ICT Update: Indonesia moves to regulate its growing e-commerce sector

ICT UPDATE | JULY 9, 2015
Authors: Shay Wester, Kim Yaeger, Ian Saccomanno, and Sophie Fitzgerald
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
  • The Council continues to track the development of the TPP’s E-Commerce Chapter's Cross Border Data Flow Provision and plan our advocacy for the removal of the public telecommunications services carve out. We have requested meetings in Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia to discuss the issue. For more information contact Kim Yaeger at kyaeger@usasean.org.
     
  • The U.S. State Department is launching a new dialogue with the Telecommunications Senior Officials Meeting (TELSOM), which will be held in Jakarta from July 28-31. The Council has been invited to co-host a lunch alongside the TELSOM meetings with the U.S. Mission to ASEAN on July 31. In addition, USAID is working to organize a TELSOM E-Commerce workshop in Hanoi on September 17. The Council will be holding a planning call to discuss our engagement in these two activities on July 15/16. Click here to register. Contact Shay Wester at swester@usasean.org and Kim Yaeger at kyaeger@usasean.org with any questions.
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 
  • Indonesia moves to regulate its growing e-commerce sector

    Indonesia is moving to regulate its growing e-commerce sector, releasing a draft ‘Government Regulation on E-Commerce’ on June 17 and announcing a new e-Commerce ‘Roadmap’.  Both the new Government Regulation and the Roadmap would affect the growth of a promising and potentially major, but still uncertain, segment of the economy. Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world, and projections show that there will be 8.7 million online shoppers among 102.8 million Internet users in Indonesia by 2016. The potential for e-commerce growth in Indonesia is, however hindered by low credit card and internet penetration and limited delivery infrastructure, as well as consumer concerns about the safety of buying online.  Outdated regulations are also a hindrance as e-commerce in Indonesia is governed by the 2014 Trade Law that requires e-commerce companies to provide complete and valid information on the goods they sell. The new e-Commerce Roadmap is being prepared by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, who have solicited the input of Indonesian government ministries in the past few months as they prepare the Roadmap. The Roadmap is expected to address the taxation of e-Commerce companies in Indonesia, how to incentivize the industry, and how to open the industry to foreign investment. It will also promote infrastructure and e-payment systems to aid e-Commerce in Indonesia. The Roadmap has not yet been released. The draft Government Regulation on E-Commerce, dealing with merchant registration, payment systems, taxation obligations and consumer protection, has drawn criticism from the private sector, led by the Indonesian E-Commerce Association (idEA). Upon release of the new draft regulations, idEA submitted a five-point critique of the new Regulations to the Ministry of Trade which can be read here and petitioned the Ministry of Trade for inclusion in further negotiations. On July 7, Trade Minister Gobel announced he had assigned one of his senior staff members to work with idEA in “safeguarding” the Draft Regulation as it moves to completion by August. The draft of the e-commerce regulation can be found here in Bahasa.

  • Indonesian Local Content Regulations for LTE Devices

    On July 3, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) signed into law the regulation establishing local content requirements for LTE devices, Technical Requirements of Telecommunication Tools and Equipment Standards-Based Long-Term Evolution Technology.  The regulation appears to have been somewhat moderated since its draft was first circulated in May.  According to reports, the regulation will require LTE Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) to have 30 percent local content by 2017.  The application of the regulation to Time-Division Duplexing (TDD) will be delayed until 2019.  According to the press release issued by MOI, the Ministry of Trade will not begin restricting import licenses until 2017, giving companies more time to adjust than expected.  The Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Trade met with MCIT during the signing to discuss how they will cooperate with implementation. More information is available in MOI’s press release here.  During an accompanying press conference, Minster of Communication and Information Technology Rudiantara highlighted the importance of including software in the local content calculations.  Minister of Industry Saleh Husin added that the calculations need further development.  Minister of Trade Rachmat Gobel promised that his ministry would enforce the regulation

    Following the signing of the MCIT regulation, the Council met with I Gusti Putu Suryawirawan, the Director General for Metal, Machinery, Transportation Equipment and Electronic Industry at the Ministry of Industry.  The majority of the discussion focused on MOI's new draft of the local content calculations for LTE devices (available here in Bahasa and here in English).  These calculations will be crucial to the implementation of the MCIT regulation.  The local content calculation that is currently in effect was based on an existing formula created in 2006 to calculate oil and gas supporting products.  As it is not applicable for ICT sector, the MOI is planning to develop a new calculation formula that will better represent the tangible and intangible parts of production.  MOI is aiming to have it ready by the end of the year.  According to DG Putu, the new regulation on local content calculation will still mandate 80 percent manufacturing and 20 percent development but it will be more flexible.  The 80 percent dedicated to manufacturing may also include intangible aspects of investment. DG Putu is open to input from the private sector on how to calculate local content.  He would especially like to hear best practices on calculating intangible factors of manufacturing.  The Council plans to continue engaging with DG Putu and MOI on this issue, and will explore the possibility of a follow-up meeting to discuss the methods of calculating local content in greater detail.
     
  • Cambodian NGO organization holds public consultation on draft NGO laws

    The Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC), a leading membership organization for local and international NGOs in Cambodia, held a public consultation on the draft Law on Associations and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) (LANGO) on July 8. The consultation precedes a parliamentary vote on the draft law which is expected by July 13. In attendance was more than 300 civil society representatives, diplomats and opposition members. Attendees voiced their concerns about the draft law, focusing on its restrictions on their community activities, uncertainty as to whether unregistered organizations can continue operating, and language regarding the disbandment of groups. The consultation marks a new stage of the bill’s progression into law, and drew bitter contestation. On July 7, the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) announced that it would boycott the consultation and on July 8 hundreds of opponents of the legislation protested the law outside the National Assembly. The Council is concerned that the draft bill, if passed together with the Draft Telecommunications Law, the Draft E-Commerce Law, and the Draft Cybercrime law would undermine Cambodia political and business stability. Most concerning is the draft Telecommunications Law and draft Cybercrime Law that would grant the government broad power over the internet. The ICT committee has solicited input from members on this issue and is considering submitting a letter of comment to the Cambodian government on their behalf. Please contact Kim Yaeger at kyaeger@usasean.org and Daniel Henderson at dhenderson@usasean.org if you are interested. To access the Cambodia Committee’s December 2014 Council’s Take on the draft NGO Law, please click here. 

  • Malaysia’s Personal Data Protection Commissioner soliciting feedback on data safety standards

    Malaysia’s Personal Data Protection Commissioner is soliciting feedback on three sets of standards to which data users will need to comply to avoid contravening the Personal Data Protection Act 2010, as stipulated by the Personal Data Protections Regulations 2013. The three sets of standards are the Security Standard, Data Integrity Standard, and Data Retention Standard. The Proposed Security Standard distinguishes between conventional and electronic management of personal data. The electronic data security measures include restricted access, password protection, protection against malware and viruses, and a back-up or recovery system to prevent any loss of data. Conventional records are required to be kept in an orderly fashion under lock and key. The proposed Data Retention Standard focuses on the destruction and deletion of personal data once it is no longer required. The standard would require data users to destroy data collection forms and customer data after seven days unless the data user is legally obliged to retain them. The proposed Data Integrity Standard also somewhat distinguishes between conventional and electronic management of personal data. The rule includes preparing standard forms to be used for data correction requests and correcting the data within seven days of receiving a correction request. A copy of the consultation paper can be obtained on the Personal Data Protection Department's website here. Data users are invited to provide their feedback and comments on the paper before 27 July 2015.

  • Malaysian ICT ministers appear concerned about internet speed and social media use

    On June 29, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek told the Dewan Negara that the 11th Malaysia Plan should provide a larger allocation to the development of telecommunications. Minister Shabery said that more telecommunications towers need to be built and the private sector needs to be consulted in order to increase the speed of broadband in Malaysia. Minister Shabery asserted that faster internet speed was necessary for Malaysia to become a developed nation. In another statement on June 25, he confirmed that freedom of internet content from censorship was an important guarantee of the Multimedia Super Corridor Bill of Guarantees. These statements were made in the context of planned amendments to the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 and Communications and Multimedia Commission Act (CMCA) 1998, which will be tabled in October. The content and intention of these amendments is not clear, but Minister Shabery has suggested that it will involve tightened social media regulations. The Minister has indicated concern about unregulated use of social media in the past, saying that just because there is currently no censorship does not mean that Malaysians should use social media to spread illegal content, recruit terrorists, or promote child pornography. This sentiment seems to be reflected by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). On June 27, Nur Haili Nadia Mustapha Kamal of the MCMC warned Malaysians not to use social media “like personal diaries” as it could prove personally dangerous. Malaysia is not alone in its concerns about control over social media. On July 5, Vietnamese Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son told Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper about the need to regulate social media so that it complied with Vietnam’s laws. He also affirmed that Decree 72, the law that requires ICT companies to have at least one server based in Viet Nam, was necessary for national security.  

  • Myanmar’s Minister for Information contradicts Parliament on telecom tender

    Myanmar’s Ministry of Information moved ahead this week with a tender for the privatization of a large state broadcasting station despite a parliamentary decision to suspend the tender process. The tender, which was announced on May 5, had suffered criticism because of a perceived lack of transparency and fees for the tender forms. The tender also required firms to prepare plans for a replacement multi-media complex at the 90 acre site at the corner of Gandamar and Waizayandar roads in Yangon’s Mayangone township in little over a month. This was seen as impeding fair competition for the tender, as only some large firms were able to comply with the requirement. Criticism of the Information Ministry’s handling of the tender resulted in a May 27 parliamentary resolution to suspend the process. However, on June 18 Minister U Ye Htut appeared before the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (the joint session of the upper and lower houses of Parliament) to announce that the tender had been resumed and that six candidates had been selected as tender candidates. Defending his controversial decision before the Parliament, the Minister said “You can indict me. I am ready to face it any time.” He added, “If I breach ethics or the law, I am ready to resign without having to be pushed.” According to Minister U Ye Htut, the six bidders for the project are Auspicious Millennium Trading Group, Yangon Engineering Group, Global Technology, Shwe Than Lwin Media, Thein Kyaw Kyaw, and Myanmar Media United. The fate of the tender remains unclear.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
ASEAN
Govts key to setup of a digital society

Brunei
Online businesses see no need to open physical store

Cambodia
Registration open for LANGO meet
Regulators Urged To Free Up 4G Spectrum
Cambodian Civil Society Groups Protest Against NGO Draft Law
Sabay rides the digital curve

Indonesia
Govt files appeal against Bakrie Telecom debt restructuring
Now Playing: Indonesia’s Piracy Problem Takes on a New Dimension Online
Draft Government Regulation on E-Commerce
Uber and Gojek just the start of disruptive innovation in Indonesia
Smartphone makers back local content regulation
Govt to Involve Businesses in Drafting E-Commerce Regulation
In Regulation on 4G Handsets, Fears of Trade Protectionism
E-Commerce Regulation Must Stipulate Clearer Provisions on Dispute Resolution
Lawmakers to Address the Rapid Rise of Transport Apps in Indonesia
Business Association Criticizes Draft Regulation on E-Commerce
Sutiyoso pledges to strengthen Indonesian cyber intelligence
Infrastructural kinks hold back Indonesia's booming e-commerce sector
Indonesia’s two-wheel war: GrabBike vs Go-Jek
O2 oh no! Why Indonesia is a super tough market for on-demand startups

Malaysia
DBKL To Blacklist Owners Of Phone Numbers Used In Illegal Advertising Stickers
Malaysia’s mobile advertising up 21% in Q2
Be Cautious When Using Social Media - Ku Nan
Malaysian Government accused of buying spying tools
City Hall introduces three new transaction services
No Internet Censorship Does Not Mean Anyone Can Spread Illegal Contents - Ahmad Shabery
Local Media Told Not To Be Influenced By Baseless Reports By International Media
Wee: Media must help promote good side of M’sia too
Parliamernt: Government Dismisses As Inaccurate Info On Broadband Speed
Only 30% of SMEs are in online retail: Minister
E-commerce potential still low, despite rapid growth, says minister
Development Of Communications Infrastructure Requires Bigger Allocation - Ahmad Shabery
E-Commerce Potential Is Under-tapped - Ahmad Shabery
MCMC: Don’t use social media as personal diaries
‘Time to amend cyber laws’

Myanmar
Vietnam's FPT to provide telecoms services in Myanmar
Privatization of Transmitter Site Stirs Passions in Parliament
Myanmar Telecom Tower Market to See Robust Growth through 2020: Report
Mixed Bag in Information Ministry’s New Media Regulations
Myanmar sees surge in telecom investment
Phone Tower Builder Seeks Advice as It Expands into Conflict Zones
Ministry defies parliament, relaunches controversial tender

Philippines
DTI pushes development of IT-based services
PPP initiative to build Philippine innovation hubs
New policies eyed for startup firms
No. 2 Philippine telco gaining ground
Where’s Our Free Public Wi-Fi? Netizens In The Philippines Promised A Free Wi-Fi Soon, Is This Going To Work?
How the Philippines plans to improve 'pathetic' Internet speed
Chiz vows to look into ‘pathetic’ Internet speed in the Philippines
Philippine economic team tout growth of ICT industry in final leg of U.S. roadshow

Singapore
Singapore upgrades SingPass e-government platform
4G users in Singapore on the rise, but indoor coverage still found wanting
ASX attractive to Singapore tech startups
Liberty Wireless taps on M1's network to enter telco market
Two steps forward, one step back for Singapore’s fourth telco hopefuls
IDA proposes capping entry of new mobile network operators to one
IDA to offer spectrum at lower price to facilitate entry of fourth telco
Enabling digital inclusion as Singapore moves towards Smart Nation vision
Singapore June factory activity at 7-month high, electronics expands

Thailand
New 'digital economy' master plan in works
ICT Ministry to propose that CAT and DTAC return 5MHz of bandwidth
NBTC settles on 25 MHz for 4G auction
CAT labour union seen as 4G wild card
PM urges agencies to gear up Single Window integration
Report details Asia's 'digital economy' status
Thai operators to keep 2G until 2016

Vietnam
Foxconn slows down investment in Vietnam
Cable televisions fear telecom giants
VN needs privacy policies to control online social networks
Apple Music debuts in Vietnam at $2.99, much cheaper than in US
Large TV operators take over market
Online services launched for medical equipment importers
Vietnam’s Internet Infrastructure Improving
Hanoi: 64 million USD poured into IT sector
Proposal on text message limits will not solve spam problems
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

Govts key to setup of a digital society The Nation 26th Jun 2015
Governments are key players in establishing a digital society, with many governments in the Asia-Pacific formulating information and communications technology policy frameworks in order to create these societies, ICT experts have said. Chris Zull, the GSM Association's Asia spectrum director, said that the body conducted a report on the digital society policy frameworks of six countries - Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand.

Brunei

Online businesses see no need to open physical store Asia One 6th Jul 2015
Entrepreneurs are forgoing the idea of setting up a physical store as more consumers prefer the convenience of shopping online and collecting the items at a suitable place or having it delivered to them. The current trend of shopping via social media channels has become increasingly popular, said Syahwal Nizam Hj Yani, owner of social media-based business Macam-macam Sale Brunei. In an interview with The Brunei Times, Syahwal said that he is able to save costs now that he no longer has a physical store and operates mainly through social media channels like Instagram and Facebook as well as participating in exhibitions.

Cambodia

Registration open for LANGO meet Phnom Penh Post 5th Jul 2015
The National Assembly has announced that members of the public hoping to participate in the consultation regarding Cambodia’s contentious draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO) will have until Tuesday to register. In a letter dated Friday and signed by Assembly Secretary General Leng Penh Long, several commissions will hold a consultative workshop on the LANGO this Wednesday.

Regulators Urged To Free Up 4G Spectrum Khmer Times 2nd Jul 2015
Cambodian firms building 4G mobile networks are urging regulatory authorities to revoke the concessions of telco firms currently holding frequencies but not using them, freeing up the spectrum blocks so they can be re-assigned to operators able to utilize them for commercial operation. Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, said Cambodia needs “to achieve a higher grade of spectrum utilization” to support the growth of 4G networks.

Cambodian Civil Society Groups Protest Against NGO Draft Law Voice of America 29th Jun 2015
Cambodian officials are warning civil society groups not to stage protest marches against a draft law to regulate non-governmental organizations. The groups are planning to gather on four main boulevards in Phnom Penh Tuesday to end three days of activities against the NGO measure.

Sabay rides the digital curve PPP 26th Jun 2015
In 2007, when Sabay Digital Corporation began as a startup company, resources for the digital industry were almost non-existent. With the internet being a new concept in Cambodia, the company had to build create their own resources. “Seven or eight years ago, there wasn’t much in the market,” Sila Chy Thmor, chief executive officer for Sabay Digital Corporation. “When we wanted to build any content online, we had to educate people on how to use the Internet."

Indonesia

Govt files appeal against Bakrie Telecom debt restructuring Telecompaper 5th Jul 2015
Indonesia's communications ministry has filed an appeal before the country's Supreme Court against Indonesian telecoms operator Bakrie Telecom’s debt restructuring. The government claims the operator owes frequency and license fees to the government, Rudiantara, Indonesia’s minister of communication and IT told Reuters. "During their restructuring process, we were not informed, we were not involved," Rudiantara said. "We request that their debt to the government is not part of the restructuring", the minister added. No detail related to the amount of Bakrie Telecom’s debt were disclosed.

Now Playing: Indonesia’s Piracy Problem Takes on a New Dimension Online Jakarta Globe 3rd Jul 2015
Indonesian filmmakers have been battling against piracy since the 1980s with the arrival of home video, but the impact is now worse than ever as pirated content – distributed through peer-to-peer downloading, streaming and direct download sites – dominate Indonesia’s burgeoning online landscape. “Internet piracy has made it easy for the average people to become thieves,” says veteran film producer Chand Parwez Servia. “Everyone is downloading [illegal content] and redistributing them on their YouTube accounts or websites. People no longer need an office or a [disk duplicating] machine to make money out of advertisements.

Draft Government Regulation on E-Commerce Hukumonline 30th Jun 2015
Responding to the rapid growth of trading activities on the internet (“e-commerce”), the government is currently discussing a Draft Government Regulation on Transactions trough Electronic Systems (“Draft Regulation”). The Minister of Trade (“Ministry”) is the responsible for preparing the Draft Regulation with the support of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

Uber and Gojek just the start of disruptive innovation in Indonesia The Conversation 8th Jul 2015
People in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, where public transport is poor and the traffic horribly congested, have eagerly welcomed ride-hailing apps such as Uber for car rides and Gojek for motorcycle rides. San Francisco-based Uber entered Indonesia in August last year as part of its expansion across the Asia-Pacific region. Gojek, a local company that has been operating since 2011, has an average of 200 new drivers per month. But these apps that connect drivers to passengers are creating competition for established taxis and corner-street ojek (informal motorcycle taxis). And they are not happy.

Govt to Involve Businesses in Drafting E-Commerce Regulation Hukum 7th Jul 2015
Due to heavy criticism, the Ministry of Trade (Ministry) has finally decided to take action regarding the Government Draft Regulation on E-Commerce (Draft Regulation). During the meeting between the Ministry and the Indonesian E-Commerce Association (idEA) last Saturday, Minister Rachmat Gobel accepted idEA’s cooperation in the making of the Draft Regulation. As a concrete follow up, Minister Gobel assigned one of his expert staffs to work with idEA in safeguarding the Draft Regulation and its future processes. “Considering the target to finish the Draft Regulation this coming August, both parties will be holding several intensive meetings in the near future,” said Daniel Tumiwa, Chairman of idEA, in their press release.

In Regulation on 4G Handsets, Fears of Trade Protectionism The Jakarta Globe 6th Jul 2015
The Indonesian government has signed a regulation requiring that all 4G-capable smartphones sold in the country as of the start of 2017 must include 30 percent local content, in a move it says is intended to stoke domestic manufacturing but which observers say is not feasible for most manufacturers and will ultimately hurt consumers. Communications Minister Rudiantara, who signed the regulation with Industry Minister Saleh Husin and Trade Minister Rachmat Gobel, said that as of Jan. 1, 2017, all handsets based on the frequency division duplex (FDD) technology on which local carriers are building their 4G LTE networks must comply with the local-content requirement if they wanted to sell their devices in the country. Wireless modems using 4G LTE networks, such as Bolt from Internux, will have to have minimum local content of 40 percent.

E-Commerce Regulation Must Stipulate Clearer Provisions on Dispute Resolution Hukum 6th Jul 2015
The controversial Draft of Government Regulation on E-Commerce (Draft Regulation) garners another criticism. Cyberlaw practicioners are currently involved in the debate dueto the previous criticism launched by the business circle. The Indonesia Cyber Law Community (ICLC), represented by Chairman Teguh Arifiyadi, pointed out that the concept of online dispute resolution (ODR) should be explained in detail by the Draft Regulation. Detailed provisions on dispute resolution, according to Mr. Arifiyadi, is important as the Draft Regulation leans more on consumer protection. Therefore, balancing consumer protection and the interests of E-Commerce service providers are more important.

Lawmakers to Address the Rapid Rise of Transport Apps in Indonesia The Jakarta Globe 2nd Jul 2015
Indonesia’s lawmakers are planning to start deliberations on a new law that would address the rapid growth of smartphone-based transportation app, according to a government official. The new law would regulate the increasingly popular services, which otherwise fall into a grey area in Indonesia’s existing transport regulations. Yudi Widiana, vice chief of the commission V which oversees transport, public works, housing and rural area issues at the House of Representatives (DPR), confirmed that the House is planning a special assessment on the the issue, noting the legal and safety concerns surrounding these mobile apps. “We’re not trying to impede innovation, but these services must clearly explain what their core business is,” he said during a radio discussion in Jakarta on Wednesday. “These apps are popping up based on public demand. We’re willing to make some room and initiate a new law.”

Business Association Criticizes Draft Regulation on E-Commerce Hukum 2nd Jul 2015
The Indonesian E-Commerce Association (idEA) is no exception. idEA petitioned their view regarding the Draft Regulation directly to the Ministry of Trade suggesting the postponement of the Draft Regulation issuance and to extend it for 30 more days. The government is yet to give answer on this petition. idEA assumed the lack of transparency in the policy-making process by the Ministry of Trade. The official copy of the Draft Regulation only consists of the table of contents which is also incomprehensive; realizing the discussion itself has been an ongoing process for the last two years. “It is essential to evaluate the whole Draft Regulation,” said Daniel Tumiwa, Chairman of idEA, in a press release on Wednesday.

Sutiyoso pledges to strengthen Indonesian cyber intelligence Antara News 30th Jun 2015
The sole candidate for chief of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Lt Gen. (ret) Sutiyoso vowed to strengthen Indonesias cyber intelligence unit in a bid to tackle potential threats. "Our equipment in terms of cyber intelligence still lags behind, and hence, I want to improve it," Sutiyoso stated at the House of Representatives (DPR) complex here on Tuesday. According to Sutiyoso, Indonesian cyber intelligence equipment should be on par with the other countries if Indonesia wants to have a strong and professional intelligence institution.

Infrastructural kinks hold back Indonesia's booming e-commerce sector Channel News Asia 30th Jun 2015
Logistics is another challenge. Indonesia’s creaking infrastructure and infamous traffic means deliveries are often delayed. Bilna skirted the issue by building its own warehouse, fulfilment centre and delivery team. “At our scale it’s much more efficient and cost effective to have our own rather than working with the local logistics players,” said Tenka. But not every company has the deep pockets or the know-how to go it alone, especially the small companies. Most of Indonesia’s online sellers do not have independent sites. They go through platforms like Bukalapak, which lets them set up virtual storefronts with limited hassles.

O2 oh no! Why Indonesia is a super tough market for on-demand startups Tech in Asia 29th Jun 2015
How can an on-demand services provider ensure timely execution from its vendors in a place that has the world’s worst traffic conditions? One could argue that firms like Go-Jek and GrabBike are ideally placed to tackle on-demand services. The reason is that each firm already has a back-end from which they route orders to motorcycle riders. This same back-end could also be readily applied to other service providers. Should the provider not be able to cope with traffic, Go-Jek or GrabBike could simply pick them up and chauffeur them to the client (small and nimble motorcycles win over cars in Jakarta traffic, hands down). Go-Jek offers several instant services already and it’s entirely conceivable that founder Nadiem Makarim is sizing up the broader market potential. There are other problems in Indonesia. A lack of formal businesses that have high service standards, reliable hours, and expert employees is one such roadblock. A couple of weeks ago, I used YesBoss to have a door delivered and installed at my apartment in Jakarta. The startup hooked me up with an “independent contractor,” who essentially, was just a guy and his buddy who said they were handymen.

Malaysia

Malaysia’s mobile advertising up 21% in Q2 Malaysian Insider 8th Jul 2015
Malaysia's mobile advertising industry reported a positive growth of 21% in the second quarter compared to 17% in the first quarter (Q1) of this year, said BuzzCity, a global mobile advertising company.

Be Cautious When Using Social Media - Ku Nan Bernama 8th Jul 2015
The public exercise caution hen using the social media, said Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tenku Mansor. He reminded the people not to use the social media as a platform to criticise the government and country's leadership.

Malaysian Government accused of buying spying tools The Star 7th Jul 2015
MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) is looking into online reports that link the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) with purchasing spying tools from Italian-based security firm, Hacking Team.

City Hall introduces three new transaction services Malaysian Insider 7th Jul 2015
Kuala Lumpur City Hall has launched three new services today: e-Procurement, KLCares and myPay DBKL. According to City Hall, the services will allow users to carry out their transactions with the council in a seamless manner.

No Internet Censorship Does Not Mean Anyone Can Spread Illegal Contents - Ahmad Shabery Bernama 6th Jul 2015
The assurance by the government that there would be no internet censorship does not mean anyone can use the social media to spread contents that contravene with the law or recruit terrorists or promote child pornography. Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the assurance given by the government under the Multimedia Super Corridor Bill of Guarantees however, states that internet usage should not contravene with any existing law, disturb or threaten harmony and national security.

Local Media Told Not To Be Influenced By Baseless Reports By International Media Bernama 6th Jul 2015
Legal action should be taken against any media, local or international, which published reports on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) issue without verified sources, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan to the media at the Parliament lobby here today.

Parliamernt: Government Dismisses As Inaccurate Info On Broadband Speed Bernama 1st Jul 2015
The government today dismissed as inaccurate information in a report released by global broadband speed test operator Ookla that the Internet speed in the country was worse than in Cambodia and Vietnam. Deputy Minister of Communication and Multimedia Datuk Jailani Johari said the method of calculation used by Ookla only took into account the average speed of each city in its sample.

Only 30% of SMEs are in online retail: Minister The Sun Daily 30th Jun 2015
The e-commerce sector is expected to reach RM72 billion by the end of 2015, but with only 30% of Malaysian SMEs involved in online retail thus far, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek. He said issues with broadband coverage, consumer trust in online retail, and logistical concerns stand in the way of SMEs expanding into e-commerce. "70% of households have broadband coverage, more can be done to widen it. Fears of online security and credit fraud causes potential consumers to remain wary. The lack of a proper delivery system means most retailers have to rely upon third-party courier services." With seven of the largest Internet-based companies globally focusing on e-commerce, Ahmad stated SMEs could no longer afford to sit down and watch idly. "At the end of 2014, the value of Malaysian e-commerce was estimated at RM53 billion. By 2016, this could touch up to RM88 billion."

E-commerce potential still low, despite rapid growth, says minister The Malaysian Insider 29th Jun 2015
The e-commerce sector in the country has yet to reach its full potential despite having grown significantly, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek. He said the value of e-commerce was expected to grow to about RM72 billion by the end of this year from RM53 billion last year, and is expected to further increase to RM88 billion by next year.

Development Of Communications Infrastructure Requires Bigger Allocation - Ahmad Shabery Bernama 29th Jun 2015
The development of telecommunications infrastructure to improve the quality of broadband services in the country requires a bigger allocation than what was initially provided by the government. Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said in order to achieve the target of having 95 per cent of the populated areas in the country to enjoy the convenience of broadband, the number of telecommunication towers need to be increased, with each costing up to RM1.9 million.

E-Commerce Potential Is Under-tapped - Ahmad Shabery Bernama 29th Jun 2015
The e-commerce sector in the country has yet to reach its full potential despite having grown significantly, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek. He said the value of e-commerce was expected to grow to about RM72 billion by end of this year from RM53 billion last year, and is expected to further increase to RM88 billion by next year. He said as such, several initiatives would be taken to improve the workings of e-commerce at a fundamental level in order to accommodate its increasing popularity in Malaysia.

MCMC: Don’t use social media as personal diaries Free Malaysia Today 27th Jun 2015
Internet users were urged today not to use social media as their personal diaries. They would be inviting disaster by sharing their activities or whereabouts online, said Nur Haili Nadia Mustapha Kamal of the Internet regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). She said many users often updated their status and shared information about their personal lives, including the locations of their whereabouts.

‘Time to amend cyber laws’ The Star 26th Jun 2015
The sabotaging of the country’s economy and child pornography will be among issues addressed under the proposed amendments to cyber laws. Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said this was necessary as recent incidents had highlighted the need for some form of control over information on the Internet. “The Internet is a medium of communication and a place to voice opinions and in the principle of democracy, we uphold this – as long as it does not flout the law," he said in reply to Senator Dr Syed Husin Ali (PKR-Selangor).

Myanmar

Vietnam's FPT to provide telecoms services in Myanmar Reuters 8th Jul 2015
FPT, Vietnam's leading technology company, said on Wednesday it has secured a licence to provide fixed telecoms and internet services in Myanmar, becoming the first 100-percent foreign-owned firm to operate in the field there. Myanmar's communications and technology ministry granted FPT the 15-year licence on Monday, which will also allow the Hanoi-based firm to provide online games, e-news, websites and e-commerce services, FPT said in a statement.

Privatization of Transmitter Site Stirs Passions in Parliament The Irrawaddy 6th Jul 2015
The Union Parliament chamber hosted an unusually lively legislative session on Thursday as Information Minister Ye Htut sparred with lawmakers and faced threats of impeachment over privatization of the Yegu transmitter at the corner of Gandamar and Wai Za Yan Tar roads in northwestern Rangoon. In May, the Information Ministry invited tenders for turning over 90 out of 120 acres of the former site of a state broadcasting station in Rangoon’s Mayangon Township, seeking development proposals.

Myanmar Telecom Tower Market to See Robust Growth through 2020: Report Myanmar Business Today 1st Jul 2015
The market for telecom towers in Myanmar is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 28 percent during 2015-20, a recent report said. The major factors driving the market include rising number of mobile subscribers, Long Term Evolution (LTE-4G) deployment and increasing government support towards strengthening telecom infrastructure, according to TechSci Research’s report titled “Telecom Tower Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020 - Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar”.

Mixed Bag in Information Ministry’s New Media Regulations The Irrawaddy 26th Jun 2015
More than a year after the passage of Burma’s Media Law, the Ministry of Information has finalized new media regulations for news organizations that will on paper give journalists greater access to information, but which may leave authorities with significant leverage over the reporting of contentious issues. State-run media announced on Friday that the ministry had adopted the bylaws, which cover rights to information, the process for electing the Myanmar Press Council, remediation processes through the council for disputes, and the coverage of protests and armed conflict.

Myanmar sees surge in telecom investment Deal Street Asia 26th Jun 2015
Investment in telecoms has surged in Myanmar in the past year as operators begin to tap a rapidly expanding market, driving growth in the economy. Since the opening up of the mobile segment last year, there has been a boom in phone ownership and subscriptions in Myanmar. Currently there are more than 18 million SIM cards in circulation − corresponding to about one-third of the population − up from just 1 million in 2012, according to data compiled by Reuters.

Phone Tower Builder Seeks Advice as It Expands into Conflict Zones Irrawaddy 27th Jun 2015
A mobile phone tower company is consulting local experts to develop a plan for dealing with security as it moves to expand Norwegian provider Telenor’s reach beyond central parts of Burma, according to a recent filing. Burma’s government opened up the telecommunications sector to competition with the aim of bringing the benefits of mobile connectivity to all corners of the country. Two private firms, Telenor and Qatar’s Oordeoo, launched mobile phone and internet services last year and have pledged to reach 75 percent of the population in the first five years of their 15-year licenses.

Ministry defies parliament, relaunches controversial tender Myanmar Times 26th Jun 2015
Ignoring a possible impeachment threat, Minister for Information U Ye Htut is pressing ahead with plans to put out to tender a huge project involving the 90-acre site of the Yegu transmitter. Despite a parliamentary decision to suspend the process, the government has announced that the deadline for offers has been extended for one month.

Philippines

DTI pushes development of IT-based services PhilStar 6th Jul 2015
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is pushing for the development of startups engaged in providing Internet-based services to allow the country to take advantage of the opportunity in this space. Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo told reporters the startup scene opens an opportunity for the Philippines as the use of mobile apps and other Internet-based services to solve everyday challenges is gaining momentum.

PPP initiative to build Philippine innovation hubs enterpriseinnovation.net 6th Jul 2015
Philippine government agencies led by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) are collaborating with IdeaSpace Foundation to build the first public-private partnership (PPP) that will build the country’s National Innovation Center. With an initial funding of P35 million ($776,071.19) from DOST, the project aims to build two innovation hubs within the vicinity of academic centers - one in Intramuros, Manila and another in Diliman, Quezon City.

New policies eyed for startup firms PhilStar 6th Jul 2015
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is willing to adjust existing laws and create new policies to improve the local environment for Filipino startup companies, its top official said. Speaking at the opening of the Slingshot MNL 2015 conference yesterday, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the government is currently lagging behind in its understanding and support of the country’s startup sector which boasts of so much potential. “The sector has so much opportunity. The Philippines has an increasing momentum in this sector,” Domingo said.

No. 2 Philippine telco gaining ground Nikkei Asian Review 7th Jul 2015
Globe Telecom has won regulatory clearance that will afford it increased bandwidth to challenge Philippine Long Distance Telephone's market dominance. The Philippine National Telecommunications Commission, or NTC, approved last Thursday the conversion of Bayan Telecommunications debt into equity. Globe purchased most of Bayan's debt in 2012 and will own at least 54% of the cash-strapped company after the conversion. A court handling Bayan's corporate rehabilitation required the NTC clearance, saying the debt-to-equity conversion would change Bayan's controlling shareholder.

Where’s Our Free Public Wi-Fi? Netizens In The Philippines Promised A Free Wi-Fi Soon, Is This Going To Work? Franchise Herald 6th Jul 2015
For some Internet users, the deadline for the implementation of the free public Wi-Fi in the Philippines is looming as the local department to take charge of this project earlier said implementation will start this month. Users gaining access to free public Wi-Fi in the Philippines is a project headed by the local Department of Science and Technology's Information and Communications Technology office, according to a report by CNN Philippines. They are set to provide free public Wi-Fi access to different public places in the country.

How the Philippines plans to improve 'pathetic' Internet speed The Christian Science Monitor 6th Jul 2015
The Philippines needs to take speedy action on a very slow problem, says a Filipino senator, echoing the complaints of millions of users. “The current situation in the country is, sad to say, unacceptable. The state of Internet speed is pathetic, and unless we remedy this situation, our IT sector is likely to suffer in the long term,” Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero told local news.

Philippine economic team tout growth of ICT industry in final leg of U.S. roadshow InterAksyon 1st Jul 2015
Recent developments and policy changes in information technology and business process management (IT/BPM) in the Philippines are making the country ripe for investment and poising it to ride a new wave of revolution in information and communications technology (ICT). This was the message of government officials and business leaders who traveled to San Francisco for a conference titled “Invest in the Philippines: Asia’s Bright Spot,” the third and final leg of a high-level trade and investment mission to the United States on June 29.

Singapore

Singapore upgrades SingPass e-government platform Telecompaper 6th Jul 2015
Singapore has upgraded its SingPass e-government platform. Starting 5 July, SingPass users will have access to an improved SingPass user interface, mobile-friendly features and upgraded security capabilities with the enhanced system. Launched in 2003, Singapore Personal Access (SingPass) is a gateway to over 200 e-services offered by more than 60 government agencies, enabling users to only have to remember one password when connecting and transacting with the Government. The system is managed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore.

4G users in Singapore on the rise, but indoor coverage still found wanting Straits Times 1st Jul 2015
The number of 4G mobile customers is catching up with those on older 3G plans, but 4G coverage indoors has been found wanting in some places still. In a 4G speed test conducted at several commercial buildings last week, The Straits Times found that connection problems and surfing slowdowns still dog some telcos' networks although 4G services have been in use for nearly three years.

ASX attractive to Singapore tech startups Channel News Asia 9th Jul 2015
A number of Singapore firms are choosing to list in Australia, where small technology firms tend to trade at higher valuations. Industry players said the ASX will continue to attract Singapore tech startups, so long as investors here remain conservative. The Netccentric Group is the latest Singapore name to list on the ASX. It made its debut earlier on Jul 6, following an IPO which raised A$12.5 million.

Two steps forward, one step back for Singapore’s fourth telco hopefuls Singapore Business Review 8th Jul 2015
Companies gunning to be Singapore’s fourth mobile network operator (MNO) have taken two steps forward and one step back after the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) revealed its plans to hold a spectrum auction in early 2016. Analysts noted that while the regulator appears dead-set on facilitating the entry of a fourth telco, the IDA has not granted all of their wishes.

IDA proposes capping entry of new mobile network operators to one Channel News Asia 7th Jul 2015
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has proposed a maximum of one new entrant into the local mobile market. This was announced in a press briefing on Tuesday (Jul 7). This will be done by setting aside 60 MHz out of 225 MHz of spectrum at a lower indicative reserve package price of S$40 million, in an auction open only to potential new entrants. The new entrant who successfully bids for the set-aside spectrum is required to deploy its own network and achieve nationwide rollout by September 2018.

Enabling digital inclusion as Singapore moves towards Smart Nation vision Channel News Asia 6th Jul 2015
Singapore wants to be a “Smart Nation”, and the vision is described by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as “a nation where people live meaningful and fulfilled lives, enabled seamlessly by technology". But beyond the gloss, digital sociologist Nilanjan Raghunath, who studies the impact of technology on society, said as a Smart Nation, Singapore has some "hard choices" to make.

Singapore June factory activity at 7-month high, electronics expands Today Online 2nd Jul 2015
Activity at Singapore's factories hit a seven-month high in June thanks to an increase in new orders, with the key electronics sector returning to growth, a survey showed on Thursday. The Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management's Purchasing Managers' index (PMI) rose to 50.4, the highest since November. The PMI in May stood at 50.2.

Thailand

New 'digital economy' master plan in works The Nation 2nd Jul 2015
The Information and Communications Technology Ministry will launch the first national digital-economy master plan (2016-2020) within six months. It will replace the current ICT master plan. The ministry, which will be renamed the Digital for Economy and Society Ministry in August or September, is holding focus-group hearings on the draft of the digital-economy master plan.

ICT Ministry to propose that CAT and DTAC return 5MHz of bandwidth The Nation 29th Jun 2015
The Information and Communication Technology Ministry will today propose to the National Broadband Committee a plan by CAT Telecom - to return 5MHz bandwidth of 1800 MHz to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission for the spectrum licence auction. ICT Minister Pornchai Rujiprapa said that CAT and Total Access Communication (DTAC) recently reached the conclusion that they would jointly transfer 5MHz of 1800MHz to the NBTC without any attached condition.

NBTC settles on 25 MHz for 4G auction Bangkok Post 7th Jul 2015
The national telecom regulator has finally decided to auction 25 megahertz of bandwidth on the 1800-MHz spectrum for the country's first fourth-generation (4G) sale in November. The telecom committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) approved its draft auction designs for 1800-MHz band yesterday, said Col Settapong Malisuwan, committee chairman.

CAT labour union seen as 4G wild card Bangkok Post 6th Jul 2015
The telecom regulator is concerned the planned fourth-generation (4G) auctions may be delayed if CAT Telecom's labour union disagrees with the agency's proposal of returning an unused five megahertz on the 1800-MHz spectrum to the regulator to add spectrum bandwidth for auction.

PM urges agencies to gear up Single Window integration Pattaya Mail 29th Jun 2015
The Prime Minister has urged related agencies to complete their National Single Window system prior to the integration of the ASEAN Community that will facilitate the region's trade and investment, according to a spokesman. The Prime Minister’s Office Deputy Spokesman Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd revealed that the Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has appointed the Ministry of Finance and the Customs Department to be the main agencies responsible for the installation of the National Single Window (NSW) System to increase the nation’s competitiveness.

Report details Asia's 'digital economy' status The Nation 27th Jun 2015
A GSM Association report, "Building Digital Societies in Asia", is based on a study of digital societies in six countries - Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan. It found that each country had a digital-society policy framework - Thailand's Digital Economy Plan, Digital Bangladesh, Digital India, the Indonesia Broadband Plan, Digital Malaysia, and Pakistan's Vision 2025. The countries have developed a digital-economy plan to be part of their digital-society aspirations.

Thai operators to keep 2G until 2016 Total Telecom 26th Jun 2015
Deadline for shutdown of 2G networks in 1800 MHz band pushed back by six months. Two Thai telecoms operators whose 2G mobile spectrum will be auctioned off for 4G later this year are to keep their second generation mobile services running for the rest of 2015, the country's telecoms regulator said this week.

Vietnam

Foxconn slows down investment in Vietnam DigiTimes 7th Jul 2015
The Foxconn Group apparently has slowed down its investment in Vietnam as the group has continued to build up production lines in India and Indonesia in order to roll out products for emerging markets, according to industry sources. The Vietnam government has recently canceled a license it granted to Foxconn in 2008 to build a US$200 million plant for the production of handsets, PC systems and other electronics as the Taiwan-based EMS giant has so far failed to carry out the planned investment project. However, Foxconn has given investment priority to India and Indonesia as the domestic markets in these two countries are much larger than that in Vietnam, indicated the sources. Additionally, both India and Indonesia have enacted stringent regulations requiring foreign investors to produce a certain ratio of parts and components locally.

Cable televisions fear telecom giants VietnamNet 6th Jul 2015
Small cable television channels fear they will be eliminated in the fierce competition between TV and telecom enterprises. Modern technologies allow telcos and televisions to provide services on the same transmission line. Instead of specific transmission lines for every kind of service, customers can use many different services, including HD TV for more than one television set and internet and voice calls.

VN needs privacy policies to control online social networks VietnamNet 6th Jul 2015
Nguyen Bac Son, Minister of Information and Communications, spoke to Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper about the need to adopt technical measures to stop the spread of harmful information.

Apple Music debuts in Vietnam at $2.99, much cheaper than in US Thanh Nien News 6th Jul 2015
Apple's highly-anticipated streaming music service was launched on Wednesday in Vietnam, one of its fastest growing markets in the world, with the monthly fee set at $2.99, or less than one-third of what American users are paying.

Large TV operators take over market Viet Nam News 4th Jul 2015
Five major cable television providers, namely SCTV, VTVcab, VNPT, Viettel, and FPT, are competing to offer multiple services to win more subscribers. Instead of using separate lines, customers will need only one line to simultaneously use different services, including high-quality television, internet, and telephones. Saigontourist Cable Television (SCTV), a large television operator, has been providing telecommunication services for nearly two years.

Online services launched for medical equipment importers Viet Nam News 2nd Jul 2015
The health ministry's medical equipment and construction department launched on-line public services of level 4 on issue of licences to importers of medical equipment at a ceremony this morning. Service level 4, the highest of the four administrative service levels in the country and the healthcare sector, aims to simplify administrative procedures and set up convenient services for medical equipment importers in the country.

Vietnam’s Internet Infrastructure Improving Vietnam Briefing 1st Jul 2015
The AAG (Asia America Gateway) cable came into operation in 2009 with a total length of 20,000 kilometers, connecting Southeast Asia to the U.S., across the Pacific Ocean via Guam and Hawaii. The cable has landing points at the USA, Hawaii, Guam, Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei and Vietnam. It has the largest capacity among other three systems including IA (Intra Asia), SMW3 (Southeast Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 3), and TVH (Thailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong).

Hanoi: 64 million USD poured into IT sector Vietnam Plus 29th Jun 2015
During the first half of this year, the Hanoi People’s Committee approved 64 million USD worth of investment in 85 foreign-invested projects in information technology (IT), a year on year leap of 93 percent. Of the 85, 23 were newly approved. Japan holds 9 projects, accounting for the largest proportion (39 percent), followed by the Republic of Korea’s 3 projects (13 percent), according to the Hanoi Department of Information and Telecommunications.

Proposal on text message limits will not solve spam problems Viet Nam News 26th Jun 2015
Last week, Viet Nam News asked its readers about the Ministry of Information and Communications' proposed regulation to limit the number of text messages a mobile phone user can send per day to stop bulk SMS spam. Here are some of the comments: