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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Why Are Teens Sharing Pro IRA Memes on TikTok? | Slate – pro IRA memes aren’t that they seem. The pro IRA memes aren’t literal support for the armed struggle. But are comments on the politics of the day. The helpless of COVID, BLM and access to healthcare. Provos have become meme fodder to discuss other issues. This give you an idea of how fast the Good Friday agreement has faded into history

Taiwan unveils new-look passports to avoid ‘China confusion’ | South China Morning PostSouth China Morning Post it is all because of the confusion and discrimination created when our people travel abroad only to be identified as nationals of China,” he said. Wu said that since the coronavirus pandemic began in January, many Taiwanese people had faced discrimination at immigration checkpoints because they had been mistaken for mainland Chinese nationals. More Taiwan related topics here.

FBI investigates deaths of mining executives in UK corruption probe | Financial Times – this reads like the start of a good novel

Who are the four in ten Britons who say “advertising helps me choose what to buy”? | YouGov – tend to be younger, female and more idealistic

The Epic Battle for the Soul of Antitrust | Verfassungsblog – interesting read about US antitrust law

Unilever plans to remove oil-based ingredients from all cleaning products | Business | The Guardian – this is interesting, how will they get the non-oil chemicals to scale, and how much energy needs to be put in to make it happen? Is it just shuffling the carbon footprint to other parts of the supply chain?

Japan, pioneer of one-person economy – Japan pioneered the singleton economy. Now China is catching up: Mainland singles break 200 million: a look into savoring singledom in Shanghai – their economic power explains how the Chinese government dialogue went from ‘leftover women’ to ‘little sisters’. Interesting analysis from Hong Kong’s Apple Daily

Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton shop display in Hong Kong

LV knock-offs in China implanted with chip to pass off as branded bags: reports – inevitable and impressive. It reminds me of when I first visited Hong Kong and bought a couple of pirate CDs. These weren’t ripped on CD burning equipment like in a PC, but in a proper CD pressing plant. The packaging was far superior to the original items and even had holograms that marked them as being genuine pirate copies of a high quality. I think that Louis Vuitton not being able to trust their staff is more worrying: A Louis Vuitton Employee Allegedly Sold Unreleased Bags to Counterfeiters So They Could Make Better Fakes 

Should Google’s Ad Market Be Regulated Like the Stock Market? | WIRED – author argues that it should as it runs the market and is the largest buyer and seller in the market

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ageism row: WPP CEO Mark Read apologises on Twitter | More About Advertising – interesting to see how this debate about ageism in marketing services has gathered steam. I was at Paul Armstrong’s conference TBD where it was talked about as an ‘unspoken issue’ and now Mark Read seems to have elevated it inadvertently. The concept of digital natives is becoming less tenable in general.

Although it is unspoken in Read’s interview and apology I think this strikes down a number of fault lines that advertising is trying to address. Digital is an analogue for performance media marketing and television an analogue for brand building. I believe that the pendulum is swaying slightly more in favour of brand marketing than it had been in recent years. I also believe that digital advertising platforms haven’t done that good a job in setting out their case for roll in brand building activities; but have instead tried to put old ‘performance marketing’ wine in brand marketing bottles. I suspect that the evidence of ageism cited is as much about the relentless cost-cutting of marketing combines as anything else

About — Yahoo Creative Dept. – interesting that they’re touting their wares to all comers, rather than being purely focused on inhouse work. And no exclamation mark on Yahoo! in the meta data either. Yahoo! is the company a Yahoo is someone who works (or has worked) for Yahoo! More Yahoo!-related content here.

[outages] Level3 (globally?) impacted (IPv4 only) – fascinating to read, I wonder what caused it?

ByteDance’s Global Chief Security Officer Says That The Chinese Government Cannot Get Hold Of TikTok Users Data Since its Servers Are Based In The United States / Digital Information World – interesting but not completely truthful. Even Huawei admitted that

“Article 77 of the State Security Law sets out an obligation on organisations and individuals to provide assistance with work relating to State Security”.

Sophie Batas, director for cybersecurity and data privacy at Huawei Europe

And if you want an idea of what state security means, have a careful read of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as an example. It is vague, expansive and extra-territorial in nature.

China Tightens Tech Export Rules Amid TikTok Talks – WSJ – interesting tech that China wants to keep at home….

Saudi Arabia’s women gamers want to be taken seriously – Rest of World – a young, rapidly growing population – it makes sense that Saudi Arabia could become an e-sports powerhouse

Google, Facebook Dump Hong Kong Cable After U.S. Security Alarm – Bloomberg – potentially huge given Hong Kong’s position in terms of international finance where high speed networks are key. Another thing to watch is the ratio is if the ratio of population to Cisco certified engineers starts to drop in Hong Kong which could be a real possibility with the departure of data centre occupants like Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Google etc… No cloud services again make international finance difficult.

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Why Protest Tactics Spread Like Memes – The New York Timesoften, she noted, the images’ similarity was unwitting. In their spread, their simultaneity and their indirect influence on each other, the protest videos had all the characteristics of memes, those units of culture and behavior that spread rapidly online. The same cultural transfer that gives us uncanny cake-slicing memes and viral challenges also advances the language of protest. “We live in this world of attention dynamics so it makes sense that tactics start to converge,” Ms. Mina said. She called the images’ tendency to build on each other “memetic piggybacking,” and noted that everyday items that are subverted into objects of protest are “inherently charismatic.” – protest groups tactics as memes. A meme is a transmissible idea; whether its knowledge, humour or even cat gifs. Reciting lines from films or TV programmes like The Office are memes. More meme related content here.

Hong Kong Protests 2019
Hong Kong Protests 2019 by Jonathan van Smit

German oil refinery to build 30 MW hydrogen electrolysis plant – Reuters – great news. I think hydrogen fuel cells should be a more important part of the energy mix

Apple Faces $1.4 Billion Lawsuit by Chinese AI Firm in Siri Patent Fight – WSJ – Conflicts over intellectual property, technology and trade are driving bilateral relations between the U.S. and China to their lowest point in decades. Last Friday, President Trump threatened to ban Chinese short-video app TikTok on national-security grounds. U.S. officials have been involved in talks over a potential sale of TikTok’s American business to Microsoft Corp.

Google to invest $450M in smart home security solutions provider ADT | TechCrunch – tech eats the old economy due to obscenely high share prices

7-Eleven owner is buying Marathon Petroleum’s Speedway gas stations for $21 billion – CNN – it’s a good deal for Marathon; but looks expensive for Seven and I (7-Eleven’s owner). 7-Eleven would need to get $175,000 net profit a year out of each gas station to make it worthwhile at the current purchase price

Op-Ed: Never Trust Mark Zuckerberg Again- PingWest – a few things in this. 1/ Facebook probably didn’t get anything out of its reprochment with China. Yes China could stop advertising on Facebook, but A/ Chinese state owned companies not advertising on Facebook would be immaterial and probably benefit Facebook politically B/ Chinese private sector companies don’t have a lot of choice, so China would see a good deal of SME job destruction. 2/ The US government have more leverage. In this respect its like the embarrassing HSBC kowtowing in reverse. The Chinese author now realises how lame it looks when you’re on the other side of it

Pompeo the Maoist – SettimanaNewsBorrowing from the logic used by Mao Zedong in his On Contradiction, Pompeo tried to prove that CCP didn’t represent the Chinese people, and that actually the party is the enemy of the Chinese people. This point is fundamental because, as Mao put it, the crucial political element is to know who is with us and who is the enemy, and the party should always represent the people. Pompeo stated: “We must start by changing how our people and our partners perceive the Chinese Communist Party. We have to tell the truth.” What is the truth, according to the US secretary of state? It is that: “We know … that doing business with a CCP-backed company is not the same as doing business with, say, a Canadian company. They don’t answer to independent boards, and many of them are state-sponsored and so have no need to pursue profits… We know too that if our companies invest in China, they may wittingly or unwittingly support the Communist Party’s gross human rights violations… We know too too that not all Chinese students and employees are just normal students and workers that are coming here to make a little bit of money and to garner themselves some knowledge. Too many of them come here to steal our intellectual property and to take this back to their country.” Therefore, he argues that the US should de facto work as a new revolutionary party: “We must also engage and empower the Chinese people—a dynamic, freedom-loving people who are completely distinct from the Chinese Communist Party.”

Breaking Off TikTok Will Be Hard to Do — The Information – basically China still has control despite the window dressing. Given the structural, development, infrastructure and control aspects on this; how can Microsoft negotiate and engineer a clean break in the limited time that they have for TikTok versus Douyin? Some interesting analysis at the FT: The challenges Microsoft faces in buying TikTok’s US arm

ARM China Asks Beijing to Intervene in Row With U.K. Parent – Caixin Global – It is interesting that the ARM CEO thinks he has the political juice to go against Hopu and its head Fang Fenglei. Is there more than meets the eye going on here? More from Sina.com’s tech channel (via Google Translate): Sina.com Technology Channel ARM China debaclethe intention of Hopu Investment , which represents 36% of the investors of the central state-owned enterprise financial institution in the joint venture, to join hands with foreign shareholders this time? Hopu and Arm recently appointed Hopu Investment’s Teck Sien Lau (Singaporean) as Chairman of Amou China, and Arm President Graham Budd (British) as Vice Chairman. In addition, Arm and Hopu previously appointed two co-CEOs (one Singaporean and one Chinese) on the disputed board of directors, and the board dispute is currently being resolved in legal proceedings. It seems that Hopu hopes to help Arm replace the existing management team and actually control the operation of the joint venture company through this operation. However, under the premise that HOPU violated the Chinese party’s agreement to act in concert and joined hands with Arm, such an organizational structure obviously did not represent China’s national interests. In addition, can they lead the technical team to realize the original intention of the joint venture company and truly realize the vision of autonomous and controllable core technology that China needs? More on ARM here.

How to Keep Your Skin Healthy While Wearing a Mask | Vogue Hong Kong

Facebook Employee Leaks Show Betrayal By Company Leadership – “hurting people at scale” is a brutal header on the article

Upfield targets block butters with vegan Flora Plant range | News | The Grocer – repackaging to remove the negative connotations of margarine by creating ‘vegan butter’ in salted and unsalted variants. *Disclosure, I worked with Mullen Lowe and Phd to develop ‘Family Brands’ global digital strategy, prior to Flora et al being sold off to Upfield. My work covered Blue Band, Bonella, Country Crock, Doriana, Dorina, Flora, Imperial, La Perfecta, Maizena, Milda, Mirasol, Planta, Planta Fin, Primavera, Rama, Sana, Stork, Tulipan, and Vitam

Tymbals : Bytedance and the hypergrowth delusion – Nigel Scott explaining the importance of context when there is yet another hyperbolic growth story in the tech sector

Slack Files EU Competition Complaint Against Microsoft | The Official Slack Blog – feels a bit Netscape all over again

Influencer Marketing Panel – some useful primers here from the CIPR, in particular about UK regulations

Imint is the Swedish firm that gives Chinese smartphones an edge in video production | TechCrunchThe hyper-competitive nature of Chinese phone makers means they are easily sold on new technology that can help them stand out. The flipside is the intensity that comes with competition. The Chinese tech industry is both well-respected — and notorious — for its fast pace. Slow movers can be crushed in a matter of a few months. “In some aspects, it’s very U.S.-like. It’s very straight to the point and very opportunistic,” Lifvendahl reflected on his experience with Chinese clients. “You can get an offer even in the first or second meeting, like, ‘Okay, this is interesting, if you can show that this works in our next product launch, which is due in three months. Would you set up a contract now?’” “That’s a good side,” he continued. “The drawback for a Swedish company is the demand they have on suppliers. They want us to go on-site and offer support, and that’s hard for a small Swedish company. So we need to be really efficient, making good tools and have good support systems.” – Ok a few things. 1/ The hyper competition is a very Chinese phenomenon. Like when in someplace like the UK Chinese restaurant opens in a neighbourhood, another will move in next door. In China, you end up with clusters of barber shops, tea shops and restaurants right next to each other in; actively competing. It’s about rapid small iterative steps of innovation, or what Huawei used call ‘customer focus’. It’s not paradigm shifting stuff. 2/ Its interesting that Imint have taken the German middelstadt model to software. Historically, German companies have managed to focus on a niche and do it really well. There is a long-term focus, continuity, independence, flexibility innovation and customer focus. They are nimble by nature and design with lean hierarchies and a family-like corporate structure.

Google in Talks to Take Over More Search Tasks on Samsung Phones – Bloomberg – Samsung would be giving up more user experience control and by implication, becoming more commoditised. To be fair a lot of Android skins and bundled apps haven’t been great. What happens with Google’s Pixel brand devices?

Aaron Toponce : The Physics of Brute Force – Why you should use encryption and why Moore’s Law’s limitations and physics indicate an optimal key size when using it against non-quantum computing.

Europe and AI: Leading, Lagging Behind, or Carving Its Own Way? – Carnegie Endowment for International PeaceEurope, meanwhile, despite having certain advantages such as a strong industrial base and leading AI research and talent, is punching far below its weight. This state of affairs is especially due to the fragmentation of the EU’s digital market, difficulties in attracting human capital and external investment, and the lack of commercial competitiveness. Fortunately, in recent years, European leaders have recognized the importance of not lagging behind on AI and have sought to raise their ambitions. Leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have stressed the need for Europe to become a leading global player on AI, and the new European Commission has made AI a top priority for the next five years. By declaring AI a major strategic priority, several member states and EU institutions are taking steps to advance the continent’s ambitions for AI leadership

COVID-19 and biopharma in China | McKinsey – fascinating read. In particular the growth of health insurance. Up to now, one of the reasons why Chinese consumption is so low the high amount of savings to cover health costs. (Yes, I know property and parent care are also huge areas for savings). But that is why Chinese people are generally lower in credit use in aggregate and have a large amount of savings. Private health insurance could have a huge impact on future consumption patterns and act as an economic driver

Dundrum Town Centre introduces a ‘Crowd Checker’ | RTE – interesting piece of service design to support opening up of retail. Dundrum shopping centre would be the Irish equivalent of Westfield in London. It is Ireland’s largest shopping centre. RTÉ has a broadcast studio there to capture the opinion of the average Irish person as needed.