Naspers + other news

8 minutes estimated reading time


Red-Hot Web in China Richly Rewards Foreign Investors (David Barboza/New York Times) – great to see that Naspers were getting a bit of respect. Naspers is a South African media company that moved into online retail and venture capital investing. Naspers were fortunate to buy into Tencent in 2001 and become their largest shareholder. Naspers then went on to invest in and a number of Indian online startups. Naspers also is Africa’s largest subscription TV provider. Naspers also has a share in Ctrip – China’s answer to Expedia.


Is it really a tech bubble, or is it something else? — GigaOM – narcissism and a tech bubble

Profits Way Up at China’s Tencent As WeChat Goes Global – WeChat now up to 396 million active users

No matter what the boss says about flextime, get to work early – Quartz – morning bias

Consumer behaviour

Phablet Use Distinct From Smartphones, Tablets Re/code – interesting research and bad news for media companies hoping that phablets will be a gateway for streaming and slide loaded content

The new opium of a stressed people | FT – rise of buddhism amongst China’s middle classes

How is Renren Doing in China Social Media Now? | ChinaInternetWatch – about 51 million monthly unique users – no social versus gaming breakdown on this though. Partly down to the fact RenRen is a specific lifetime thing. You are on there during high school


The History Of Dive Watches | aBlogtoWatch – interesting evolution of design


WePay Blames “The Rules” For Withholding Medical Funds from Sex Worker | Valleywag – still pretty disgusting given that this was for emergency medical services. There are rules and there is knowing when to lift them

America has a new subprime problem: cars | Quartz – not really surprising when one thinks about how the US manufacturers have been propping up car sales with low interest loans before, during and since the financial crisis


Digital Intelligence :: Unilever supports start-ups with global digital platform – interesting move, reminds me what PepsiCo and Kraft attempted to do over the past few years

Hong Kong

Li Ka-shing’s rumoured plan to reduce investments ‘could damage Hong Kong’ | South China Morning Post – it makes sense for Mr Li to diversify, Hong Kong is optimally priced; there are bargains to be had elsewhere

20 fantastically helpful IFTTT recipes – the title exaggerates


Shanzhai: China’s Collaborative Electronics Design Ecosystem | The Atlantic – interesting how the rise of the maker movement has changed Shanzhai meme from quirky shadowy tech pirates to collaborative design in western media


How Naver Hurts Companies’ Productivity | WSJ – surprising critique of Naver. Korean consumers wouldn’t use it if Google offered a better search function in Hangul


That Oracle-Google Appeal | ongoing – interesting analysis by Tim Bray, a prominent contributor to the OSS movement and former Googler

Amazon Patented Taking Pictures In Front of a White Background | Geekosystem – they’ve just patented pack shot photography?


Rich pay, rich clients, but luxury retail jobs go begging | South China Morning Post – mainland clients are considered difficult

The Launch and Fall of Burberry’s Tmall Flagship Store | ChinaInternetWatch – really interesting analysis of Burberry’s attempt on TMall

Economist: China Luxury Slowdown ‘Short Blip’ In Big Picture | Jing Daily – expectations that the slowdown will see mass affluence purchases in the future


PwC: Marketers not moving fast enough to mobile | Marketing InteractiveWhile there is plenty of money in social media marketing in mainland China, there’s still not enough attention to the fact that accessing ads and special deals from mobile is just different

Ignore the Silicon Valley Twilight Zone | Marketing Forward – I think that this is the rabbit hole WPP is a risk of going down

REPORT: Engagement Optimization ‘Isn’t The Best Bet’ For Facebook Advertisers – Facebook is a display advertising platform rather than an engagement platform

Geo-Target the Right Audience For Your Tweets With Sprout Social | Sprout Social – this could change the way brands think about Twitter, moving to a global page model, rather like Facebook

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse: A Merger Driven by Interconnectivity | Euromonitor International – personally I think Carphone Warehouse is attaching itself to a turkey. Regardless of any Internet of Things synergies there maybe, the customer service culture of Carphone Warehouse is alien to Dixons. Richer Sounds and Empire Direct may have made more sense?

OnePlus Smash the Past Winner Receives Empty Box, Uploads Unboxing to YouTube | Droid Life – it sounds like buzz marketing gone horribly wrong

9 Successful Ways to Recruit Market Research Participants | PARC blog – good advice

The Trouble With App Install Ads | Ad Exchanger – expensive despite driving growth for Facebook


BBC News will post live #indianelection results via @WhatsApp – 1st serious wide scale ‘commercial’ comms use?

Daring Fireball: ‘For Me, the Movies Are Like a Machine That Generates Empathy’ – I really like this phrase, great films like Blade Runner for me were more than the moving image or ‘air-conditioned darkness’ as Sir Run Run Shaw put it

TV Show Renewals Could Hinge On Social Engagement – focus on quality of viewership with social engagement as a proxy measure

“24″ Win Fails To Boost Youku Tudou | Young’s China Business – probably down to government regulation of media sector

The audience solves a mystery in this real-time interactive TV show powered by a South Korean startup – it reminds me a lot of Majestic

Netflix’s Neil Hunt Says Personalized Recommendations Will Replace The Navigation Grid | TechCrunch – not so sure how I feel about this. It could be reductive since it relies on past behaviour and loses what little serendipity one gets through browsing and discovery to broaden taste and usage


China’s Top Mobile Social Apps by Time Usage | China Internet Watch – why Weibo is overrated and WeChat is so powerful

Meet the People Behind the Wayback Machine, One of Our Favorite Things About the Internet“The average life of a web page is about 100 days before it’s either changed or deleted,” says Kahle. “Even if it’s supported by big companies: Google Video came down, Yahoo Video came down, Apple went and wiped out all the pages in Mobile Me.” Interesting dichotomy between permanence in terms of effect on reputation versus transient nature of pages

The Wayback Machine Passes 400 Billion Indexed Webpages | TNW – impressive scale but this misses out on the explosion of content created by social network platforms as walled gardens, and that may not be a bad thing


Mapping Our Interiors – – interesting business model by IndoorAtlas, if you are in retail, you should be embracing this


New feature helps Facebook grow ears | FT – integrates with TV (and presumably radio ads?) but you have to wonder about the privacy aspects of this

NSA spying is causing Americans to self-censor their Internet activity | VentureBeat – if you substituted PSB for NSA and Chinese for Americans this could be any other article about China in the western media

Alibaba’s Cloud Business Expands With Hong Kong Data Center | Data Center Knowledge – gradual internationalisation

Chinese Cyber Attacks Trigger US MIDLIFE Crisis | VICE News – interesting analysis the recent U.S. action against China


Taiwan makers struggling to automate equipment | DigiTimes – current automation offerings don’t suit their businesses so the likes of Foxconn et al are developing and manufacturing automation inhouse


I, Cringely Apple’s iPad Problem – they last too long, more like a PC than like a mobile phone

Users folder vanished after OS X 10.9.3 update? Here’s a fix • The Register – nifty help out

China Bans Use of Microsoft’s Windows 8 on Government Computers | Re/code – if the Chinese government don’t trust it, should consumers?

Chinese Tech Startups are Building Steaming Projectors to Beat Smart TVs TechNode – makes sense when one things about home space

“Tech companies are being left to make all the decisions” | Dezeen – interesting perspective on wearables

Sichuan professor makes biocoal out of leftovers | WantChinaTimes – interesting, particularly as food waste recycling is a bugbear in waste disposal. How can the collection be done efficiently though?

American TV dramas attract high-end ads in China | WantChinaTimes – not terribly surprising as they reach an English speaking, often foreign educated technocratic middle class

Web of no web

Mapping The Hidden Cost Of Mobile Apps | MobileGroove – will be reviewing my use of some of the apps mentioned


Bounden on Android delayed: we need your help – Game Oven – rather reminds me of PCs and driver problems, were Sound Blaster compatibility meant that you might be able to get audio on a game

So where are we going in Mobile? | DigitalEvangelist – interesting piece by Ian Wood. The most depressing thing I find out about this is the wasted R&D when so much hard innovation is going begging

Communities Dominate Brands: Lets Do 2014 Numbers for the Mobile Industry: Now we are at 100% Mobile Subscription Penetration Rate Per Capita Globally – that headline number now isn’t as meaningful as it could be. I personally have two numbers on one smartphone. 3UK via the SIM and China Mobile Hong Kong via Jego. It also conceals the continuing gulf between established markets, the developing world and the astonishing acceleration of APAC markets

Huawei Ascend P7 Review | BGR – interesting review of Huawei Ascend P7, interesting that they still have sluggishness issues and the skinning that makes it look like a shanzhai version of iOS7. You would have to pry my iPhone from my cold dead hand though