Ep. 78: China’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) dreams
Play • 37 min

Episode 78 of Tech Buzz China features our co-host Rui Ma in conversation with Yán Xiāo 肖妍 on the timely topic of China’s proposed national digital currency. Yan is a San Francisco-based Project Lead at the World Economic Forum with deep experience in fintech, having worked as senior legal counsel at Ant Group. She is also a lawyer by training and holds both American and Chinese legal licenses. Her current work focuses on digital payments and cross-border payments. Yan’s opinions on this episode are her own thoughts, and do not reflect those of the Forum in any way. 

Rui was an early observer of the cryptocurrency space, and has witnessed the rise of Bitcoin and other technologies unfold concurrently in the U.S. and China. Listen to their conversation to find out: What does Yan think about the prospects for China’s proposed digital currency, which is typically called digital yuan or digital RMB? How are these prospects affected by the existing payments and digital landscape in China? What are the key features of digital RMB? What technologies form its backbone? What are other countries doing -- what is the global landscape for this type of national initiative? 

Yup, Rui is still researching and writing on ByteDance for her ebook. You’ll want to get front-row updates on it and to her other work by subscribing to our newsletter, at techbuzzchina.com. You’ll also want to check out the Tech Buzz China YouTube channel, and can view all of our past transcripts on our website, as well as at pandaily.com and supchina.com.

Evolving for the Next Billion by GGV Capital
Evolving for the Next Billion by GGV Capital
GGV Capital
Becoming Shopify | Evolving eCommerce ep.1
Today on the show, we have Harley Finkelstein, the President of Shopify. Shopify is a leading global e-commerce company, providing trusted tools to start, grow, market and manage a retail business of any size. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Shopify powers over 1 million businesses and more than 175 countries and is trusted by brands such as AllBirds, GymSharks, PepsiCo, Staples, and many more. Harley has been with the company since 2010. Prior to his current role, Harley founded numerous startups and ecommerce companies. He is currently an advisor to Felicis Ventures. Harley holds a Bachelor degree in Economics from Concordia University and a J.D./M.B.A. joint degree in Law and Business from the University of Ottawa. This episode is co-hosted by GGV colleague Robin Li. Based in New York, Robin invests in eCommerce, social, consumer internet, and digital economy. For the full transcript of the show, go to nextbn.ggvc.com Join our listeners' community, go to nextbn.ggvc.com/community Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or assets are for illustrative purposes only; such references do not constitute any recommendation to either buy or sell such securities or assets and are not intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision, nor do they constitute an offer to provide investment advisory services. Any information provided by third parties in this content does not reflect the views of GGV Capital and its subsidiaries or affiliates. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon, when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by GGV Capital. Any investment or portfolio company mentioned, referred to, or described is not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by GGV Capital, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results.
49 min
Analyse Asia with Bernard Leong
Analyse Asia with Bernard Leong
Carol Yin and Bernard Leong
Reflections and Predictions on China and SoftBank in 2020 with Shai Oster
Fresh out of the studio, in episode 338, Shai Oster, the Asia Bureau chief for The Information is back on his annual review with us again to discuss the state of China technology giants and SoftBank in the time of COVID-19 pandemic and predict what is to come in 2021. Starting the conversation, Shai reviewed the predictions he made in 2019 and explored the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on how they played out in 2020. From there, Shai reflected on the year that dominated the headlines in 2020: the diffusion of the China-US tensions to other regions: India and Australia against China tech giants, Tik Tok's problems in the US, Ant's botched IPO and SoftBank's attempt to go private. Last but not least, Shai offered his predictions for 2021 and what is to come for the Chinese technology giants and SoftBank for the year ahead. Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion: * * Shai Oster (@beijingscribe, LinkedIn, TheInformation Profile), Asia Bureau Chief in The Information * So since your last appearance on the show, what have you been up to? * 2019 Predictions: * China & US: Trump’s impeachment * China economy: growth * Tiktok will retreat from US, scale back & renew focus china, maybe India, Southeast Asia and Africa: accurate * Huawei * The shift of Chinese money to other markets * 2020 Events that shook China and SoftBank: The China-US tensions have exacerbated and percolated to other regions now (and that includes Australia and India) to Chinese companies: 1/ India banning 47 apps including Wechat, Tik Tok and many apps from China and 2/ Australia and US banned Wechat. * Let’s go to India first, given that the major unicorns are invested by Chinese tech giants, for example, PayTM by Alibaba, and the rise of local giants such as Reliance Jio backed by a strong US consortium: Facebook, Google, Silver Lake Partners, KKR, how do you see the challenges moving ahead for Xiaomi, which is dominant in India as well? * How do you think the Biden administration will handle the current tensions with China? * In the year ahead, do you think China will come down hard on US companies that are heavily invested here, like Apple or Starbucks Coffee? * Currently, the Chinese government has directed the local companies to be self-reliant, and specifically in the semiconductor industry, does that mean that we will see the decoupling of the supply chain accelerate much quicker? * Given that Tencent owns a few major gaming companies, for example, Epic, and with the recent lawsuit between Apple and Epic, do you see a possibility that the US government will pressure Tencent to divest their holdings in the US? * Tik Tok’s problems in the US and elsewhere: First, Kevin Mayer, the former CEO of DisneyPlus was poached and then became the CEO of Tik Tok US and Group COO, and subsequently resigned in July 2020, given the Trump’s administration insistence that the company has to be sold. Finally, after talks with rumors that Microsoft might acquire the entity completely, the eventual decision is that Oracle becomes the beneficiary of being an investor (along with Walmart) for Tik Tok US to ensure that data resides in the US. * What are your thoughts on Tik Tok’s current situation in the US? * Can ByteDance grow further given that there is so much pushback from other markets? * Where do you see ByteDance’s growth markets are? Will be they turn inwards towards domestically or expand to other markets where the push back is lesser, for example, Southeast Asia? * The Botched IPO of Ant Financial and what’s going to be next? * The Chinese government has ended Ant Financial’s IPO with direct interference from President Xi as reported by various outlets. What are the causes in your opinion as to why the IPO ended up not happening? * What are the implications for Alibaba Group as a whole with Ant Financial not able to IPO? * What must Ant Financial do in order to convince the authorities to allow them to IPO? * The billion-dollar question: Will Ant Financial eventually IPO? * A lot of people did not realize that the Ant Financial IPO has left a lot of money on the table in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, do you think that the companies which are going to IPO in HKSE will benefit from this event? * Does this offer a lesson to how Chinese tech companies should conduct themselves? Which companies do you think might run into trouble with the state? * COVID-19 Pandemic: * Which tech companies in China are the major beneficiaries of the COVID-19 pandemic? * China has managed the COVID-19 pandemic much better than the US. What are the implications to the Chinese economy from now with the various successful vaccines, for example, Pfizer vaccine being approved? * SoftBank in 2020 and its current strategy to go private * After the Wework debacle, SoftBank has gone on a few different directions: 1/ Selling their Alibaba stake, 2/ Sell ARM to NVDIA and Boston Dynamics to Hyundai, 3/ Ran a stock market gambit with futures in tech, 4/ DoorDash’s IPO giving them 10B gain that will write off Wework’s investment, and 5/ quietly buying back shares to go private? * How do you assess SoftBank’s performance in 2020 and do you think that with DoorDash’s success, will SoftBank Vision Fund 2 happen? * Has SoftBank’s enormous influence on the tech industry waned after WeWork’s debacle? Where do you think that they will spend the remainder of the $100B Vision Fund on? * Do you think that SoftBank will go private according to Tim Culpan’s analysis on Masa’s strategy? Do you think that SoftBank will manoeuvre and make a comeback after being private? * 2020 is now closing to the end, what are your predictions for 2021 so that we can have a future conversation a year from now? * Closing * Any recommendations? * Shai's recommendations: Rui Ma and Ying Ying Lu, Techbuzz China podcast and subscribe to The Information with the key breaking news it broke in 2020. * How does our audience find you? Editor's note: Our team in Analyse Asia thanked our audience for your support and wished everyone a Happy New Year 2021. The episode is recorded in the last week of 2020. Podcast Information: * * RSS Feed * Apple Podcasts * Himalaya * Spotify * Libsyn * Google Play * Overcast FM * SoundCloud * Luminary * Twitter * Facebook Video * Facebook Page * Linkedin * Stitcher * Castbox * RadioPublic * Acast * PodBean * ListenNotes * TuneIn The show is hosted and produced by Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin) and originally created by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin). Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, "The Beginning" from Red Cliff Soundtrack. analyseasia · Reflections and Predictions on China and SoftBank in 2020 with Shai Oster
1 hr 7 min
16 Minutes News by a16z
16 Minutes News by a16z
Andreessen Horowitz
FinCEN Crypto Rule; Haven Healthcare Breakup
We're covering two trends in this week’s episode of "16 Minutes," where we talk about the news, tech trends, and the long arc of innovation:  #1 FinCEN, the Treasury Department's financial crimes enforcement arm, proposed a new rule targeting cryptocurrency holders’ ability to transact using self-hosted wallets. These are software applications for storing crypto that allow people to transact on the blockchain directly, rather than going through financial institutions. The rule would require banks and other financial businesses to keep records, and verify the identities not only of their customers but also — notably — their customers’ counterparties, or people with whom the customer transacts, in certain cases. (Full disclosure: a16z has publicly opposed this plan, and has said it plans to join others in the industry in challenging the rule in court. You can read more about our position here.) a16z General Partner Katie Haun and Operating Partner Anthony Albanese explain the rule and what impact it could have on crypto innovation. #2 Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase shut down their joint healthcare venture. Haven was touted as a potential game-changer for employee-funded health care plans and health costs in general, due to the combined resources of its three corporate sponsors, but it was disbanded after three years. We turn to a16z bio General Partner Julie Yoo for a quick check-in on what opportunities this project actually highlighted (including for startups). — with Zoran Basich
21 min
Wharton FinTech Podcast
Wharton FinTech Podcast
Wharton Fintech Podcast
Kathleen Utecht, Managing Partner at Core Innovation Capital - Unlocking Upward Mobility
Miguel Armaza interviews Kathleen Utecht, Managing Partner at Core Innovation Capital, a venture capital firm, with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, investing in high-growth financial technology companies that can unlock upward mobility for everyday Americans. Kat holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Babson College and an MBA from The Wharton School. We talked about: - Kat’s journey, from family upbringing, schooling, all the way to how she ended up in VC - Why she continues to be excited about Fintech, even after investing in the sector for over a decade - What’s changed in the industry over the past few years - Core’s investment and valuation approach and how they work with portfolio companies to prepare them from seed, to series A, and beyond - Her vision for Core’s future - And a lot more! Kat Utecht Kat Utecht is co-managing partner of Core Innovation Capital, an early stage venture capital fund making mercenary returns through missionary investments in financial services and insurance technology. Portfolio companies include HealthSherpa, Bestow, Ripple and Synapse. Prior to investing with Core and at Comcast Ventures, Kat was CEO of Green Rock Entertainment, a commerce company acquired by private equity in 2009. Kat began her career in financial services, both as an investment banker and a graduate of General Electric Capital's Financial Management Program. Kat has an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BS from Babson College. About Core Innovation Capital Core Innovation Capital is an an early stage venture capital fund making mercenary returns through missionary investments in financial services and insurance technology. Core invests across three themes: 1. Modernizing financial and insurance infrastructure, 2. Expanding access to better financial services and insurance, and 3. Creating wealth through fintech adjacencies that help increase a household or SMB GDP. We optimize our portfolio by focusing on high conviction, early-stage investments with the flexibility to participate in unique opportunities across the venture lifecycle. Our main value add is our contacts - regulatory (e.g. state insurance regulators, CFPB), people flow (internal database for hiring), commercial contracts (e.g. insurers / reinsurers; lenders / debt capital, SaaS customers) - and to bounce ideas off of since we are so focused. Investments include Ripple, NerdWallet, and Oportun, among many others. For more information, visit www.corevc.com.
37 min
TechCrunch, Chris Gates, Alex Wilhelm, Danny Crichton, Natasha Mascarenhas, Grace Mendenhall
Checkout wants to be Rapyd and Fast
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture-capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. We’re back on this lovely Saturday with a bonus episode! Again! There is enough going on that to avoid failing to bring you stuff that we think matters, we are back yet again for more. This time around we are not talking Roblox, we're talking about ecommerce, and a number of rounds -- big _and_ small -- that have been raised in the space. Honest question: do y'all plan to release news on the same week? Are trends a social construct? From Natasha, Grace, Danny, and your humble servant, here's your run-down: * Webflow raised $140 million in a round that it says it did not need. This is not a new thing. Some startups are doing well, and don't burn much. So investors offer them more at a nice price. In this case $2.1 billion. (Webflow does no-code * Checkout.com raised $450 million. The rich really do get richer. In this case the founders of Checkout.com, whose company is now worth around $15 billion Checkout.com does, you guessed, online checkout work. Which as Danny explains is complicated and critical. * We also talked about this Bolt round, for context. * And sticking to the ecommerce theme, Rapyd raised $300 million at around a $2.5 billion valuation. There is infinte money available for late-stage fintech. * Early stage as well, it turns out, with Tradeswell raising $15.5 million to help businesses improve their net margins. * Finally, ending with a chat on infrastructure, Nacelle closed an $18 million Series A. And now we're going back to bed.
14 min
Gradient Dissent - A Machine Learning Podcast by W&B
Gradient Dissent - A Machine Learning Podcast by W&B
Lukas Biewald
Chris Anderson on Robocars, Drones and WIRED Magazine
Chris shares his journey starting from playing in R.E.M, becoming interested in physics to leading WIRED Magazine for 11 years. His robot fascination lead to starting a company that manufactures drones, and creating a community democratizing self-driving cars. Chris Anderson is the CEO of 3D Robotics, founder of the Linux Foundation Dronecode Project and founder of the DIY Drones and DIY Robocars communities. From 2001 through 2012 he was the Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine. He's also the author of the New York Times bestsellers `The Long Tail` and `Free` and `Makers: The New Industrial Revolution`. In 2007 he was named to "Time 100," most influential men and women in the world. Links discussed in this episode: DIY Robocars: diyrobocars.com Getting Started with Robocars: https://diyrobocars.com/2020/10/31/getting-started-with-robocars/ DIY Robotics Meet Up: https://www.meetup.com/DIYRobocars Other Works 3DRobotics: https://www.3dr.com/ The Long Tail by Chris Anderson: https://www.amazon.com/Long-Tail-Future-Business-Selling/dp/1401309666/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Long+Tail&qid=1610580178&s=books&sr=1-1 Interesting links Chris shared OpenMV: https://openmv.io/ Intel Tracking Camera: https://www.intelrealsense.com/tracking-camera-t265/ Zumi Self-Driving Car Kit: https://www.robolink.com/zumi/ Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI: https://www.amazon.com/Possible-Minds-Twenty-Five-Ways-Looking/dp/0525557997 Topics discussed: 0:00 sneak peek and intro 1:03 Battle of the REM's 3:35 A brief stint with Physics 5:09 Becoming a journalist and the woes of being a modern physicis 9:25 WIRED in the aughts 12:13 perspectives on "The Long Tail" 20:47 getting into drones 25:08 "Take a smartphone, add wings" 28:07 How did you get to autonomous racing cars? 33:30 COVID and virtual environments 38:40 Chris's hope for Robocars 40:54 Robocar hardware, software, sensors 53:49 path to Singularity/ regulations on drones 58:50 "the golden age of simulation" 1:00:22 biggest challenge in deploying ML models Visit our podcasts homepage for transcripts and more episodes! www.wandb.com/podcast Get our podcast on these other platforms: YouTube: http://wandb.me/youtube Apple Podcasts: http://wandb.me/apple-podcasts Spotify: http://wandb.me/spotify Google: http://wandb.me/google-podcasts Join our bi-weekly virtual salon and listen to industry leaders and researchers in machine learning share their work: http://wandb.me/salon Join our community of ML practitioners where we host AMA's, share interesting projects and meet other people working in Deep Learning: http://wandb.me/slack Our gallery features curated machine learning reports by researchers exploring deep learning techniques, Kagglers showcasing winning models, and industry leaders sharing best practices. https://wandb.ai/gallery
1 hr 3 min
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