H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (21 February 2019) – Enter the gig economy and Ikea’s recent purchase of informal jobbing platform TaskRabbit + Goodwill Hunting Is a Disaster Movie in China; Cover your eyes. The coming earnings season won’t make pleasant viewing as companies are forced to reassess asset values.


  • Tencent Music Confirms ‘Strategic Investment’ in Rival Douban FM (Technode, DMN)
  • Foldable Phone Frenzy Is Supercharging Gains in Chinese Stocks (Bloomberg)
  • Meituan Dianping has topped Fast Company’s annual list of the world’s most innovative companies – for “pioneering transactional super apps”. (Age)
  • Lenovo’s Mobile Profits Are a Bit of a Mirage; Better late than never, as the PC maker needs to justify its buying spree from five years ago. (Bloomberg); PC maker Lenovo returns to profit in third quarter on strong performance across business groups (SCMP)
  • Netposa, “leading manufacturer of video surveillance platforms” and boasted coverage of over 1.5 million roads in China at the end of 2017 (Sun)
  • Weathernews develops an AI road management support system prototype that automatically recognizes mixed snow surface conditions (HSN)
  • Rakuten slashes mobile network costs with cloud tech; Reliability questions remain as Japan’s new carrier readies service (Nikkei)
  • Lifull Co. Ltd. has entered into a business alliance with Chinese-oriented Japan New Xinhua News Agency, to guide and attract real estate investment in Japan from China. (AIM)
  • A Steve Jobs Rival Who Hit Hard Times Makes Remarkable Comeback; Sim Wong Hoo’s Creative has developed ‘3D’ headphone sound (Bloomberg)
  • Holding pattern: MYOB’s growth slows as it braces for private equity takeover (ANZ)

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

  • Market for bogus WeChat accounts still alive and well despite crackdown on illegal practice (SCMP)
  • Blown away by innovation or price? Samsung’s foldable phone opens up debate (Reuters); Samsung unveils foldable and 5G phones days ahead of Huawei (Nikkei)
  • SoftBank Leads $200 Million Investment In Storage Startup Clutter (Forbes)
  • Samsung, Toshiba Detail AI Chips (EET)

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

  • Thirty years of financial filings reveal Microsoft’s biggest competitors (qz)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Short video app Kuaishou makes foray into game livestreaming (Technode)
  • Investors demand to know how IPOs will be priced in the run-up to China’s new tech board launch (SCMP)
  • Stock exchange operator HKEX buys Shenzhen-based fintech company to raise capabilities, compete with global rivals; Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing has signed a letter of intent to buy a 51 per cent stake in Shenzhen Ronghui Tongjin Tec (SCMP)
  • China’s social credit system shows its teeth, banning millions from taking flights, trains; Annual report shows the businesses and individuals added to trustworthiness blacklist as use of the government system accelerates (SCMP)
  • On-demand logistics startup Lalamove raises $300M for Asia growth and becomes a unicorn (TC)
  • Tokyo company uncovers 2.7bn stolen passwords worldwide; Emails at small businesses hacked and sold on darknet, Soliton finds (Nikkei)
  • Mizuho’s digital currency to take on payment rivals next month (Nikkei)
  • A mobile app created by a former Goldman Sachs banker obsessed with fresh food is disrupting South Korea’s retail industry by giving grocery shoppers fewer reasons to visit a store. (Bloomberg)
  • Two investment banks mandated for loss-making ‘unicorn’ iflix’s float (AFR)
  • Kill the paperwork: how NoPaperForms is changing the face of college admissions in India; Delhi-based startup NoPaperForms’ SaaS-based enrolment automation solution is helping streamline the admission process for universities, colleges, schools and students (YS)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Virtual makeovers are better than ever. Beauty companies are trying to cash in (CNN)
  • Enter the gig economy and Ikea’s recent purchase of informal jobbing platform TaskRabbit. (FT)
  • AI Chip Market Will Soar to $34 Billion in Five Years, Says Analyst (Barron’s); IoT Was Interesting, But Follow the Money to AI Chips (EET)
  • Someday Your Self-Driving Car Will Pull Over for Police; Driverless cars won’t be able to take over until automakers, engineers, lawmakers and police work through a series of thorny problems. (Bloomberg)
  • Garmin Surges to 11-Year High as Smartwatches Are ‘on Fire’ (Bloomberg); Smartwatches Are Changing the Purpose of the EKG (Atlantic)
  • Will EV Charging Face the Erlang Challenge? (EET)


  • Why Great Innovation Needs Great Marketing (HBR)
  • Goodwill Hunting Is a Disaster Movie in China; Cover your eyes. The coming earnings season won’t make pleasant viewing as companies are forced to reassess asset values. (Bloomberg)
  • How to Think And See The World Like Leonardo da Vinci (Medium)
  • Different Kinds of Stupid (MH)
  • Changes in Accounting Estimates: Underlying Economic Reality or Earnings Management. Abstract: We examine whether companies strategically change accounting estimates to manipulate earnings (“earnings management” hypothesis) or whether these modifications represent changes in the underlying fundamentals (“economic reality” hypothesis). Using audit fees to discriminate between the two hypotheses, we find no evidence that auditors charge an incremental fee for changes in accounting estimates which is consistent with the economic reality hypothesis. More directly, we find a strong association between the underlying macro-economic factors and changes in accounting estimates. Relying on conventional earnings management proxies, we find no evidence that changes in accounting estimates are used to manage earnings. Finally, our results indicate that typically “financially troubled” companies undergoing major corporate restructuring are expected to change their accounting estimates over subsequent periods because they are more vulnerable to macro-economic shocks and more likely to update prior estimates. (SSRN)

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