Interview: The future of tech investments in China amidst the global uncertainties

Original article: KrASIA Venture capital in China has a short but impressive history. Over the past 15 years, the country has given birth to a third of the world’s unicorns (startups valued at US$1 billion and above). At the same time, the Chinese VC industry has expanded more than ten-fold. By the second quarter ofContinue reading “Interview: The future of tech investments in China amidst the global uncertainties”

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”

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”

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”

Interview: Will edtech stay around after the pandemic?

Original article: KrASIA The launch of EduSpaze, Singapore’s first edtech accelerator, could not have come at a better time. In just a couple of months, approximately 1.58 billion students have been impacted by school closures, and teachers have had to adopt online teaching solutions swiftly. KrASIA discussed the situation with Niko Lindholm, program director ofContinue reading “Interview: Will edtech stay around after the pandemic?”

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?”

Why the immunity passport idea should be permanently dropped

We are amid a pandemic, but holiday-goers and tourist industries are already wondering what international travel could look like in the following months and years. With countries fighting to keep infections down within their borders, reopening borders will undoubtedly be a delicate process. New Zealand, already celebrating no new COVID-19 cases, is considering creating aContinue reading “Why the immunity passport idea should be permanently dropped”

How tech is reshaping Ramadan this year for Muslims in Malaysia

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is an important time in the Islamic calendar where Muslims all over the world take part in fasting between dawn and sunset to devote themselves to their faith and empathise with people who are less fortunate than them. Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds,Continue reading “How tech is reshaping Ramadan this year for Muslims in Malaysia”

Online scams spike in Asia during the pandemic – are you at risk?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an alternate pandemic of online scams. Barracuda, a provider of cloud-enabled security solutions, recently recorded a 667% increase in phishing attacks this year. Gmail also reported that 18 million of the 100 million phishing emails it blocks daily are now COVID-19-related. These types of scams have become a cross-border issueContinue reading “Online scams spike in Asia during the pandemic – are you at risk?”

Will COVID-19 create an e-commerce spurt in India?

Some are looking to SARS for answers to a post-pandemic world. SARS opened up e-commerce for China after the 2002-2003 pandemic with the emergence of Alibaba and Taobao, but the global economy left that pandemic in one piece. The internet was also at a nascent stage. Despite Prime Minister Modi’s controversial demonetisation policies and havingContinue reading “Will COVID-19 create an e-commerce spurt in India?”

Unpopular Chinese app enters UN education list

Alibaba-owned DingTalk, an enterprise communication platform much like Slack, was quick to add a “Homeschooling” feature when schools in China did not reopen after Lunar New Year due to COVID-19. According to Alibaba, 50 million students are now using DingTalk’s Homeschooling features, which include live-streamed classes for up to 300 students, online homework, exams, andContinue reading “Unpopular Chinese app enters UN education list”

Healthcare platforms in China provide free healthcare services to millions

As the COVID-19 outbreak has overwhelmed hospitals and installed social distancing, online healthcare services have become sought after. In China, insurance bureaus, the National Health Commission, and the Central Committee, the political body of the party’s top leaders, have all been quick to support such services. Weimai is one of the healthcare platforms integrating localContinue reading “Healthcare platforms in China provide free healthcare services to millions”

Will streaming save or break the film industry?

Cinemas are in a state of uncertainty in China. As of March 21, more than 507 cinemas had reopened in Mainland China after the nation celebrated several days of near-zero cases of COVID-19. In an attempt to jumpstart the industry, cinemas used tactics such as re-releasing popular films like Avengers, Avatar, and Harry Potter. AllContinue reading “Will streaming save or break the film industry?”

The Apple-Google tracking system is being dubbed the “American Health Code” in China. Here’s why that comparison is misleading

On April 10, Apple and Google announced a partnership on a COVID-19 contact tracing technology. Their engineering teams have grouped to create a decentralized contact tracing tool that will help individuals determine whether they have been near someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems together have around threeContinue reading “The Apple-Google tracking system is being dubbed the “American Health Code” in China. Here’s why that comparison is misleading”

Two core reasons tech in Asia is more resilient to the pandemic

As much of the world settles down into lockdown, life is quickly going online. In the following weeks, we will be looking at how technology is helping societies in Asia weather the storm. This week, we begin with a couple of overarching themes. Big data COVID-19 contact tracing systems in Asia have big data toContinue reading “Two core reasons tech in Asia is more resilient to the pandemic”

Is privacy less valued in Asia?

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, some Western media outlets have been quick to dismiss lockdown and surveillance systems used in East and Southeast Asia as measures that never could be deployed or supported in the West. These beliefs are briskly being swept under the rug. Nonetheless, the question remains; why are many countries in East andContinue reading “Is privacy less valued in Asia?”

South Korea’s surveillance system is still suffering from growing pains

South Korea has been fast to combat COVID-19, quickly controlling what was at one point the largest outbreak outside of China. The country has experience dealing with influenza outbreaks, in 2012 it dealt with the second-largest outbreak of MERS, with 182 cases and 32 deaths. This time, test kits were developed as soon as theContinue reading “South Korea’s surveillance system is still suffering from growing pains”

How mobile tracking has become part of everyday life in China

Although China is where the COVID-19 outbreak begun, as of April resulting in over 80,000 cases and 3,000 deaths, the outbreak there is now mostly under control. China’s success in drastically flattening the curve in just a few weeks, even to the extent of reporting no new cases for several days, is now of muchContinue reading “How mobile tracking has become part of everyday life in China”