Weekly Review #0000000: A New Hope

dated 31 Dec 2017

Where are we want to be in 2018

Dear Audience of Analyse Asia, 

Truth be told, we have not been active as a newsletter. For this year, it has been a year in transition for our host as we decide the strategic direction in where the website and podcast will be heading. Initially, we have commissioned the building of a new website with new logos and hoping to shift the podcast to a media platform. Due to unforseen circumstances and some false starts, we have decided to start from scratch and rethink what the site should do for my audience out there.

Analyse Asia is and will be a media platform that dissects the pulse of business, technology and media in Asia for informed decision makers. Our focus is to look at the most important events and strategic decisions make by movers and shakers within the region and offer important insights to the decision makers who are either building their business in Asia or expanding their business from US and Europe to Asia. Our aim is to tell the story of 4.4 billion people to the rest of the world and in long form and high quality journalism. We are not interested in breaking news and sexy scoops of corporate scandals and misconduct and clickbait articles. We want to be the trusted brand for those who are craving for important insights about Asia that will shift your thinking by 10x and not 10%. 

Upon searching and studying many media outlets, I have decided that The Economist, a more than hundred years ago weekly magazine and a brand, is the model where we want to be. We want to directly work with our customers and provide valuable information such that they can pay us at the end of the day for our work. I am a firm believer of the subscription model because digital advertising is just an unreliable model. 

Through the podcast, I have made many friends and built a network of people who I can reliably tap on how the region is moving. Make no mistake, Asia is going to drive the next century of growth with two thirds of the world's population and China and India will provide the next billion dollars market in this new century. 

A lot of people often ask me how it is like to juggle between a corporate day job and a hobby like this. As I will be transitioning to another regional corporate role and raising my second child who has just joined our household, I will stick to the five hours of my weekend running this little side hustle of mine. In the year ahead, upon ensuring the new website is ready with proper weekly content, a community and hopefully paying subscribers to fund a team behind Analyse Asia, we can make that transition from a side hustle to a real and sustainable business. 

Here's what we will be committing to in the coming year as you have seen our conscious effort to maintain a weekly podcast that accumulates to 226+ episodes with over 20K subscribers over 1 million downloads over the past three years:
  • A weekly podcast episode (and if we can get sponsorship money, we will try to release two episodes per week because I can pay podcast editors to work on them and it will reduce 60% of my five hours work) but hopefully, we can give you a pleasant surprise if we can get my act together for next year. If you want to contribute, you can always email me and you know where to find me. :)
  • A weekly newsletter called Analyse Asia Weekly Review which our host will curate what the best insights and analyses on Asia over the past week. I will dedicate fifteen minutes per day, preferably during lunch or after work to curate the important events in the week and add our host's perspectives to the issues, and release it over the weekend. The eventual hope is to shift this into a weekly digital magazine in the future. 
  • The most interesting statistics twice daily via our Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus and Instagram. Until we hire a community manager, we won't increase the frequency. 
  • A social media channel preferably on one messaging apps but we are undecided between a Slack, Whatsapp or Wechat group. We will like to get that done by the first quarter of 2018 where the audience can directly interact with the host of the show to place feedback and at the same time, make suggestions on how we can improve the show. I really want to grow a trusted community of people who I can get in touch and help them connect within Asia.
We believe that the best days are ahead of Analyse Asia and I hope that you can support us by sharing about our podcast on different social media channels or tell your friends about us. The best ways to help listeners to discover our podcast is to give us a 5 stars on Apple Podcasts and a star on Overcast podcast player. 

We wish you a Happy New Year 2018.

yours sincerely,
Bernard Leong
Founder, Analyse Asia

State of North East Asia 2017

Shai Oster, Asia Bureau Chief at the Information reviewed the events that shaped North East Asia in 2017 from SoftBank's Vision Fund to the rise of Toutiao, Meituan-Dianping and Didi in China.

Listen to the Podcast (SoundCloud, Libsyn) & Read the Show Notes.

Last Week in Asia

Behind the Fall & Rise of China's Xiaomi

by David Kline from Wired. 
Summary: The article summarises how Xiaomi fell from the world's most valuable unicorn and now returned to overtake Oppo, Huawei and Apple to be the second largest smartphone vendor in the global smartphone business. 

My perspective: Xiaomi is preparing for the upcoming IPO in 2018 as reported by Reuters which is rumored to garner a valuation of US$100B. Hence this article illustrates that they are going to take control of their narratives to the media before the public shareholders come on board. They have countered that their ecosystem strategy of incorporating their 100 startups with internet-connected home and tech products and draws customers into their offline stores have turned over US$17 billion in 2017. The interesting question to ask: what are Xiaomi's sustainable business models when the S1 filing is out and where will they file their IPO (either US or China with Hong Kong included)? My friend Tim Culpan from Bloomberg offered which the real smartphone unicorn might be and is hiding in plain sight
Read the article

Some Observations on Asia Tech 2017

by Tim Culpan from Bloomberg Gadfly. 
Summary: Tim breaks down the major themes of Asia Tech in 2017 with the following bullet points: rise of China's influence in the rest of Asia, SoftBank as the balancing force to China that can act both ways, gaming and bitcoin in the region. 

My perspective: A very astute summary of what has been happening in the region. I wish that Tim might have included the rise of initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Asia where startups such as Omise raising US$25M and TenX raising somewhere close to US$100M, and the banning of cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs in China. (Picture credits: Bloomberg Gadfly)

Read the article

Infographic of the Week: Asia Pacific Blockchain Heat Map.
Why it is interesting: The heatmap shows which countries in Asia Pacific have regulations on bitcoins & ICOs and are pro or against cryptocurrency and it is an interesting indicator to where blockchain companies should set up their businesses. 

Credits: IDC Asia Pacific
Copyright © 2017 Analyse Asia, All rights reserved.

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