Industry News & Trends Recap: May Week 2

Industry News & Trends Recap: May Week 2

Industry News & Trends Recap: May Week 2

This week, Amazon’s AWS announced plans to bolster its presence with a S$12bn investment in Singapore’s cloud infrastructure while the race heats up in the Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) landscape. On the life sciences front, key sectors like offshore wind and precision medicine were identified as key sectors for growth in Singapore. Find out more about other highlights across diverse industries below:


Table of contents

  1. Finance Industry News
  2. Investment, PE & VC News
  3. Legal Industry News
  4. Healthcare & Life Sciences News
  5. Luxury & Retail News
  6. Tech & AI News


Finance Sector News

banking and financial services hiring and expansion plans


Deutsche Bank Looks to Grow AUM Extensive Hiring in Asia

Deutsche Bank announced plans to double its management of assets for affluent families in Southeast Asia (SEA) and the Middle East over the next five years. This is to be achieved by capitalising on growing connections between wealthy clans in these regions, as the bank sees growing interest from wealthy families in Saudi Arabia and the UAE to invest in SEA and Hong Kong, and vice versa. Deutsche Bank has been heavily investing in these regions, particularly after hiring extensively from Credit Suisse. This strategy is driven by the growing importance of SEA and the Middle East for private banks, especially amid challenges in China and Hong Kong’s capital markets.

Read the full article about Deutsche Bank’s wealth targets.



Hong Kong and Qatar to Boost Connectivity Between Both Financial hubs

Hong Kong is strengthening its ties with Qatar by signing an agreement between the Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) and the Qatar Financial Centre Authority. This memorandum of understanding (MOU) aims to foster collaboration, share best practices, and enhance connectivity between the financial sectors of both regions. The agreement underscores Hong Kong’s pivot towards the Middle East amid strained relations with the West. The collaboration includes joint market promotion events and information exchange on regulatory developments to bolster the financial services industry in both Hong Kong and Qatar.

Read the full paid article about Hong Kong’s agreement with Qatar.



People Moves: CITI, Privé’, HSBC and UBP

CITI: CITI appointed Damien Tan as the head of the corporate bank for Singapore, effective May 1. He will be responsible for enhancing the performance of CITI’s corporate banking business in the country, focusing on leading local corporates, public sector entities, financial institutions, and MNC clients. He will also serve as a member of CITI’s Singapore management committee. Tan, who previously served as CITI’s head of local corporates for Singapore, has over two decades of experience at CITI.

Privé Technologies: Paul Hodes, former head of investments for Citigold and Citigold Private Client in Asia at CITI, has transitioned to a new role at Privé Technologies. He will serve as distribution head at the Hong Kong-based private banking and independent asset manager software provider. He will also oversee the global distribution of Privé Technologies’ platform for open architecture, advisory, and discretionary portfolio management. Hodes joins a growing list of industry figures at Privé Technologies, including Simon Godfrey, former head of product advisory at EFG Bank. Established in 2011 by ex-JP Morgan executives, Privé Technologies aims to democratise wealth management through innovative technology solutions.

HSBC: HSBC appointed Gilbert Ng, Citigroup’s former head of corporate banking, as the new head of global banking for Singapore, effective from May 2. In his new role, Ng will drive the global banking strategy and franchise growth in the country, and faciliate advisory, financing, and transaction banking solutions for major clients. Ng, a Citigroup veteran for over 17 years, is experienced in corporate finance and risk management expertise and has a strong client network spanning various sectors in Singapore.

DBS: DBS appointed Eugene Huang, the former CEO of Ping An’s technology arm, as its new Chief Information Officer (CIO). Huang has over 36 years of experience in technology and banking, and his primary task is to address the recurring outage issues that have plagued the bank since last year. Huang will succeed Han Kwee Juan as CIO, with Han resuming his full-time role as Singapore country head. Huang’s previous role at Ping An involved overseeing a team of 22,000 providing IT services across various business units.

UBP: Ivan Wong, head of North Asia and Hong Kong branch chief executive at Union Bancaire Privée (UBP), announced his retirement after more than one year with the Swiss private bank. Wong has 37 years of experience in investment, corporate, and private banking, including nearly two decades at HSBC and eight at CITI. His successor will be announced soon. During his tenure, Wong successfully navigated UBP’s North Asia business through the pandemic and bolstered investment capabilities in Hong Kong, resulting in positive growth in net new money, revenue, and credit in 2024 Q1.

Read the full article about CITI’s new corporate banking head.

Read the full article about HSBC’s new global banking head.

Read the full article about DBS’s new chief information officer.

Read the full paid article about Privé’s new distribution head.


Investment, PE & VC News

venture capital and private equiting hiring


Federated Hermes to Launch Hong Kong Office and Hire in Singapore, Australia

Federated Hermes announced plans to launch an office in Hong Kong as part of its new distribution strategy for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region that seeks to strengthen its wholesale distribution efforts in Asia. Private banks and family offices are among the firm’s intended key growth segments. The firm made recent hires in Japan and plans to recruit in Australia and Singapore, targeting candidates with diverse backgrounds to cater to different client needs. The firm also contemplates covering mainland China from an offshore perspective in Singapore and Hong Kong.



Singapore Rank as the World’s Fourth Wealthiest City, Surpassing London

Singapore emerged as the fourth wealthiest city globally, surpassing London, as reported in Henley & Partners’ 2024 World’s Wealthiest Cities Report. The city-state saw a significant influx of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in 2023, amounting to 3,400 individuals. Currently, Singapore is home to 244,800 resident millionaires, 336 centi-millionaires, and 30 billionaires. Over the past decade, there has been a remarkable 64% increase in millionaires, positioning Singapore to potentially overtake Tokyo as Asia’s wealthiest city soon. London, previously the world’s wealthiest city, has dropped to fifth place. China has also made its mark, with Beijing entering the top 10 for the first time. Shenzhen stands out as the world’s fastest-growing city for the wealthy. New York City retains its top spot globally, followed by Northern California’s Bay Area.

Read the full article about the world’s wealthiest cities.



People Moves: Lombard Odier, Marcuard Heritage, Julius Baer, Value Partners, Blue Owl Capital, M&G Investments

Lombard Odier: Former Credit Suisse Greater China chief investment officer Jack Siu joined Lombard Odier as the head of discretionary portfolio management for Asia. Siu will report to John Woods, the chief investment officer (CIO) and head of investment solutions for APAC at Lombard Odier. This move marks a reunion for Siu and Woods, who previously worked together at Credit Suisse, where Woods served as the APAC CIO before joining Lombard Odier in January. Siu brings experience from his previous roles at Citi and Standard Chartered.

Marcuard Heritage: Marcuard Heritage, a Swiss financial group with a 15-year presence in Singapore,  appointed Michel Keiser as its new CEO for the Singapore branch. Keiser has rich experience in business operations across multiple markets and wealth and risk management, having previously held various managerial roles at Credit Suisse in Singapore. Sinan Bodmer, CEO and co-founder, will step down but remain an executive director and client advisor.

Julius Baer: Zurich-based Julius Baer bolstered its team serving Asian clients by appointing Serena Wong as a senior relationship manager. Wong joins from Kamet Capital Partners and has previously served at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, GIC, and Société Generale. This move follows the addition of a team lead and several relationship managers to the Asia Switzerland team in October 2023.

Value Partners: Hong Kong-headquartered Value Partners appointed Clare Zhao to oversee its institutional, China, and exchange-traded fund (ETF) businesses. Zhao, who previously served as Amundi’s managing director and head of China business, has also held a leadership role at Vanguard. Her return to Value Partners, where she previously served as an ETF sales manager, comes at a strategic time as the company recently partnered with Venture Smart Financial Holdings (VSFG) to launch a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Blue Owl Capital: New York-based alternatives manager Blue Owl Capital appointed Johann Santer as managing director and head of APAC private wealth. Santer, a former Fidelity executive, has held leadership positions in private banking and investment at Fidelity International and Julius Baer.

M&G Investments: M&G Investments appointed Lesley Lo as head of institutional distribution in APAC to expand its institutional footprint across the region. Lo’s role involves fostering relationships with official institutions, pension funds, insurance companies, family offices, and corporate reserves in Greater China, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Lo has served in a leadership capacity at Principal Asset Management and worked at BNP Paribas Asset Management, MetLife Investment Management and Janus Capital Group. Her appointment follows several other recent hires and business moves, as M&G views Asia as a strategic focus for growth and seeks to strengthen its presence in the region.


Legal News

lawyer and gc moves to law firms and in house


People Moves: Ogier, Loeb & Loeb, Han Kun and China Commercial

Ogier: Offshore law firm Ogier bolstered its Hong Kong team by hiring restructuring and insolvency (R&I) expert Joanne Collett from rival Walkers. Collett, named one of the ALB Top 15 Offshore Litigators, has a decade of experience advising clients on contentious and non-contentious matters and offshore entity or structure-related matters about the Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands law.

Loeb & Loeb: Loeb & Loeb welcomed Shirley Lau and Polly Liu as partners to its Hong Kong office’s Capital Markets and Corporate department. Lau and Liu specialise in securities and corporate finance transactions and advise clients on public offerings, compliance matters, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Lau holds degrees from the University of Hong Kong and the University of New South Wales, while Liu obtained her degrees from Monash University and the University of Hong Kong. Both joined Loeb & Loeb from Lau, Horton & Wise LLP, CMS Hong Kong’s affiliate.

Han Kun: PRC law firm Han Kun Law Offices welcomed Allen (Yilun) Zhang as a partner in Hong Kong. Zhang joins from A&O Shearman and has over a decade of experience. He specialises in debt capital markets and has advised on 200 debt securities transactions for issuers and underwriters. Some of his major deals include the first Yulan bond, the first MCSD-cleared bond and the first Blue bond in Asia, with clients including the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China and the People’s Bank of China. Meanwhile, he also previously served at Linklaters and King & Wood Mallesons.

China Commercial: China Commercial Law Firm expanded its Shanghai office by hiring three new experts. Yu Yanhua and Tang Yu joined as senior partners while Wu Minghe joined as a partner. Yu, formerly a General Counsel at Opple Lighting Co, has  28 years of experience and specialises in intellectual property. Tang’s expertise lies in cross-border investment, financing, corporate operation, governance, and international dispute resolution, particularly in South and Southeast Asian jurisdictions. Meanwhile, Wu’s focus areas include matrimonial/family law, contract/labour matters, commercial arbitration, company operation, and maritime and international trade.

Read the full article about Ogier’s new R&I partner.

Read the full article about Loeb & Loeb’s new corporate finance partners.

Read the full article about Han Kun’s DCM expert.

Read the full article about China Commercial’s three senior hires.



Sidley Austin to Consolidate China Operations

Chicago-based Sidley Austin decided to close its Shanghai office. The decision comes as part of a review of office space and attorney requests to relocate or retire. However, the firm remains committed to offering its full range of services in the Chinese market. It plans to relocate operations to Beijing, Hong Kong, and other Sidley offices by September 2024. The office currently has 11 lawyers, including partners Tang Zhengyu and Ji Ruchun, counsel Chen Ling, and advisors Yao Jiefei and Pan Cheng.

Read the full article about Sidley Austin’s consolidation.



Mayer Brown to Separate from Hong Kong Partnership and Revive JMS

Mayer Brown confirmed its split from the Hong Kong arm, a move set to revive the historic Johnson Stokes & Master brand. The move, expected to be finalised by year-end, aims to align Mayer Brown’s presence in Hong Kong with its strategic priorities. While Mayer Brown will maintain a smaller presence in Hong Kong, focusing on core practices such as corporate, finance, and projects. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong partnership will revert to its legacy name, Johnson Stokes & Master (JSM). The decision comes amidst escalating tensions between the US and China, as well as tightening regulations in China.

Read the full article about Mayer Brown’s split from the Hong Kong partnership.



Hong Kong and Shanghai Ink Agreements that Offer More Opportunities for Law Firms in Both Regions

Hong Kong and Shanghai are poised for increased collaboration in 15 sectors, including legal services. This follows agreements reached between their governments at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Hong Kong/Shanghai Cooperation Conference. As part of this agreement, both regions will support greater business collaboration in legal services and facilitate initiatives such as:

  • Setting up partnership associations in Shanghai;
  • Employing Hong Kong legal practitioners as consultants in Shanghai’s law firms;
  • Establishing law firm branches in each other’s jurisdictions.

Support will also be provided for the development of exchange platforms, cooperation, training, and talent exchange in legal, arbitration, mediation, and related services sectors between the two places.

Read the full paid article on how law firms benefit from the agreement.

Read the full article on all the areas of cooperation between Shanghai and Hong Kong.


Healthcare & Life Sciences News

precision medicine and ai in life sciences industry


Offshore Wind, Precision Medicine Among Key Growth Drivers for Singapore

Offshore wind and precision medicine were identified as key sectors where Singapore can maximise opportunities for long-term growth, according to Lee Chuan Teck, the new chairman of Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG). In the case of precision medicine, Singapore’s robust bio-life sciences ecosystem positions it well to capitalise on this opportunity, and the sector is also forecasted to grow at an average annual rate of 9.1% until 2032. While supporting these external-facing sectors with growth potential, boosting productivity for internal-facing sectors like retail and logistics will also remain in focus.

Read the full article about Singapore’s key areas for future growth.



Samsung to Acquire French Medical AI Software Firm Sonio

Samsung announced plans to acquire French AI company Sonio to enhance its advanced medical diagnostic systems. AI has witnessed significant growth across various sectors, prompting companies worldwide to invest heavily in integrating it into their products. Samsung Medison, a medical equipment manufacturer affiliated with Samsung Electronics, intends to leverage Sonio’s AI technology to improve maternal care through AI-enhanced ultrasound systems. The acquisition involves Samsung purchasing all of Sonio’s shares for 126 billion won (approximately S$125 million), pending regulatory approvals, including from France. After the completion of the deal, Sonio will continue to operate from its headquarters in France.

Read the full article about Samsung’s acquisition of Sonio.



Google DeepMind Launches Enhanced Drug Discovery AI Model AlphaFold

DeepMind introduced the third version of its AlphaFold AI model to assist scientists and enhance drug design and disease-targeting efficiency. Building on its 2020 breakthrough, AlphaFold can now predict the behaviour of all life’s molecules, including human DNA. This advancement holds promise for drug discovery, as it allows for designing molecules that bind to specific proteins, potentially accelerating the development of life-changing treatments. DeepMind also launched the AlphaFold server, simplifying access to its predictions for researchers and potentially speeding up the drug discovery process even further.

Read the full article about DeepMind’s AlphaFold AI model.



People Moves: Pfizer, Celerion and QuidelOrtho

Pfizer: Former Citi analyst Andrew Baum was appointed as Pfizer’s chief strategy and innovation officer. He will oversee Pfizer’s portfolio analysis, partnerships, business development activities, and commercial evaluation of its drug pipeline. Baum will also lead Pfizer’s portfolio management team and be responsible for decisions regarding programme prioritisation, expansion, partnership and investment. His appointment draws parallels to Novartis’ hiring of Ronny Gal as chief strategy and growth officer in 2022.

Celerion: Jo Goodman, a seasoned Big Pharma veteran, is set to join Celerion as vice president of bioanalytical services at their lab in Lincoln, Nebraska. She will oversee the bioanalytics unit’s  strategic direction and operational performance, which analyses large- and small-molecule drugs, immunogenicity, and biomarkers for pharmaceutical and biotech clients. Goodman brings extensive experience from her tenure at GSK as well as AstraZeneca and MedImmune, where she held senior positions in bioanalysis outsourcing and clinical immunology. Her appointment follows the recent hiring of another AstraZeneca alum, Timothy Sanger.

QuidelOrtho: QuidelOrtho appointed former head of Abbott’s diagnostics division, Brian Blaser,  as its new president and CEO. Blaser, who comes out of retirement for the role. He brings over 25 years of leadership experience in the diagnostics industry and a track record of driving revenue growth and profitability. QuidelOrtho aims to leverage his expertise to navigate its next phase of growth.

Read the full analysis of Pfizer’s new executive from Citi.

Read the full article about Celerion’s bioanalytical services VP.

Read the full article about QuidelOrtho’s new president and CEO.


Luxury & Retail News

luxury and retail industry deals and expansion


Business Moves: Mr Chow, Brooks, Alibaba, K-Way and Coty

Famous Chinese Restaurant Mr Chow to Venture into Fashion

Famous restaurant Mr Chow ventured into the fashion industry with its debut clothing collection, offering a limited-edition range of T-shirts, hoodies, hats, and joggers in black and white. Each garment features the iconic Mr Chow logo on the front and artwork by renowned artists Helmut Newton and Andy Warhol on the back. Collaborating with luxury apparel experts from Doheny Drive, the collection is entirely made in Los Angeles. Vanessa Chow, spearheading the project alongside founder Michael Chow, aims to blend art, fashion, and culinary expertise. The company also has plans for more innovative collections in the future.

Read the full article about Mr Chow’s fashion collection.


Brooks Running Eyes Expansion in China and Europe

Dan Sheridan, the new CEO of Brooks Running, revealed plans to grow the company’s presence in China and Europe, identifying them as growth areas outside the U.S. Brooks aims to open its first store in China’s Shanghai this fall, capitalising on the country’s growing running participation. He succeeded Jim Weber, who led Brooks for 23 years and plans to focus on science-based innovation and design to maintain the company’s market share.

Read the full article about Brooks Running’s growth plans.


Alibaba Targets Mongolia Market with New E-Commerce Platform

Alibaba is expanding its presence in Mongolia through a new e-commerce platform called, created in partnership with the Mongolian tech group Intelmind. The platform will offer products sourced from Alibaba’s wholesale marketplace,, providing Mongolian consumers access to Chinese goods. This move is part of Alibaba’s strategy to grow its overseas e-commerce operations. Mongolia’s efforts to diversify its economy and enhance digital infrastructure make it an attractive market for e-commerce expansion.

Read the full article about Alibaba’s new e-commerce platform.


K-Way Partners Marcolin to Launch Eyewear

French fashion brand K-Way, known for its rain jackets, is expanding into eyewear through an exclusive licensing agreement with Marcolin. Under the six-year deal starting from January 2025, Marcolin will design, produce, and distribute K-Way brand sunglasses, optical frames, ski goggles, and eyewear for kids worldwide. This partnership strengthens Marcolin’s presence in the lifestyle segment and broadens its license portfolio. The first collection is set to launch in spring/summer 2025 and will be available globally through selected stores.

Read the full article about K-Way’s eyewear launch.


Coty Partners Model Lena Gercke for Debut Fragrance

Coty Inc. signed a license agreement with German television presenter and model Lena Gercke to launch her debut fragrance under her fashion brand LeGer. Coty will handle the development, production, and distribution of the fragrance, and it is set to launch in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) this summer.

Read the full article about Coty’s debut fragrance.



Deals: Henkel, LVMH, Prada and Richemont

Henkel Completes Acquisition of P&G’s VS Sassoon Hair Care Business in Greater China

Henkel completed the acquisition of Procter & Gamble’s VS Sassoon and its hair care business in Greater China, which includes shampoo, conditioner, styling, and treatment products. The addition of VS Sassoon will complement Henkel’s consumer brand portfolio in the Chinese market, particularly in the high-end hair care sector.


LVMH Contemplates Sale of Marc Jacobs and Allegedly Appoints Advisors

LVMH is reportedly considering selling the Marc Jacobs brand, sparking speculation within the fashion industry. Despite initial denials from LVMH, rumours persist, with J.P. Morgan allegedly appointed to oversee a potential auction process. Whether a sale will materialise remains uncertain.

Read the full article about LVMH’s potential sale of Marc Jacobs.


Prada Express Openess to M&As

Prada, led by the Italian billionaire family’s heir, Lorenzo Bertielli, announced that it is open to considering M&As in the luxury sector. While Bertelli didn’t comment on specific targets like Giorgio Armani SpA, he expressed openness to opportunities. Armani himself hinted at potential changes for his fashion empire, fueling speculation about the future of Italy’s luxury industry, where many companies are still family-controlled. Prada has been investing in Italian manufacturing suppliers to enhance internal production and shorten its supply chain.

Read the full article about Prada’s interest in M&A.


Swiss Luxury Giant Richemont Acquires Italian Jewellery Brand Vhernier

The Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont agreed to acquire 100% of Vhernier S.p.A., an Italian jewellery house. Vhernier, known for its modern aesthetic and unconventional materials, differs from Richemont’s existing jewellery brands like Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. The acquisition also includes the De Vecchi Milano 1935 brand, known for Italian heritage silverware.

Read the full article about Richemont’s acquisition of Vhernier.



People Moves: Marni, New Era, Gap, Clarks, Banana Republic and Henry Rose

Marni: Stefano Rosso, son of the president and founder of the Italian fashion group OTB, has been appointed CEO of Marni, a prominent label within the group. He succeeds Barbara Calò. Stefano, who has been with OTB since 2005, will continue his roles at Diesel, Maison Margiela, and BVX while leading Marni. The appointment aims to accelerate Marni’s growth and solidify its global positioning.

New Era: New Era, known for its headwear, appointed Dao-Yi Chow as vice president and creative director as it aims to expand into a lifestyle brand. Chow will lead the development of New Era’s first apparel line, “Brand New Era,” focusing on apparel, headwear, and accessories with a cultural perspective. He will oversee design, marketing, and merchandising and aims to launch the collection globally by the end of the year. Chow has experience in fashion and sportswear, including co-founding Public School and working with brands like Sean John and DKNY.

Gap: Gap appointed Fabiola Torres as its new global chief marketing officer. Torres previously held leadership positions at PepsiCo, Nike, and Apple, and will oversee marketing, creative, visual merchandising, store experience, and operations teams. Her experience includes leading marketing for PepsiCo’s energy drinks and Hispanic business unit.

Clarks: Jonathan Ram stepped down as the CEO of Clarks after two years in the position. A spokesperson for Clarks reported Ram’s reason as leaving for “other opportunities.” In the interim, Clarks’ chairman, Colin Li, and other directors will form an executive committee to lead the business until a new CEO is appointed. Ram, who joined Clarks in April 2022, previously held leadership roles at Hanesbrands Inc. and New Balance. His departure adds to a series of CEO changes at Clarks in recent years.

Crocs: Crocs Inc. appointed Susan Healy as its new chief financial officer, adding another female executive to its leadership team. Healy replaces Anne Mehlman, who was promoted to Crocs brand president. Healy brings extensive financial and operational experience from previous roles at companies like IAA, Ulta Beauty, Lands’ End, and Goldman Sachs.

Banana Republic: Sandra Stangl, CEO of Banana Republic, is stepping down after just over three years. The search for Stangl’s successor is underway, and Dickson, the president and CEO of Gap, will collaborate closely with the brand’s leadership team to advance fiscal goals. Gap Inc. is set to report its first-quarter earnings update on May 30.

Henry Rose: Henry Rose, the clean fragrance brand founded by Michelle Pfeiffer, appointed LVMH veteran Laure de Metz as its new CEO. De Metz brings over 20 years of experience in the prestige beauty industry, including roles at LVMH, Estée Lauder Companies, and YSL Parfums. In her new role, she will lead Henry Rose’s growth strategy, and expansion into new markets, and enhance awareness of the brand’s commitment to ingredient transparency.

Read the full article about Marni’s new CEO.

Read the new article about New Era’s creative director.

Read the full article about Gap’s new global CMO.

Read the full article about the departure of Clarks’ CEO.

Read the full article about Croc’s new CFO.

Read the full article about the departure of Banana Republic’s CEO.

Read the full article about Henry Rose’s new CEO.


Tech Industry News

tech and ai boom in asia


Business Moves: AWS, Zhipu AI, Fei-Fei Li and Zongmu

AWS Invests Another S$12b into its Singapore Cloud infrastructure

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced plans to invest another S$12 billion into its Singapore cloud infrastructure over the next four years, doubling its existing investment in the country. This follows its S$11.5 million investment last year. The intention is to meet the increasing demand for cloud services. AWS expects this investment to contribute significantly to the local economy, with an estimated S$23.7 billion added to the GDP by 2028 and support for an average of 12,300 full-time equivalent jobs annually in local businesses. The company also plans to collaborate with government agencies and enterprises like the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and health-tech agency Synapxe to promote AI adoption. AWS also aims to contribute to Singapore’s goal of tripling the local pool of AI practitioners through partnerships with educational institutions and training programmes.

Read the full article about Amazon’s investment in Singapore.


Zhipu AI, One of China’s “Four New AI Tigers”, is Set to Launch Sora Competitor by 2024

Emerging Chinese AI unicorn startup Zhipu AI is gearing up to release its own text-to-video service to rival OpenAI’s Sora, possibly launching as early as this year. The company, established by Tsinghua University computer science graduates, was among the pioneering Chinese firms to delve into large language models large language model (LLM) development. It’s recognised domestically as one of China’s “four new AI tigers,” alongside Moonshot AI, Baichuan, and MiniMax, and its GLM-4 ranked as one of the top two Chinese LLMs. Zhipu AI’s initiative comes amid a competitive landscape in China, with other local players like Shengshu Technology and Tsinghua University also developing a similar service named Vidu. The startup has received strong backing from venture capital firms and tech giants, such as Tencent Holdings, Meituan, Xiaomi and Alibaba Group Holding.

Read the full paid article about Zhipu AI.


Stanford ‘Godmother of AI’ to Launch Spatial Intelligence Startup

Renowned computer scientist Fei-Fei Li, a respected figure in the AI field, is reportedly launching a startup focused on advancing AI’s ability to reason by processing visual data in a human-like manner. The startup recently secured funding from investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Radical Ventures. Li’s vision involves algorithms capable of extrapolating and acting upon predictions in three-dimensional environments, a concept she calls “spatial intelligence.” Her work aims to teach computers to navigate and interact with the 3D world, with applications ranging from robotics to computer vision. Li’s move into the startup realm reflects a broader trend in the AI industry toward developing algorithms with common sense reasoning abilities, seen as a crucial step toward achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI).

Read the full article about Fei-Fei Li’s startup.


Chinese Startup Zongmu Explores Global Expansion for EV ‘Power Bank’

Shanghai-based autonomous driving startup Zongmu Technology announced plans to commercialise its electric vehicle (EV) charging robot, FlashBot, in China and expand globally. FlashBot, equipped with L4 autonomous driving capability and a 104 kWh capacity, offers mobile charging services like a power bank to address the gap in existing EV charging infrastructure. Zongmu plans to launch FlashBot in tier-one Chinese cities this year and is exploring expansion opportunities in Hong Kong, Europe, and North America.

Read the full paid article about Zongmu’s FlashBot and expansion plans.



AI Boom Expected to Drive Data Centre Deals in Asia

Global private equity investors and asset managers are gearing up for significant M&A and investments in data centres across APAC. This is driven the AI boom, which fuelled demand for digital infrastructure as countries and companies seek to expand their data capacity, leading to a flurry of deal-making activities in the region. APAC, including Japan, dominated global data centrE M&A this year, with M&A value exceeding US$840.47 million, more than half of the global total. Last year, the region witnessed a record-high of US$3.45 billion in data center deals, and this year is poised to surpass that figure with several large transactions in the pipeline. One notable deal in the works is the potential acquisition of AirTrunk by financial sponsors, including Blackstone, aiming to value the business at up to A$15 billion, which may become the largest such transaction in 2024. The surge in data center investments in Asia follows the footsteps of the US and Europe, with technology giants like Microsoft expanding their AI capabilities across the region.

Read the full article about the boom in data centre M&A.



Tesla Redeploys Top Executive Tom Zhu Back to China

Tesla is relocating executive Tom Zhu back to China, where he previously led the company’s APAC operations. This move reflects Tesla’s efforts to strengthen its presence in China, the world’s largest vehicle market. CEO Elon Musk’s recent visit to China resulted in government approval for deploying Tesla’s driver-assistance system. Tesla has undergone significant restructuring, including a global workforce reduction of over 10% due to a slowdown in EV sales, alongside the departure of several key executives.

Read the full article about Tesla’s executive reshuffle.



TikTok Tycoon Among Many Chinese Tech Titans Favouring Singapore as Home

Billionaire Zhang Yiming, founder of ByteDance that owns TikTok, is now residing in Singapore while retaining his Chinese citizenship. During much of 2022, the billionaire resided abroad, primarily using Singapore as his base. Zhang is among numerous corporate leaders who have moved to Singapore due to regulatory changes and pandemic-related restrictions. Notable figures with ties to the city-state include Alibaba’s CEO Eddie Wu and cryptocurrency pioneer Wu Jihan. ByteDance executives, including co-founder Liang Rubo, have also relocated to Singapore.

Read the full paid article about Chinese tech titans’ interest in Singapore.


Stay Ahead with JC Consulting’s Insights

Keep up to date with the latest market trends and career opportunities by reaching out to our consultants at JC Consulting. Our headhunter teams in Singapore and China specialise in executive search for various industries. Some of these include:

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