Welcome to Next, a weekly newsletter highlighting our unique news and research on how technology is reshaping the future of industries across global markets. As part of our expanded cross-sector tech coverage, we will curate some of our best insights and features on topics such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, cybersecurity, 5G, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, clean energy, telehealth and financial technology.
The impact of the new coronavirus lingers on, taking a particular toll on the consumer electronics business in China. Retail stores are seeing less foot traffic and supply chains and production have suffered setbacks. In other industries, drugmakers are up against the clock to finish coronavirus treatments, and they face tough decisions about how to prioritize resources. While a vaccine is needed, companies may not rush into development due to operational and financial risks. Focusing on a coronavirus treatment would require manufacturers to stop making established vaccines for polio, measles and hepatitis.
Beyond the virus, the financial services industry faced a devastating ransomware attack after a cybercrime gang calling itself "Sodinokibi" threatened to sell Travelex customers' data on the dark web. Experts warned that potentially worse cyberthreats may still be stalking the industry.
Chart of the Week
Tech plants reopen in China, but coronavirus impact lingers
Manufacturers of smartphone and computer components such as Hon Hai Precision Industry, known as Foxconn, and LG Electronics shut factories in China as the government extended the Lunar New Year holiday to help stop the spread of a new coronavirus. Companies such as Apple and Samsung closed stores in the country as the population remained indoors to prevent contagion.
Tech, Media and Telecom
Netflix streaming speeds slow in January; Optimum falls in US provider ranking
Prime-time Netflix streaming speeds slowed slightly at many of the top U.S. internet services providers from December 2019 to January 2020, though most registered faster speeds than in November 2019, according to Netflix's latest monthly speed index.
Fresh cyberthreats stalk financial services industry following Travelex fiasco
According to experts, some financial services companies are leaving the door open for hackers by failing to apply available updates to their security software — a mistake that appears to have played a role in the Travelex attack and could lead to similar attacks in the future.
Federal officials urge state regulators to prepare for cyberattacks
Speaking at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Winter Policy Summit, several government officials explained programs and actions taken by the federal government to fight cyberattacks, offering recommendations to regulators to implement in their home states.
First in Human: Drugmakers up against clock to finish coronavirus treatments
Pharmaceutical companies searching for a treatment or vaccine to address the new coronavirus spreading across the world are up against an immense hurdle: time. From the beginning of research through obtaining a license for a product from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, drug development typically takes 10 to 15 years and costs about a billion dollars.
Gates backs UK charity's £100M drive to use smartwatches to spot Alzheimer's
A project backed by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates aims to raise £100 million and recruit 1 million people in the next decade to wear smartwatches programmed to detect early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Ex-RBS exec: Nordic real-time payment system launch must not repeat UK mistakes
Nordic banks should brace for a spike in fraud attempts as they work to release a new real-time payment system, according to Andrew Barnett, Nordea Bank Abp's head of fraud management and former head of retail fraud prevention at Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
Renewables to catch coal, pass nukes in 2021 in latest US EIA power mix forecast
Renewable energy will catch up to coal-fired electricity and surpass nuclear as a share of America's utility-scale power mix in 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest short-term energy outlook.
Dominion to cut coal, add renewables to hit net-zero emissions target
Dominion Energy set a new target of achieving net-zero carbon dioxide and methane emissions by 2050 for both its power generation and natural gas operations.
Alibaba's luxury platform not threatened by Amazon's ambitions, executive says
Christina Fontana, Alibaba's head of fashion and luxury for Tmall since April 2019, expects that more brands will join the Luxury Pavilion section of Alibaba's Tmall e-commerce platform, thanks to growing internet usage and increased spending power among Chinese consumers. Fontana said Alibaba is not concerned with competition from Amazon and Google, which do not have e-commerce platforms in China, despite Amazon's ambitions to launch its own luxury e-commerce play.
Alibaba warns coronavirus outbreak to dent Q4'20 earnings
Alibaba Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang said during a post-earnings call that merchants on its platforms have not returned to normal operations in the two weeks after the Lunar New Year. Alibaba's online food delivery business, Ele.me, saw a noticeable year-over-year decline in activity because many restaurants remain closed. Demand for its online grocery services has increased sharply, but delivery challenges have hampered fulfilling orders, Zhang said.
Console gaming revenue ends 2019 in the red
Kagan estimates that worldwide console gaming revenue fell 14.0% year over year to $15.78 billion in the three months ended Dec. 31, 2019, as both hardware and software revenues trended downward.
Q4'19 Apple review: iPhone returns to growth; record numbers for Watch, AirPods
Year-on-year shipment growth for the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods was the highlight of Apple's 2019 fourth quarter, overcoming slight decreases in shipments of iPads and the Apple TV streaming device. Total unit shipments of all Apple connected products hit an estimated 130 million, marking 18% year-on-year growth, according to Kagan.
Plaid deal aligns Visa with global fintech trends
Visa's recent purchase of Plaid for $5.3 billion will align the major payment network's business with emerging global financial technology trends. The acquisition positions Visa to benefit from the growing popularity of open banking data-sharing frameworks as well as to adapt it to the rise of digital payment options in various regions across the globe. Meanwhile, Visa's international presence should enable Plaid to more smoothly expand its services outside the U.S.
Pharma Investing Breakfast Briefing: 2020 Vision
Feb. 27, 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. ET
New York, NY
Register today to hear from a panel featuring big pharma deal makers and venture professionals who will discuss big picture trends, deal pipeline, the investment climate, digital health and more.
Want to hear more?
Click here to listen to the latest episode of MediaTalk, an S&P Global Market Intelligence podcast, focused on the political advertising trends that could shape the 2020 campaign.