H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (21 March 2019) – Asian gaming companies face disruption from likes of Google; Next-generation cloud-based gaming will change the face of the industry; Asian gaming market accounted for 45%, or close to $44 billion, worth of the global industry in 2017


  • Spotify rival Tencent Music posts maiden quarter loss of $130M on one-off costs (TC); Tencent Music hits low pitch after first earnings report exposes costs (Reuters)
  • ‘Everything app’ Meituan Dianping tumbles as end of lock-up nears; Tencent-backed group has posted widening losses on higher costs (FT)
  • Investors fret about Xiaomi’s game plan, sending shares tumbling; Investors worry about Xiaomi’s ability to transition into higher-profit segments (SCMP)
  • Struggling Meitu lays off 30% of its employees (KRA)
  • Toei Animation Denies ‘Dragon Ball Super’ Return, Insider Stand Firm On Its Comeback (BTC)
  • Citadel Group: signs contracts with RAH and University of Melbourne; CHARM platform goes live (KKM, AN)
  • Fundies take a look at ASX-hopeful ReadyTech’s backers (AFR)

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

  • Tencent seeks new growth in year of transition as consumer businesses mature (SCMP)
  • What is WeChat’s dream? WeChat founder Allen Zhang explains (WC)
  • Samsung expects tough 2019 as memory segment stalls (Nikkei)

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

  • What Facebook needs to learn from WeChat’s group-chat pains (Technode)
  • Instagram Is Asking for PayPal’s Help to Improve Its Shopping Experience (Barron’s)
  • What Facebook’s Privacy Pivot Could Mean for Its Stock (Barron’s)
  • Google’s new gaming service will let game makers use rival clouds, executive says (Reuters); What latency feels like on Google’s Stadia cloud gaming platform (TC); Google throws down clear challenge to gaming world; New video game streaming service has potential to upend $135bn industry (FT); Google Just Showed Us the Future of Gaming; Data centers could make individual game consoles obsolete (Medium)
  • How to book train tickets in India straight from the Google Pay app (TNW)
  • Teams, Microsoft’s Slack competitor, says it’s signed up over 500k organizations, adds whiteboard and live events support (TC)
  • Amazon (sub)Prime? How commingling has contaminated Amazon inventory and paved the way for a huge lemon problem. (FT)
  • Netflix Stock Could Keep Surging Because It Truly Is a Global Company (Barron’s)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • The China Tech Bubble Is Dead. Long Live the China Tech Bubble; Offshore private equity funds struggled to compete with a wave of onshore money. Now it’s retreating, and the water looks more inviting. (Bloomberg)
  • What makes China a tough yet exciting market for SaaS (TIA)
  • PicsArt hits 130 million MAUs as Chinese flock to its photo editing app (TC)
  • Smart speakers in China are learning dialects (KRA)
  • ByteDance shifts attention to live broadcasting business with its new centralised platform; ByteDance is making moves to amp up revenues from its live broadcasting businesses (KRA)
  • Tencent-backed Kwai launches new app to go after Douyin’s core users (KRA)
  • Ping An acquires Lenovo Smart Medical to help digitalize hospitals (KRA)
  • Asian gaming companies face disruption from likes of Google; Next-generation cloud-based gaming will change the face of the industry (Nikkei)
  • Japanese-led AnyMind raises $8m for AI ads in Bangkok stations (Nikkei)
  • Race is on for tech companies like Grab, Ant Financial to gain an edge in SE Asia’s financial services market (SCMP); Grab vs. Go-Jek: Inside Asia’s Battle of the ‘Super Apps’; The rival ride-hailing services are now dueling to deliver everything from groceries to mortgages to Southeast Asia’s middle class. (Fortune)
  • Indonesian mobile wallet Ovo adds mutual funds investment feature; The move extends Ovo services beyond payment (KRA)
  • Thailand’s mobile-only bank challenges millennials to save (Nikkei)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • The Venture-Capital Bubble Is Going to Burst (Barron’s)
  • Postmates’ newest feature is like Uber POOL for food delivery (TC)
  • How Podcasts Learned to Speak; The once useless-seeming medium that became essential. With 660,000 shows and 62 million listeners, the century’s first new art form enters its corporate stage. (Vulture)
  • Disney Moves From Behemoth to Colossus With Closing of Fox Deal (NYT)
  • The world is coming after Silicon Valley. Tech companies must evolve to survive (CNN)
  • Next Billion-Dollar Startups News: 3-D Printing Startup Markforged Raises $82 Million (Forbes)
  • Walmart’s Chief Technology Officer leaves company as e-commerce wars flare (Reuters)
  • Can Magic Leap’s ‘mixed reality’ find the human touch? The idea that we could be captured for posterity, or teleported for a holographic call, is tantalisingly close (FT)
  • ESPN’s Ex-President Wants to Build the Netflix of Sports (Bloomberg)
  • How an App for Gamers Went Mainstream; Discord has become an indispensable tool for internet creators to connect with their fans. (Atlantic)
  • Franchise Value: videogame IP vs. movie IP (Medium)


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