For week 3, the movers and shakers aggregate in the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland. Of course, China remains the key headline from Davos with a surprising GDP growth and we share the key stories that we are reading that dominate the headlines of Asia from lithium discovery in Thailand to a Japanese football star with an angel track record raising a record $100m fund to invest into the Japanese startup ecosystem.
What we are reading this week:
- China confirms GDP rose 5.2% in 2023 on higher government spending by CK Tan from Nikkei Asia Review. Premier Li Qiang shared the data at the World Economic Forum's Davos Conference. Our Take: The Chinese government is trying to assure foreign investors that the economy is growing despite the instability of the real estate sector marked by Evergrande and Country Garden.
- Meituan Dips Below 2018 IPO Price as Selloff Reaches Extremes by Charlotte Yang from Bloomberg. Meituan's stock dips below its 2018 IPO price, closing 85% down from an all-time high; Alibaba and Tencent stock prices are down 78% and 60%+ respectively from their peaks. Our take: The Chinese tech giants are taking a beating from the stock market due to the current tensions and economic slowdown in China, but very few people pay attention to their fundamentals.
- Hong Kong-based HashKey Group claims unicorn status with a $100M raise by Amanda Cua, Backscoop. Our take: The bitcoin ETF and the rise in crypto token prices are fueling another round of investments into the space again. Of course, Asia is leading the bull run again.
- TSMC beats profit and revenue expectations in the fourth quarter of 2023 by Sheila Chang from CNBC. TSMC reported that fourth-quarter revenue slipped 1.5% from a year ago to NT$625.53 billion, while net income dropped 19.3% from a year ago to NT$238.71 billion.
- Football Star Keisuke Honda Sets Up $100 Million Japan VC Fund, by Min Jeong Lee and Natsuko Katsuki from Bloomberg. Our take: The guy is not just a football star from AC Milan but has started an angel fund earlier by the name of KSK fund that saw three portfolio companies exit by going IPO.
- Rising AI entrepreneur admits to faking his Cambridge PhD followed by Vizzio board backs CEO despite sham doctorate, Lokesh Choudhary, Colin Furtado and Terence Lee. Our non-take: We decide to keep our take to ourselves, and let the readers judge if the CEO should be fired for lying.
- Private equity firm Asia Partners raises $474M for second SEA-focused fund, by Amanda Cua from Backscoop. Our take: Note that it is a private equity fund and for start-ups to get the funding will probably be when they reach profitably.
- Thailand says it has discovered world's third-largest lithium reserves, by Kosuke Inoue from Nikkei Asia Review. Our take: Don't be surprised if Tesla and BYD will start building out car or battery manufacturing in Thailand.
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