(LINK) Global 500 | Fortune

Global 500 | Fortune

Can’t deny the rise of Asia or more specifically, the rise of China.

They made it interesting to click around and see the list in different groupings.

Term Sheet is also talking about how China has reached list parity with the USA.

Times are a changing – and fast.

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(LINK) Opinion | The trade war shows China’s economic dream is dying. Beijing now has a choice: open up or stagnate | South China Morning Post

Not saying I agree but interesting stance.

The US is demanding that China change course and, for all its growth and promises, Beijing is in no position to argue: in tech, it still lags at least 10 years behind the US and doesn’t have the depth of skills to produce its own high-end goods.
— Read on www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3013800/trade-war-shows-chinas-economic-dream-dying-beijing-now-has-choice

(LINK) China, Leverage, and Values – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

China, Leverage, and Values – Stratechery by Ben Thompson:

On the other hand, for all of the praise that is heaped on Chinese service companies like Tencent for their innovation, the fact that everything on Tencent is monitored and censored is chilling, particularly when people disappear. The possibilities of a central government creating the conditions for, say, self-driving cars or some other top-down application of technology is appealing, but turning a city into a prison through surveillance is terrifying. And while it is tempting to fantasize about removing “fake news” and hateful content with an iron fist, it is a step down the road to removing everything that is objectionable to an unaccountable authority with little more than an adjustment to a configuration file.

This is the true war when it comes to technology: censorship versus openness, control versus creativity, and centralization versus competition. These are, of course, connected: China’s censorship is about control facilitated by centralization. That, though, should not only give Western tech companies and investors pause about China generally, but should also led to serious introspection about the appropriate policies towards our own tech industry. Openness, creativity, and competition are just as related as their counterparts, and infringement on any one of them should be taken as a threat to all three.

Ben does a great job of nailing the crux of the issue for this so-called China/USA trade war.

IMHO too much praise is given to Chinese companies for their success in China, which essentially has zero outside competition. We know why they do this, but to purport that their products are the best or the right way to do it is too simplistic for my liking.

China wants to control everything, so they do this via Chinese companies and how they operate. Excellent for China – not great for outside China.

At the core is censorship for one and human rights. China has a pretty bad record for both, but I am not saying other countries are not guilty as well.

Moreover, the Huawei stuff is just the canary in the coal mine and a bargaining chip to some extent. However, I do think countries need to be vigilant and realize the full extent of what Chinese tech could enable – both the good and the bad.

(PDF) USA Facts 2019 Annual Report

https://static.usafacts.org/public/annual-report/2019/USAFacts_2019_Annual_Report.pdf

Super interesting and some fun facts in there.

Best to dig in – they highlight the big stuff at the beginning.

I love their intro:

If you’re looking to gain insight on our government
by the numbers, look no further. In this year’s annual
report, we’ve summarized the most recent data on
population trends, government finances, and
outcomes related to government activities. USAFacts
is a not-for-profit, non-partisan resource built for
interested people like you. Red or blue, left or right,
or anywhere in between, it doesn’t matter. We believe
understanding the numbers is the cornerstone to a
healthy and productive democracy. Our goal is to help
inform active citizenship and fact-based debate.

Walmart International spent $16 billion to go big in India. CEO Judith McKenna has to make it work – CNN

Walmart International spent $16 billion to go big in India. CEO Judith McKenna has to make it work – CNN

Was talking to a friend about India and VC – one thing we all agree on is that the monster exit of Flipkart has done wonders for the scene. Lots of people made money and it is going to new firms and new startups which helps to compete with the old guard. More foreign funds will pay attention now knowing exits can and will happen.

However – making investors, founders and employees rich has nothing to do with Walmart turning Flipkart into a money machine.

On this part -I think they will struggle long-term against Amazon.

Get the popcorn.

Elizabeth Warren Wants To Break Up Amazon, Google And Facebook; But Does Her Plan Make Any Sense? | Techdirt

The whole thing is a good read. I don’t have the answers but I think competing with these big companies gets harder and harder with each passing year. That’s a problem – maybe breaking them up would help but I think the process to do so is too convoluted and costly.

I think fighting anti-competitive behaviour has to be the first line of attack and even on the record America isn’t doing well at all.

Elizabeth Warren Wants To Break Up Amazon, Google And Facebook; But Does Her Plan Make Any Sense? | Techdirt:

And, again, none of this is to say we shouldn’t be concerned about big internet companies with too much power. It’s a perfectly reasonable concern, but just because you want to “do something” and “this is something,” doesn’t mean that it’s the something we should do. The way to attack the positions of these big internet companies is to enable more competition — and you do that by encouraging alternatives in the marketplace. This is why I’m actually hopeful that some of these companies will actually start to explore an idea of moving to protocols, rather than owning the whole platform themselves, or that we’ll see new protocols springing up.

Meanwhile, if Warren were truly concerned about “monopolies” and a lack of competition, why isn’t her plan looking at the lack of competition in the broadband and mobile markets — cases where we have legitimate competition problems due to bad regulatory policies going back decades?