How Ant Financial / Alipay is Building an AI Factory in Financial Services (pt 2 of 2)

In Part 1 (From Big, Dumb Bureaucracies to Zero-Human Operations (pt 1 of 2), I made the following argument: In the industrial age, enterprises were built on the advantages of scale. Companies went from workshops and small factories to big factories capable of mass production. Superior scale gave companies multiple advantages, including cost efficiencies and […]

Alibaba and Cainiao’s Next Really Big Move: An Intelligent IoT Logistics Network (Pt 2 of 2)

In Part 1 (Why the #1 Business Solution to Coronavirus in China Is Live Streaming, Especially Taobao Live), I argued three big things are happening in digital China right now. Covid19 is radically altering the behavior of hundreds of millions of consumers (and businesses), resulting in what is being called the quarantine economy. Everyone is […]

From Big, Dumb Bureaucracies to Zero-Human Operations: The Holy Grail of the Digital Age (pt 1 of 2)

There was a good paper recently published by Martin Reeves and Raj Varadajaran of the Boston Consulting Group. The paper (When Resilience Is More Important Than Efficiency) touched on a lot of issues related to digital competition – but there was one chart that I thought really hit at the center of a lot of […]

4 Things Everyone Is Getting Wrong About Huawei’s 2019 Annual Report

Huawei released their 2019 financial results last week. And I had the opportunity to interview Karl Song, the VP of Corporate Communications, prior so I knew what was coming (but I got embargoed). You can see that interview here. And it was fascinating. Step back and consider what a truly crazy year Huawei had. Has […]

WeChat and TikTok’s Starkly Different Visions for Digital Information Flows (pt 2 of 2)

I recently went to the WeChat Open Talk meeting and founder Allen Zhang raised some questions that have really stuck with me. He talked about about the increasingly important role of information flows in daily life and who controls this. His talk is here but my basic take-away is the below question. How do you […]

Why the #1 Business Solution to Coronavirus in China Is Live Streaming, Especially Taobao Live (Pt 1 of 2)

Three big things are happening in digital China right now. The coronavirus is radically altering the behavior of hundreds of millions of consumers (and businesses), resulting in what is being called the quarantine economy. Everyone is trying to move from in-person to digital interactions. This shift to digital interactions is supercharging and rapidly evolving China’s […]

Chinese Consumers Are the World’s First +1B Person Digital Network

Three important things have happened in consumer China in the past decade. Chinese consumers finally started spending money after decades of working and saving. They are now the first or second largest market in the world for most consumer businesses. They became connected 24/7 via smartphones, both to businesses and to each other. Their behavior […]

How WeChat, TikTok and Chinese Consumers Are Disrupting and Personalizing Luxury

In my online Asia Tech Class, I talk a lot about digital superpowers, which are digital tools that upend established business. And one of these superpowers a dramatically improved user experience, such that the traditional offering is now unacceptable to users. And this sort of dramatically improved user experience is what is happening in luxury […]

3 Ways the Coronavirus is Supercharging Innovation in Digital China

When the SARS virus swept through China / Asia in 2002-2003, it resulted in millions of workers isolating themselves in their homes. And this phenomenon turned out to be pivotal for several, now dominant digital companies. For then small company Alibaba, it created a surge of activity in e-commerce. And for then physical-only retailer JD, […]

How Huawei Is Turning Smart Cities Into Operating Systems (1 of 2)

I keep an eye out for digital phenomena where China / Asia is on the frontier. We’ve seen this sort of digital leadership in mobile apps, mobile payments and e-commerce. And after meeting with head of smart cities at Huawei, I am convinced we are seeing the same phenomenon in smart cities. Below is my […]