We are approaching the end of the year, so every other article is industries, companies, trends and prognostications for 2021. Hey, we’re not whining – here are three tech sectors to watch in 2021 being driven by tech born outside the U.S.:
- The nerve center of the gaming industry is moving east, folks
- For context, 2020 was the most profitable year for the video game industry.
- Tencent, the Chinese conglomerate, is the world’s biggest video game publisher.
- Turkey’s first unicorn is a video game company called Peak Games which was acquired by Zynga for $1.8B.
- The Asia-Pacific region is projected to account for $80B in worldwide gaming revenues in 2020 which is about 50% of the global total revenues. In 2023, there will be more gamers in the Middle East and Africa than in Europe.
- The world of surveillance tech
- Clearview AI has a database of 3 billion photos pulled from social media profiles. If that doesn’t get your attention, then this will – U.S. federal and state law enforcement agencies are already using the database in investigations and prosecutions.
- Hikvision, a Chinese maker of surveillance cameras, has been accused of developing software toautomatically identify Uighurs a minority in China. Dahua, another Chinese video-surveillance company, supplies security cameras across the country for the government, including nearly a thousand that have been installed at mosques in western China.
- Demand for surveillance technology by state actors is a booming business. Even though it’s on a U.S. blacklist, Chinese AI giant SenseTime expects sales to increase 80% this year. Oh, and facial recognition technology is getting smarter. So much so, that one some AI cameras can even recognize people wearing masks.
- The venture capital mega-bet model may be on its last legs
- Softbank’s lost big on WeWork but hey, nobody’s perfect.They turned it around somewhat with DoorDash but this wasn’t enough. Their failure to raise a second Vision fund is already in the rearview mirror.
- In a seeming acknowledgment of the failure, Softbank is going the SPAC route.According to Bloomberg, they filed to raise around $525 million in a SPAC, but there is a Masayoshi Son spin: the prospectus says that “we are not prohibited from pursuing an initial business combination with a company that is affiliated with our sponsor, officers or directors.” In other words, Softbank SPAC could buy Softbank-backed company.
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