Parched river bed along the Yangtze River in China's southwestern Chongqing.
Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

The supply chain is melting

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Good morning! The crushing heat in China is having an impact on the supply chain. This may be the wakeup call many companies need to better prepare for the climate shocks that are yet to come.

The global effects of China’s heatwave

A lot of researchers look at how the climate crisis affects worker productivity. But it’s devastating to the supply chain, too, Protocol Climate editor Brian Kahn writes.

High temperatures in China are forcing factories to cut power. To put things in perspective, the nighttime low in one city was 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Ninety-five degrees! At night!

  • As a result, factories located in extremely hot provinces are shutting down. Toyota and Contemporary Amperex Technology, for example, suspended operations in Sichuan to save power. Contemporary Amperex Technology is the world’s biggest battery maker.
  • Others, including Tesla and China's largest automaker, SAIC Motor, have seen operations affected in Shanghai; suppliers in the area can’t ship parts because the rivers have dried up.

This is far from a one-off concern. Climate shocks are already having an impact on the supply chain, and they’re going to get worse if companies don’t prepare.

  • Christoph Schiller, who co-authored a paper on the effects of climate change on suppliers and customers, said customers are more likely to end their relationship with a supplier that’s been particularly hit by climate shocks like floods or droughts.
  • In that case, companies will need to adapt in order to better prepare for whatever happens next. “Adaptation can take a whole lot of different ways,” Schiller told Brian, giving examples of building flood barriers around factories as well as protecting employees from extreme heat by shifting work hours.

Even if we magically stopped carbon emissions tomorrow, there are still a lot of changes baked into the climate system. Schiller said it’s vital for companies to consider what’s the climate to come rather than the one that was if they want to keep goods moving. The alternative is a future of holdups and volatility.

— Sarah Roach

Podcast, but make it a video

The number of video podcasts has grown almost 30% between November 2021 and June 2022, according to Podcast Index. And that trend looks set to continue.

Some companies are making big bets on video podcasting. Zencastr announced an end-to-end video podcasting platform yesterday, which co-founder Adrian Lopez told me is a way to help podcasters attract an audience that’s increasingly focused on short-form video content.

  • Lopez said video has “less friction” than audio content, which is often focused on deeper and longer segments. Adding more tools for audio podcasters to expand to video can help them tap an audience that’s used to 15-second video clips.
  • Rather than posting the full-length podcast as a video, Lopez said video podcasts are also being cut down to shorter segments.
  • “We look at video as a vehicle for audio [and] as a way to connect where [users] are and consume content in the way that they consume it,” he said.

Bigger platforms are paying attention, and many are making their own bigger plays in video podcasts, too.

This is all a result of how people are consuming content, Lopez said: “Now it's more algorithmic with YouTube and TikTok, so people can easily find success and find an audience that is … connected in interest.” Still, pivots to video are nothing new — and they certainly don’t always turn out as people hope.

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People are talking

Nicolai Tangen, CEO of Norway’s $1.2 trillion oil fund Norges Bank Investment Management, says he’s more worried about hacks than the state of the markets:

  • “We’re seeing many more attempts, more attacks [that are] increasingly sophisticated.”

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen wants a reliable supply of what she called “democracy chips”:

  • "Democratic allies must stand together and boost cooperation across all areas.”

Making moves

eBay is buying TCGplayer, an online marketplace for collectible trading games, in a deal valued at up to $295 million.

Richard Ho is joining Lightmatter as VP of hardware engineering. Ho was an early engineer on the Google Cloud TPU project.

Lauren Sommers joined AnyRoad as its first CMO. Sommers most recently held the same role at Hopin.

Nikhil Bobde joined Thumbtack as CTO. Bobde spent a decade at Meta where he focused on Facebook Video, Local and Messenger.

Nick Miller and Jack Yu are Beans.ai's new CRO and CTO, respectively. Miller is a former VP of sales at Podium, and Yu was one of the first employees at Beans.ai.

In other news

YouTube Shorts is coming to smart TVs. The platform is also working on adding new features, like Mosaic Mode, which lets viewers watch four live feeds at the same time.

Elon Musk subpoenaed Jack Dorsey in his court battle with Twitter. Musk is looking for documents and communications from Dorsey on how Twitter detects and labels spam accounts.

A Twitter whistleblower is alleging the company misled regulators on "egregious deficiencies" in its defense against hackers. Former head of security Peiter Zatko filed a complaint about the issue with the SEC.

Apple will let customers repair some MacBooks themselves beginning today. The company expanded its Self Service Repair Program to users with MacBook models with M1 chips.

A former Apple employee pleaded guilty to stealing files with trade secrets about the company's car division. Xiaolang Zhang is facing as much as a decade in prison and a big fine.

Instagram wants to be like BeReal. It's testing a new feature called "Candid Challenges," which works pretty much exactly like BeReal.

Instacart orders and revenue increased in the second quarter, which is a good sign for investors as the company looks to go public soon.

Nike’s making bank from NFTs. Over $185 million, in fact. Makes sense, given that it was once able to sell an NFT sneaker for $134,000.

How to go viral on LinkedIn

Going viral is usually about saying the right thing at the right time. Sometimes your post has what it takes, sometimes it just doesn’t.

But there does seem to be somewhat of a formula for viral posts, at least on LinkedIn. And the Viral Post Generator taps into that: It uses AI to create the “perfect” (if that’s the word you want to use) LinkedIn post. All you have to do is tell the site what you did and what advice you want to leave for readers, as well as the level of cringe you’d like it to portray, and the bot will take care of the rest. Here’s what it came up with when I said I ate ice cream and wanted to tell readers to “shoot for the stars.”

Image: Viral Post Generator

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