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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Bots Grade Your Kids’ Schoolwork—and They’re Often Wrong – WSJ – not surprising that Bots get grading wrong. A lot of ‘AI’ is math, it isn’t that far along from Business Intelligence systems of the 1990s. What would have been called fuzzy logic in the 1990s is now ‘AI’ bots; both of which rely on mathematics from the 1960s. ‘AI’ bots using Bayesian statistics rely on mathematics from the 18th century. ‘AI’ bots require a large amount of training. Bots don’t develop a ‘universal’ intelligence.

Battery life: the race to find a storage solution for a green energy future | Financial TimesMIT’s Prof Sadoway believes that technologies need to be based on more abundant materials than those used in lithium-ion and vanadium batteries such as aluminium, sulphur, calcium and antimony. In 2005 he helped develop a liquid metal battery that uses calcium and antimony and a molten salt electrolyte. The company that developed it, Ambri, was backed from the beginning by Mr Gates, who invested in it after watching Mr Sadoway’s chemistry lectures online

Xi’s aim to double China’s economy is a fantasy | Financial Times – challenged by demographics and politics

‘Humaning’ and the greatest marketing bullshit of all time – Marketing WeekMaslow built his model from qualitative research on the Native American inhabitants of the Blackfoot reservation who later pointed out that his whole theory was entirely incorrect when applied to their culture and identity. The hierarchy has subsequently been criticised on the basis of missing stages, putting stages in the wrong sequence and the fact stages change according to circumstance, culture and geography. So basically everything. But the dreaded hierarchy proved a hit with marketers who had no formal training but wanted something scientific-looking and faintly European-sounding to beef up their empty marketing plans. Its prevalence across every crap marketing plan (along with the equally redundant SWOT analysis) serves only one positive: to identify badly trained marketers and crappy marketers at 50 paces.

Stop playing politics or face a ban, Nintendo warns Animal Crossing gamers | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP – I suspect that this is less about Hong Kong and more about the political chasm in the US

Celebrity deepfake porn cases in Japan point to rise in sex-related cybercrime | South China Morning Post – the old law of the adult entertainment industry pioneering with technology a la film to VCRs and cable and online paywalls strikes again

Scaling back – Why commercial ties between Taiwan and China are beginning to fray | Business | The Economist“Little Taipei”, as Kunshan is known, illustrates a broader phenomenon. Exact estimates vary, but as many as 1.2m Taiwanese, or 5% of Taiwan’s population, are reckoned to live in China—many of them business folk. Taiwan Inc has not let fraught political relations with China, which views the island as part of its territory, get in the way of business. Taiwanese companies have invested $190bn in Chinese operations over the past three decades. Foxconn, a giant Taiwanese contract manufacturer of electronics for Apple and other gadget-makers, employs 1m workers in China, more than any other private enterprise in the country

Grocery Drives Walmart Online Orders – Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLCAmong all US Walmart.com customers, CIRP estimates Walmart+ has 2.6 million-3.4 million members as of October 31, 2020, with 12%-15% of Walmart.com customers joining. US Walmart.com customers that shop for groceries at Walmart.com are two times more likely to report a Walmart+ membership. “Walmart launched the Walmart+ membership service in the quarter, and we estimate a range of membership that suggests about 3 million Walmart.com customers joined,” said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP. “At that level, it seems like a success, especially after only six weeks. Of course, grocery customers found it particularly attractive. Like Amazon Prime, Walmart+ is most valuable to regular Walmart.com shoppers, so it appealed to those grocery shoppers right away. And like Amazon’s experience with Prime, Walmart appears to want to build on that natural affinity to gain greater share of online shopping for those customers, and then to entice less frequent shoppers to grow their online shopping habits.” – groceries are over 30% of sales (food, household and pets 25%, clothing shoes & accessories 16%, same for pharma and electronics and office supplies were about 12%) (PDF)

Muddy Waters accuses YY and Bigo of faking their revenuesSingapore-based analyst Ke Yan of DZT Research, told Bloomberg that the strategies discussed in the Muddy Waters report are aimed at boosting YY’s popularity among users instead of inflating revenue. Chen Da, executive director of Anlan Capital, offered Bloomberg a similar view. “You can’t really apply the research methods used to collect fraudulent evidence against real-economy or manufacturing firms to internet firms.” He added that their “business model does pay off and there is real cash flow brought in after the fakes ‘get the ball rolling’.” – sketchy growth hacking rather than fraud

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps | Vice News – surprised if they didn’t. More related posts here.

6 Points to Consider Before Betting the Farm on ‘All Made in China’ | EE TimesSome “three-nos” companies with “no experience, no technology, and no talents” have joined the IC industry. Some companies have insufficient knowledge of the law of IC development and blindly start projects. The risks of horizontal duplication of construction are apparent, and even the construction of individual projects is stagnant, and the factory buildings are empty, causing waste of resources. In this regard, Wei said that we must respect the law of industrial development and overcome the rapid development shooting for quick success. Since 2007, China’s wafer manufacturing capacity has increased rapidly in the world, far higher than other countries and regions. In 2019, China has 199 integrated circuit wafer manufacturing production lines (above 4 inches), of which there are 28 12-inch production lines and 35 8-inch production lines (including 1 pilot line). The enthusiasm for investment and construction of factories in various places is high, but a number of manufacturing projects are facing unfinished shutdowns. The blind impulse that violates the development law of the semiconductor industry is worthy of vigilance

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Lamborghini rockets onto TikTok with 3 million views in two daysWhen you are marketing one of the worlds supercars TikTok may not spring to mind. With the entry level models at £150k upwards, Lamborghini may be more expected in the FT. But the Lambo is the car of choice for many influencers. David Dobrik famously gave one to his best friend and a Google search shows many Drop Shipping courses feature a Lamborghini as the badge of success. Although rumour has it that many hire the Lamborghini for the day to film. And bear in mind the market for ostentatious expensive cars skews young. Premiership footballers and pop stars spring to mind. (A recent Miles Davis documentary has him driving a Ferrari in the early 60s). So Lamborghini are big on social and having a TikTok page makes total sense – Simon Andrews on the Lamborghini TikTok channel content. Being bucketed with drop shippers, top flight footballers and influencers as a Lamborghini owner wouldn’t necessarily appeal to me – but each to their own

What can Silicon Valley expect from Joe Biden? | Financial TimesHours after the president-elect made his acceptance speech, his head of press, Bill Russo, retweeted a picture sent by Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedian and film-maker. The picture showed outgoing president Donald Trump meeting Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and commented: “One down, one to go.” Mr Russo added his own comment: “Hell yes.” It was the clearest sign that Mr Biden’s team share the antipathy towards Mr Zuckerberg and his fellow Silicon Valley titans that has built among Democrats over the past four years. – I wonder how this will play with the Silicon Valley titans who have bankrolled Kamala Harris’ political career?

Tim Wu, who worked on technology issues in the Obama White House, said: “There has been a shift since the Obama administration, even among the people working in that administration, in the way they think about power in the tech world.

China Academy of Art teaches students to ‘reinvent its heritage’ | Financial Times – interesting how this approach fits into Xi Jingping thought

Interesting video that goes into using TikTok to convey serious media stories from the World Economic Forum

Interesting adaption of materials – South Korean ‘sparrows’ try to cap surge of throwaway plastic

Alibaba’s Investment In Farfetch Cements Its Luxury Credentials | Jing Daily – this is interesting given Tmall’s luxury boutiques

What To Expect On Singles’ Day 2020 | Forrester ResearchAlibaba has officially announced that 2020’s Double 11 shopping festival will have two phases: The first one began on November 1, and the second will begin on November 11. The first stage focuses on new brands, new products, and global exclusive items. The second stage will resemble that of the regular Double 11 promotions of past years. This makes the first stage an additional growth driver to ensure a grander Double 11 event. JD.com also upped its game and planned a four-stage Double 11 promotion, lasting from October 21 to November 13. Promotion schemes have become more varied and complex, too, including time- or category-limited red packets, preorder (with a deposit) exclusive offerings, member-exclusive promotions, and installment payments – complex value proposition that probably wouldn’t work in a market like the UK

Tokyo clinic mends stuffed toys and owners’ broken hearts | South China Morning Post – more Japan related posts here

RISC-V core out-clocks Apple, SiFive; available as IP | EE News – ideal time to take the lead over ARM

Deskilled and out of touch: the uncomfortable truth for creative strategy | WARC

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Ant Group saga

Beijing interviews Jack Ma over $37bn Ant IPO | Financial Times – Ant Group founder and shareholder Mr Ma last month gave a speech in Shanghai criticising regulators in China and abroad. He felt that Ant Group shouldn’t suffer their excessive regulation of banking and financial technology.

That didn’t go down that well with Chinese financial regulators and then Shanghai’s stock market operator calls a halt on Ant Group’s imminent listing, citing changes in regulatory environment | South China Morning Post which resulted in Ant to refund US$167.7 billion to 1.55 million Hong Kong investors in two batches after IPO is suspended | South China Morning Post

Ant Group aggregates large loans from banks and doles out the money as high interest small loans to young Chinese. Think Wonga or similar payday loan businesses that have sprung up since the 1990s. Ant also have savings and investment products that they get from other firms and act as an agent to sell. The huge IPO valuation of Ant Group already felt like hubris before Jack Ma criticised the financial regulators. More on China related stories here.

Everything else

MERICS China Industries Briefing – October 2020 | MericsThe laws have significant ramifications for Europe. Vague wording in both the Export Control Law and the draft Personal Information Protection Law open the door to sweeping retaliation measures against foreign companies and countries. The former cites harm done to China’s “national security and interests,” while the latter cites “discriminatory” measures taken against China concerning personal data as examples of legislative violations that warrant retaliation. On a more practical level, European firms with extensive operations in China, especially in R&D, will likely face additional compliance hurdles. These could include novel license requirements and security review procedures related to exporting goods, technologies and services, as well as collecting, processing and transferring personal information

Battle at Arm China threatens $40bn Nvidia deal | Financial TimesMr Wu also has backing in some corners of the Shenzhen government. In September, for example, Mr Wu was named on a high-level reform committee in the city, alongside other high-profile business figures such as Merlin Swire and Zhang Lei, founder of Hillhouse Capital, according to a document seen by the FT. Both the Shenzhen government and Beijing have a keen interest in the outcome of the battle, since Arm’s intellectual property underpins almost every mobile phone chip designed in the country. – what a mess

Stanley Black & Decker shuts Shenzhen plant amid US-China trade war | Apple NewsChinese media also report that most of the workers have already been recruited by other factories and obtained employment on the same day. Middle management and executives were snapped up by other firms. Staff from a neighboring electronic factory claimed they hired up to 200 former employees of Stanley Black and Decker. Kevin Tsui, an associate professor of the Department of Economics at Clemson University, casted doubt on the authenticity of these reports. While the Chinese economy has shown steady recovery, it is unlikely for firms to be able to take over unemployed workers on such a large scale. Stories of the generous compensations were published to stabilize public sentiment and prevent people from panicking as more and more foreign investors are pulling out, he added. Veteran news commentator Johnny Lau said the growing production costs in China, as well as new labor law restrictions, have prompted firms to move to South East Asian countries, which are more welcoming to foreign investors – fascinating reading on how globalisation is affecting China from a negative perspective

Key Takeaways | ChinaFile – reading this a topline report, it reminds me a lot of the UK’s disparate CCTV operations

In Hunt for Coronavirus Source, W.H.O. Let China Take Charge – The New York Timesit is hardly the only international body bending to China’s might. But even many of its supporters have been frustrated by the organization’s secrecy, its public praise for China and its quiet concessions. Those decisions have indirectly helped Beijing to whitewash its early failures in handling the outbreak.

Burberry announces partnership with Tencent Games’ blockbuster title Honour of Kings – BurberryAs interactive digital content is increasingly becoming a source of inspiration in luxury fashion, games offer another opportunity for consumers to connect with Burberry’s products online. Younger consumers are redefining community spaces, choosing to connect with each other and with brands in digital environments, such as sharing experiences through online games. Chinese luxury consumers’ offline and online lives increasingly intertwine, with more demand for a seamless connection between the two. Adding virtual products into existing online games environments offers a bespoke experience that aligns with the consumer’s existing lifestyle. – only a decade or more behind sports apparel…

Inside Apple’s Eroding Partnership With Foxconn — The InformationFoxconn has tried a variety of tactics to enhance its margins, all previously unreported, such as using Apple-owned equipment when doing work for Apple’s rivals and taking shortcuts on component and product testing, ex-employees said. In turn, Apple has tried to step up its monitoring and tracking of Foxconn employees and of Apple’s own equipment that resides in Foxconn facilities. Meanwhile, the relationship between the two companies is changing, as described by interviews with more than two dozen former Apple and Foxconn employees, including some senior managers. Apple, like its rivals Samsung, Nintendo and speaker design firm Sonos, is diversifying its manufacturing sites in an effort to hedge its bets. These companies are aiming to expand the number of manufacturers they work with and the countries where they operate in response to growing geopolitical risks such as the U.S.-China trade war. As a result, Foxconn’s bright satellite in Apple’s orbit has lost some shine. – This looks like a slow car crash

30 female engineers from India ask Silicon Valley to do better on caste discrimination – The Washington PostThe legacy of discrimination from the Indian caste system is rarely discussed as a factor in Silicon Valley’s persistent diversity problems. Decades of tech industry labor practices, such as recruiting candidates from a small cohort of top schools or relying on the H-1B visa system for highly skilled workers, have shaped the racial demographics of its technical workforce. Despite that fact, Dalit engineers and advocates say that tech companies don’t understand caste bias and have not explicitly prohibited caste-based discrimination. A new lawsuit shines a light on caste discrimination in the U.S. and around the world. In recent years, however, the Dalit rights movement has grown increasingly global, including advocating for change in corporate America. In June, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a landmark suit against Cisco and two of its former engineering managers, both upper-caste Indians, for discriminating against a Dalit engineer

Tory group in push for watchdog to counter Chinese interference | Financial Timesand so it starts, I have been expecting this for a while

How Borat 2 reveals the playbook for the streaming movie blockbusterit had exactly four weeks to generate word of mouth. In Hollywood marketing terms, a four-week movie campaign is unheard of, ludicrous—or, as Borat would say, “Very nice—not!” Yet Amazon pulled it off by leaning on Baron Cohen’s relentless energy and creative salesmanship. There were Borat stunts galore both online and IRL, which helped create a burning sense of immediacy and helped the film explode into the cultural consciousness, as opposed to being slowly fed to audiences by an IV-drip marketing campaign over the course of lumbering months – I also imagine this was due to legal scrutiny of the film content

Three actionable insights with… Sir Martin Sorrell | The Drum”Marketeers have surrendered control. Too few marketeers are CEOs of companies. There are probably too many CFOs who are CEOs of companies and I can say that as an ex-CFO. I think this started in 2008 after the Great Recession. Then there’s a huge pressure in 2009. It rebounded in 2010, but ever since then and up to 2018 there’s been a relentless pressure on cost. It‘s nonsense that it‘s Google and Facebook that are putting pressure on the holding companies. The simple fact of the matter is the clients have been so focused on cost, they put pressure on the agency middlemen or middle women, and they push them. Remember the chat around ‘non-working’ costs around advertising — basically on production costs. But you know this phrase ‘non-working’ and the implication that a lot of what the agencies did wasn‘t working or it wasn‘t working well enough, so you had to get rid of it. This is huge pressure. So, instead of asking media owners for 60-day credit or 90-day credit, they asked the agencies. – Sir Martin Sorrell is as much sinner, as sinned against but this rings true

Breakingviews – China’s latest five-year plan girds for battle | ReutersThe message from China’s leadership seems to be that things will get worse before they get better. It elevated the status of technological self-reliance to be a “strategic support” for national development as a shield from overseas restrictions on imports. That will translate into greater R&D funding and subsidies, and diversion of funds to high-end manufacturing from property markets. There are early signs the approach is working: new registrations for semiconductor makers have jumped by a third this year, according to local media reports – the move away from overheated property markets is a good thing

The FT – Huawei develops plan for chip plant to help beat US sanctions and a good analysis on the challenges that will be faced on Radio Free Mobile – Huawei – Nowhere to run pt. XXIV. – these will be way behind the curve, it makes more sense if Huawei partners with other Chinese chipmakers

The resource curse and Hong Kong: Why the city has stagnated |Dr Michael Lawson | Apple Dailyin many ways Hong Kong is now suffering in the grip of a resource curse, where the opportunities from catering for finance and tourism for mainland China have crowded out almost all other areas of the economy. It has often been said that Hong Kong is a very bureaucratic place, where trying to do anything new is almost impossible without multiple government approvals. This can be seen from the lag in adopting electric buses, the ban on electric bikes that is unique in the world, and the strange rule prohibiting tandem paragliding. This is because due to easy access to income sources which require little innovation, there has been no pressure to let anything change or develop in the Hong Kong economy. Like the rulers of other resources cursed countries, the nettle of economic reform is not grasped and vested interests are allowed to divide up the spoils. In fact, it is noticeable that the decline of the film and manufacturing sectors of the Hong Kong economy has neatly coincided with the rise of China as an economic powerhouse, with many of the established industries in Hong Kong willingly moving their operations there before being overtaken or taken over by more nimble mainland firms – pretty succinct analysis of the current economic problems facing Hong Kong