technology

What’s next for Tech after its 'decade horribilis'?

SINGAPORE (Jan 10): At the start of the just-ended decade, technology, for the most part, was seen as a force for good. Ten years on, platforms like Google and Facebook are being mocked for their callousness on data privacy and the spread of misinformation. The New York Times described the 2010s “the decade tech lost its way”. Ironically, the decade had begun with the “Arab Spring” and social media was hailed as an enabler of democracy and freedom of expression.

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Start-ups sober up to funding scrutiny

WeWork’s IPO debacle emphasises that having a high-profile founder with a great idea is not enough

SINGAPORE (Dec 27): It was the most highly anticipated public offering of 2019. But that goal imploded spectacularly, almost bankrupting the company in the process.

WeWork — the US’ largest co-working provider — made headlines with its stalled IPO. But the fall of the latest industry darling — once labelled the “next Alibaba” — is causing investor nervousness, with some even calling for caution before buying into the next big thing.

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Solidatus takes the inefficiencies out of data processing

SINGAPORE (Nov 18): The 2008 global financial crisis forced many central banks to adopt more robust strategies in risk management. Stronger regulations were put in place and banks around the world were required to report their activities in real time. But there was just one problem: These banks were not sufficiently equipped to deal with such an onslaught of data.

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Why Facebook and Google are afraid of ByteDance

SINGAPORE (Nov 4): Late last week, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg went on stage at The Paley Center for Media in New York to launch a new News Tab for the giant social media platform. Instead of relying on fake news or Russian bots, Facebook will begin offering its 2.4 billion monthly active users news from The Wall Street Journal, USA Today as well as extreme right wing website Breitbart via the Tab.

WeWork fiasco and the growth-at-all-costs model

SINGAPORE (Oct 7): Corporate sagas often unfold excruciatingly slowly. Over the past two years, several high-profile, fast-growing, overhyped venture capital (VC)-funded companies have imploded. There was Theranos, a blood-testing start-up founded by charismatic young college dropout Elizabeth Holmes at the age of 19, which took more than a year to unravel under the glare of negative headlines that accused it of being a scam.

Is aggregator Roku the best way to play streaming?

SINGAPORE (Sept 16): Where might investors find more value in technology? In software or hardware? In a creator of original content or an aggregator? Conventional wisdom is that software, particularly one offered on a subscription basis, where sellers rely primarily on recurring revenues, offers far better value than hardware. Moreover, creating content is seen as a more valuable proposition than aggregating content.

Is Peloton the Netflix or Apple of fitness?

SINGAPORE (Sept 9): What would you be willing to pay for happiness? Okay, let me rephrase my question: If happiness was an IPO, with investment banking behemoths such as Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co lead managing its underwriting, what sort of valuation multiple would you be willing to pay? I will make it easier for you: Does 15 times annual sales sound like a reasonable ballpark?

Singapore tries to find its own path in clash of AI superpowers

SINGAPORE (Sept 4): The escalating trade war between the US and China is chilling global collaboration that has long driven breakthroughs in technology and science. The tiny island nation of Singapore is trying to carve out an independent role in the clash and demonstrate the advantages of cooperation in fields like artificial intelligence.

Debate between Tesla's Musk and Alibaba's Ma leaves audience awestruck

SINGAPORE (Sept 2): Elon Musk and Jack Ma matched wits publicly for the first time. And boy, they did not disappoint. An onstage debate between China’s richest man and the Tesla boss left a largely Chinese audience both awestruck and dumbfounded as the pair sparred over everything from the existence of aliens to the preservation of human consciousness.

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What's behind Alibaba’s quest to raise US$30 billion?

SINGAPORE (Aug 12): Why would a hugely profitable, cash-flush firm raise more money than has ever been raised by a listed company? That is the question befuddling investors. Hangzhou-based, New York-listed e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding, China’s largest company by market capitalisation, currently has nearly US$30 billion ($41.46 billion) in cash and cash equivalent on its balance sheet. Two months ago, Alibaba filed with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission to raise at least US$20 billion more in a secondary listing in Hong Kong later this year.

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