The Korean Wave + more things

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The Korean Wave

Hallyu The Korean Wave is exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Hallyu is actually a contraction of Han ryu which literally means The Korean Wave. Han meaning Korean (so the Korean written language is called Hangul) and ryu meaning wave.

Forgotten War

The exhibition was interesting from a London audience perspective. You have to be a real history buff to know that the Korean war even happened. The olympics put Korea temporarily in western consciousness and then it submerged again. It was only since I started writing this blog that The Korean Wave started to become part of the London zeitgeist, let alone the rest of the country.

Hallyu now

K-pop group Black Pink is now number one in the UK album charts with their sophomore release and there will be at least one Korean option when you open Uber Eats. Korean films and series (usually the most transgressive ones) are popular on Netflix and in arthouse cinemas.

Korean reality

The reality of The Korean Wave is more complex. It was something that was over 50 years in the making, going back at least to the compact that Park Chung-hee made with Korean business leaders at the expense of economic inequality, human rights and labour rights. The Korean Wave was birthed by a traumatic history of authoritarian rule. The Korean Wave wouldn’t have been possible without the economic growth driven by rapid economic growth and industrialisation. This in turn created the flywheel effect as Jim Collins would put it, that helped Korea become a cultural powerhouse as well as an economic one.

The exhibition skims the surface of this complexity, but is stylish and entertaining in nature.

The exhibition is running until February next year.


Why brands need to be bald | LinkedIn – my old mucker Hugh on male beauty standards


‘Productivity paranoia’: Microsoft study of corporate workplaces finds big disconnect in hybrid work – GeekWire and BT is an exemplar: BT tells staff to work from office 3 days a week or else • The Register – which is interesting given how much remote working BT pioneered almost 20 years ago when I worked on the BT account


In Depth: The Shadowy Businessman Behind a Multibillion-Dollar Bank Bank Swindle | Caixin Global – or Lu Yi a fictional straw man a la Orwell’s Emmanuel Goldstein in the novel 1984? Given the short name making it unsearchable, I wouldn’t put it past the Chinese government

Expats Shun China Over Covid Policies, Forcing Foreign Firms to Scale Back – WSJ“companies are even questioning whether it is responsible for them to deploy foreign staff to China when the numerous restrictions mean they are unable to guarantee a basic duty of care for them and their families,” the European business lobby in China said Wednesday in its annual report on the state of business in the country. Many of the chamber’s member companies, multinationals with a longstanding presence in the country, are downsizing, localizing and hiving off their operations in China as the number of Europeans and Britons living there roughly halved from prepandemic levels to around 60,000 in recent months, according to the chamber’s estimate. – the expat infrastructure of schools, services and food built up over decades is withering as foreigners leave. And that is probably seen as a good thing by Xi Jingping, who is looking to de-westernise China


So much in this video about quality, design, sustainability, carbon footprint and the fallacies supporting electric vehicles.


UBS hires Chinese ‘content reviewers’ to vet research reports | Financial Times – next step will be censorship of report contents and areas that dont fit in with Chinese interests

Goldman Sachs Job Cuts: At Least 25 Bankers in Asia Axed as China Deals Swoon – Bloomberg – investment bankers fired in high growth areas including healthcare, technology, telecoms. Guessing the pivot to China is going well


Indonesia’s unexpected success story | Financial Times 


Google cancels half the projects at its internal R&D group Area 120 | TechCrunch – interesting when you think how much of Google X was cut back when Google restructured to become Alphabet and also closed down its Pixelbook hardware project: Google’s next Pixelbook Chromebook is canceled – The Verge 

Apple invents a new Secure Ultra-Wideband Location Tracking and Voice Command Verification System – Patently Apple 

Korean startup raises $10m for 4D radar in home healthcare eeNews Europe 


Japan’s biggest K-pop fans might just be senior citizens, survey shows | SoraNews24 -Japan NewsOnline marketplace service Mercari studied the purchasing habits of its users between September 1 2021 and August 31 2022 to find out what products are most popular for each generation. They discovered that users who reported to be over 50 years old more frequently bought K-pop merchandise than even Gen Z.Despite competing with other popular products like character merchandise, domestic idol goods, and video games, K-pop items were a big seller among every age group. It was the third-most-purchased category for teens and the second for people in their 30s, but as it turns out, it was the most purchased category for people in their fifties and seventies! – this probably tells you a lot about how ageing is changing, not only in Japan, but elsewhere


Tong Ren Tang vs. Tong Ren Tang: A trademark war has doomed the IPO of the lesser-known Tianjin-based TCM brand – The China Project – Tong Sen Tang (Beijing) was founded in 1669, so its a really old established brand. There is a branch in London’s Chinatown and other cities with a Chinese population like Jakarta.


The wrong and the real of it – Magic Numbers 

Tinder just opened a convenience store in Japan, aimed at adults only | SoraNews24 -Japan NewsJapanese convenience stores are a much-loved part of everyday life in Japan, where you can get pretty much everything your heart desires at any time of the day or night. Last weekend, however, a new convenience store popped up in Tokyo’s Shibuya district offering something that others don’t usually have in-store: love and romance. Called SwipeMart, the convenience store was run by dating app Tinder, and though it was only open from 16-19 September, it was such a resounding success there are hopes the pop-up will pop up at more locations in the future. Aimed at the over-18 crowd, the convenience store had some great freebies on offer for Tinder members, ranging from a choice of either jocks, socks, or a long-sleeve T-shirt

NFT can help migrate loyalty programs, say industry speakers | MACAU DAILY TIMES 澳門每日時報 – the why is the curious bit for me


How to tell if a book is middle grade or YA without opening it | LinkedIn – Siobhan on consumer cues

Sensitivities Rise As Geopolitics Takes Toll On Global CommunicatorsRichard Edelman penned a blogpost that questioned whether “truth will win out”, amid considerable state-sponsored disinformation activity. Edelman was referring specifically to the Russia/Ukraine conflict, but his column included reference to China’s efforts to influence public opinion. Edelman China blogpost 2022 By the end of the week, that paragraph — which was sourced directly from this WSJ article — had been excised from the post.

The Quietus | Opinion | Black Sky Thinking | Perfect Sound For A Little Longer: In Defence Of The CD 

Tudum 2022: A Global Fan Event – Schedule, Recaps, and more – Netflix Tudum 


Report Claims ‘Most Reels Users Have No Engagement Whatsoever’ – interesting report from Gizmodo. I know a couple of small businesses that have seen engagement go up

The strange death of the company phone number | Financial Times – some interesting statistics about efficiency versus online customer services. Phones do better

A Finnish entrepreneur pulled the plug, and the most notorious Neo-Nazi websites in the US, 8kun and Daily Stormer, crashed. – HS Visio | 

EU to consult on making Big Tech contribute to telco network costs | EuronewsThe European Union’s executive body will launch a consultation early next year on whether tech giants should bear some of the costs of Europe’s telecoms network, EU industry chief Thierry Breton said on Friday. Europe’s telecoms operators have long lobbied for a financial contribution from U.S. tech firm’s such as Alphabet’s Google, Meta’s Facebook and Netflix, saying that they use a huge part of the internet traffic

Google Surveys Is Shutting Down; Here Are 6 Alternatives | SEJ – this is going to affect trust in Google over time like other service shutdowns


China Wanted GE’s Secrets, But Then Their Spy Got Caught – Bloomberg 

Vetoing Victory – Israel Is Blocking (Military) Aid To Ukraine – OryxIsrael’s refusal to provide military aid to Ukraine or even permission for other countries to do so sharply contradicts historical aid to Israel, when much of the Western world rallied behind the country when it faced invasions of its own, launching air bridges to keep it supplied, and engaging in blood donation campaigns for Israeli soldiers. Of course, the time that Israel could count on such strong support and sympathy from the Western public is long gone, and the world is unlikely to forget Israel’s inaction and deliberate obstruction of support to Ukraine

Uber breached by hacker in cybersecurity incident – The Washington Post 

15-year-old Python flaw found in ‘over 350,000’ projects • The Register 

Revealed: US Military Bought Mass Monitoring Tool That Includes Internet Browsing, Email Data


Announcing Adobe’s intent to acquire Figma – this is likely to get assessed by antitrust authorities


US bank CEOs said they’d pull out of China if it invades Taiwan — Quartz and US bank chiefs warn of China exit if Taiwan is attacked | Financial Times – I don’t think that China would care, it was more about gathering financial services expertise anyway


We Spoke With the Last Person Standing in the Floppy Disk Business – Eye on Design – interesting analysis on technology adoption


LiFi Opens Path to a More Secure, Virtual Future – EETimes 

Egypt’s submarine cable stranglehold – DCD 

Web of no web

Neal Stephenson Named the Metaverse. Now, He’s Building It | WIRED – while I am glad that Stephenson is able to cash in, less sure that its the future


Shadowy Russian Cell Phone Companies Are Cropping Up in Ukraine | WIRED – to be expected that Russian carriers would move into Ukraine occupied regions