H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (Weekend Read 14-15 April 2018) – Taiwan chipmaker Aspeed (GTSM: 5274) thrives on growing AI demand, controls 60% of global market in specialist chips + Staying modest: Innovation lessons from Studio Ghibli founders


  • Aspeed (GTSM: 5274) – Taiwan chipmaker thrives on growing AI demand; Aspeed controls 60% of global market in specialist chips (Nikkei)
  • Chinese online medical platform Ping An Healthcare and Technology to raise US$1b from Hong Kong IPO. The company’s revenue rose by 240.4 per cent to 1.02 billion yuan (US$162.2 million) in the last nine months of 2017 from a year earlier. But it still lost 497.4 million yuan in the same period, after a net loss of 614.2 million yuan during the first nine month period of 2016 (SCMP)
  • Start Today Co., operator of the Zozotown online mall, has produced a skintight suit filled with sensors dubbed the Zozosuit which, once worn, allows customers to order custom-made jeans and t-shirts. (Asahi)
  • En-Japan Inc. — which operates a number of job boards in Japan along with VietnamWorks.com — and internet and app company Line Corp. have entered into a joint-venture agreement to roll out a jobs listing platform this summer (AIM)
  • Panasonic’s hospital app to match Indians with better and cheaper care; Collaboration with Tata Consultancy has potential to serve 900 million people (Nikkei)
  • How Sony saved itself, as seen from the trenches (Nikkei)
  • Sony to launch space business: CD technology to be developed into satellite communications systems (Nikkei)
  • Starhub plans digital marketplace for yacht and jet charters; Singapore telecom hopes to tap demand for luxury goods and services (Nikkei)
  • Infosys’ new CEO to sell 3 subsidiaries bought by predecessor (Nikkei)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Global Tablet Sales Are Struggling, But Taiwan’s Tech Firms Know What To Do (Forbes)
  • A brutal battle among China’s food-delivery apps is resulting in practically free meals (QZ)
  • ‘Urban mining’ in South Korea pulls rare battery materials from recycled tech (Reuters)
  • Made for each other: Indian start-ups and Chinese investors; Western funding still dominates India’s start-up scene, but entrepreneurs are turning East for cash and expertise that will keep them viable in the long term (SCMP)
  • Hangzhou turns magnet for unicorns (ChinaOrg)

BAT – Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent

  • Ant-i Gravity. Ant Financial is notoriously opaque. For a business with around $800m of net income and a declining share of the pie, albeit in a growing market, a trailing price to earnings ratio of 187 seems a little enthusiastic. Particularly considering US-equivalent Paypal, which recorded 21 per cent revenue growth last year, trades at 33 times forward earnings, according to Bloomberg. (FT)

Rouge Tech

  • 99 Wuxian: The Red Capitalist, the ASX and a $55m hole (AFR)
  • Catalist-listed DeClout’s minorities up in arms over S$10m margin loan (BT)
  • Three Toshiba presidents paved road to near-ruin; One man’s stalled promotion in 2003 may have been the starting point (Nikkei)

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

  • Apple, a big customer of TSMC, which fabricates chips for the iPhone, doesn’t want to have to pay extra money it would cost TSMC to make chips using the ASML technology, known as “EUV,” or “extreme ultraviolet” (Barron’s)
  • Facebook Killing its Competitive Advantage (Forager)
  • What Mark Zuckerberg Didn’t Say About What Facebook Knows About You; Facebook has a lot more data about us than it lets on-and its tools for providing ‘complete control’ don’t do enough (WSJ)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Talend CEO: Serverless and AI Will Dazzle (Barron’s)
  • Human + Machine: The Impact of AI on Business Transformation (WSJ)
  • Cyber Defenders 2018 (CBI)


  • From penniless immigrant to multibillionaire (Forbes)
  • Staying modest: Innovation lessons from Studio Ghibli founders (Realbusiness)
  • Remembering Studio Ghibli Co-Founder Isao Takahata, Who Imbued Animation with Emotion (HA)
  • Leaders, Stop Avoiding Hard Decisions (HBR)

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