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Monday, June 29, 2020

kai fu lee at the economist

The pandemic is accelerating a shift towards people-less companies that will eventually characterise business everywhere
By Invitation

sars turned  created JD.com when its real srtores had to close - this year 20% spike in sales with the help of a new, automated warehouse that can process more than 1.5m orders a day. In Wuhan, it delivered packages using robots and drones. It plans to open 1,000 automated restaurants this year across China.
 The Chinese economy is undergoing a great robotic leap forward, as it removes human touch-points—literally—in its operations. Online businesses, algorithms and automation save costs, boost efficiency and protect public health. .

. It is no wonder that David Autor, an economist at MIT, calls the covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis “an automation-forcing event”.

China is uniquely positioned to lead the world in the automation economy. Though the country has a large workforce, the cost of labour has increased ten-fold in the last 20 years and is now more than twice as high as Vietnam’s. China is now the world’s largest market for industrial robotics and the fastest-growing, surging by 21% to $5.4bn in 2018. This represents a third of global sales. 
 When the pandemic was spreading rapidly in Wuhan in February and the massive Huoshenshan Hospital was built in ten days, a fleet of robots was scurrying inside for disinfecting and delivering medical supplies. These machines are used across China in schools, hospitals and commercial buildings. Keenon, a robotics company in Shanghai, has developed an autonomous vehicle to disinfect areas, using a combination of LIDAR, machine vision and sensors.

Sunday, June 21, 2020


China's ride-hailing leader Didi has raised $500 million in funding from Softbank's Vision Fund II for its autonomous driving technology subsidiary.

BYD has snagged $113 million from Sequoia Capital China and 13 other strategic investors to produce the chips that go into electric batteries.

Hong Kong-based diversified financial service Lion Group goes public in the U.S. through a business combination with Proficient Alpha Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company listed on Nasdaq.

Nexus Venture Partners has led a $18 million Series A funding of Jiffy.ai, an AI-first fintech startup in India.

Intudo Ventures has led a $1.6 million seed round in Delman, an Indonesian big data management and analytics provider.