“The rising shift to the B2B (business-to-business) market is a ‘win-win-win’ especially in China, for government, internet giants, as well as startup companies,” François Candelon, senior partner of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said Thursday at the Emerge by TechNode conference in Shanghai.Central and local governments want to digitize Chinese industries rapidly, Candelon explained, since some of industries have already been left behind.Only 25% of Chinese manufacturers have smart-factory initiatives, compared with 46% in Germany and 54% in the US, according to a joint study by BCG, Alibaba, and Baidu.Tencent announced it was restructuring to focus on enterprises, upping efforts in cloud and data solutions in late 2018, while Alibaba seeks to digitize local businesses with a service package of 11 different elements under its A100 program.Candelon was joined by Michael Norris, a consultant from AgencyChina, Jason Li, a digital specialist from Branch Metrics, Jesse Zhang, a product manager of Black Lake, and Daisy Guo, CMO of Tezign, to discuss the growing B2B shift.Beijing further lowered the 2019 forecast to between 6% and 6.5% as the trade war with the US grinds on.
Two years ago, the Chinese government issued a sweeping crackdown on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), which has shifted the trajectory of blockchain development in China.The red tape around the blockchain industry has driven some to more lenient markets and others to exit.“Blockchain is the first piece of technology where innovation is happening not only in the US but also at the same time in China,” said Sarah Zhang, founder of Points (PTS), at the Emerge by TechNode conference yesterday.Zhang was joined by Steven Wang, head of market research at Ant Financial’s blockchain subsidiary Ant Blockchain, Jerry Yang, venture architect and solution consultant at ConsenSys, and Tyler Aveni, head of international partnerships at WeBank.About the Chinese government’s approach to regulating the emerging technology, Zhang said some industry watchers complain that there is a lack of consistency across the regional and central government and across different regulatory bodies.However, this phenomenon happens in technologically advanced countries like the US too, she noted.
Growing trade tensions between the US and China exploded into disaster for Huawei earlier this week.In the wake of the Trump administration’s ban on US companies doing business with Huawei, Google pulled its Android, Play Store, and Search licenses for Huawei phones.Huawei device owners in the US will still get access to these services from Google, the company says, but that’s probably little consolation to Huawei, which is now faced with the prospect of having to replace Android, the world’s most popular smartphone system, with something else.If there’s good news for the Chinese tech giant, it’s that it won’t be starting from scratch.Foreseeing the potential for trade troubles, Huawei has had a phone OS project under development for some time.Sources have suggested that it’s not even close to ready, but with the Android ban, development of the project is undoubtedly going into overdrive, and Huawei has said that it will be ready for Chinese consumers later this year, and international customers will get it by early 2020.
A version of this first appeared in our members-only newsletter on May 18, 2019.From new moves to lock Huawei out of the US to tightening visa regulations for Chinese nationals, from new tariffs to new Trump tweets, both China and the US are ramping up for another battle after the March cease-fire.Deal or no deal, the way the world works is changing, and a struggle over values and global preeminence means politics will shape who you can raise money from, market your product to, and sell your company to for a long time.According to the Rhodium Group:Foreign direct investment (FDI) from China into the US fell by 84% from 2017 to 2018Net Chinese FDI fell to negative $8 billion as Chinese investors sold off $13 billion worth of US assets
SpaceX has officially entered the satellite broadband race, delivering 60 Starlink satellites to orbit via a Falcon 9 rocket.The workhorse rocket achieved liftoff at 7:30 p.m. PT Thursday from Cape Canaveral, Florida.Originally scheduled for last week, the first delivery of the Starlink satellites was scrubbed twice, one due to bad weather and a second time to "maximize mission success".After those hurdles were cleared, Falcon 9 blasted through the dark Florida coast and headed to space with a typically dazzling lift off.The Falcon 9 booster successfully landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, after being used in two previous SpaceX launches.An achievement, sure, but for the company's future global internet aspirations, the successful deployment of 60 Starlink satellites to orbit is the far bigger story.
Volocopter GmbH of Germany said Thursday it will open a landing facility in Singapore later this year for trial flights, while Austria’s FACC AG is working to produce hundreds of passenger drones for Chinese partner EHang Inc. by the end of next year, Bloomberg reports.Volocopter, backed by Intel Corp. and Daimler AG, has partnered with U.K. developer Skyports to build a 1.5 million-euro ($1.7 million), 550-square-meter “Volo-Port” in Singapore after conducting test flights in Dubai and Las Vegas.In Asia, EHang is controlled by state-owned AVIC, while governments in Singapore and territories including Dubai are enthusiastically embracing autonomous transport.
Huawei just can’t catch a break, which isn’t really a surprise considering the pressure it’s under.Of course, companies in the US are also under the same pressure to cut ties with the Chinese company.The latest to unceremoniously give Huawei the boot, at least from an outsider’s perspective, is the SD Association which practically means Huawei is no longer allowed to make products, including smartphones, with SD or microSD card slots.On the one hand, there has been some movement in the Android world to remove storage expansions via microSD cards.On the other hand, it hasn’t gained much traction though, even on high-end phones that have ditched the even older 3.5 mm headphone jack.This development puts Huawei’s and Honor’s mid-range and lower phones at risk, as those usually come with relatively lower storage space out of the box.
As we move toward having fully automated smart homes, one smart device is hard to ignore: the smart mattress.Perhaps the most well-known smart mattress is the Sleep Number mattress, which lets you adjust the firmness on both sides and tracks your sleep quality through your smartphone.Ending May 27, Sleep Number is taking hundreds of dollars off its most popular smart mattresses, each giving you the ability to track your sleep with the SleepIQ app and adjust the bed to your and your partner’s liking.If your partner turns into a human space heater at night or you often find yourself piling on more blankets, this is an ideal choice.Still, smart mattresses aren’t cheap when compared to their traditional counterparts, so why should you invest in them?Here are just a few reasons:
NEW FINDINGS: Two Emory researchers failed to disclose Chinese funding and ties – The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionWhat happened: Emory University has cut ties with two Chinese-American biomedical researchers because they “had failed to fully disclose foreign sources of research funding and the extent of their work for research institutions and universities in China,” according to a statement by the school.A story on uschinapress.com identifies the researchers as Li Xiao-Jiang and Li Shihua, geneticists who have been involved in work using CRISPR, the cutting-edge gene editing technology.They were working in a department using grant money from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).Why it’s important: As the trade war rages, it hardly seems coincidental that the NIH—a government agency—has taken a tough stance on China in academia.This is the second publicly known case of an institution firing NIH-funded researchers over concerns about foreign involvement.
Genesis Alternative Ventures has launched a Singapore-based private venture debt business targeting the startup scene in Southeast Asia.The new fund is underpinned by Singapore’s Sassoon Investment Corporation, with PT Bank CIMB Niaga as its strategic partner in Indonesia.Genesis, which launched the business just this month, has already backed local startups Horangi Cyber Security and Grain, as well as Indonesia’s coworking and office space startup GoWork.In Singapore, the company looks to bank on the region’s growing tech startup space.It notes that emerging companies in the country now have easier access to venture debt due to the recent improvements to Enterprise SG’s finance scheme.Genesis also said that it will rely on CIM Niaga’s presence in Indonesia to add value to its business in one of Southeast Asia’s largest economies.
Traveloka, the Indonesian travel unicorn, has launched a new home protection insurance scheme for Eid, or the close of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.This is a time when many Indonesians visit their hometowns, thus leaving their houses empty and susceptible to criminal activity.“During Ramadan and Eid, many families leave their homes to visit relatives for a relatively long time,” said Yady Guitana, Traveloka’s head of global partnerships.“With Traveloka’s first home protection insurance product, we hope to alleviate our users’ worries and anxiety.”The insurance scheme, which can be purchased through the Traveloka app, insures homes from incidents like fire or burglary for a 30-day period, starting from the user’s departure date.There are two coverage options: 20 million rupiah (about US$1,380, at a payment of US$1 per person) and 50 million rupiah (about US$3,450, at a payment of US$2.40 per person).
What happened: Shares of Shenzhen-listed voice recognition firm Iflytek plunged by nearly 10% after news broke that the US is considering curbs on the company, along with several other Chinese tech companies, following Washington’s Huawei offensive.Also facing scrutiny are artificial intelligence company Megvii, data firm Meiya, and security camera makers Hikvision and Dahua.Why it’s important: The Trump administration is casting a wider net in targeting companies affiliated with China’s vast surveillance network.Iflytek says it controls more than 70% of China’s speech recognition market with its technology being used in everything from consumer devices to the country’s courtrooms.The offensive comes after the US last week put Huawei on a trade blacklist, which forms one of a list of measures to temper China’s influence on technology around the world.Trump is now targeting companies with involvement in China’s surveillance apparatus, a system that has caused concern across the globe.
Computex 2019 is almost here, and with it will come a couple of new gaming laptops from MSI bringing the latest in high performance silicon from Intel and Nvidia.MSI has unveiled the new hardware in a press release ahead of the show in Taipei, where both will be on display from May 28th to June 1.The new laptops are upgrades to existing lines, with the MSI GE65 Raider stepping up in the thin and light gaming laptop space, while the MSI GT76 Titan upgrades the previous GT75 Titan's parts.While MSI has selected these two new gaming laptops to highlight, it may have even more in store.It will also be showcasing major updates to its productivity-focused Prestige series.It's what's on the inside that counts here
The Philippines’ online grocery delivery market presents a huge opportunity.The country’s total grocery sales amounted to US$10.2 billion in 2016, while ecommerce revenue has been on the rise, growing 22% year-on-year.So it was unexpected when regional grocery and food delivery startup Honestbee temporarily paused its local operations in April.According to notices the company sent to partner merchants, contract workers, and customers, the move came as a way to bring the “total business to a healthy and sustainable level.” This is despite the Philippines being Honestbee’s best-performing market.Support quality journalism and content.This content is exclusive to subscribers.
Snapchat’s claim to fame has always been its privacy feature, automatically deleting so-called ephemeral messages or after a period of time.Now former employees are coming out, anonymously, of course, to reveal that the company hasn’t exactly been exercising due diligence in making sure that a special tool primarily used for law enforcement and fighting abuse isn’t being abused by employees themselves to spy on Snapchat users.SnapLion’s purpose was to extract data from user accounts in the aid of legal processes and investigation.Over time, it has also grown to be used by Snapchat itself to fight bullying and harassment on the platform.Unfortunately, it has reportedly also been used to get that same user data for illegal and illegitimate purposes.That tool is able to access data such as location, saved Snaps that haven’t been automatically deleted yet, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Smartwatches have never been more in style, with wearables experiencing a steady climb in popularity in recent years.While Apple remains atop the market with its Watch Series 4, fans are still flocking to score older models like the Watch Series 3 at more affordable rates.Rival Samsung, not to be outdone, offers an array of smartwatch options from their Galaxy Watch and Samsung Gear series.Now, you can decide for yourself which watch works for you, with the Apple Watch Series 3 and the Samsung Gear Sport both receiving deep discounts ($80 off and $130 off, respectively) on Amazon in advance of Memorial Day.The Apple Watch 3 was introduced in 2017 and immediately took the smartwatch sector by storm, helping Apple become the biggest seller of watches, of any kind, in the world.The Watch Series 3 is offered in 38mm or 42mm sizes, though only the smaller size, with GPS only, is on sale through Amazon’s current deal.
Scooter company Lime announced a revamped executive lineup on Thursday, with cofounder Brad Bao taking over as CEO for Toby Sun.Bao, the company's executive chairman, cofounded San Mateo, California-based Lime with Sun in 2016.Sun will stay with the company, turning his attention to research and development."Lime's structure allows for our executive leadership to be multipurpose and we are making a few changes to our team today to seize the opportunity ahead of us," Lime said in a statement."Brad will take on the role of CEO and focus on operating the Lime of today, while Toby will look to what's next and focus on building the Lime of tomorrow."Rounding out the executive shuffle was the promotion of Joe Kraus, Lime's chief operating officer, to president.
The recent drama surrounding Huawei and the ban imposed by the US government has caused some chaos in the Android world.There will probably be no shortage of smartphone users from the other camp that are feeling relieved that they are far removed from all that.Of course, it’s business as usual in Apple land and even Huawei headlines won’t stop this year’s “iPhone 11” generation from also making waves.Even if it’s just unbranded model numbers found in a regulatory database.Any sign of the existence of any new iPhone is, of course, good news.Clues to how many models there might be is even better.
We’d all love a massive TV, but sometimes circumstances beyond our control prevent us from having the 65-inch 4K TV we’ve been dreaming of.But just because you can’t have a big screen doesn’t mean you have to settle for less.Take this 49-inch LG TV that's on sale for $350 through Dell at the moment — it’s still a modest size, has a fantastic 4K screen, and is filled to the brim with useful features.Whether you’re tight on space or on a strict budget, the LG 49UK6090PUA is a must-have at $350, down $100 from its usual shelf price of $450.The aforementioned 49-inch 4K screen is crisp and sharp, and the TV comes equipped with LG’s renowned multi-format HDR, factoring in HDR 10 and HLG, to extract the maximum amount of detail from what would otherwise be considered a low-light, low-detail scene.It’s also armed with the firm’s trademark WebOS smart software, opening up one-click access to a number of leading streaming services, such as Hulu and Netflix.
There have never been more options in the highly competitive $200-$250 price segment.In a clash between reigning smartphone stalwarts and sprightly upstarts, it is the consumers who end up winning.Realme is one such upstart that has carved out a definite niche for itself by providing top-notch hardware, great cameras and an equally good software experience.In our Realme 3 Pro review, we found the phone to be a fairly competitive device that presents itself as an alternative to the popular Redmi Note 7 Pro.However, Samsung too has been hitting it out of the park with their refreshed focus on the mid-range.We’ve had the two phones around for a few weeks now and there are very clear and evident signs of scratches and scuffs.