H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (27 July 2018) – The incredible rise of Pinduoduo, Tencent’s most powerful Taobao rival + To Succeed Where Others Failed, Push Through “The Dip”; “The difference between a mediocre sports player and a regional champion isn’t inborn talent — it’s the ability to push through the moments where it’s just easier to quit.” -Seth Godin, The Dip

Companies

  • Smartphones Didn’t Kill the Robots After All; The cycle is turning for makers of factory automation equipment. Fanuc’s automation business, which isn’t tethered to Apple or exposed to the U.S., is growing. It accounts for between 20 percent and 30 percent of revenue, with customers mostly Asian and China-driven companies. Meanwhile, demand in the European and Asian auto industry is rising, along with general machinery sales across Asia (Bloomberg)

  • Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) has expanded its bug bounty program to include a new $1.5m pot for researchers able to discover new vulnerabilities in server-side open source products like Drupal, Apache and WordPress. (Info Security)
  • Chinese E-Commerce Startup Fetches Nearly $24 Billion Valuation in Nasdaq IPO; Pinduoduo is an emerging rival to Alibaba and JD.com (WSJ); The incredible rise of Pinduoduo, Tencent’s most powerful Taobao rival (Technode, KRA); Pinduoduo shares leap 35% on New York debut; Chinese shopping platform founded by ex-Google engineer hits market value of $30bn (FT)
  • Meituan Dianping launches autonomous food delivery system; The company filed for an IPO in Hong Kong seeking to raise more than $4 billion at a valuation of $60 billion at the end of June. (e27)
  • Chinese Spygear Titan Hikivision’s Ready to Recover $11 Billion Market Loss (Bloomberg)

  • Xiaomi’s Smartwatch Partner Huami Corp Acquires US Sport Sensor Firm Zepp (CMN)
  • Virtual-world start-up Improbable valued at more than $2bn; UK-based software group strikes new partnership with Chinese internet group Netease (FT)
  • Kakao Bank to gear up for IPO in upcoming years (The Investor)
  • Vitrox Bhd said its net profit in the second quarter jumped by almost a third, boosted by strong demand for its microchips inspection solutions (Star)
  • MakeMyTrip invests in bus tech provider Bitla Software; Move to beef up MMT’s bus ticketing business redBus, which sold over 39 million tickets in 2018 fiscal (Forbes)

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

  • Fuji Television Network will make its Japanese dramas available on Alibaba’s Youku streaming platform, the latest move to capture growing demand for online content in greater Asia. (Nikkei)
  • Why some of Tencent’s WeChat users are feeling locked out of an online life (SCMP)

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

  • Who Has The Best Business Model (And It’s Not Google Or Facebook) (Medium)
  • Facebook investors wake up to era of slower growth; Social network shocks those who rushed into the supercharged Faangs group of tech stocks (FT)
  • Facebook has acquired Redkix to build better messaging features into its Slack competitor; The email startup is joining Workplace, the social network’s enterprise offering. (Recode)
  • Amazon’s New Businesses Push Profit to a Record (Bloomberg); Amazon Turns Investor Attention From Sales Growth to Big Profits (Bloomberg)
  • Yext, New York Startup, Soars on Amazon Deal (Barron’s)
  • Rise of global computers raises questions: Google’s new AI chip underscores how far tentacles of computing systems can reach (FT)
  • About half of Google’s workers are contractors who don’t receive the same benefits as direct employees (Bloomberg)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Chinese Startups Floor the Pedal in a Driverless Car Race; With foreign rivals still struggling to break into China, startups Roadstar.ai and Pony.ai plan to be on the road as early as next year. (Bloomberg)
  • Japan Foodie raises $9.2M to help foreign visitors connect with more local attractions (Bridge)
  • AngelList invests in Indian media measurement and analytics startup VTION (e27)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Expedia’s Bet on Home Rentals Is Finally Starting to Pay Off (Bloomberg)
  • Goodbye HipChat: Slack and Atlassian Team Up on Chat Software; Stewart Butterfield’s startup will subsume Atlassian’s corporate chat tools to take on Microsoft. (Bloomberg)
  • Tech firms are suddenly the corporate world’s biggest investors (Economist)
  • US co-working firm WeWork raises US$500 million to push ahead with China expansion (SCMP)
  • How Evan Spiegel Fumbled Snap’s Redesign (The Info)
  • Oracle’s Aggressive Sales Tactics Are Backfiring With Customers (The Info)

Life

  • To Succeed Where Others Failed, Push Through “The Dip”; “The difference between a mediocre sports player and a regional champion isn’t inborn talent — it’s the ability to push through the moments where it’s just easier to quit.” -Seth Godin, The Dip (Ascent); The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) Hardcover – May 10, 2007 (Amazon)

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