ICT Update: September 13, 2018

ICT Update | September 13, 2018
Authors: Shay Wester, Kim Yaeger, Ella Duangkaew, Monica Chritton
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

September 19, 2018: Dinner Dialogue with AMCC Ministers: The Council will be hosting a dinner dialogue, in partnership with BSA | The Software Alliance and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with the Ministers at the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC) on 19 September. There is a planning call for the dinner dialogue on September 13 ET/September 14 SGT, click here to register for the call. Please contact Shay Wester (swester@usasean.org) and Mario Masaya (mmasaya@usasean.org) with any questions.

September 25, 2018: Tourism - SME Workshop: Improving Thailand Tourism SMEs Competitiveness in Digital Economy EraRegister now for the SME Workshop. The workshop serves as an implementation activity following the Twenty-First Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers (21st M-ATM), and will be conducted in close collaboration with the OSMEP (Office of SMEs Promotion of Thailand) and Thammasat University. The workshop aims to promote greater economic inclusivity and utilization of digital tools to Thailand government and SMEs of travel and tourism industry. The workshop will be an excellent opportunity for Members to showcase its support to the government’s agenda in integrating the travel and tourism industry into the digital economy era.

October 16-18, 2018: Malaysia Business MissionRegister now for the Malaysia mission. The mission will be an opportunity to engage the new administration under Prime Minister Mahathir and gain a better understanding of the new government’s priorities and plans. Deadline to register is October 2. Contact Kim Yaeger at kyaeger@usasean.org for more information.

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Regional e-Commerce Agreement Endorsed and Digital Integration Framework Adopted at ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting

At the 50th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM) and Related Meetings, which took place from August 28 to September 1 in Singapore, Ministers endorsed the ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce and adopted the Digital Integration Framework. The ASEAN Joint Media Statement on the AEM can be read here.

The ASEAN Agreement on Electronic Commerce will be signed on the sidelines of the 33rd ASEAN Summit in November 2018, according to the AEM media statement. The Agreement on E-Commerce intends to call on member states to enhance cooperation in e-commerce, improve cross-border e-commerce transactions and strengthen trust in the use of e-commerce. However, the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Electronic Commerce (ACCEC) conducted limited public consultation on the E-Commerce Agreement and has not shared the text. There are concerns that the agreement’s provisions are not forward leaning enough. After substantial negotiations in July, it appeared that many of the provisions, including sections on data and trade facilitation, may be broad or non-binding, potentially limiting their effectiveness. The agreement also does not appear to substantially address challenges with payments regulation. It will be important for ASEAN to have greater transparency as it implements the agreement, particularly to ensure clear channels for private sector input and support.

The AEM also adopted the Digital Integration Framework. According to the AEM media statement, the framework will be submitted to the ASEAN Economic Council for endorsement at the end of the year. The framework calls for ASEAN to address barriers to achieve greater digital integration in five areas: digital connectivity and affordable access, the financial ecosystem, commerce and trade, workforce transformation, and the business ecosystem. The framework recommends that ASEAN address these barriers by prioritizing the implementation of existing ASEAN plans and platforms, over the next 12 to 18 months, in six critical areas: the facilitation of seamless trade, the protection of data whilst supporting digital trade and innovation, the enablement of seamless digital payments, the broadening of the digital talent base, and the fostering of entrepreneurship and coordinate actions. According to the framework, digital integration is key to ASEAN’s ability to compete with other major economies, particularly to harness the potential of the digital economy and accelerate intra-regional trade and growth. The private sector can play a key role in supporting ASEAN with implementing activities in the six critical areas highlighted by the framework. It will be important for public-private partnerships to form to ensure that ASEAN pursues this framework in a way that is inclusive and transparent for the private sector.

Thailand E-Commerce Transaction Reporting Bill Gets Second Hearing

A draft bill from the Thai Revenue Department on the reporting of e-Commerce transactions is open for public comment until September 15 (see the public hearing page here). As part of the Thai National e-Payment Master Plan, the draft bill includes additional disclosure requirements for financial institutions and electronic payment providers. The bill would require providers to disclose customer account information to the Revenue Department for customer accounts with over 3000 deposits and 200 transactions per year, with total values over 2 million baht. The draft also outlines penalties for failure to report and states that the Revenue Department may keep reports for up to 10 years. The draft bill would also require the first annual submission of reportable customer account information in March 2020.

If enacted, the bill, and several other bills being pushed by the Revenue Department in accordance with the National e-Payment Master Plan, may introduce greater burden on e-commerce entities operating in the Thai market, particularly for foreign entities with large scale activity that far exceeds the draft bill’s minimum thresholds. It will be important for Thailand to ensure that the bill does not limit e-commerce activity, which has great potential to drive economic growth in the country.

Philippines Enacts Biometric-Based National ID System

On August 6, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Philippine System Identification Act (PhilSys Act) into law, which aims to create a single, biometric-based official identification card for all Philippine residents and resident aliens. The National Statistics Authority will roll out a test of the ID, called the “PhilID”, in December, with the full system launching through 2023. The PhilSys Act can be read here

In May, opposition lawmakers voiced criticism of the national ID system, citing fears that it could be a threat to privacy and had potential for possible use to silence or discriminate against certain groups. The PhilSys Act says that the responsible authorities will implement “reasonable and appropriate” security measures to protect PhilSys data and outlines penalties for data misuse and unauthorized access.

As the program rolls out, it will be important for the Philippines to have the systems and partners in place to ensure Phil-ID data is secure. The private sector could be well positioned to support the Philippines in this endeavor, particularly to ensure that global best practices and standards in data privacy and security safeguards are utilized in the process. The private sector may need to note that the law requires private entities to accept the Phil-ID as proof of identity without additional documents.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 
  • For members interested in submitting comments for an industry submission on Vietnam's amendment to Decree 06/2016 (OTT regulations), please submit all comments to Vu Tu Thanh (tvu@usasean.org) and Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) by EOD September 15. All comments not submitted by this time will not be included in the submission. A final draft of the submission with all input submitted by EOD September 15 will be circulated for final review from members on September 18 (with a deadline for final review by EOD September 18). Please contact Vu Tu Thanh (tvu@usasean.org) or Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) with any questions. 
  • On September 7, the Council, in partnership with BSA | The Software Alliance, submitted joint industry comments on Malaysia's Department for Data Protection's (JDJP) Public Consultation Paper No. 1/2018 on the Implementation of Data Breach Notification. The comments are attached to this Update. We will look to follow up on this issue during our dinner with Prime Minister Mahatir on September 27, and during our annual Malaysia Business Mission from October 2-3. For any questions, please contact Kim Yaeger (kyaeger@usasean.org) and Emma Tabatabai (emma@usasean.org). 
  • On September 12, Council, in partnership with 10 other industry associations, submitted joint industry comments on the Implementing Decrees of the Vietnamese Law on Cybersecurity. The comments are attached to this Update. The Council will look to raise industry viewpoints on the LOCS during meetings with relevant Vietnamese government stakeholders during the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi this week, during the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity the following week, and during the dinner with President Quang on September 26. Please contact Vu Tu Thanh (vtu@usasean.org), Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) and Hai Pham (hpham@usasean.org) with any questions. 
 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 

ASEAN
Asean ministers ink trade, services deals

Brunei
Crown Prince graces BICTA 2018
Make and receive landline calls on your mobile: Telbru's Cakapp

Cambodia
Kingdom urged to adapt with industry 4.0

Indonesia
Ads spending on TV reaches Rp 4.98t during 2018 Asian Games
Indonesia's Go-Jek invests in online media startup as part of expansion
Keppel, Salim Group to jointly develop and operate data centre in Indonesia
The role of e-Commerce in Indonesia’s digital economy
Indonesia leads Asia-Pacific in AI implementation, study shows
Indonesia's Go-Jek to partner with peer-to-peer lending firms
Higher Risk Still Means Higher Interest in Fintech Lending
Tax office to spy on taxpayers’ social media activity

Laos
Laos Central Bank Warns Public Against Cryptocurrency Trading

Malaysia
WEF advisor: M’sia has done fairly well in growing sharing economy
We’re game to building an eSports arena, says Saddiq
Government will create right ecosystem for Malaysia to be globally competitive
Malaysia on track to realise smart cities vision
Gobind: Communications and Multimedia Act to be amended
Penang launchpad for tech startups
Overall pricing for telco services likely to be slightly higher

Philippines
Asian Development Bank pushes digital technologies for development in APAC
Cryptocurrency trading rules eyed

Singapore
Singapore businesses need to overhaul identity verification processes
Singapore, Austria to cooperate more in digitalisation: PM Lee
Singapore to train 2,000 executives, workers in developing basic AI, data applications
Firms in Singapore and China to Benefit from Blockchain Innovation Fund

Thailand
NBTC taking OTT tax plan for ASEAN approval
NBTC surprises with October auction
E-commerce bill gets second hearing
DTAC expiry hangs over NBTC
Thailand government may build digital wallet to hold crypto assets seized in crimes
Thailand is becoming a critical country for blockchain
Asean ICT master plan in the works
ETDA hastening compliance with EU rules
Providers consider Thailand's e-commerce market crucial


Vietnam
VN to spend $2.9b on advertising
SSI upgrades stock board and order services for Web Trading
Spam messages plague Vietnam phone users
Cybersecurity Becoming Major Concern for Vietnamese Businesses
Banks to work harder on cyber crime
New influx of domain names heating up market
Ministry of Finance tops Vietnam ICT Index for six consecutive years
Vietnam's food delivery market heats up with new players
Japan to lift investment in VN IT sector
IT key to Vietnam’s Industry 4.0 future
Danang leads ICT Index for third consecutive year
Vietnam well-equipped to meet ICT personnel needs of Japan

 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

Asean ministers ink trade, services deals Bangkok Post 31st Aug 2018
Local businesses are in line for greater investment opportunities in Asean after the Asean Economic Ministers (AEM) on Wednesday signed two agreements to remove barriers to goods and services trade within the bloc. According to Deputy Commerce Minister Chutima Bunyapraphasara, who attended this week's 50th AEM meeting in Singapore, the ministers approved two agreements that are expected to benefit Asean's service providers and exporters.

Brunei

Crown Prince graces BICTA 2018 Borneo Bulletin Online 31st Aug 2018
An award ceremony for the Brunei Info-Communication Technology Awards (BICTA) 2018 was held yesterday at the International Convention Centre in Berakas. The winners of BICTA will have the opportunity to represent Brunei Darussalam in the regional competition – the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA) – which will be held in Guangzhou, the People’s Republic of China on October 9-13. A few winners from various categories: A team of two sisters who are students from Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) garnering first and third places for their projects, ‘Mechsim’ and ‘GoBacker’. ‘Mechsim’ uses virtual reality to run simulations on mechanical installations, while ‘GoBacker’ is a crowdsourcing platform. A team of students from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) took second place in that particular category for ‘Droplets’, which is an Internet of Things (IoT) system to monitor water in the environment. Mindplus Education Sdn Bhd won first place in the ICT Industry category for ‘Mindtrex’, an adaptive learning, practice and exam simulation app that aims to boost overall academic results with the help of advanced technology.

Make and receive landline calls on your mobile: Telbru's Cakapp Biz Brunei 31st Aug 2018
TelBru is hoping to revitalize fixed-line use by launching Cakapp – a mobile voice application that enables users to make and receive calls from their landline on their mobile phone.

Cambodia

Kingdom urged to adapt with industry 4.0 Phnom Penh Post 7th Sep 2018
Referring to the trend towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technology, a group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) led a seminar on the coming challenges and how the country can benefit from its growth. The UN Development Programme, the UN Industrial Development Organisation and the International Labour Organisation were all accounted for at the high-level seminar in the capital. Speaking at the event, UN Resident Coordinator in Cambodia Pauline Tamesis said that industry 4.0 presents huge opportunities for Cambodia. But, the country will need to deal with some challenges.

Indonesia

Ads spending on TV reaches Rp 4.98t during 2018 Asian Games The Jakarta Post 10th Sep 2018
The successful implementation of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang boosted television advertisement spending, which was recorded at Rp 4.98 trillion (US$333.77 million).

Indonesia's Go-Jek invests in online media startup as part of expansion Channel NewsAsia 10th Sep 2018
Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment company Go-Jek has invested in digital media startup Kumparan as part of its expansion into online content, it said.

Keppel, Salim Group to jointly develop and operate data centre in Indonesia The Business Times 10th Sep 2018
Keppel Corporation said early Monday that it has entered into signed conditional agreements to jointly develop and operate a high-availability data centre in Bogor near Jakarta with Indonesian conglomerate The Salim Group.

The role of e-Commerce in Indonesia’s digital economy OpenGov 5th Sep 2018
The Indonesian government is on the right track in developing ecosystems and is competitive enough to welcome the era of digital economy according to a research from McKinsey & Company. A recent announcement from the Ministry of Communications and Informatics highlighted that the mostimportant improvement done by the government in creating a successful digital ecosystemis the change in their mindset. The responsibility for facilitating and accelerating digitalisation falls on the government, and as such they have provided policies and services to address these.

Indonesia leads Asia-Pacific in AI implementation, study shows The Jakarta Post 5th Sep 2018
A recent study shows that Indonesia ranks first in the Asia-Pacific region in implementing artificial intelligence (AI), with 65 percent of respondents saying that they had either implemented AI in their business or were expanding or upgrading their AI capacity. The study, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf technology company Appier, aims to shed light on trends in AI adoption across the Asia-Pacific.

Indonesia's Go-Jek to partner with peer-to-peer lending firms Reuters 4th Sep 2018
Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment company Go-Jek said on Tuesday it will partner with three peer-to-peer (P2P) lending firms as the startup looks to expand its financial technology services in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.

Higher Risk Still Means Higher Interest in Fintech Lending Jakarta Globe 31st Aug 2018
For platforms that boast superior debtor risk assessments and aim to compete with conventional banks, online peer-to-peer lending services have so far fell short of their promises. These services currently offer annual interest rates of 19 percent on average to their clients, most of which are small and medium enterprises. However, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) says this is still too high to attract more borrowers that generally do not qualify for bank loans. In comparison, conventional banks offer SMEs loans at interest rates of up 10 percent, or 7 percent with the state subsidy. Ajisatria Sulaeman, director of the Association of Financial Technology (Aftech), said borrowers using peer-to-peer services are often those who do not meet banks' requirements.

Tax office to spy on taxpayers’ social media activity The Jakarta Post 30th Aug 2018
The Taxation Directorate General will spy on people’s activities through social media in trying to boost tax revenue, an official has said. “Social media covers wide range of activities […] We still need to prepare the infrastructure to support the plan,” Taxation Directorate General communication and information technology transformation director Iwan Djuniardi said in Jakarta on Wednesday. With the effort, the tax office expects that it will increase the basis data of taxpayers that currently is in the hands of the office, he said, adding that the monitoring activity was expected to improve taxpayers’ obedience to fulfill their obligation to pay taxes.

Laos

Laos Central Bank Warns Public Against Cryptocurrency Trading CryptoCoinsNews 3rd Sep 2018
Laos’ central bank has published a notice cautioning the public against cryptocurrency trading and their usage in payments. In a notice [PDF], dated 29 August, the Bank of Laos (BOL) said the public is warned against the use of “unregulated” cryptocurrencies, specifically naming Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin as examples. Addressed to merchants, traders and residents, the notice also urged citizens to research and understand any digital assets. The notice warned against the purchase and sale, or trading of digital assets, talking up the risks in crypto-related investments.

Malaysia

WEF advisor: M’sia has done fairly well in growing sharing economy The Star Online 10th Sep 2018
Malaysia can offer an abundance of room for the sharing economy to grow in view of the presence of companies such as Grab, Airbnb and Foodpanda, and this sector will become an increasingly essential piece of the overall economic pie in the current digital era.

We’re game to building an eSports arena, says Saddiq The Star Online 6th Sep 2018
An eSports arena will be built as part of the Youth and Sports Ministry’s push to develop a professional eSports culture locally. The ministry was also in talks with Singapore-based gaming hardware maker Razer Inc and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corpo­ration to start Malaysia’s first digital entertainment city in Jalan Ipoh.

Government will create right ecosystem for Malaysia to be globally competitive Digital News Asia 6th Sep 2018
Twice, she was interrupted during her speech by applause from the corporate leaders present at the What’s Next conference on Aug 30. Malaysia’s Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, Yeo Bee Yin, got her first round of applause when she shared that she had put a stop to the practice of hundreds of civil servants from her ministry attending conferences the ministry, which goes by the acronym MESTECC, is supporting and where she is speaking. “We have found that many agencies are working on entrepreneur development programmes and with many of these agencies under my ministry now, we will have a consolidation among them into two types of agencies. Those doing R&D and those focusing on entrepreneurship.”

Malaysia on track to realise smart cities vision OpenGov 5th Sep 2018
Malaysia is on the right track to realise its smart cities vision under the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020 (11MP), information and communications technology (ICT) leader NEC Corporation of Malaysia Sdn Bhd (NEC Malaysia) said, according to a recent report. The expert argues that in fact, citizens began living in a smart city the moment they started using a mobile application to pay for parking. The smart city concept is an integration of ICT and other smart policies such as improving waste management and healthcare, and increasing energy production from renewable sources to improve the quality of life of the people.

Gobind: Communications and Multimedia Act to be amended The Star Online 4th Sep 2018
The Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) will be amended to tighten some of the legal provisions which are often deemed to be very broad. Two notable provisions are section 233 which deals with the improper use of network facilities or network service, while Section 211 prohibits the publication of offensive content on the Internet.

Penang launchpad for tech startups Digital News Asia 4th Sep 2018
To be part of Malaysia’s thriving tech and startup ecosystem, Kuala Lumpur and its surroundings are where most of the action is centred. However, up north from Kuala Lumpur, Penang is also on the move to becoming a more innovative and startup-friendly city. As one of the Penang state government’s initiatives to propel the city as a tech entrepreneurship hub, the co-working space and collaborative hub @CAT Penang was launched in 2015.

Overall pricing for telco services likely to be slightly higher New Straits Times 30th Aug 2018
JBIX Chief Peering Officer Weng Yew Wong said this is because equipment purchases, which are part of the providers’ service, would be at a higher cost. “We are monitoring the guidelines from the Royal Malaysian Customs Department and we are still discussing with them as to which services that we provide fall under taxable services. “As we provide mainly telecommunications and information technology services, we fall under the Service Tax Act, as opposed to the Sales Tax Act,” he told Bernama.

Philippines

Asian Development Bank pushes digital technologies for development in APAC OpenGov 5th Sep 2018
New tools like mobile communications,robotics, and AI are bringing profound changes to the way people live, work,interact, and do business. Support is given through reliable ICT infrastructure, skilled human resources, and enabling policies and regulatory environments. During a 2-day forum held at the Asian Development Bank(ADB) Headquarters in Manila, ADB President Mr Takehiko Nakao shared that the bank is helping countries in Asia and the Pacific leverage digital technologies for development. This is being done while ADB is implementing digital reforms within its own institution.

Cryptocurrency trading rules eyed The Manila Times 3rd Sep 2018
Cryptocurrency exchanges could be allowed to operate as trading platforms in the Philippines given growing global interest in virtual currencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said. SEC Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong told reporters last week that regulators were targeting the release of draft rules by the end of next week. “We see the need to regulate them as trading platforms,” Amatong said, given the SEC’s mandate to protect the investing public.

Singapore

Singapore businesses need to overhaul identity verification processes Tech Wire Asia 5th Sep 2018
Singapore Personal Data Privacy Commission (PDPC) recently ordered organizations to stop collecting people’s National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) numbers. The new regulation that will come into effect September next year, is part of the government’s efforts to reduce incidents of identity theft and fraud. However, this poses a challenge for many security and building management providers, who would need time and money to upgrade their existing verification systems to stop capturing full NRIC numbers.

Singapore, Austria to cooperate more in digitalisation: PM Lee The Straits Times 30th Aug 2018
Singapore and Austria are discussing an agreement in digitalisation, an area in which both countries have "more than an interest, almost an obsession", said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday (Aug 30). "We are discussing a memorandum of understanding between our two countries and I'm sure we will be able to work out one which is substantial and valuable to all sides," said PM Lee at a lunch he hosted for Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who is on a three-day official visit to Singapore ending on Friday (Aug 31). The free trade agreement between Singapore and the European Union will also be signed this year during Austria's term as president of the EU, he added.

Singapore to train 2,000 executives, workers in developing basic AI, data applications The Business Times 30th Aug 2018
Talent development in Singapore's burgeoning artificial intelligence (AI) scene is set to receive a boost with two new nationwide initiatives announced on Thursday (Aug 30). The two initiatives to be developed by AI Singapore - AI for Industry (AI4I) and AI for Everyone (AI4E) - will equip 12,000 Singaporeans over the next three years with various AI knowledge. AI4I will see 2,000 executives, as well as those technically inclined in AI, going through a subsidised three-month foundational course on developing basic AI and data applications to prepare them for future job opportunities.

Firms in Singapore and China to Benefit from Blockchain Innovation Fund CryptoCoinsNews 30th Aug 2018
Chinese and Singaporean companies operating within the fields of ICT and media have received a boost with the launch of a new fund to support collaborations among them. The China-Singapore ICM Joint Innovation Development Fund covers technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, augmented reality and robotics.

Thailand

NBTC taking OTT tax plan for ASEAN approval Bangkok Post 11th Sep 2018
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) plans to propose a tax regime to the Asean Telecommunications Regulators Council (ATRC) by this year-end to set a regulatory framework governing over-the-top (OTT) companies. "We will meet ATRC to discuss a consensus on regulations to govern OTT businesses in Asean, with appropriate state benefits," said NBTC secretary-general Takorn.

NBTC surprises with October auction Bangkok Post 6th Sep 2018
The next round of the 1800- and 900-megahertz spectrum auctions has been rescheduled to take place in October, four months before the initial projected date. The board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) passed a resolution for the auctions on Wednesday. The regulator decided that rescheduling was a key factor in deciding if Total Access Communication (DTAC) should be awarded a remedy period for its 360,000 customers using mobile service on the 850MHz network after the concession expires on Sept 15.

E-commerce bill gets second hearing Bangkok Post 6th Sep 2018
A draft bill to supervise e-commerce transaction reports is undergoing a second public hearing after the Council of State concluded the vetting process, says a source at the Revenue Department. The law will improve the Revenue Department's tax collection efficiency as e-commerce businesses boom, providing a tool for the department to determine if online vendors are understating or evading tax payments. The public hearing will run through Sept 15 on the department's website, the source said.

DTAC expiry hangs over NBTC Bangkok Post 4th Sep 2018
Over 1 million mobile customers using Total Access Communication's (DTAC) 850-megahertz spectrum network will be disconnected from mobile service after Sept 15, as the board of the telecom regulator will likely cut off the mobile network service after the concession expires. Furthermore, all 21 million DTAC customers will lose their mobile connection in areas the company's 850MHz network covers.

Thailand government may build digital wallet to hold crypto assets seized in crimes e27 4th Sep 2018
Thailand’s legal framework is not build to handle cryptocurrency crimes, making the country a haven for cyber criminals. If it launches, the digital AMLO Wallet will not be used to pay for goods, it will not be used to trade for bitcoin and there will be zero intention to scale the product. The wallet, which is the brainchild of Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office, is meant to hold digital currencies that have been confiscated by the police, according to The Nation.

Thailand is becoming a critical country for blockchain TechCrunch 31st Aug 2018
While United States regulators are still trying to figure out how to think about cryptocurrencies, Thailand’s government is already mapping out its own central bank digital currency. This is just one of numerous examples how Thailand has emerged as one the most interesting cryptocurrency and blockchain countries in Southeast Asia in 2018.

Asean ICT master plan in the works Bangkok Post 31st Aug 2018
The government is developing an ICT master plan for Asean connectivity to implement practical guidelines for digital collaboration across Asean countries. The development is to prepare the country for Thailand's chairmanship of the two Asean Summits in 2019, said Digital Economy and Society (DE) Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj. The Asean ICT master plan is expected to help shape more effective cooperation in a wide range of areas, including harmonisation of digital laws and regulations in the region, acceleration of development in regional infrastructure connectivity and creation of a digital workforce.

ETDA hastening compliance with EU rules Bangkok Post 30th Aug 2018
The Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) has urged the government to submit the Data Protection Act to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) this month to avoid sanctions from the EU for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. The GDPR states that the EU will conduct business with countries that have the same level of data protection, particularly to protect EU citizens' data. Surangkana Wayuparb, executive director of the ETDA, said the data protection draft is being considered by the Office of the Council of State and is expected to be passed to the NLA this August.

Providers consider Thailand's e-commerce market crucial Bangkok Post 30th Aug 2018
Thailand is the most important e-commerce market for key overseas players as the retail market keeps evolving, say logistics providers. Speaking at a panel on the "Retail Business Revolution", Alex Ng, executive director of Kerry Express Thailand, said the parcel delivery segment will grow faster in next 5-10 years. "Kerry's services will go deeper and wider in the Thai community in the next 5-10 years," he said. Kerry is the first parcel delivery service to introduce QR payment upon delivery.

Vietnam

VN to spend $2.9b on advertising Viet Nam News 5th Sep 2018
More than VNĐ68 trillion (over US$2.9 billion) is expected to be spent on media advertising by companies in Việt Nam, with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers to make up the bulk of the spending. In its recent report, Kantar Worldpanel, a global company specialising in shoppers’ behaviour research, said: “It is very easy to appreciate why advertisers, media agencies and media owners continue to work tirelessly to better understand the media return on investment (ROI) of the dollars they spend.”

SSI upgrades stock board and order services for Web Trading Viet Nam News 4th Sep 2018
SSI Web Trading, an online trading service from Saigon Securities, has upgraded its online stock board and updated two more conditional orders for derivative trading. The two new orders, namely OCO and Bull & Bear, are the two most useful orders in derivative trading. With this upgrade, all market data displayed on the board and order screen will be updated consecutively and immediately, helping investors track stock prices and follow transactions quickly and accurately.

Spam messages plague Vietnam phone users The Nation 4th Sep 2018
Congratulation! You are this week's winner. Send DKG to 9183 to receive a top-up card worth VNĐ200,000 (Bt280). This is just one of the many text messages that pop up on the phone screen of Minh Huong in Hoan Kiem district every day. These advertisements encourage users to try multiple services, from data packages to top-up cards, and from English courses to new real estate projects in town.

Cybersecurity Becoming Major Concern for Vietnamese Businesses Vietnam News 3rd Sep 2018
At one of An Nguyen's old jobs in Hanoi, she had a daily ritual: When she wanted to log in to the computer, she had to answer a cybersecurity question such as "What is spear phishing?" or "How does malware work?" Nguyen did not work in the technology industry, but this was her employer's way of making sure that all staff had at least a basic understanding of good cyber awareness.

Banks to work harder on cyber crime Vietnam Plus 3rd Sep 2018
Cyber security is a hot issue globally and in Vietnam, concerns on the subject have been expressed by the Government and departments, especially in the field of banking – finance, said Le Manh Hung, director of the State Bank of Vietnam’s Information Technology Department. The Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA), the Information Technology Department and the Financial Services - Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) co-organised a workshop titled ‘Threat intelligence and responses to cyber attacks in the banking sector’ in Hanoi on last week.

New influx of domain names heating up market VietNamNet 31st Aug 2018
The massive arrivals of new domain name extensions have brought great opportunities to both domestic enterprises and domain name registrars.  Six years have elapsed since ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) approved the extension of domain names on internet.  The new domain name extensions not only have to compete with old domain name extensions, but with each other to find their positions in the market.

Ministry of Finance tops Vietnam ICT Index for six consecutive years VietNamNet 31st Aug 2018
The Ministry of Finance has topped 19 governmental agencies with public services in the Vietnam ICT Index for six years in a row after earning 0.926 points this year. The ministry ranks first in ICT human infrastructure (1.000 points), ICT applications (0.900), and internal ICT applications (1.000 points). It is followed by the Vietnam Social Security, the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Information and Communications. The last three positions are taken by the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Government Inspectorate.

Vietnam's food delivery market heats up with new players Hanoi Times 30th Aug 2018
Vietnam’s US$33 billion food delivery market has remained appealing to investors with more new service providers deciding to jump on the bandwagon. Malaysia-based ride-hailing firm Grab has recently launched GrabFood in Ho Chi Minh City, setting to break into the lucrative food delivery market in Vietnam. The company has 500 partners which are restaurants and food shops in the city.

Japan to lift investment in VN IT sector Viet Nam News 30th Aug 2018
Japanese information and technology (IT) firms have been expanding their investment into Việt Nam and hiring more Vietnamese workers, according to experts at the Việt Nam-Japan ICT Day held in Hà Nội on Wednesday.

IT key to Vietnam’s Industry 4.0 future VietNamNet 30th Aug 2018
Vietnam’s great potential in IT and wide-scale smartphone coverage will be the keys for the country to develop its digital economy and seize great opportunities in Industry 4.0. Nguyen Dat reports. Vietnam can learn good lessons from other countries, which are successfully boosting a digital economy The main hall of the InterContinental Hanoi Westlake was packed with several hundreds of people last Tuesday, who arrived as representatives of international organisations, embassies, and the media, as well as experts, to attend the “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” conference held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Danang leads ICT Index for third consecutive year Saigon Times 30th Aug 2018
Danang City has outstripped other parts of the country to take the lead in the Vietnam Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Index 2018 for the third consecutive year, heard attendees of a conference on Vietnam’s ICT cooperation, held in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long. Danang won the first position, with 0.9407 points, followed by HCMC, Hanoi and Quang Ninh, with scores of 0.6652, 0.6473 and 0.6396, respectively, according to a report on the Vietnam ICT Index 2018 released at the 22nd conference, which was co-organized by the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Vietnam Association for Information Processing and the provincial People’s Committee.

Vietnam well-equipped to meet ICT personnel needs of Japan Saigon Times 30th Aug 2018
Japan’s shortage of human resources in information and communications technology (ICT) is a major opportunity for Vietnam, heard participants at the 2018 Japan ICT Day in Hanoi on August 29. According to data from Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications presented at the event, Japan currently lacks some 171,000 engineers and will be short of an estimated 369,000 general engineers and 48,000 engineers of new technologies by 2020.