H.E.R.O.’s Journey in Tech (29 March 2019) – AI Powers a New Innovation Machine; How Collaborative Platforms and Ecosystems Are Changing Innovation + Ask yourself these five questions to find your best self; Finding an “alter ego” for yourself is a self-development strategy that can help you navigate the struggles that life presents with more grace and more grit.


  • China Regulator to Set Time Limits on Hot Short-Video Apps (Bloomberg)
  • The World’s Greatest Delivery Empire; In China, Meituan has reshaped city life—and heightened a rivalry with a certain competitor. (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Qutoutiao Gets Alibaba Backing Amid Spending Spree (Bloomberg)
  • Line plots transition from messaging into payments; Social media platform names founder Shin Jungho as co-chief executive to drive shift (FT); Line Founder Named Co-Chief Executive as Japan Goes Cashless (Bloomberg)
  • Rakuten’s $24bn Lyft windfall reveals hidden ambitions; Japan’s e-commerce pioneer quietly builds portfolio of tech investments as online mall share falters (Nikkei)
  • An AI translation function of 74 languages in the world is added to the tablet terminal of JapanTaxi in business tie-up with Sourcenext (TC)
  • Sony Pictures Sells Stake in Crackle TV Unit to Chicken Soup for the Soul (Bloomberg)
  • Google Maps apologizes for going rogue in Japan; The navigation tool has placed a school in the sea, among other things. (BT)
  • Machvision approved for listing on TWSE mainboard (DT)
  • Garmin Stock Is Trading at an 11-Year High and a Big Shareholder Just Made a Huge Sale (Barron’s)
  • KL-based Cuscapi acquires tech firm Amplify Me for US$1.6M; Malaysian company Cuscapi Bhd’s moves will migrate its existing customers from an aging client or server platform to cloud-based technology platform (e27)
  • Sova brokerage chooses Iress as provider of order management, post-trade processing software (EM)
  • For Appen and Figure Eight, some of the most important assets of their business models are the enormous, disparate labor pools they tap into in order to power their services; the work often serves a dual purpose: completing the project at hand while also training algorithms to do the work in the future (TB)

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

  • Baidu launches a specialized video search app (KRA)
  • Alibaba accuses Meituan CEO of libel for questioning founder’s integrity; Meituan CEO Wang Xing still thinks Ma “has an integrity problem,” referring to the spinoff of Alibaba financial payment subsidiary Alipay without board approval in 2011. (TN)
  • Consumer group accuses Alibaba’s Fliggy, Ctrip of price optimization; Some 88% of the Chinese consumers believe that online shopping platforms, including those for travel bookings and ride-hailing, leverage user data they collect for personalized pricing to make users pay as much as possible (TN)
  • Alibaba acquires Chinese productivity app Teambition (TN)
  • Taobao doubles down on used car sales with Guazi and Souche (TN)
  • WeChat’s new mini-program logistics linkup raises e-commerce stakes (TN)
  • Tencent leads $296 million Series D round in Chinese big data solutions provider (TN)
  • Could The Worst Be Over For China’s Tencent? (Forbes)

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

  • Facebook is not our friend, no matter what their adverts say; Failure to act quickly on anti-vaccine and violent content shows how little they care (FT); How Facebook grew too big to handle; The tech giant’s ‘growth team’ brought it over a billion users – but did it also sow the seeds for the company’s current troubles? (FT)
  • Why Instagram’s Move Into Shopping Is Good News for Facebook Stock (Barron’s)
  • Why it’s hard to escape Amazon’s long reach (Wired); Amazon TV Director: Networks Should Scare You More Than Amazon; Amazon is spending billions to find its Game of Thrones moment (Medium)
  • Tech Investor Is Afraid Apple May Be Losing Its Innovation DNA (Barron’s); Beneath the glitz of Apple’s latest event, an air of quiet desperation (Age); How Apple Card works (TC); Millions Are Being Lost To Apple Pay Fraud-Will Apple Card Come To The Rescue? (Forbes); Apple promises customers a safer digital world – for a price (CNN)
  • Is Apple Saying Goodbye to Fashion? When Apple introduced the Apple Watch five years ago, the whole tech industry began to flirt with style. But interest in wearables has cooled. (NYT)
  • The Big Problem for All the New Gaming Platforms; Google and Apple were the first to unveil a “Netflix for video games,” but Microsoft has the big-name games. (Bloomberg)
  • Buy Microsoft Stock Because of Its Big Cloud Deals, Says JPMorgan (MW)
  • The battle to control artificial intelligence; One man holds the future of artificial intelligence in his hands. But is Google the right company to usher in the future of humanity? (AFR)

Asia Tech & Innovation Trends

  • This state-backed AI unicorn has helped Chinese police arrest 10,000 criminals; Initially focused on finance, Cloudwalk grew into the biggest AI supplier to Chinese banks, which use its facial recognition technology in ATMs (SCMP)
  • Alibaba-backed fintech startup gets funding to take small biz loans to China (TIA)
  • Online streaming service Leshi struggles to turn itself around; Once-hot Chinese company logs nearly $300m net loss as diversification backfires (Nikkei)
  • How an Esports Queen Trounced Billionaire Heirs: One woman navigated this cutthroat, male-dominated world to build China’s biggest club, beating out rivals who came from riches. (Bloomberg)
  • Developers’ lives matter’ – Chinese software engineers use Github to protest against the country’s 996 work schedule (Bloomberg)
  • This Hong Kong Startup Uses Technology To Change Everyday Grocery Shopping (Forbes)
  • Coming soon to a Geely car near you – Danish bank Saxo’s retail finance platform; Company wants Chinese investors to access 40,000 financial instruments trading on its platforms through dashboard app (SCMP)
  • Japan is far ahead of the rest of the world in evocative machines, even though it’s not yet a formal discipline. There is a unique Japanese technology emerging from the nexus of AI, robotics, and healthcare, and it’s something that could utterly transform our world. (TIA)
  • Cash-obsessed Japan slowly buying into digital payment systems (JT)
  • Viva Republica faces hurdles in launching Korea’s 3rd internet-only bank (Investor)
  • SendBird looks to break up messenger monopoly (Investor)
  • Indian hotel unicorn Oyo says surpassing Marriott only the start; Tech startup kicks off global expansion of room rentals in Tokyo (Nikkei); OYO acquires midscale Chinese hotel brand Qianyu (ET)
  • Shopmatic acquires 50.1% stake in Octopus (LM)
  • BigBasket joins unicorn club with new $150 million funding round (ET)
  • Singaporean startup DocDoc offers smart matches in medical care; It’s more than matchmaking for medical treatment. (KRA)
  • Carro launches car subscription service in Singapore (TIA)

Global Tech & Innovation Trends

  • Softbank-backed firm wants to put 100,000 cloud-based robots in the market by 2021, to seek US$300 million in private funding (SCMP)
  • Palantir wins $800 million contract to build the US Army’s next battlefield software system (TC)
  • WeWork Lenders Are Getting Cold Feet; Rapid growth has left many bankers in Europe reluctant to provide more money to its landlords, threatening future growth. (Bloomberg)
  • French start-up turns up the heat with ceramic storage (AFR)
  • The robots coming to choose your groceries (AFR)
  • SoftBank-backed Improbable makes a big bet on video games; Virtual simulation start-up’s losses increased tenfold last year as it ramped up spending (FT)
  • Time Out audience engagement hit by Facebook changes; Media group gains momentum from digital advertising campaigns and food markets (FT)
  • Lyft’s insurance problem (FT)
  • Tech IPOs Aren’t the Milestones They Once Were; Changes in capital markets and startups have made going public less momentous. (Bloomberg)
  • Schwab Switching to Subscription-Based Fee in Netflix-Like Move (Bloomberg)
  • How 5G Will Transform the Way We Live and Work (Bloomberg)
  • Financial Management Startup Carta Is Raising New Funding at a $1.8 Billion Valuation (Bloomberg)
  • Tech Stocks Morph Into a Three-Headed Monster (Bloomberg)


  • Different Kinds of Information (MH)
  • AI Powers a New Innovation Machine (BCG); How Collaborative Platforms and Ecosystems Are Changing Innovation (BCG)
  • Ask yourself these five questions to find your best self; Finding an “alter ego” for yourself is a self-development strategy that can help you navigate the struggles that life presents with more grace and more grit. (FastCo)
  • Equity Financial Assets: A Tool for Earnings Management?A Case Study of a Chinese Corporation (Abacus)

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