Commentary on data protection and tech in Asia

From national security concern to self-destruction: when techno-nationalism goes wrong

Techno-nationalism has long been a tool to joust for supremacy, but now the old rulebook has been thrown out of the window, and the China-US trade war is on a path to create unmerited polarisation in the world. In 2020, restraint is urgently needed to prevent us from pulling apart our globalised world. Techno-nationalism takesContinue reading “From national security concern to self-destruction: when techno-nationalism goes wrong”

India bans 59 Chinese apps: what developers need to do to avoid the same fate

At the heart of the Chinese app ban lies a problem with the way we build applications. Only by developing systems which hand control of data back to users can we curb the growing concerns around data sovereignty.  On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese soldiers were killed in hand-to-handContinue reading “India bans 59 Chinese apps: what developers need to do to avoid the same fate”

Is data ownership just a fantasy? Why it will take much more than a startup to bring about significant change

We don’t need statistics to tell us that most people have a trade-off between convenience and privacy. Despite concerns over data use, Facebook revenues continue to soar, and Google’s search engine market share has consistently held at around 90% over the past decade. But the “privacy paradox,” the inconsistency between privacy concerns and actual behaviour,Continue reading “Is data ownership just a fantasy? Why it will take much more than a startup to bring about significant change”

The European Union must provide a clear regulatory framework for blockchain

Two years on since the implementation of the GDPR, the EU’s data protection law, some significant fines have been handed out to the likes of Google, British Airways, and Marriott. Despite this, the regulation has only begun to scratch the surface of its broader goals of improving data protections for all. Last year was theContinue reading “The European Union must provide a clear regulatory framework for blockchain”

As internet controls in China tighten, privacy and data protection rights slowly make headway

Due to state surveillance and censorship, privacy and data protection rights in China are often assumed to be inexistent. But for private companies, privacy and data protection laws appear to be developing in the direction of European standards. It has taken correcting the worst of abuses to get where they are now, though. Privacy andContinue reading “As internet controls in China tighten, privacy and data protection rights slowly make headway”

Could Vietnam’s new tech city be its own Silicon Valley?

The local government of Vietnam’s largest city and financial capital, Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon), is going ahead with plans to repurpose a large part of the city into the country’s first technology hub following approval from Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. 22,000 hectares of land with a population of 1.1 millionContinue reading “Could Vietnam’s new tech city be its own Silicon Valley?”

These Asian tech startups have been raking up millions in investments during the pandemic

Economic statistics cannot keep up with the rate at which people are losing jobs all over the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tech industry has been no different, as we have seen mass layoffs, especially in companies whose operations have been severely curtailed by lockdown measures, such as ride-hailing applications. However,Continue reading “These Asian tech startups have been raking up millions in investments during the pandemic”

Why the two most popular manufacturing alternatives to China aren’t as flawless as the media makes them out to be

Vietnam and India have long been touted as manufacturing alternatives to China. This year, their governments have been welcoming foreign investment consideration relocation from China. However, the two countries aren’t quite the exemplary options that some make them out to be. The world has long relied on Chinese factories and firms to provide all kindsContinue reading “Why the two most popular manufacturing alternatives to China aren’t as flawless as the media makes them out to be”

COVID-19, data protection, and the consolidation of the Indian surveillance state

India’s contact tracing app, Aarogya Setu (meaning “bridge to health” in Sanskrit), was released on April 2. The app is similar in many ways to other contact tracing apps, but it looked mainly to the model of China: you input data about yourself including your name, age, and travel history; the app enables Bluetooth andContinue reading “COVID-19, data protection, and the consolidation of the Indian surveillance state”

Is Tencent the next Nokia? A look behind Tencent’s ruthless censorship of competition and criticism

Tencent cares a lot about its public image – to the extent that it blocks articles criticising its business. Are its censored critics onto something? We take a look at the company’s life-or-death business model. In May, an article published on WeChat criticising Tencent spread on Chinese social media and was soon blocked on allContinue reading “Is Tencent the next Nokia? A look behind Tencent’s ruthless censorship of competition and criticism”

Health codes could remain in China after the pandemic

A proposal from the government of Hangzhou, a city of over 10 million residents in China and home to Alibaba, could retain health codes after the pandemic to assess lifestyle habits like exercising and medical checkups. Several apps in China can determine how at-risk you are of having COVID-19 through a simple signup process, assigningContinue reading “Health codes could remain in China after the pandemic”

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund joins Libra

Temasek Holdings, a Singaporean state-owned investment firm, has joined Facebook’s digital currency project and become the first government-owned fund to join the association. Temasek is Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and has over US$210 billion under management, including investments in Alibaba, Tencent, and Dell. The fund tweeted that it was looking forward to the potential ofContinue reading “Singaporean sovereign wealth fund joins Libra”

End of an era: China moves into a slower growth phase driven by B2B entrepreneurship

Amid the China-US trade war and calls to curb reliance on Chinese imports in a post-pandemic world, it has become even more critical to understand the domestic economy in China. This article illustrates the significant shift from a high-growth period fuelled by B2C internet startups to a more moderate growth phase led by B2B businesses.Continue reading “End of an era: China moves into a slower growth phase driven by B2B entrepreneurship”

Samsung releases the world’s first 5G smartphone with quantum security

The Galaxy A Quantum, a rebrand of the Galaxy A71 5G, one of Samsung’s popular mid-range handsets, was released in South Korea on May 22. The smartphone includes a quantum random number generator (QRNG) chipset made in cooperation with Samsung and SK Telecom’s (South Korea’s largest mobile carrier) Switzerland-based ID Quantique. Random numbers are anContinue reading “Samsung releases the world’s first 5G smartphone with quantum security”

Survey: Singapore residents don’t trust technology to make decisions for them

Singapore residents do not trust data and technology when it comes to making meaningful decisions that have a significant, long-term impact on their lives. New research from data intelligence company Qlik conducted by YouGov shows that more than half (56%) of those surveyed tend to make decisions based on their emotions, experiences, and intuition, asContinue reading “Survey: Singapore residents don’t trust technology to make decisions for them”

Will facial recognition really be able to identify covered faces?

Before the pandemic, the fingerprint scanner was gaining popularity as a new way to identify ourselves to authorise payments or clock into offices. Now, we can expect that the technology will be dropped in favour of a contactless one – facial recognition. But facial recognition technology relies on seeing our whole face, or as muchContinue reading “Will facial recognition really be able to identify covered faces?”

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