Newley's Notes

NN220: New Hong Kong Protests; Service Dog Cuddles Donald Duck

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Sent as an email newsletter Sunday, May 24.

👋 Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

A Deeper Look at Mukesh Ambani’s Digital Vision

🇮🇳 I’ve mentioned in previous editions of NN India’s Jio Platforms, the upstart mobile operator and digital services firm controlled by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani.

To recap: Jio has raised a ton of money recently from the likes of Facebook and other big American investors keen to get a piece of business in the world’s biggest untapped internet economy.

🆕 On Wednesday I had a story out with a deeper look at Mr. Ambani’s vision, and why companies are plowing funds into Jio. The hedline: Inside Facebook and Private Equity’s $8.8 Billion Bet on India’s Richest Man.

Click through for details on how talks with Facebook came out, which executives were involved, and how Mr. Ambani has privately described his vision for Jio.

🎧 I joined my colleague Kateri Jochum to discuss the story on an episode of The WSJ’s Tech News Briefing podcast, which you can listen to here or in your favorite podcast app.

Oh, and an addendum: on Friday Jio said it is raising yet more money – a cool $1.5 billion – from U.S. private equity heavyweight KKR. That brings the total to more than $10 billion…

On to this week’s NN.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

🇭🇰 1) China on Thursday indicated it will implement new national security laws here in Hong Kong, which in a story my colleagues describe as “a blow to the territory’s autonomy as Beijing seeks to stamp out widespread pro-democracy protests that have challenged leader Xi Jinping.”

Some U.S. senators have pledged new rules that would target Chinese officials with sanctions. Beijing on Friday said it plans to allow mainland state security agencies to operate in HK. Markets in HK have fallen. And today there were fresh protests. LINK 1: new laws. LINK 2: security agencies. LINK 3: markets. LINK 4: fresh protests

🇨🇳 2) Francis Fukuyama, in an essay out last week about China, writes: “The starting point is to recognize that we are dealing with an aspiring totalitarian country like the mid–20th century Soviet Union, and not with some kind of generic ‘authoritarian capitalist’ regime.” LINK

🎥 3) Facebook acquired Giphy, the platform for making animated images, and will integrate the service into Instagram. Axios put the price at about $400 million. LINK

🎙️ 4) Big news in the world of podcasting: comedian Joe Rogan, whose podcast is one of the world’s most popular, is joining Spotify in an exclusive deal, meaning his episodes eventually will be available only on their service. LINK

🍳 5) Here’s an in-depth look at the cookbook author Alison Roman, her remarks about Marie Kondo and Chrissy Teigen, whiteness, and the popularization of “exotic” ingredients. LINK

🏃‍♂️ 6) Another good longread: On the legacy of Jim Fixx, who authored a mammoth 1977 bestseller that helped popularize recreational running – but who also battled inner demons before famously dying while out for a jog. LINK

🧠 7) How a graduate student solved a decades-old math problem in less than a week, helping gain a tenure track job offer at MIT just over a year after earning her doctorate. LINK

☕ 8) Twitter thread of funny images: “Angela Lansbury as teapots.” LINK

📺 9) If you enjoyed the Bookcase Credibility Twitter account, you may also like @RateMySkypeRoom. LINK

🦆 10) Dog-related video of the week: A service dog meets Donald Duck.

💡 Quote of the week:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself or finding anything, life is about creating yourself.” – Bob Dylan

What’s new with you? Hit reply to send me tips, queries, random comments, and videos of good boys snuggling Disney characters.

👊 Fist bump from Hong Kong,


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