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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Apple’s Shifting Supply Chain Creates Boomtowns in Rural Vietnam – Bloomberg – Vietnam is becoming the new China. While China has been impacted by problems of its own making, resulting in diversification of supply chains and trade disputes. This Vietnam build-out feels very much like build out in China during the late 1990s and the early 2000s after China joined the World Trade Organisation. Vietnam is now likely to experience double-digit growth. Hopefully Vietnam will climb up the value chain in a similar way to China. Vietnam is already a great place to develop software and applications. More Vietnam related posts here.

Apple develops alternative to Google search | Financial Times“Any reasonable search engine has to have 20bn-50bn pages in its active index,” Mr Ramaswamy said. When a user runs a query, the retrieval system must sift through vast troves of data then rank them in milliseconds. Some observers still dismiss the idea of Apple creating a complete search rival to Google. Dan Wang, associate professor of business at Columbia Business School, said it would be “extremely difficult” for Apple ever to catch up. “Google’s advantage comes from scale,” he said, as the endless user feedback helps to tune results and identify areas of improvement. “Google gets hundreds of millions of queries every minute from users all over the world — that’s an enormous advantage when it comes to data.” – Apple needs search for its app store, mapping services, media services and even on device. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple will do a ‘Google’

Army of avatar robots readies to invade Japanese job market – Nikkei Asia – stocking shelves in a FamilyMart

Apple develops alternative to Google search | Financial Times – explains Apple’s massive amount of overcapacity in their datacentre space for the past decade as they built around the world

Chinese retailer Miniso beats Uniqlo and Muji at their game – Nikkei Asia – interesting profile of Miniso. What becomes apparent is how Luckin Coffee has poisoned the well with investors for Chinese retailing businesses

Surveillance Startup Used Own Cameras to Harass Coworkers | Vice News – not terribly surprised that this was in their sales team. It fits right in with the sales cultures I have known

25 Years In Speech Technology. …and I still don’t talk to my computer. | by Matthew Karas | Oct, 2020 | Medium – great essay on voice technology on computers (including smartphones)

German spy chief Gerhard Schindler: China is poised to dominate the world | World | The TimesGerhard Schindler, who led the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) from 2011 to 2016, said Germany needed to curb its “strategic dependence” on Beijing and ban Huawei from its 5G mobile phone network. He also warned that Angela Merkel’s liberal approach to the 2015 migrant crisis had left Germany with a “large reservoir” of young Muslim men susceptible to violence and jihadist ideology, and that the true scale of the danger was only now becoming clear.

UK risks road rage with China in Africa – POLITICOUnited States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy told a Congressional hearing in 2019 that Washington was “weaponizing” its African embassies “to confront China on a whole range of issues, most prominently a commercial one.” Westcott, from the Royal Africa Society, pointed out that Britain was so far aiming to maintain its own influence in Africa rather than reduce Chinese influence — but that it could take a more aggressive approach in future, for example attempting to outbid China for projects.

How The Epoch Times Created a Giant Influence Machine – The New York TimesThe Epoch Times was a small, low-budget newspaper with an anti-China slant that was handed out free on New York street corners. But in 2016 and 2017, the paper made two changes that transformed it into one of the country’s most powerful digital publishers. The changes also paved the way for the publication, which is affiliated with the secretive and relatively obscure Chinese spiritual movement Falun Gong, to become a leading purveyor of right-wing misinformation. First, it embraced President Trump, treating him as an ally in Falun Gong’s scorched-earth fight against China’s ruling Communist Party, which banned the group two decades ago – the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I see this as a failure of liberal politicians engaging with a plurality of opinions about China.

The Belt and Road Strategy Has Backfired on Xi | Palladium MagazineThe Belt and Road is less a geoeconomic power play than a marketing strategy. Few of the myriad projects and investment schemes labeled ‘Belt and Road’ exist because of the initiative as such. Grand strategists in Beijing did not cause the tremendous outbound flows of money, men, and material that comprise Belt and Road, and they cannot direct it either. What statesmen like Xi Jinping do have power to influence is how these flows are understood and perceived by the world

How Did China Beat Its Covid Crisis? | by Ian Johnson | The New York Review of Books – ambiguous lessons on handling COVID-19

WeChat ban a catch-22 for Chinese Australians – The China Storysome members of the Chinese Australian community have created parallel chat groups on WhatsApp, Letstalk, Line or Telegram in case of a local WeChat ban. But they continue to be drawn back to WeChat as their main social media platform. Why do members of the Chinese diaspora choose to self-censor when they have many other options available? The answer may lie in platform affordances available in WeChat as well as techno-material features of the app that produce ‘habits’, engender ‘necessity’ and provide users with a sense of ‘vitality’.

Inside Out: China’s Forgotten Domestic Politics – The China Story – China digging itself into a soft power hole

Adobe’s new AI experiment syncs your dance moves perfectly to the beat | The Next Web – I was thinking about the effect that quantisation had on music software in the early 1990s which allowed for perfect beat synching (in theory, though MIDI and USB could throw that off slightly

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CPO

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I came across the idea of CPO in GQ magazine. I know few people that have bought anything other than the G-Shocks in their collection for retail.

There’s a few reasons for that:

  • The watches that people like are often vintage models, it’s reverse of the hot streetwear and luxury ‘drop’ scene
  • With the exception of sought after models from the likes of Rolex; most watches suffer from a similar depreciation curve to buying a new car
  • If you’re buying a watch to wear, so I care less about the box, immaculate cardboard outer box and papers
  • A quality watch is a classic example of heirloom design. Whilst they will need to be serviced every three to five years; they can also last beyond the lifetime of the owner to be handed down in families.

Watch resellers

A number of watch dealers that were known by word-of-mouth have gone to the wall. For instance, Austin Kaye, which had been a regular fixture on The Strand longer than I have lived in London closed at the end of 2019.

Online watch resellers have taken off. Crown & Caliber and WatchBox in the US; Watchmaster in Germany and Watchfinder & Co. from the UK – are some of the biggest players. Scale, brand trust and a panel of expert watchmakers have formalised the purchase process with validation that you’re not buying a fake or a ‘frankenwatch’.

CPO

This verification is usually called certified pre-owned or CPO in the trade. At first you used to see this in the Japanese luxury resale market provided by the likes of BRAND OFF.

BRAND OFF is trusted by luxury shoppers across East Asia.

It then extended to this new breed of online resellers. Luxury watch brands have bought some of the watch resellers. For instance, Richemont bought Watchfinder & Co. Other watchmakers, now have a formal process to CPO their watches.

Previously, you would have to submit a watch in for a service to get proof that the watch was legitimate. Some brands are even reselling CPO watches including H Moser & Cie. Pre-owned items offer the luxury industry an opportunity to be more sustainable. Greater involvement in the pre-owned market also allows watch brands to get more value from their products over time.

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iPhone 12 launch

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Apple announced a four phone iPhone 12 range:

  • 12 Mini
  • 12
  • 12 Pro
  • 12 Pro Max

I looked at the event using a social listening tool and the thing that really struck me was where the people commenting on it where commenting from.

iPhone 12 event languages used in 1000s of mentions
Languages versus 1,000s of mentions

Thinking about key Apple markets; at least some of the buzz seems geographically misplaced. There was a distinct lack of discussions happening in Japan and mainland Europe for example. I watched it with a couple of friends based in Hong Kong; but realise the launch itself would be at an inconvenient time in Japan.

Where was the Japanese pre-event buzz though?

As for mainland Europe, if social discussions are a proxy for a lack of interest; Apple has a serious problem on its hands.

Here’s what the social discussions looked like during the live event.

iPhone 12 event social mentions over time
Social mentions over time.

More Apple related posts here and rewatch the iPhone 12 launch online.