From something cool a 9-year old could code, mobile apps have become a knowledge and capital intensive game tangled up in global politics.

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Photo by Roberto Cortese on Unsplash

In February 2009, media across the world carried reports of a “whiz-kid” — a 9-year old boy called Lim Ding Wen from Singapore who became the world’s youngest iPhone app developer.

He had created an app called Doodle Kids, which allowed users to draw with their fingers on the iPhone’s screen. It was downloaded over 4,000 times within two weeks.

Of course, it helped that his father was the CTO of a local tech firm and that the boy had been playing with computers since the age of two. By seven, he already knew six different programming languages.

Eight years…

Backed by notable angels and VCs, Chinese startup Bello’s AI driven recruitment solutions are attracting a slew of brand name clients.

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Source: Bello website

Bello is a Shenzhen-based artificial intelligence (AI) driven human resources solutions provider. It specializes in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products for small and medium-sized companies, as well as designing systematic hiring plans for big companies.

Founded in 2016, Bello focuses on building human resource knowledge graphs and natural language understanding (NLU) technologies. For example, one of its services provides analysis of uploaded resumes using AI.

The company’s website says its software can analyze 25 English or Chinese resumes within one second. For job candidates’ school information, its software can detect keywords from their resumes and also provide background information of the schools.

Netizens expressed outrage and donated more than enough money to the website to pay the fine within five hours of the judgment.

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Screenshot from Malaysiakini website

The issue of whether online platforms should be held responsible for user-generated content has long been debated in both legal and public forums. And now the Federal Court of Malaysia, the country’s highest judiciary body, has set a precedent to say ‘yes’.

In a landmark judgment where six out of seven judges on the panel ruled in favor of a guilty verdict, local independent news website Malaysiakini was found guilty of ‘contempt of court’ for five comments its readers had left on an article titled, “CJ orders all courts to be fully operational from July 1”.

Verdict or vendetta?

The article was published…

A new era for venture capital and social media is emerging with this social app, and users could get rich from it if they act now.

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Screenshots from my Clubhouse app

It used to be that venture capital investors were the ‘behind-the-scenes’ money managers, quietly working their connections and influence to help startups grow their business.

Not anymore.

With the new social media app Clubhouse, they are moving from coaches on the bench to players on the field.

Money managers cum social media influencers

Beta launched in March 2020, Clubhouse had just 1,500 users in May 2020 but was valued at US$100 million after a US$10 million seed round led by one of the most respected venture capital firm in the world — Andreesen Horowitz (a16z). …

How differences in their content AI strategies affected the speed of growth for two of China’s biggest apps.

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Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash

China’s Kuaishou mobile app (known as ‘Kwai’ in the international market) started off in short form video sharing in November 2012. Douyin (the Chinese version of Tik Tok), was released in September 2016, almost four years later. But by early 2019, with about 250 million Daily Active Users (DAU), Douyin had already exceeded Kuaishou in user base.

How did Douyin overtake a four year head start in such a short time?

It owes in part to the differences in their overall business strategy — Kuaishou was often said to be more laid back and focused on product excellence; whereas Douyin…

Can we justify a world in which linking to webpages is illegal and search engines are forced to pay for results?

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Photo by Shigeki Wakabayashi on Unsplash

In my younger days, I once took a trip to Japan and decided to spend a few nights in a backpacker hostel in Tokyo to save some cash. Feeling hungry one evening, I went to the counter to ask for a recommendation on good food in the area.

The receptionist whipped out one of those free tourist maps and drew a few circles on it to show me where I might get some authentic and cheap Japanese food.

This was back in the pre-smartphone era, when the Internet and Google map wasn’t at everyone’s fingertips yet. One still had to…

BluePark Intelligence secured over 300 million renminbi (US$46.3 million) in a A+ round to fund next generation battery-swapping and EV ecosystem.

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BAIC Electric Vehicle EU5 model. Source:

BluePark Intelligence Energy Technology Company, the battery technology spinoff of China’s listed Electric Vehicle (EV) maker BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co Ltd (BAIC BluePark) has raised over US$46 million to fund R&D work, develop the market for its new generation of products, and build an “open ended energy service ecosystem”.

Both companies are part of the Beijing Automotive Industry Corp (BAIC) group of companies; hence the name prefix. The battery focused startup, founded in 2016, is often simply referred to as “BluePark Intelligence” (蓝谷智慧) in Chinese media.

According to one industry report, BAIC BluePark has “187 battery-swap stations in…

Three of the most promising AI startups in China made the news with their record breaking deals despite the pandemic.

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Image Credit: Jacobs School of Engineering, UC San Diego

The race is on between the top two economic giants of the world — the U.S. and China — to dominate the world in artificial intelligence (AI). In 2020, despite the market impact from COVID-19, the Chinese AI scene continued to forge ahead, setting records in financial deals.

Quadtalent Technology received more than US$20 million in a seed funding round led by venture capital firm Gaorong Capital in June 2020. Quadtalent is a digital transformation solutions provider that specializes in digitalization and A.I. enablement.

Founder and CEO Dr. Min Wanli is a child prodigy. A member of the Special Class…

Founded during the pandemic, Chinese plant-based meat startup Hey Maet raised multi-millions over two rounds in just four months.

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Source: Hey Maet

There is a Google and there is a Baidu. There’s Amazon and then there’s Alibaba. For Tesla China answered with Nio. And now there’s Hey Maet (not a typo), in response to Beyond Meat.

It’s hard to say that China isn’t a trend follower, though in recent years one could argue that (IMHO), when the Chinese copied, they sometimes do it even better.

With the current food craze in plant-based faux meat, this latest Chinese entry into the foray also wants to prove that indeed they can do it better.

Defying the pandemic odds

And they are off to a good start if the…

Getting married can literally kill, or save lives.

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Photo by Marc A. Sporys on Unsplash

I’ve decided to get married. At 43 and having had enough relationships behind me, it is time to settle. After all, it isn’t easy to find someone who can put up with my writer’s temperament and entrepreneur’s risk taking lifestyle — and still want to share the rest of my life with me.

But one thing troubles me.

And this is yet another one of those conventional logic issues that made little sense to my somewhat unconventional mind.

Why are weddings such big affairs?

Traditional foolery

Across customs and culture, weddings are typically grand affairs. Relatives and friends come, intricate ceremonies are…

Lance Ng

Investor | Entrepreneur | Thinker — Clubhouse @lanceng 🔗

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