Asia has been a major breeding ground for creative disruptions, with the rise of mobile devices, e-commerce companies, and other innovative technologies revolutionising consumer behavior. Arnout van Rijn, Chief Investment Officer, Robeco Asia Pacific; Bin Shi, Managing Director, China Equities, UBS Asset Management; and Vinay Agarwal, Director, Portfolio Manager, First State Stewart Asia shared where they are finding opportunities, challenges they face, and their outlook for the asset class.
The panel moderator, Germaine Share, Morningstar’s senior manager research analyst, wrapped up the discussion in the following video.
Germaine Share: Hi. I just hosted an Asian equities panel on the theme of creative disruption. We kicked off our conversation with e-commerce and how it has been cannibalizing the market share from traditional retailers.
We have our china portfolio manager from UBS, Bin Shi, comment on how… the reason why e-commerce was so successful in China, is because the offline stores charged premium when selling goods because they need to pay rent whereas with online store, they didn’t have that cost. Then he further made the observation that going forward he believes it doesn’t matter whether you shop online or offline, the winner will be the channel that offers the lowest price.
We then moved on to talk about mobile gaming. I thought Arnout made a very good observation here. He owns SONY in his portfolio, which has a significant console gaming business and he was saying that, you know, this gaming business is losing market share to mobile gaming, and even though SONY is doing all these things with virtual reality, he thinks it’s going to be appealing to a small part of the market going forward.
Vinay wrapped up the discussion with a really great example on how disruption is already taking place in certain industries. And he quoted agriculture. So farming used to be a very labor intensive industry, but now, you know, with machines replacing farmers, farmers are kind of forced out of jobs and has to look for other work. So I think these are the key highlights from my panel.
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