H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (3 July 2018) – TSMC to Ride Wave of Custom AI Chips + Van Gogh and the Creative Process: Finding work that brings us aliv


  • Finjan and Trend Micro Enter into Confidential Patent License Agreement (GNW)
  • Japan’s Uzabase buys U.S. biz news site Quartz in overseas push (UZABASE, Reuters, Nikkei)
  • Surveillance tech grows in Xinjiang, necessary to counter terrorism; Hikvision won the bid for a public-private partnership (PPP) project, the Urumqi Hi-Tech Zone Safe City Project in the regional capital city, in April 2017 (Globaltimes)
  • Taiwan Semi to Ride Wave of Custom AI Chips, Says Susquehanna (Barron’s)

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

  • Founder of Alibaba Cloud says smart cities can’t solve problems caused by China’s rapid urbanization (Technode)
  • Tencent-backed Cross-border Payment Solution Provider Airwallex Completes $80M Series B Round (CMN)
  • Tencent’s WeChat widens service fee for users of ‘card repay’ feature in digital wallet (SCMP)

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

  • Amazon Pharmacy: Who Is Set for Sick Days? (Barron’s); Amazon: What Its ‘Disruption’ Means for Drugstores (Barron’s)
  • New Era at Amazon’s Whole Foods Grates on Some Suppliers, Employees; Suppliers fight fees, while workers push to unionize a year after merger (WSJ)
  • Even Amazon’s Feeling the Strain From Insatiable Delivery Demand (Bloomberg)
  • Amazon Closes on Apple in the $1 Trillion Stakes (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China’s short video platform Kuaishou pushes into social commerce space with links to online stores (SCMP)
  • Once a favourite, the sharing economy is losing its charm with Chinese investors (KRA)
  • SenseTime is more just than a face recognition company, says co-founder (Technode); Tech start-ups push to make China’s facial recognition systems part of daily life across Asia. SenseTime, the world’s most valuable artificial intelligence start-up, joins Megvii and Yitu Technology in establishing a beachhead for Chinese-developed facial recognition applications in major Southeast Asian markets (SCMP)
  • How the founder of a major Chinese tech news site is building a co-working space empire. Liu Chengcheng, the founder of 36Kr and spin-off Kr Space, predicts demand for co-working office space in China, the industry’s biggest market, to help drive growth for these businesses over the next decade (SCMP)
  • Yidu Cloud is making sense of the medical records of 1.3 billion people (Technode)
  • Largest Chinese audio platform Ximalaya to raise $602m from Tencent, eyeing $7.5b HK IPO; Ximalaya FM counts HKEX-listed China Literature, Tencent’s online-literature spin-off, as a backer. (KRA)
  • A $6 Billion China Startup Wants to Be the Amazon of Health Care (Bloomberg)
  • The Factors Behind China’s Growing Strength in Innovation. In 2006, 26-year-old Frank Wang started up DJI in a dorm room at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. The legend goes that Frank’s father had given him an expensive remote-controlled model helicopter for doing well in school. When the helicopter predictably crashed shortly after, Wang became determined to build a better controller. As part of his graduate thesis, he perfected an electronics flight controller, a critical element of drone technology. Today, Shenzhen-based DJI, of which one of us is a board member, holds a global market share of 70% in consumer drones and offers a window into the future of competition from China (HBR)
  • Boyu Capital Leads $125M Round In Singaporean Computer Vision Solution Provider Trax (CMN)
  • Singapore’s Homage, which matches patients and caregivers, raises $4.15M for expansion (Techcrunch)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Why WeWork does not deserve a $20bn price tag: Low barriers to entry and weakening rental yields mean the real worth of the office space company could be almost eight times less (FT)
  • Applied Materials: This Year’s Chip Show to Be Less Exuberant, Says Needham (Barron’s)
  • Michael Dell Really Can’t Lose: How He Transformed A Struggling PC Business Into $30 Billion (Forbes); The Biggest Winner of Dell’s Public-Market Return? Michael Dell (Bloomberg)
  • SaaS shares are hot, but how do you value ‘software as a service’ companies? (AFR)
  • A Toothpaste Club? Colgate to Invest in Online Startup; Household-products maker is close to a deal to acquire a minority stake in Hubble (WSJ)
  • Tech’s ‘Dirty Secret’: The App Developers Sifting Through Your Gmail; Software developers scan hundreds of millions of emails of users who sign up for email-based services (WSJ)


  • From Immigrant to Inventor: The Great Serbian-American Scientist Michael Pupin on the Value of a Penniless Immigrant Boy Full of Promise (BP)
  • Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization (HBR)
  • Van Gogh and the Creative Process: Finding work that brings us alive (Medium)
  • The highly unusual company behind Sriracha, the world’s coolest hot sauce (Qz)

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