Editor’s note: This originally appeared on Analyse Asia, a weekly podcast hosted by Bernard Leong, dedicated to dissecting the pulse of business, technology, and media in Asia. The podcast features guests from Asia’s vibrant tech community.
Shai Oster, Asia Bureau Chief at The Information, joined us in a conversation to review the state of North East Asia in 2017. We discussed the five major events: SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the expansion of Alibaba and Tencent into Southeast Asia and India while battling Google & Amazon in these open markets, China’s imposing tougher regulations on both local & foreign tech companies, the ties between US & China tech companies, and the rise of Toutiao, Meituan-Dianping and Didi, with an additional conversation on Xiaomi’s upcoming IPO in 2018.
Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):
- Shai Oster (@beijingscribe, LinkedIn, TheInformation Profile), Asia Bureau Chief in The Information
- How do you start your career? [1:17]
- In your career journey, what are the interesting career lessons learnt? [2:56]
- Can you briefly introduce The Information to my audience and what’s your role and coverage there? [3:51]
- Review of North East Asia in 2017 (Here are the 5 major events which I feel are the year’s most important for North East Asia – China, Japan and Korea) [5:56]
- Event 1: SoftBank Vision’s Fund [6:18]
- What are the problems that the fund faces given that it can target competitors to startups it already invests and their investment thesis is up for debate? (Ref: SoftBank’s $93B Vision Problem) [6:53]
- How are the new startup ecosystems going to cope with so much money flowing into the startup ecosystem given SoftBank’s mega US$100B fund? [9:47]
- Shai’s prediction: Another middle eastern oil-rich state or country building their own version of Masayoshi Son’s Vision Fund [10:38]
- Interesting references from Shai after the interview (as we recorded in the first week of December and requires subscription): “New Hurdle for SoftBank’s Uber Investment: Regulatory Review” and “The Information’s Person of the Year 2018: Masayoshi Son”.
- Event 2: Alibaba and Tencent into Southeast Asia and India [13:17]
- Where do you see the fault lines are and how these companies will duel it out given that Amazon are in both geographies as an aggressive competitor? Will these companies choose buy vs build in these new geographies? [13:48] (Ref: Alibaba’s Tsai sees a ‘very hot war’ in India)
- Do you see Tencent will bring Jingdong (JD dot com) or Meituan-Dianping with them into Southeast Asia and India [15:28]
- Alibaba’s most significant investment is Paytm in India and Google’s entry into India with Tez from their next billion initiative.
- Event 3: China’s new regulations on local & foreign tech companies [18:04]
- What are the implications with China’s regulations into both local and foreign tech companies? [18:25]
- Chinese companies dealing with strategy tax outside China [19:45]
- How does that factor in terms of data privacy? (Ref: Big data strengthens China’s grip) [20:58]
- Event 4: Nature of US and China Tech Ties [22:24]
- Given that we are seeing more and more Chinese investors heading west, will we see the reverse? [23:00]
- Do we see Chinese companies able to challenge US direct for example, Toutiao in AI and news and Ofo or Mobike in bicycle sharing? [25:46]
- How will the impact of a US-China trade war on China & US tech companies? [30:15]
- Event 5: Rise of TMD (Toutiao, Meituan-Dianping and Didi) [30:48]
- With the exception of Toutiao, the other two relied heavily on BAT on their successes, will we see similar companies in the future that resemble TMD? [30:48]
- Bonus Event: Xiaomi going IPO in 2018? [37:05]
- Event 1: SoftBank Vision’s Fund [6:18]
- Closing [39:55]
- Can you recommend a book, podcast, movie or anything that has impact your personal or work life recently? [39:58]
- How do my audience find you? [41:08]
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