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Professor of Innovation at IE Business School and blogger at enriquedans.com
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The Chinese government’s recent sanctions on several of its flagship companies, among them Tencent, Alibaba or DiDi, which is even considering delisting after its recent IPO in New York and going private, reflect unprecedented regulatory tensions related to Chinese companies; foreign players have long been strictly regulated.

Apparently, the Chinese government’s crackdown has to do with evidence that these companies, along with some others such as those operating in the education sector, were behaving in an “excessively capitalistic” manner, focused on acquiring monopolistic positions in their industries, or with evidence of developments that seemed to undermine universal access to services…


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The IPO of U.S. online broker Robinhood raised $2.1 billion, but has been ranked as one of the worst in history: shares opened trading at the same price as the IPO and then fell 8.4%, reflecting market concerns about its business model.

Robinhood has undoubtedly disrupted the market. Its easy-to-use app allowed anyone to buy and sell shares without commissions, which on occasion has created unprecedented instability while driving the development of so-called meme stocks.

In general, removing entry barriers is a common source of innovation and disruption, which is no bad thing. The problem is what you do with…


IMAGE: Mohamed Hassan — Pixabay (CC0)

The end of lockdown around the world is prompting a much-needed debate: the possibility, taking advantage of the experience developed over the last year, to improve the working conditions of many people, once and for all.

It’s long been known that large numbers of us do work in offices that we could carry out from anywhere. A study by the European Commission shows that 37% of jobs among EU member states could be carried out remotely, ranging from 27% in Romania to 54% in Luxembourg and 34% in Spain. However, the automatic response by a huge number of companies has…


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One of the defining characteristics of technology is its ability to quickly eliminate barriers to entry. We’re becoming increasingly used to what was once cutting-edge technology, only available to users or institutions with highly specialized means, being made available to practically anyone in an astonishingly short period of time.

Just a few decades ago, a computer was an expensive asset whose use required extensive training. Now, the vast majority of the world’s population carry one in their pockets, infinitely more powerful, and use it around the clock with no specialist knowledge.

When social networks first appeared, a small number of…


Google is telling anybody who will listen that the APIs and functionalities built into its Google Cloud platform will remain stable over time and will not fall victim to arbitrary decisions by the company, a fiction designed to avoid discussion of the company’s longstanding disregard for its users, which has led it, over the years, to ruthlessly eliminate countless services that had large user bases.

Google’s infamous Spring Cleanings have long spread alarm among users, who feared seeing a product they had often invested time and effort disappear with little explanation. Over the years, Google has accumulated more than two…


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Beijing has decided overnight to force its education and edtech industry, a fast-growing sector worth more than $100 billion, to become non-profit companies with no foreign investment, forbidding them from raising capital or entering foreign markets.

The decision, like so many others, has wreaked havoc on the valuation of these companies, with investment funds and investors from all over the world losing huge amounts of money, and in a country with no recourse to law.

What has provoked the Chinese Communist Party’s decision? The Minister of Education, in a statement on the new regulatory framework, limited himself to vagaries along…


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On July 20, Elon Musk announced to a Tesla owner who had tweeted about the car-maker’s pioneering Supercharger that his company planned to open its network of charging stations to vehicles of other brands at some point in 2021, and to do so progressively around the world.

Goldman Sachs says this decision could earn Tesla around $25 billion a year in the future, a sum that reflects the enormous investment made by the company in developing its networks of Superchargers, as well as to make rapid charging the industry standard, along with the effort to strategically position them around the…


Efforts to regulate the world’s technology giants are revealing the enormous differences between Beijing and Washington’s respective approaches. Both positions are very clear: there is a need for more regulation to avoid monopoly abuses, and in both cases guidelines have been set to strengthen this framework.

There, the similarities end. In the United States, the Biden administration has dedicated itself to placing intellectuals, experts and academics in antitrust legislation in strategic posts, prompting Amazon and Facebook to demand their recusal — it seems that a professional life dedicated to the rigorous study of a given subject merely means bias —…


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An article in TechCrunch by Denis Mars, formerly director of admissions at the Y Combinator seed money start-up accelerator, “Moving fast and breaking things cost us our privacy and security”, refers to Facebook’s motto and blames the company created by Mark Zuckerberg for the disaster that is social networks today.

While I broadly agree with Mars and his critique of the growth-at-all-costs mindset that characterizes Facebook, I have one main caveat: a company should approach innovation as a blank page, pursuing research and development even if it seemingly defies convention. That said, this should only apply to the research and…


IMAGE: Sally Wynn — Pixabay (CC0)

New research by the Reuters Institute and Oxford University looks at the effect of tools such as aggregators, search engines and social networks on people’s information diet, concluding that their use tends, in general, to generate more diverse sources than when we simply visit our preferred media pages.

A conclusion that, in principle, would challenge Eli Pariser’s well-known theories regarding the so-called “filter bubble”, defined as “the state of intellectual isolation that can result from personalized searches when a website’s algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information it has about them, such as…

Enrique Dans

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