QUANTech #30: Summer follow-up


Digital information technology is increasingly becoming entrenched into the fabric of our society, and it will not be long before we all permanently connect via the Internet. As the extensive digitisation of society is set to radically change practically all aspects of our lives, QUANTech (#QTech) aims at helping you stay in the know about the rapidly changing landscape of both organisations and society alike in the digital age.

#QTech is brought to you by Denys Malengreau (@D_MLG), digital advisor to QUANT.

Reading time: 7-8 minutes


As September comes, here is a recap of all stories worth highlighting this summer. First off, Hootsuite and We Are Social released their latest digital-related figures to wrap up the third quarter of the year. We now are over 4 billion people online whose 3.3 are active social media users. Even more striking: over 5 billion people own a mobile phone, either smart or not.

You will find a deeper analysis by reviewing the following slides:

With Q3 stats came figures platform by platform. We will note results shared by Facebook’s chief executive Mark ZuckerbergThe social network lost a whopping 20% in ad clicks and three million active users in Europe. Whether Cambridge Analytica, GDPR, summer slowing or anything else, such results had direct impact on the Facebook share with the company losing $119 billion in Wall Street in a blink of an eye. Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth valuation was worth $15.9 billion less, too.

Still talking Facebook ecosystem, Instagram celebrated one billion monthly active users on the plaftorm while launching Instagram TV (IGTV), a new long-form vertical video format that will compete with Snapchat and YouTube.

Another striking story of this summer is the EU's decision to sanction Google again with a whopping €4.34 billion fine for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google's search engineSundar Pichai replied, stating Android has created more choice, not less.

The Intercept also revealed this summer that Google plans to return to China with a censored search app. Google’s return to China with a censored search app whose project is code-named Dragonfly has reportedly been in the making since spring 2017.

Talking China, the country now has over 800 million Internet users in China, according to the latest figures available. Ealier this summer, China surpassed North America in attracting venture capital funding for the very first time and Tech in Asia reported that China startup funding is on pace to smash records in 2018. On the strategic front of 5G, we have also learned this summer that China has outspent the US by $24 billion in 5G infrastructure since 2015. In three years, the country has built 350,000 new 5G cell sites, while the US has built fewer than 30,000, according to a Deloitte's study findings.

Such figures highlight the booming Chinese digital economy of the past years. And this was backed by the China Internet Report 2018 published by the South China Morning Post, Abacus and the American venture capital seed fund 500 Startups in July. You will find key lessons from the visual synthesis of 97 slides in QUANTech #23.

Another story of this summer worth highlighting an article dedicated to Tim Berners-Lee by Vanity Fair in which we learned that the latter has been working on his great new creation dubbed « Solid. » The idea is simple: re-decentralise the Web. Reading recommended.

10 RECOMMENDED READING (reading time)

Dozens of articles throughout the summer, 10 selected for you.

Why China has an edge in the A.I. arms race (3-4m)
“I was devastated”: Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web, has some regrets (18-22m)
12 fast-rising technologies to get ready for (6-7m)
Nobody cares whether you want to own a driverless car or not (5-7m)
The China that can be understood is not the real China (9-12m)
Were we destined to live in Facebook’s world? (12-15m)
Social in 2028 (13-17m)
GDPR is eroding our privacy, not protecting it (8-10m)
Google employees have become the company’s moral compass (4-5m)
How WeChat became China’s everyday mobile app (11-14m)


Here are specific stories highlighted this summer. Click on the topic to read about it.

 Attention economy (QUANTech #20, 26 june)
Story: new « your time on Facebook » feature
 Future of car transportation (QUANTech #21, 3 july)
Story: opinion article about car access vs ownership
 WeChat (QUANTech #22, 10 july)
Story: WeChat hit the 1-million mark for mini-programs
 China Internet Report 2018 (QUANTech #23, 17 july)
Story: report release
 CRISPR (QUANTech #24, 24 july)
Story: gene editing interest in the US (study)
 Tech for good (QUANTech #25, 31 july)
Story: the first 'blockchain baby'
 Tech addiction (QUANTech #26, 7 august)
Story: smartphone ban in french schools
 Google in China (QUANTech #27, 14 august)
Story: censored version of Google's search engine
 Responsible tech (QUANTech #28, 21 august)
Story: spy-cam porn epidemic in south korea
 Personal scoring (QUANTech #29, 28 august)
Story: new Facebook's user rating

Talk soon!

Denys Malengreau