett-backed BYD (Reuters)
  • Smartphone maker Xiaomi sets up technical committee to build an engineering culture as it pushes into artificial intelligence (SCMP)
  • MakeMyTrip acquires corporate travel firm Quest2Travel; India’s largest online travel aggregator enters the corporate travel business with the buyout of the Mumbai-based firm (Forbes)
  • Afterpay reveals quick-off-the-mark UK strategy (AFR)

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

  • Alibaba’s grand strategy to feed China’s middle class (Technode)
  • Ant Financial sells out its stake in micro-lender Qudian (KRA)
  • Tencent may enter ride-hailing business, its trademark registration information shows (KRA)
  • Long freeze between Tencent and Alibaba thaws; Chinese tech giants have been following each other into the same investments (FT)
  • Taiwan economy stumbles as global tech downturn worsens; Minister hopes wave of companies returning from China will spur growth; The slowdown in global demand for electronics gadgets triggered the steepest slide in net earnings at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in more than seven years (FT)
  • Samsung may stay true to its bleak words (Reuters)

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

  • Facebook Unveils Major App Redesign With Focus on Groups (Bloomberg); Facebook overhauls design as it pivots to private messaging (Reuters)
  • Instagram will now let creators and influencers sell items directly (TC)
  • Amazon targets $5 billion in Indian exports on its global marketplace by 2023 (Forbes)
  • Services really are becoming a bigger part of Apple’s business (TC); Apple Stock Is Up Because the Shift to Services Seems to Be Working (Barron’s); Apple’s old age beats Google’s adolescence (Reuters); In streaming wars, Apple says it can coexist with Netflix (Reuters)
  • Microsoft, Slack, Zoom, and the SaaS Opportunity (BT)
  • Alphabet’s revenue breakdown? You can’t Google that (AFR); The cost of being woke, Google edition; Demonetisation of questionable content is principled but costly. (FT); Google’s Ad Revenue Mystery: Five Possible Theories (Bloomberg); FAANG Stocks Drop $100 Billion as Alphabet Loss Bites Hard (Bloomberg)
  • Netflix and rivals have to up their user-experience game to compete with traditional TV for ad dollars, says new report (MW)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Food delivery platforms push into lower-tier cities, new retail for growth: report (Technode)
  • Bytedance acquires database company Terark; Terark develops algorithms that speed up databases by compressing the data, and enables direct searches on the highly compressed data (Technode)
  • ByteDance faces global learning curve as TikTok runs afoul of local regulators; TikTok’s rapid expansion has been marred by regulatory problems in India, the United States and Indonesia (SCMP)
  • Tencent-Backed Waterdrop Seeks Valuation of More Than $1 Billion (Bloomberg)
  • Chinese sneaker-trading platform becomes unicorn with latest funding round (TIA)
  • Vlogs may be hot in China but investors remain cool (Technode)
  • More than 1,500 Chinese apps found to be collecting excessive personal information (KRA)
  • Server maker Super Micro to ditch ‘made-in-China’ parts on spy fears (Nikkei); Supermicro breaks ground for new plant in Taiwan (Digitimes)
  • Go-Jek investment arm makes first deal and it is an Indian e-sports startup (e27); Go-Jek collaborates with Tiket.com to launch Go-Travel (KRA)
  • Sofian Hadiwijaya of Warung Pintar, Transforming traditional kiosks: Startup Stories (KRA)
  • India’s Data Localization Remains A Key Challenge For Foreign Companies (Forbes)
  • Mobileground India: The Chinese invasion; The first wave of internet businesses may have belonged to America, but China’s startups and investors are now leading the wave to dominate the mobile internet in developing markets. What does this mean for India? (Forbes)
  • For Airbnb, India is the next China: Nathan Blecharczyk (Forbes)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • The WeWork IPO Is Still Confidential. Here’s What We Know So Far. (MW)
  • Golden unveils a Wikipedia alternative focused on emerging tech and startups (TC)
  • IM raises $25M to help publishers engage with readers (TC)
  • Online pet-food retailer Chewy.com files to go public (CHWY) (BI)
  • Industrial-Technology Stocks Zebra Tech and Cognex Both Tumbled. That’s Great for Savvy Investors (Barron’s)
  • Shopify’s Latest Earnings Keep the Hot E-Commerce Stock Climbing (Barron’s)
  • I.P., Anki: yet another home robotics company powers down (Wired)
  • AI-Powered UiPath Scores $568M At $7B Valuation (CB)
  • This is why Spotify isn’t just talking the talk about podcasts (SR); Spotify Reaches 100 Million Paid Subscribers Ahead Of Apple Music (Forbes)
  • Uber’s enormous, vague IPO prospectus is an outrage; The 431-page document highlights what is wrong with the US public markets (FT)
  • The questionable economics of autonomous taxi fleets (FT)
  • The Terrifying Potential of the 5G Network; The future of wireless technology holds the promise of total connectivity. But it will also be especially susceptible to cyberattacks and surveillance. (NY)
  • Lesson of Disney’s ‘Endgame’: Go big or go home (Reuters)
  • Akamai beats, raises forecast on cybersecurity, content delivery demand (Reuters)

Life

  • 6 Questions for Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Meeting (Barron’s); Frothy markets turn dealmaker Warren Buffett into a bankroller (Reuters)
  • A $4.4 Billion Accounting Error Burns Investors in China; One of China’s largest listed drugmakers Kangmei Pharmaceuticals said it overstated cash holdings by $4.4 billion (Bloomberg)
  • Hong Kong traded shares in Chinese peer-to-peer lending platform Gold-Finance tank after founder put in police custody; Shares in Gold-Finance tumble by as much as 70 per cent in the city on Tuesday (SCMP)
  • Australia’s largest construction comapny CIMIC has inflated profits by around 100% in the last two years through aggressive revenue recognition, acquisition accounting and avoidance of JV losses (GMT)
<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: