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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Interesting interpretation of the current approach to online harmonisation by the Chinese government. There is an opinion that China’s censorship mechanisms are somehow overwhelmed. I don’t think that this is the case at all. Instead I believe its part of their wider approach to online harmonisation – As Virus Spreads, Anger Floods Chinese Social Media – The New York Times – this isn’t a government apparatus operating from weakness but smart: just enough venting to stop it boiling over into angry action but not enough for a Velvet Revolution. The clue is in the Chinese government’s own name for this process online harmonisation – to give a harmonious Chinese society

Shenzhen Art Museum government-sponsored exhibition
SARS medical personnel captured in Chinese government-sponsored art capturing their effort and sacrifice made for glory of the motherland and the communist party

Philips plans to hive off unit as it sets focus on healthcare sector | Financial Times – this has been a long time coming, not terribly surprised. Ten years from now I wouldn’t be surprised if Philips is leaving the medical technology industry and licencing their brand to a Shenzhen based MRI machine manufacturer….

Daring Fireball: The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10 – I think its the UX as well as multitasking. Its a consumption machine with limited creative capabilities

Nightmares on wax: the environmental impact of the vinyl revival | Music | The Guardiandigital media is physical media, too. Although digital audio files seem virtual, they rely on infrastructures of data storage, processing and transmission that have potentially higher greenhouse gas emissions than the petrochemical plastics used in the production of more obviously physical formats such as LPs – to stream music is to burn coal, uranium and gas – vegan vintage wearing gen-z will look back on streaming not only as a cultural disaster, but a planetary one. Streaming is the music industry analogue to restaurant’s plastic straws and styrofoam cups

Swiss Watch Export Growth Slows to Weakest Pace in Three Years – Bloomberg – lower end of the market has dried up, which isn’t that surprising. The Apple Watch and G-Shock are aimed at squarely at quartz manufacturers like Tissot and fashion label licencees

Witcher’s Andrzej Sapkowski’s Honest Thoughts on Netflix Show – legendary responses, you can imagine the publicity department at the publishers suffering from severe anxiety

This will probably do a lot of long term damage to China’s aspirations in Europe building up a deep level of distrust – China spy suspect casts chill over EU’s vulnerabilities | Financial Times 

Probably some of the smartest European focused thinking on China at the moment

Country life: the young female farmer who is now a top influencer in China | Life and style | The Guardian“That despair of not being able to find oneself in the ‘Chinese dream’. I don’t think she’s propaganda because one of her major successes is that she’s making that failure highly aesthetic …

Measure to limit self-checkout gets nod from Oregon Supreme Court | gazettetimes.com – not available in EU due to GDPR regulations but you get the idea from the headline

I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter by Isabel Fall : Clarkesworld Magazine – Science Fiction & Fantasy – interesting story that steps on the live wire issue of gender and identity channeled through William Gibson and Neal Stephenson. I am reminded a bit of the ‘Rat Things’ – cybernetic enhanced dogs that enjoy endless dreams during their downtime are are networked via the metaverse – in Stephenson’s Snow Crash

23andMe lays off 100 people, CEO Anne Wojcicki explains why | CNBC – surprised to see market turn… – I was surprised to see this late 20th century version of a faddish product from the Sharper Image catalogue do so well for so long given the privacy implications of it

Is Singapore’s ‘perfect’ economy coming apart? | Financial TimesMid-level jobs in manufacturing and multinational companies are disappearing and being replaced by technology and financial services roles, which are easier to fill with younger, more affordable migrants. Singaporeans like Aziz struggle to get back into the workforce. Only half of retrenched over-50s are re-employed full time within six months. Nearly three-quarters of people laid off in Singapore in the third quarter of last year, the most recently available data, were what the country classifies as professionals, managers, executives and technicians, or PMETs – I’ve been re-reading John Naisbitt’s Megatrends at the moment and its interesting how these classic knowledge worker roles have been disappearing – whereas just 30 years ago they were the future. It does make me a bit skeptical of the ‘every kid should learn how to code predictions’. The increasing consumer debt is another interesting aspect of this

The Offense-Defense Balance of Scientific Knowledge: Does Publishing AI Research Reduce Misuse? by Shevlane and Dafoe – interesting paper on identification and ethics surrounding machine learning applications

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Google acquires Pointy, a startup to help brick-and-mortar retailers list products online, for $163M | TechCrunchbuilt hardware and software technology to help physical retailers — specifically those that might not already have an extensive e-commerce storefront detailing in-store inventory — get their products discoverable online without any extra work – reminds me of the kind of thing you’d expect Tencent or Alibaba to do as China has led in O2O e-tailing

San Francisco’s Robot Restaurants Are Going out of Business – thin margins don’t support high capital costs of automation

11152015_Cathay Pacific Cargo_B-LJA_B748F_PANC_NAEDIT

Cathay Pacific: Aircraft Changes & Flight Cuts to North America – SamChui.com – interesting cuts on previously big earning routes

Mediatel: Newsline: How the UK is quietly importing a sinister political phenomenon“I have read so many predictions and trends about journalism in the past few weeks. The most significant trend, mostly unacknowledged, is that of politicians realizing they do not need to provide access or engagement with journalists, or even tell the truth, to be electable.” – where is this going?

Make your China marketing pop with these pop culture tips – POP MART: the designer toy market in China is booming. Not that surprising given historic popularity in Hong Kong and Japan – in many respects culturally China is a laggard

Silicon Valley and National Security – United States Department of State – basically you’re all a bunch of Quislings

Fundamentals simply do not matter in China’s stock markets | Financial Times – Muddy Waters Research has demonstrated that for years, its also the reason why you should be wary of Chinese companies with foreign listings

Framed — Pixel Envythree paragraphs in and it is already setting up the idea that personal privacy and public safety are two opposing ends of a gradient. That’s simply not true. A society that has less personal privacy does not inherently have better public safety; Russia and Saudi Arabia are countries with respectable HDI scores, brutal censorship and surveillance, and higher murder rates than Australia, Denmark, France, and the United Kingdom

Sugar Bear’s Don’t Scandalize Mine was a go to record for me, but I’ve never seen a music video of it until now

What Does Taiwan’s Public Think About Election Interference From China? – The Diplomathyper-polarization in views between DPP and KMT supporters highlights the difficulty in addressing cybersecurity and China more broadly. To reach a consensus requires first acknowledging and disrupting the echo chambers in which disinformation campaigns thrive, then the government must implement election transparency policies to more easily expose disinformation efforts. However, with increasing animosity between parties, this consensus may be hard to reach. Citizens may also be concerned that any steps the government takes are limiting their freedom of speech or other rights (paywall)

China: no longer the place to be for young Singaporeans? | South China Morning Post – China no longer a place to do business

Try as It Might, Germany Isn’t Warming to Huawei – The DiplomatHighest on their list of concerns has been the risk of exposing the future German 5G network to large-scale espionage and data theft on behalf of corporate and political actors in China. In recent years, Germany’s intelligence agencies have reported a steady increase in Chinese government-directed espionage and hacking activities against German targets, primarily with the aim of acquiring corporate secrets. China is now considered the source of the majority of cyberattacks against Germany. In 2019, some of the largest German companies confirmed that they had been targeted by a new wave of cyberattacks that likely originated with the Chinese government. During a parliamentary hearing on the issue of Huawei in October, Thomas Halden­wang, the president of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (Bundesverfassungsschutz), claimed that Chinese espionage and cyberattacks have been expanding into more and more sectors of the economy and the state. According to Haldenwang, while Chinese cyberattacks in Germany were previously focused primarily on private corporations and technology

China Manufacturing:”Elvis Has Left the Building” | China Law Blog – “China’s rising costs, tricky regulations and increasingly unstable geopolitical situation are forcing more manufacturers to move production elsewhere” and we should expect this exodus to gain speed in 2020, “despite the prospect of a minor US-China trade truce.”

Marketing research: Chinese celebrity brand endorsers – Daxue Consulting – Market Research China – interesting turnover in celebrities and increased focus on where there influence lies. China no longer has the Jackie Chan type celebrity endorsement. Which was all things to all people. Chan was legendary for the amount of products that he promoted which became a joke

Bose and HERE Fuel AR Experience Innovation By Combining Location and Audio Technologies – Semiconductor DigestHERE Technologies, a global leader in mapping and location platform services, today announced a collaboration with Bose Corporation to jointly enable their respective developer communities to deploy augmented reality (AR) location applications and services. This collaboration gives HERE developers access to the Bose AR platform and spatial-audio capabilities, and extends the HERE platform, positioning and mobile SDK location technologies to developers building audio AR applications and experiences. – ok so turn by turn direction or tourist style apps probably. The most interesting thing for me was that Bose AR isn’t just the audio enabled frames but recent noise cancelling headsets as well

SPH print newspaper ad sales dive 20% on year | Media | Campaign AsiaSingapore Press Holdings, the parent company of The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, and other news publications, saw overall revenue drop 3.8% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 – interesting acceleration. Part of which is down to media agencies making more money from digital and some due to changing consumer habits. I’ve started taking a print newspaper subscription again as I value the juxtaposition good print design can bring

NYT: Russian hackers successfully targeted Ukrainian gas company Burisma – AxiosPublic awareness of the Burisma hack cuts both ways politically. For former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign, it means document dumps could happen at any time, with accompanying media frenzy and potentially damaging revelations. For the Trump campaign, it means that any such revelations will come pre-tainted with a Russian label

Hair Love,’ Sponsored by Dove, Earns an Oscar Nomination for Best Animated Short | Muse by Clio – poses interesting questions about the role of brands in media

John Lewis marketing boss Paula Nickolds departs before starting | The DrumAnusha Couttigane, principal fashion analyst at Kantar, said that whoever takes the lead will need to rethink its long-running, and arguably tired, festive advertising strategy which has relied on blockbuster, tear-jerker creative to encourage shoppers into stores. “John Lewis needs to continue evolving its digital marketing efforts. While the company’s Christmas mascot, the accident-prone dragon Excitable Edgar, was warmly received, the debut of the brand’s Christmas advert is simply not the event it once was,” – quite a burn right there.

Sonos hits Google with lawsuit over wireless speaker patents“Google has been blatantly and knowingly copying our patented technology” for years. Sonos and Google collaborated in 2013 to add the Play Music service to Sonos speakers, and more recently, the two worked to bring Google’s digital assistant to Sonos speakers, alongside Amazon’s counterpart, Alexa. “Despite our repeated and extensive efforts over the last few years,” Spence told the Times, “Google has not shown any willingness to work with us on a mutually beneficial solution. We’re left with no choice but to litigate,”

With nothing to lose, loners build future in China’s hollowed-out north – Reuters“Social classes are fixed,” Li said. “The poor can never achieve anything. When you encounter problems, if you can solve it, great. There’s not much you can do otherwise.” – interesting consumer comments that explain the slow down in China’s economic growth

Dark Patterns after the GDPR: Scraping Consent Pop-ups and Demonstrating their Influence by Nouns, Liccardi, Veal, Karger and KagalThe results of our empirical survey of CMPs today illustrates the extent to which illegal practices prevail, with vendors of CMPs turning a blind eye to — or worse, incentivising —- clearly illegal configurations of their systems. Enforcement in this area is sorely lacking. Data protection authorities should make use of automated tools like the one we have designed to expedite discovery and enforcement. Designers might help here to design tools for regulators, rather than just for users or for websites. Reg- ulators should also work further upstream and consider placing requirements on the vendors of CMPs to only allow compliant designs to be placed on the market. (PDF)

Unmasking the secret landlords buying up America | Reveal – some 25 percent of US residential property is now owned by anonymous shell companies

Daring Fireball: Apple’s One Remaining Use of the Word ‘Macintosh’ – probably not the smartest move given the amount of IP and goodwill in the brand and rapacious competitors who make early Microsoft look like the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation

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中国 | china | 중국 初 | hygiene | 기본 消费者行为 | consumer behaviour | 소비자 행동 经济 | economics | 경제학 艺术与设计 | design | 예술과 디자인

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Inside China’s Push to Turn Muslim Minorities Into an Army of Workers – The New York Times – wants to remake them into loyal blue collar workers

Kapor Capital – Cultural impact – software innovator Mitch Kapor on VC investing

‘Social Mentality’ Report Reveals Telling Trends in Happiness | Sixth Tone – Chinese people are fed up with what they perceive as a reckless lack of concern for their privacy. Over 90% of nearly 3,200 people surveyed last year said they were worried about third-party companies leaking their personal data, while just 10% said they were “very optimistic” when it came to trusting such companies

China’s impending Minsky moment | Financial TimesChina’s debt-to-gross domestic product ratio is more than 300 per cent and continues on a dangerously upward trajectory. The Chinese authorities are aware of the situation and the risks but they continually refrain from acting with the necessary force. They are concerned that actions to confront rising domestic debt will constrain economic growth. They are wrong in believing there will ever be a good time to curb financial excesses, as they fail to comprehend that delay now will make action in the future harder and costlier

Great video that explains Chinese boomers quite nicely

The 2010s were supposed to bring the ebook revolution. It never quite came. – Vox – technological disruption offered opportunities for everyone but consumers. eBooks would have annihilated the secondhand market and provided Kindle brain wasn’t to be foreseen, but the power of artefacts was better understood by consumers.

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Pentagon wants open-source 5G plan in campaign against Huawei – ok in theory only

It Seemed Like a Popular Chat App. It’s Secretly a Spy Tool. – The New York Times – Emirati’s do with Totok what the Chinese have been doing for years with WeChat TOMS/Skype etc. Totok is apparently popular in Qatar as it allows VoIP without a VPN – so expat workers use it to connect with their families at home.

Totok messenger

Made in America – On US staffed hacking team in UAE. Interesting investigation by Reuters

The decade of the drop: why do we still stand in line? | How To Spend It – experience. It’s diametrically opposite to one stop shopping

Apple Captures 66% of the Smartphone Industry’s Profits in Q3 leaving all of their Competitors Combined in the Dust – Patently Appleit is becoming a challenge for Chinese smartphone brands to increase their smartphone ASPs and margins due to a combination of longer consumer holding periods and Apple lowering pricing on some key SKUs, which has limited the headroom that Chinese vendors had used to increase their ASPs – in the long term Huawei having to be vertically integrated all the way up the stack could be to their benefit

Nike’s Jordan brand just had its first billion-dollar quarter — Quartz – interesting that it has taken over 30 years to get to a billion dollar quarter, yet Jordan is at least ten years past its cultural peak

In Focus: Pet Shop Boys 6th December 2019 | Listen on NTS – amazing delve into their career

Reality TV stars auditioned to ‘promote’ poison diet drink on Instagram – BBC News – Oh my gosh, this is as good as watching re-runs of Brass Eye

Pig Irons at the ‘Plex | Margins – essay on consulting firms well worth reading

Gildo Zegna: tailoring masculinity for changing tastes | Financial Timesluxury goods industry is feeling the heat of technological disruption, social upheaval and identity politics. Furthermore, within the high end fashion industry few items of clothing are facing more pressure from falling consumer demand than the one that made the Zegna family rich: the traditional men’s suit. “The big challenge we face is a rethinking of masculinity,” he says. – I think streetwear is interesting because of the reassurance it provides on masculinity. The basics of streetwear go back to the mid-century sports basics. The hooded top, jeans, t-shirts, plaid shirts, Letterman jacket, track jacket etc

Facebook awaits EU opinion in privacy case | Financial Times – interesting how wide the impact of this case could be in terms of things like credit card transaction data etc. (paywall)

Aito.ai – Introducing a new database category – the predictive database – hmmm

A Surveillance Net Blankets China’s Cities, Giving Police Vast Powers – The New York TimesChinese authorities are knitting together old and state-of-the-art technologies — phone scanners, facial-recognition cameras, face and fingerprint databases and many others — into sweeping tools for authoritarian control, according to police and private databases examined by The New York Times. Once combined and fully operational, the tools can help police grab the identities of people as they walk down the street, find out who they are meeting with and identify who does and doesn’t belong to the Communist Party. The United States and other countries use some of the same techniques to track terrorists or drug lords. Chinese cities want to use them to track everybody.

Is LVMH’s Digital Transformation Working? | Luxury Society“Over the last few years our market has become highly fragmented,” it added. “Customer journeys and purchasing habits have become more complex. Now, in addition to magazines and other traditional media, our customers – especially young people – use a range of digital options to stay informed, communicate with friends and shop. Brand awareness and customer engagement are built on these many different touchpoints.”

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Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Mariah Carey, media changes in 2020, coming shortages on rare earth metals, China and Russia’s threat to the west and the power of China.

Mariah Carey @ SingaporeGP 2010
Mariah Carey @ SingaporeGP 2010 by KWSW

I found it relatively easy this year to avoid a lot of the Christmas ads. Maybe because there are much bigger things to think about like the new UK government, protests from Chile to Hong Kong and the soap opera that is the Trump presidency.

Mariah Carey on aging is just tremendous: A Brief History of Mariah Carey Refusing to Acknowledge Time over at The Cut.

My old colleague Andy at New York creative agency Praytell have pulled together a US centric set of ideas on media changes to expect in 2020. The anticipated changes to the NCAA and Instagram are very interesting.

I’ve been negative about the focus of lithium ion battery power for everything and this talk gives compelling economic and environmental arguments to look at alternatives like hydrogen fuel cells. This presentation on the coming shortages in rare earth metals should be a call to action.

Great panel at The New Enlightenment Conference held in Edinburgh looking at Russia and China and what it means for the west and the threat they present.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies produced this video on the power of China