H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (28 March 2019) – Would you like fries with that? McDonald’s drive-throughs will start making personalised suggestions based on artificial intelligence


  • US ban bruises earnings at 4 Chinese tech companies; ZTE posts net loss for 2018 after sanctions damaged operations and image; Sales growth in 2018 fell for the other companies banned by the U.S., excluding Huawei. Hikvision shrunk to 19% from 31% (Nikkei)
  • Japan Internet Giants Join Forces as Payments Race Heats Up; Line and Mercari become allies to take on SoftBank, Rakuten; The race is on for dominance in Japanese cashless transactions (Bloomberg); Japan’s Line and Mercari form mobile payment partnership; Chat app operator, e-retailer aim for scale to survive intense competition (Nikkei); Japan’s Line and Mercari form mobile payment partnership; Chat app operator, e-retailer aim for scale to survive intense competition (Nikkei)
  • Missteps mar Japanese e-tailer Zozo’s fashion house look; Aggressive expansion creates bargain-basement image; “Zozotown is being used as a place to get rid of inventory” (Nikkei)
  • Sony to conduct tests on remotely driven cars with NTT Docomo (JT)
  • BizLink looks to electric vehicles to drive growth (TT)
  • Mechanical motion control component and industrial robot maker Hiwin Technologies has reported net profit of NT$5.392 billion (US$175 million), hiking 96.96% on year to hit a company record. (DT)
  • Hong Leong goes live with Iress ViewPoint (FE)

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

  • Alibaba-owned Lazada to bolster financial services offerings (Technode); A Payments App Backed by Jack Ma That’s Mimicking Ant Financial (Bloomberg)
  • Tencent rolls out logistics interface for vendors on WeChat; Not only does this move allow Tencent to step further into e-commerce, it also encourages additional usage of its e-wallet. (KRA)
  • Tencent leads in Series B round for Chinese patient-centric business Shuidi (KRA)
  • Naspers CEO Bets on Dutch Listing to Fix Tencent Discount (Bloomberg)

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

  • How Facebook could target ads in age of encryption; Zuckerberg promises privacy, but experts warn metadata can be mined to build behavioural profiles (FT)
  • The Enormous Numbers Behind Amazon’s Market Reach (Bloomberg)
  • Gmail will now let you interact with messages just like web pages right in your inbox (TNW)
  • How Apple’s Event Reveals The Strategic Flaw In Its Thinking (Forbes)
  • Apple vs. Netflix: Turf wars flaring in big tech reflect limits to growth (JT); Apple Services May Be Worth More Than the iPhone Business, Analyst Says (Barron’s); Apple Is Betting Big on Digital Subscriptions. Here’s Why. (Barron’s); Apple Still Doesn’t Get the News-Subscription Business; To appeal to users, the latest service needs to give access to major publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. (Bloomberg); Apple’s Current Products Could Be the Key to Success for Its New Services (Barron’s); The New Apple Services That Will Generate the Most Revenue, According to an Analyst (Barron’s)
  • Netflix’s Challenge in India: The Competition Is Cheaper (Barron’s)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • From Big Macs to Nikes: Hong Kong AI start-up Miro uses computer vision to track your sneakers in races (SCMP)
  • Appetite for food-delivery apps wanes among small restaurant owners (Technode)
  • Bytedance to launch K-12 online education platform (TC)
  • When did Huawei get so very good at making phones? It seems the answer to the question of how phone cameras got to be so good is straightforward: artificial intelligence. (AFR)
  • Eight more companies given go-ahead to list on Shanghai’s new tech board (SCMP)
  • Can China’s tech industry up its game and take the lead when it comes to innovation and research? China recently signalled its ambition to become a global tech superpower (SCMP)
  • China property giants face call of tech sirens (Reuters)
  • China’s green-vehicle makers feel the blues as subsidies ebb; BYD’s profit drops as automakers bleed cash to keep prices low amid rising sales (Nikkei)
  • Google-Backed AI Startup Seeks $1 Billion Valuation Before Its IPO (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Closing the $6 Trillion Electric-Car Gap; Beijing is redirecting subsidies to charging infrastructure. This is commendable, but implementation will be key. (Bloomberg)
  • China can excel in consumer robotics, says Credit Suisse Asset Management specialist (SCMP)
  • Bukalapak launches capital funding solutions Modal Mitra for kiosk owners (e27)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • McDonald’s Stock Is Up Because the Company Is Betting on Artificial Intelligence (Barron’s); Would you like fries with that? McDonald’s drive-throughs will start making personalised suggestions (SCMP)
  • The Slack AI assistant automating creative tasks and driving data-driven decision making (TNW)
  • Before breaking up with Shopify, Mailchimp quietly acqui-hired LemonStand, a Shopify competitor (TC)
  • The Irrational Exuberance Of Lyft’s IPO: Will The Bubble Burst? (Forbes)
  • Adobe to Unveil Software Platform, Taking on Salesforce (Bloomberg)
  • Unilever to pick ‘trusted publishers’ for digital advertising (Reuters)
  • Auto1 Challenges EBay, Scout24 With German Car Classifieds Push (Bloomberg)


  • Lincoln on How to Handle Criticism (BP)

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