📨 Newley’s Notes 96: Amazon Buys Whole Foods (!), Tech News from HK, Rise of Cold Brew Coffee

2017 06 18wood

Edition 96 of my email newsletter, Newley’s Notes, went out on Saturday.

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Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest issue of Newley’s Notes, a newsletter in which I share my Wall Street Journal stories and other writings, along with links about technology, business and life.

Apologies for not sending NN last week. I was in Hong Kong covering our WSJ D.Live Asia 2017 conference, a gathering of tech luminaries (and humble reporters) from across Asia. More on that below.

Meanwhile, the weather here in Delhi – normally sweltering this time of year – has taken an unexpectedly pleasant turn, with temps dropping and air pollution clearing up. Fingers crossed it lasts. It’s a nice break.

📝 What I Wrote in The WSJ

Use of H1B Visas Fell Before Donald Trump’s Critiques of Program – a story with my colleague Laura Meckler.

Samsung Plans Fresh India Investment as It Looks to Upset Apple’s Cart – a story with my colleague Tim Martin on how the world’s biggest smartphone maker is shelling out $760 million to double its production capacity here, where it’s battling Apple.

– From D.Live Asia, I wrote about how Indonesian motorbike hailing startup Go-Jek claims it’s beating its rivals there, and how Singapore-based startup Grab is fighting for riders across Southeast Asia. Here are more of our stories from the conference.

📲 5 Must-Reads in Tech

1. Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The blockbuster deal, as my WSJ colleagues wrote yesterday, transforms Amazon into “a major player in the bricks-and-mortar retail sector it has spent years upending.” They write (all emphasis mine):

The acquisition, Amazon’s largest by far, gives it a network of more than 460 stores that could serve as beachheads for in-store pickup and its distribution network. It would make Amazon an overnight heavyweight in the all-important grocery business, a major spending segment in which it has struggled to gain a foothold because consumers still largely prefer to shop for food in stores.

For more, here’s Brad Stone, author of the excellent book “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon”:

In a sense, the surprising deal is preordained by his mission to construct the everything store: A company that delivers everything to everyone, at the best possible price and within the shortest amount of time.


Grocery is an $800 billion market in the U.S., still largely untouched by the internet and resistant to change. Whole Foods itself has a well-established brand and high-income demographic that maps well to Amazon’s own customer base, and in particular its Amazon Prime subscription service, with an estimated 80 million members.

2. Walmart’s acquiring Bonobos for $310 million. The purchase of the menswear site shows how the retailer’s pushing into fashion.

3. A woman who was raped by an Uber driver here in India sued the company’s top execs in the U.S. She says they violated her privacy by disclosing her medical records, as a WSJ colleague reported. And if you missed it earlier: Founder Travis Kalanick is taking a leave of absence after a string of scandals.

4. The iPhone’s origin story. Ten years after the device was unveiled, Motherboard’s Brian Merchant has a new book out called “The One Device.” Here’s an excerpt.

5. Why cold-brew coffee is taking over the world. Okay, not exactly a high tech story, but one about tech(nique), coffee brewing, and business.

💫 1 Fun Thing

1. TuneFind.com. Wondering what that cool song was on that TV show or movie you just saw? This site provides the answer.

What’d I miss? Just hit reply to send me links, rants, raves, juicy news scoops and anything else.
Thanks for reading.



Published by Newley

Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal, based in New Delhi. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I read, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. Join the growing group of readers who get my weekly email newsletter.

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