H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (11 April 2018) – Overseas chip demand spurs Japan’s Disco (TSE: 6146) to record profit + Failing Slow, Failing Fast, and Failing Very Fast


  • Overseas chip demand spurs Japan’s Disco (TSE: 6146) to record profit (Nikkei)
  • Japan’s Aeon to Invest in Online Retailer Boxed.com; The superstore operator joins other established retailers in tapping the knowledge of startups (WSJ)
  • Wise Talent Technology Services Co, the operator of Chinese online recruitment platform Liepin.com, has filed its prospectus for an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong. (DSA)

Founded in 2011 in Beijing by DAI Kebin, the former Brand Manager for Greater China at P&G, the company provides talent acquisition services, including headhunting, executive search, PRO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing), online recruitment and campus recruitment. Liepin claimed in its prospectus that it is the largest online talent services platform in China focused on mid- to high-end talent in terms of total revenue in 2017, connecting about 38.9 million individual users and 248600 verified business users, as well as 101,840 verified headhunters as of December 31, 2017. Liepin posted revenue of RMB 825 million (about $131 million) in 2017, up 40.5 per cent from RMB 587 million ($91 million) in 2016. Its profit for the year stood at RMB 16.7 million (about $ 2.8 million). About 96.5 per cent of its revenue comes from business customers, who pay for subscription packages and transaction-based talent acquisition services. The company raised its pre-Series A and Series A rounds of funding led by Matrix Partners in 2011. It secured a Series B round, again led by Matrix, the following year. This was followed by a Warburg Pincus-led Series C round in 2014, and a Series D led by China Mobile Fund and Matrix in 2016. The market for mid- to high-end talent acquisition services in China in terms of total revenue reached approximately RMB 149.3 billion in 2017 and is expected to continue to grow to approximately RMB 357.4 billion in 2022, the company said.

  • Xunlei chief is confident that ban on ICOs can rebuild blockchain’s reputation (SCMP)
  • TAL Education uses artificial intelligence to improve online tutoring as it eyes new markets (SCMP)
  • Afterpay will introduce identity checks by an external party and cap late fees, a response to market concerns the fast-growing payments company isn’t doing enough to stop fraud and ensure it is lending responsibly. (AFR)
  • Automation and test equipment to boost Pentamaster’s earnings (Star)
  • Taiwan diode makers seeing clear order visibility. Diode demand for mobile devices, home appliances and other consumer electronics applications has been brisk, while demand for automotive electronics continues to grow. Taiwan-based diode suppliers including Lite-On Semiconductor, Taiwan Semiconductor Company (TSC), Panjit International, Eris Technology and HY Electronic have enjoyed a ramp-up of orders (Digitimes)
  • Taiwan-based Innodisk, which develops and manufactures industrial-class storage products, will soon begin to operate a new plant which will increase its overall production capacity by 50%. The new plant in Yilan, northern Taiwan is scheduled to come online and start generating revenues later in April, according to company chairman Randy Chien. Construction of the plant was completed recently. The additional new capacity will bring in revenues substantially in the third quarter, said Chien, adding that the company will ramp up its production capacity to over one million memory storage devices from the current 800,000 units. (Digitimes)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • New Target for China’s Censors: Content Driven by Artificial Intelligence; While Facebook’s Zuckerberg is grilled in Washington, Beijing has been shutting down apps it says are problematic (WSJ)

BAT – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent

  • Tencent-backed WeDoctor expects IPO within next one-and-a-half years (Nikkei)
  • Ant Is Worth 50% More Than Goldman With $150 Billion Valuation (Bloomberg); Temasek Has Rose-Tinted Glasses for Ant (Bloomberg); Jack Ma’s Ant Financial to Raise $9 Billion, Become World’s Biggest Unicorn; Latest funding round could value the financial technology firm at close to $150 billion (WSJ)
  • How Alibaba-Backed Startup Qupital Is Helping Hong Kong SMEs Fix Their Cash Flow (Forbes)
  • China Freezes Out Tencent, Toutiao Apps as Crackdown Widens (Bloomberg)

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

  • Amazon: Prime Video Isn’t Netflix, but so What? (Barron’s)
  • Data Science and the Art of Producing Entertainment at Netflix (Medium)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Nielsen Tool to Help Buyers and Sellers Transact Using Custom Audience Data (WSJ)
  • Booking.com Has 5 Million Non-Hotel Listings, Topping Airbnb (Bloomberg)
  • Morgan Stanley Says Data Drive to Push Next Tech Growth Wave (Bloomberg)


  • Failing Slow, Failing Fast, and Failing Very Fast (TNF)
  • Do You Have “Advantage Blindness”? (HBR)
  • The Elephant in Your Life: How to Conquer Your Blind Spots (Medium)
  • Better Than Amazon? How Bradley Jacobs Turned A $63M Bet Into A $12 Billion Transportation Empire (Forbes)
  • 5 Ancient Stoic Tactics for Modern Life (AOM)

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