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August 3, 2020
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Kliuless #36: The Tech Cold War

by Kenneth Liu on 05/24/19 10:12:00 am   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Kliuless? Gaming Industry ICYMI #36

Hi, my name is Kenny Liu, and I work in Revenue Strategy at Riot Games. Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share broadly within Riot. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.

See more or subscribe at:

The Tech Cold War

  • Stratechery: China, Leverage, and Values
    • Related: Google suspends some business with Huawei after Trump blacklist
    • Related: Huawei leads EU's smartphone market, and was en route to become largest manufacturer by year's end 
  • "The truth is that the U.S. China relationship has been extremely one-sided for a very long time now: China buys the hardware it needs, and keeps all of the software opportunities for itself — and, of course, pursues software opportunities abroad. At the same time, U.S. acquiescence to this state of affairs has denied China the necessary motivation to actually make the investments necessary to replace U.S. hardware completely, leading to this specific moment in time
  • To that end, and leaving aside broader questions about the Trump administration’s approach to trade with China, when it comes to a 'tech cold war' I think the U.S. has the most leverage it ever will have: the U.S. advantage in advanced components, particularly processors and their fabrication, is massive, and will only grow if the U.S. is able to gain the support of countries like South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Yes, China will spend whatever is necessary to catch up, but it will take a lot of time"
  • "This is the true war when it comes to technology: censorship versus openness, control versus creativity, and centralization versus competition. These are, of course, connected: China’s censorship is about control facilitated by centralization. That, though, should not only give Western tech companies and investors pause about China generally, but should also lead to serious introspection about the appropriate policies towards our own tech industry. Openness, creativity, and competition are just as related as their counterparts, and infringement on any one of them should be taken as a threat to all three"

Strategic Advisory

  • The Peculiar Blindness of Experts: Why Is It So Hard to Predict the Future?
  • Valve lets players avoid toxic people in Dota 2, charges for the privilege
  • Mario Kart Tour beta hands-on: Microtransactions land like a nasty blue shell
  • Nintendo to halt service of two mobile games in Belgium amid loot box debacle

PC / Console

  • Valve making its own version of popular Dota 2 mod
  • Backwards compatibility and streaming key to Sony's next-gen strategy
    • Related: Sony CEO says consoles a 'niche market' within games industry


  • Activision gives Call of Duty: Mobile the battle royale treatment
  • Samsung reportedly solves Galaxy Fold problems  
  • Testing first Samsung 5G phones on Verizon's mmWave 5G network
    • One can get up to 1 GB/s, but only if in right place with clear line of site to very close base station as this limitation is inherent to high frequencies used for these speeds


  • China's NetEase to launch first official Pokemon game in China
    • Related: Marvel & NetEase will collaborate on new original entertainment
  • Chinese facial recognition company Megvii raised $750mm

Tech / Entertainment

  • Sony Interactive Launches Unit to Adapt Games for Film, TV
  • Streaming Service Quibi Seeks Up to $1 Billion in New Funding
  • 'Translatotron': Google can now do language-to-language translation of speech all at once instead of transcribing to text, translating the text and then generating new speech from that text


  • Minecraft has sold 176 million copies worldwide
  • Tencent acquires Swedish game studio Sharkmob
  • Google is launching YouTube on the Oculus Quest
  • Firewatch publisher unveils Playdate gaming handheld
  • Complexity Gaming opens fancy esports headquarters in Texas
  • How Spiderman came into being
  • Inside Google's Civil War  
  • Interview with Joseph Tsai, co-founder of Alibaba
  • HBR: What Good Feedback Really Looks Like

See more or subscribe at:

Twitter: @kliuless
LinkedIn: @kliuless

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