H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (14 March 2019) – If You Can Explain China’s Pinduoduo, Lunch Is on Me + Hallucination vs. Vision, Selling Your Art in the Real World: Brian Koppelman Interviews Marc Andreessen


  • If You Can Explain China’s Pinduoduo, Lunch Is on Me; Marketing costs have blown out to exceed revenue, yet investors drove up the stock 60 percent since the company’s IPO. (Bloomberg); New China billionaire drops US$2.8 billion as Pindoudou shares tumble (YF)
  • China’s leading online music platform seeks greater global exposure of Chinese ethnic music (Xinhua)
  • Hancom, iFLYTEK set up AI joint venture (KT)
  • Momo predicts big growth in Eastern markets for its dating app Tantan (KRA)
  • China’s BOE challenges Samsung in OLED sector (Investor)
  • Line drops $20m to produce first Thai unicorn (KRA)
  • Rakuten TV to expand movie streaming to 42 European countries (Reuters)
  • Delta Electronics nets NT$7.00 per share for 2018; Delta has entered the supply chains for Tesla and China-based EV vendors and expects sales from the EV sector to reach US$500 million in 2022. (Digitimes)
  • Atlassian goes national in remote working revolution (AFR)
  • IRESS: End-to-end mortgage journey will be a reality this year (MI)
  • Formula One complexity drives PWR margins higher (AFR)
  • Kogan.com launches marketplace to compete with Catch, Amazon (AFR)

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

  • SoftBank, Toyota in talks to invest $1 billion in Uber’s self-driving unit: sources (Reuters)

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

  • Blind users can now explore photos by touch with Microsoft’s Seeing AI (TC)
  • Google’s new voice recognition system works instantly and offline (if you have a Pixel) (TC)
  • Amazon will no longer dictate how sellers price their products (CNN)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • China’s on-demand delivery providers to tighten merchant inspection, as regulator finds 35,000 illegal restaurants on their platforms (SCMP)
  • The Chinese education ministry wants to clamp down on the proliferation of campus apps (KRA)
  • How China’s e-commerce playbook can help emerging economies transform (SCMP)
  • How China’s KOLs convert fans to sales, creating a nearly US$9 billion industry; More than 70 per cent of Chinese Gen Z consumers prefer buying products directly via social media (SCMP)
  • Asian tech companies struggle to adjust to iPhone slowdown (Nikkei)
  • Hyperlocal goes wide; Startups take the horizontal route, delivering everything from food and groceries to medicines and stationery. After a catastrophic start, hyperlocals are back in vogue with Swiggy and Dunzo locked in a fierce battle (Forbes)
  • Feeding the machine: Optus partners with AI startup Metigy (Age)
  • ‘Overnight success is a farce’: Aussie founder sells startup last valued at $25.4m to American Express (Age)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Meet The Billionaire Who Defied Amazon And Built Wish, The World’s Most-Downloaded E-Commerce App (Forbes)
  • Wayfair is nuts, when’s the crash? (FT)
  • Enterprise Tech Race Spurs M&A Deals; Firms looking to boost digital capabilities last year pushed the value of deals in the enterprise-software sector to $182.2 billion (WSJ)
  • Pandora Pitches Ads Targeted to Amazon and Google Smart Speakers; Brands try to crack voice marketing in the restrictive worlds of Alexa and Google Assistant (WSJ)
  • ‘We Know Them. We Trust Them.’ Uber and Airbnb Alumni Fuel Tech’s Next Wave. (NYT)
  • How big data really fits into lending (FT)
  • US-based TodayTix in cheap ticket plan to attract millennials (Age)
  • AI Needs Memory to Get Cozier with Compute (EET)
  • Newsela, An EdTech Startup For Generation Z, Lands $50M From TCV (CB)
  • African e-commerce startup Jumia files for IPO on NYSE (TC)


  • Hallucination vs. Vision, Selling Your Art in the Real World: Brian Koppelman Interviews Marc Andreessen (a16z)
  • The only metric of success that really matters is the one we ignore; Warren Buffett, a friend of Gates, says that his measure of success comes down to one question: “Do the people you care about love you back?” (qz)
  • Here’s a trick smart people can learn fast to improve decisions (AFR)
  • Nobel-Winning Physicist Wolfgang Pauli on Science, Spirit, and Our Search for Meaning (BP)
  • A Life of One’s Own: A Penetrating 1930s Field Guide to Self-Possession, Mindful Perception, and the Art of Knowing What You Really Want (BP)

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