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A PreReview of 2016 in Global Business and Technology

By January 4, 2016Article

Editor’s note: Amberoon’s annual “Year in PreReview” articles for SandHill are a spoof on technology predictions. 

“Star Trek Beyond,” released in July 2016, grossed a record $600 million at the box office with $450 million from international markets. This is on the heels of the 2015 hit, “Terminator Genisys,” which grossed $400 million with more than $300 million from outside the United States. Global consumers are no longer a hypothetical construct of analysts and futurists. They are a reality of the marketplace. In our PreReview of 2016, we look at global scenarios of the future in business and technology.  

Companies with a global strategy fared better in 2016 than those that did not. Here are some of the headlines from 2016 about players in some of the oldest industries such as automotive, banking and retail. 

Apple acquires Tata Motors to build self-driven cars 

Apple acquired Tata Motors for $30 billion in December 2016 to bolster its entry into the automotive market. Tata Motors brings with it key automotive brands such as Jaguar, Land Rover and Daewoo. Tata Motors will be a part of Apple Motors, a subsidiary of Apple led by Elon Musk, who took over as president of the company following Apple’s acquisition of Tesla earlier in the year. 

Apple has ambitions to be an automotive leader and is using its tremendous resources to acquire knowledge of the industry on a global scale. Apple has reportedly paid huge product placement fees for the next Bond movie, code-named “Bond 25,” scheduled for release in July 2017. It will feature a self-driven Jaguar in a car chase in Shanghai run by Apple algorithms and drone pilots working weaponry while Jane Bond, played by Emily Blunt, drinks a shaken martini. 

“We all know that IC engines are going the way of horses and buggies,” said Elon Musk, president of Apple Motors. “We are currently testing our predictive algorithms during rush-hour traffic in Mumbai, Seoul and Beijing. If self-driven electric cars can work there, they can work anywhere in the world.” 

FASB endorses Blockchain 

Distributed ledger technologies that are based on Blockchain gained legitimacy in 2016 with an endorsement by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which is responsible for generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). A key aspect of the endorsement is that Blockchain can be used to implement triple-entry accounting, resulting in less risk in the financial system and lower capital requirements to manage that risk. 

Following the FASB endorsement, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank, the two largest banks in the world, announced technology initiatives to implement distributed–ledger technology in 2017. HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole and Wells Fargo are each expected to announce their initiatives in the next 12 months. Earlier in the year, the Institute of International Finance confirmed that 2015 was the first year since 1988 that there was a net outflow of capital from emerging markets. 

A leading technology player in this space is Digital Asset Holdings, a technology company that uses distributed ledgers to track and settle both digital and mainstream financial assets in a cryptographically secure environment. Last year, Digital Asset Holdings appointed Blythe Masters, a former executive of JPMorgan Chase, as its CEO. 

“Distributed ledgers are a technology innovation that addresses a need for financial institutions to reduce costs and minimize regulatory requirements with increased transparency,” said Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Holdings. “We expect them to become the norm in global banking in 10 years.” 

“Singles Day” beats Valentine’s Day 

November 11, 2016, marked the twenty-fourth celebration of ‘Singles Day” in China with a record of $21 billion in e-commerce sales by Alibaba in a 24-hour period, just surpassing Valentine’s Day in the US with revenues of $20 billion. Alibaba, whose transaction values exceeded eBay and Amazon combined, is also the Chinese mobile commerce leader with 50 percent market share of the $500 billion in transactions done on smartphones and mobile devices in 2016. 

Alipay, a payment system affiliated with Alibaba, had 500 million registered users in China who bought $250 billion of stuff on their phones in 2016. Alipay will establish a foothold in North America with its acquisition of Square in October 2016 adding two million US merchants that generate $30 billion of transactions on the Square platform. The $6 billion deal, which is expected to close in December, will make Alipay a key player in US e-commerce. 

“Singles Day revenues in 2017, the Year of the Rooster, will exceed $30 billion with American millennials buying gifts on their Meizu phones,” predicted Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba. “Singles Day is now a global event. In five years, more Americans will celebrate Singles Day than Valentine’s Day.” 

Click here to read Amberoon’s 2015 Year in PreReview in technology.

Click here to read Amberoon’s 2014 Year in PreReview for predictions in big data and analytics. 

Shirish Netke is president and CEO of Amberoon Inc., a provider of data-driven business perspective solutions. Carpe Datum Rx is a thought-leadership forum led by Amberoon. Shirish has led companies in the area of software, services and electronic entertainment He was one of the first evangelists for Java when it was launched by Sun Microsystems and has been quoted as an industry thought leader in the New York Times, Investors Business Daily, Chief Executive Magazine and Asia Times. Follow him on Twitter










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