☕️ Red Hong Yi, local, world-renowned artist, created the latest issue of TIME Magazine's cover

Amazon to spend >USD1 bil producing Lord of The Rings TV series. SpaceX won NASA contract to send humans back to the Moon as early as 2024. Dinosaur T-rex population: 2.5 billion.

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**Testing a new section - For Your Viewing Pleasure**

1. MARKET SUMMARY


2. NUMBERS AT A GLANCE

1,684 — the number of motor vehicle accident deaths involving food delivery riders between March to December 2020. The government is mulling to regulate p-hailing services.

USD13.8 billion has been poured by investors into just 56 AI startups in first four months of 2021. AI adoption by companies has been supercharged by Covid-19. Investors are expecting a few of these to be the next trillion-dollar companies.

USD1.243 trillion - 440 banking and finance firms have already or will be moving out of the United Kingdom follow Brexit, taking >USD1 tril in assets with them to the European Union.

USD24.7 billion — Biden’s administration is upping the budget to NASA by 6.3%, about USD2.3 bil is earmarked to go directly towards understanding and alleviating climate change. Majority of the budget (USD6.9 bil) will go to the Artemis program, to land astronauts on the moon again.


3. COVID-19 SUMMARY

As of April 17 2021, 40 of Malaysia's healthcare workers were infected by Covid-19 after completion of their vaccination but showed less severe symptoms. However, the infection rate among healthcare workers after vaccination is 10x lower than before. Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham reiterated that “no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

Meanwhile, Kelantan recorded the highest R-nought (R0) in the country at 1.32 compared to national R0 of 1.19. Seven districts in the state has been placed under MCO from April 16 until April 29 2021.


4. IN MALAYSIA 🇲🇾

  1. Sime Darby Plantations Bhd (SDP)’s quest to reduce dependence on manpower to harvest oil palm’s fresh fruit bunches will be contingent on the advancements in robotics to develop a practical machine for harvesting, with the group hopes would be ready to be deployed within the next five years. SDP is too exploring the use of drones to spray pesticides and fertilise the crops.

  2. The US Department of Treasury has placed Malaysia in the monitoring list of US’s major trading partners that merit close attention to their currency practices. Janet Yellen, the US Secretary of Treasury made the following statement “Treasury is working tirelessly to address efforts by foreign economies to artificially manipulate their currency values that put American workers at an unfair disadvantage”.

    Finding it ironic when they have been manipulating US dollars to their advantage all these while.

  3. Local artist Red Hong Yi’s installation work has made the cover of the latest issue of TIME Magazine on global climate change. The art work was a world map made entirely of 50,000 green-tipped matchsticks and it was subsequently set on fire. Watch the animated cover below.

    (In a related but not related news, TIME Magazine announced last week it will hold Bitcoin on its balance sheet. Thank you)

    A post shared by @redhongyi
  4. A durian trade “kena pancing” and lost RM178k after joining a non-existent investment introduced by a woman he met on social media. The victim initially made a deposit of RM500 and was subsequently given RM807 several days later. First trait of a scam — too good to be true, no investments can go up 60% in a few days unless it’s Dogecoin! (It’s also a joke and not an investment advice, please invest in cryptocurrencies at your own risk).

    The victim sensing good money to be made from the “investment”, he subsequently topped up his investment and receive messages from unknown numbers that the investment reaped RM218k in profits. He could not withdraw the profits due to a technical error and was then asked to pay up 50% of the profits.

  5. Tropicana Corp Bhd lost approximately RM2.6 million in its investment into Top Glove Corp Bhd according to the company’s filing. The property developer disposed 1.85 million at only RM5.395 which it had bought at an average of RM6.805 per share.


5. AROUND THE WORLD 🌎

  1. After the last human walked on the moon in Dec 1972, NASA plans to send humans there again for the first time in more than 50 years and has awarded an exclusive contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX worth USD2.9 bil. Through NASA’s Artemis programme that aims to establish a permanent presence on the moon, it will rely on SpaceX’s Starship as its lunar lander to send 2 astronauts to the moon as early as 2024. SpaceX beat out 2 other competitors - Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics, which according to NASA’s selection statement, SpaceX’s bid was much lower than its competitors. 

  2. Clubhouse, the social audio app, reportedly has raised a fresh round of funding led by Andressen Horowitz. New backers include Tiger Global and DST Global. No funding amount was disclosed but the valuation is said to be USD4 bil. In January, Clubhouse raised a round at a USD1 bil valuation. Launched in Mar 2020, the app now has more than 10 mil users, according to the company. Other social network giants including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin have started replicating Clubhouse’s features. Earlier of the month, it was reported that Twitter made a USD4 bil buyout for Clubhouse. 

  3. Amazon is confirmed to produce the largest and most expensive TV series. It will spend USD465 mil to produce the first season of ‘The Lord of The Rings’, which it acquired the TV rights for USD250 mil in 2017 from J.R.R Tolkien Estate and Trust. There potentially will be 5 seasons and it was previously reported that Amazon is allocating more than USD1 bil for the production of the entire series. For comparison, each season of ‘Game of Thrones’ cost about USD100 mil, 4x less than what the first season of Amazon’s LOTR would cost. 

    The series will be set thousands of years before the storyline seen in ‘The Hobbit’ and LOTR novels and films. The production has commenced though an official date has yet to be announced. More details on Amazon’s LOTR series here (ie. cast)

  4. Leaked internal memo shows TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, looking to grow its advertising sales in China by 42% and tripling its e-commerce business this year. It’s seeking to increase ad revenue from its news reader app, Toutiao, and video app, Douyin, in China from RMB183 bil (USD28 bil) to USD260 bil (USD39.8 bil) and grow its e-commerce GMV from RMB170 bil (USD26 bil) in 2020 to RMB600 bil (USD91.9 bil). Its target excludes its sister app, TikTok. For 2020, its overall revenue doubled to USD35 bil from the year before and has started preparations for IPO. Its most recent private valuation valued it at USD250 bil, making its 38-year old founder Zhang Yiming amongst the world's richest people.

  5. A study published in the journal Science estimated that there were 2.5 billion Tyrannosaurus rex (T-rex) that walked the earth during the Cretaceous Period for about 2.5 mil years, between 66 and 68 million years ago. Yes, billion. Based on every T-rex fossil ever found, the study authors determined that the apex predator lived in North America (888,000 square miles) and nowhere else on Earth and in other continents and there were approximately 127,000 generations of T-rex, based on its average lifespan. 2.5 bil is a large number of T-rex to have existed. Read the methodology here on how the study arrived on this figure. 

  6. How much does Apple pay when you stream a song? USD0.01 according to Apple Music’s letter to artists. As for Spotify, it pays ⅓ to ½ of USD0.01 per stream, however, Spotify’s larger user base generates a lot more streams. Apple last reported  Music subscribers in June 2019 of more than 60 mil, Spotify with 155 mil paying subscribers of 345 mil active users, and Amazon with 55 mil subscribers

    Artists aren’t paid directly by the music streaming platforms, instead, the payment goes to the rights holders including labels, publishers and other distributors which in turn pay artists. Both Apple and Spotify said that they are near the 1,000 streams-per-listener monthly benchmark that is considered a success.


6. FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE 👁👁 (Beta Mode)

  1. Meet the pimp-up Alphard - Lexus LM 350. Price tag: RM1.148 mil (on-the-road, without insurance)

  2. Scannable QR code ads created by drones in Shanghai

  3. The real meaning of SOP in Malaysia

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