September 25, 2020

Welcome to this week’s edition of the RoundUp.  This week,  Taiwan makes it harder for Chinese technology companies to operate within its domains; Uber launches Pass and so on.

Thank you for always reading and sharing.

  • Taiwan has announced plans to ban iQiyi,  a Chinese growing competition to Netflix.  Taiwan cited violation of investment rules by Chinese companies in certain special categories. Link

 

Why this is Important:  This is a confirmation to the political rivalry between Taiwan and China. China has consistently disagreed and considered Taiwan’s sovereignty an illegal one. Recall also that 59 apps of Chinese origin have been banned in India.  This could be a domino that would keep rolling around in near future. It also hampers growth for China’s internet companies abroad. Tiktok, another successful internet company is facing an outright ban or forceful acquisition in the US.

 

  • Facebook has announced its videostreaming device, Portal,  will now support Zoom,  Webex and other video conferencing apps like GoToMeeting. Link

 

Why this is Important: Seeing it has struggled to successfully float a zoom competition, this could be a good tactic to grow and stimulate Facebook’s user-base seeing Portal works with friends/contacts on your Messenger list.

For dropped-off users of the Messenger app,  but regular users of Zoom especially for work related tasks,  this could help Facebook reduce churn on the Messenger side as they reactivate to access Zoom.

  • Uber,  the on-demand transportation company has launched Pass, a subscription service. Pass will be available in 200 cities which excludes California due to its legal battle there over AB5 legislation. Pass gives a 10% discount off rides and 5% on UberEats deliveries above $15. Link

 

Why this is Important: If successfully adopted,  heavy users of the product will find this beneficial as Amazon Prime is to heavy shoppers like families. To enjoy the UberEats leg of the discount also means UberEats gets to experience more demand.  It is noteworthy that it has been a promising business to the company despite operating in a very competitive segment with rivals like Doordash and Grubhub.

  • Lambda school has raised $74m in a Series C round. This is to increase the courses it offers and fine-tune its business model. Lambda got people’s attention with its income share agreement where successful students pay 17% of their monthly salary when they start earning $50,000 per annum to pay off debt. Link

 

Why this is Important:  The pandemic has disrupted and at the same time, made remote work and learning a necessity. With this funding, it is a signal to the above-mentioned point,  especially for courses and disciplines that need little or no physical guidance to pass knowledge. We might witness an inflow of funding to start-ups in same segment as Lambda as remote learning goes mainstream.

 

 

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Chinedu Okoro
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