Book Notes: ‘The Master Switch,’ by Tim Wu

From time to time I share notes about the books I’ve been reading, or have revisited recently after many years. These posts are meant to help me remember what I’ve learned, and to point out titles I think are worth consulting. They’re neither formal book reviews nor comprehensive book summaries, but simply my notes from […]

App Traps: How Cheap Smartphones Siphon User Data in Developing Countries

That’s the headline of a story out Thurs. and in Friday’s paper that I wrote with my colleagues Josh Chin, Myo Myo, and Kersten Zhang. It begins: For millions of people buying inexpensive smartphones in developing countries where privacy protections are usually low, the convenience of on-the-go internet access could come with a hidden cost: […]

Hot on the Wheels of Grab, Go-Jek Rides Further Into Southeast Asia

That’s the headline of a story out Thurs. that I wrote with my colleage P.R. Venkat. It begins: Motorcycle-taxi service PT Go-Jek Indonesia will invest $500 million to expand its operations in Southeast Asia, revving up competition in a fast-growing consumer market just two months after Uber Technologies Inc. reached a landmark deal to exit […]

Think American Elections Are Bad? Indian Voters Get 1,000 Texts a Day

That’s the headline of my most recent story, out yesterday, which I wrote with a few colleagues. It begins: For Gurupad Kolli, a 40-year-old lawyer who lives in a remote Indian village, the torrent of WhatsApp messages surging to his phone a few weeks ago meant one thing: election day was near. They’re at turns […]

Walmart Bets $15 Billion on an E-Commerce Passage to India

That’s the headline of a story just out today with my colleagues Eric Bellman and Corinne Abrams: It begins: NEW DELHI—The famously frugal and focused Walmart Inc. is betting $15 billion on a much different kind of company: a sprawling Indian e-commerce startup that has burned through mountains of cash to try to conquer the […]

Walmart Looks to Scale Back in U.K. and Brazil, With an Eye on India

That’s the headline of a story just out with my colleagues Sarah Nassauer and Luciana Magalhães: It begins: The world’s biggest retailer has concluded it can’t take on the whole world by itself. Walmart Inc. is in discussions to give up control over hundreds of stores in the U.K. and Brazil, two big markets where […]

Cryptocurrency Mania Comes to the Premier League?

File under: Life in 2018, cryptocurrency edition: My favorite Premier League team, Arsenal, now shows ads at its grounds for Cashbet Coin, which bills itself as the club’s “official cryptocurrency partner.” I did a little digging. Apparently I missed this Reuters story from January: English soccer team Arsenal is entering the cryptocurrency world by signing […]

Alibaba Bets Another $2 Billion on Southeast Asia

That’s the headline of a story I wrote with my colleague Liza Liz, which ran on Monday. It begins: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Executive Chairman Jack Ma is doubling down on Southeast Asia, investing another $2 billion in e-commerce subsidiary Lazada Group and naming trusted confidante Lucy Peng as its chief executive. The investment announced […]