China’s smaller cities spend the most on video games nationally: Report

People visit the stand of Tencent’s mobile game ‘Glory of Kings’ during the 2020 China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference (ChinaJoy) at Shanghai New International Expo Center on July 31, 2020 in Shanghai, China.

Zhou You | VCG via Getty Images

SINGAPORE — Video games are booming in China’s smaller cities, with citizens there accounting for more than half of revenue nationally, according to a recent report by Niko Partners.

“76% of gamers in China live in Tier 3-5 cities, accounting for 70% of game revenue,” Niko Partners said in a synopsis of its China Gamers Report.

Cities in China are classified by tiers based loosely on population and economic size. For example, places such as capital Beijing and Shenzhen are generally considered tier-one cities, while lower-tier cities are smaller.

The country is the world’s top game market and will generate an estimated $40.85 billion in revenue this year, according to Newzoo.

“What we think is happening with the smaller tiers is … there are more and more gamers adapting to uses of mobile devices,” Lisa Cosmas Hanson, founder and president of Niko Partners, told CNBC in a follow-up interview.

With “fewer things to do for entertainment” in smaller cities as compared with their cosmopolitan peers in Beijing and Shanghai, “gamers spend their time with little cost entertainment which can be social.”

This could also be attributable to improved mobile data and broadband infrastructure, Hanson added, with “lots of Android smartphones available at lower price points.”

In a country of 1.4 billion people, even China’s smallest “cities” can have a population of more than 1 million each.

For video game publishers looking at China, the analyst said: “If you really want to draw the attention of people throughout the country, Tier 4, Tier 5, these places can’t be ignored.”


NASA’s James Webb Passes Enormous Test, On Track For October 2021 Launch

Despite numerous delays, funding crises, and technical challenges, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is almost ready.

Every single component is fully built, assembled, and integrated.

Rigorous pre-launch testing can maximize our chances for Webb’s success.

The stowed telescope must survive harsh launch conditions without sustaining damage.

From its spaceborne environment, all components must then properly deploy.

The primary mirror segments must unfold, aligning to within 20 nanometer tolerance.

Indonesia’s AC Ventures Targets New $80 Million Startup Fund

(Bloomberg) — AC Ventures, an Indonesia-focused venture capital firm, said it completed the first close of a planned $80 million technology investment fund.

a crane next to a body of water with a city in the background: A crane stands at a construction site in this aerial photograph taken in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Indonesia is scheduled to release fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures on Feb. 6.

© Bloomberg
A crane stands at a construction site in this aerial photograph taken in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Indonesia is scheduled to release fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) figures on Feb. 6.

The Jakarta-based company raised $56 million at the first close, according to its partners. The fund will invest in about 30 early-stage startups in areas including e-commerce and financial technology in the next three years.


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AC Ventures was established in 2019 after two homegrown Indonesian VC firms — Agaeti Ventures and Convergence Ventures — merged to create scale. Its three founding partners are Pandu Sjahrir and Michael Soerijadji, previously general partners of Agaeti Ventures, and Adrian Li, the former founder of Convergence Ventures. Together, they have backed more than 100 tech ventures.

The firm will have a strategic alliance with Indies Capital, an alternative asset manager with more than $600 million of assets under management where Sjahrir serves as a managing partner. One of its funds, Indies Pelago, invests in late-stage technology startups in Southeast Asia.

With the new fund, AC Ventures plans to make an initial investment of as much as $3 million in each startup. It has put money into companies such as logistics startup Kargo and BukuWarung, a bookkeeping app built for 60 million micro-merchants in the country.

“With AC Ventures, we can invest across the spectrum — from very early-stage, to growth and late-stage startups,” Sjahrir said in an interview. “The Covid-19 era has shown entrepreneurs with grit, and investment companies that can put capital to work.”

Read more: Singapore’s Indies Raises $100 Million for Third Asian Fund

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Arrowhead’s New Deal With Takeda Strengthens The Company’s Value Proposition (NASDAQ:ARWR)

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals (ARWR) is a long-term holding of mine that just recently announced a partnership deal with Takeda (NYSE:TAK) for its ARO-AAT developmental stage therapy. I love this deal and think it yet again shows how well management is strategically and efficiently advancing an impressive pipeline through clinical development.

Arrowhead’s Deal with Takeda is a Win-Win for the Company

On October 8, Arrowhead announced that it had struck a deal with Takeda to co-develop and co-commercialize ARO-AAT, the company’s developmental therapy to treat alpha-1 antitrypsin-associated liver disease (AATLD). The partners will split US profits 50/50, and Takeda received an exclusive license to the therapy in the rest of the world for which Arrowhead will receive 20-25% royalties on net sales.

In exchange for this deal, Takeda is paying Arrowhead $300 million upfront and up to $740 million more in various potential developmental, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments.

I described the ARO-AAT opportunity in my prior article. AATLD…

is a genetic disease that results in the production and accumulation of a mutant Z-AAT protein that causes severe liver and lung damage. This is a serious unmet medical need because, while the lung manifestations can be treated with AAT augmentation therapy, there is no effective treatment for liver manifestations of the disease short of a liver transplant.

Arrowhead has already completed a positive Phase 1 trial and now has 2 additional trials of the therapy ongoing – a Phase 2/3 that could prove to be pivotal and an open-label Phase 2. We should start seeing some data from these trials late this year or early next year. I’ve seen estimates for peak sales of ARO-AAT ranging from $600 million up to $2.5 billion, so it’s clear ARO-AAT could have a meaningful impact for the company if approved.

Figure 1: Slide on ARO-AAT

price in India and specifications | TechRadar

Tecno joins numerous other companies in aligning its next major launch with the Indian festive season with the unveiling of the Camon 16.

Tecno has often launched smartphones that bring unique features to the affordable segment. The Camon 16 is no different, vying for the title of the cheapest smartphone in India to offer a 64MP quad-camera array and eye autofocus.

The Tecno Camon 16 comes in a single configuration and two colour variants: Cloud White and Purist Blue. It is priced at Rs 10,999 and will be available starting October 16 on Flipkart during the Big Billion Days sale.

Tecno Camon 16 specs

The Camon 16 offers a large 6.8-inch HD+ display with a punch-hole notch on the top left. This allows it to attain a screen-to-body ratio of 89.1%. The back is made of curved polycarbonate with the cameras placed in a T formation in a large rectangular housing. Under it is the fingerprint scanner. 

On the inside, the Tecno Camon 16 is powered by the gaming-centric MediaTek Helio G70 chipset along with the HyperEngine gaming suite. That is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The battery is rated at 5,000mAh and also supports 18W fast charging which is claimed to recharge the phone in about 2 hours. It on HiOS 7.0 based on Android 10

The biggest talking point is the cameras. The Tecno Camon 16 is one of the cheapest smartphones in India to offer a 64MP quad-camera setup. It comprises a 1/2-inch 64MP f/1.79 primary shooter, followed by a 2MP portrait lens, a 2MP macro shooters and an “AI lens”. Shooting options include night mode, portraits, macro, body-shaping, 10x digital zoom, macro, video bokeh, QHD video recording, etc. Another marquee feature is eye autofocus.

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