ICT Update: October 25, 2018

ICT Update | October 25, 2018
Authors: Shay Wester, Ella Duangkaew, Monica Chritton, Bryan Yeoh
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 

October 24, 2018 - October 26, 2018: Door-knock Mission for Vietnam Law on Cybersecurity (LOCS) Implementation Decree 

November 1, 2018: ICT Committee Quarterly Call

November 21, 2018: SME Workshop in Hai Phong, Vietnam

December 4, 2018 - December 6, 2018: 2018 Business Mission to the 18th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting

 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

72 Singapore HealthHub Portal Accounts Accessed Without Authorization, But No Evidence of Breach

On October 18, Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) said in a joint statement that unauthorized access to 72 accounts on HPB’s HealthHub portal had occurred on four days – September 28, and October 3, 8 and 9. The IHiS and HPB found no evidence of a system breach. The SingPass two-factor authentication prevented exposure of more sensitive information such as medical data. The HealthHub portal was closed for six days following the unauthorized activity, but access to the portal’s mobile app and website have been restored as the HPB and IHiS continue investigations and system surveillance.

Although the unauthorized HealthHub account access activity is a separate occurrence from the June SingHealth breach, both systems are overseen by IHiS. The Straits Times reports this could create more questions for IHiS as it is still working with the Committee of Inquiry (COI) convened to investigate the SingHealth breach (for more information, read our Update here). According to the Straits Times, cybersecurity experts called the HealthHub unauthorized access incident “elementary” in comparison to the June SingHealth attack.

Singapore is prioritizing rebuilding trust in information systems following the SingHealth breach and has taken several steps to build up its cybersecurity. This has included launching the ASEAN-Singapore Center of Cybersecurity Excellence (ASCCE) and starting a Government Bug Bounty Programme. Other ASEAN countries are also making efforts to build their cybersecurity resilience. For example, in the last few months, Vietnam has been developing its draft implementation decree for the recently passed Law on Cybersecurity, and Thailand released its latest draft of the Cybersecurity Bill for public comment this past month. In addition, ASEAN Cybersecurity and IT Ministers collectively endorsed a principle of 11 norms recommended by the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (UNGGE) at the ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC)  (For more information, see our Update here). ASEAN’s collective efforts to boost cyber resilience are critical, particularly as ASEAN has been identified as one of the most vulnerable regions for cyber attacks (according to an A.T. Kearny report found here), as demonstrated by the continued attacks on IHiS’s sensitive systems. However, regulatory efforts—such as Vietnam and Thailand’s—run the risk of stifling innovation and the free flow of data at the expense of security. It will be important for such efforts to strike a balance between flexibility and security to ensure that ASEAN can be both innovative and resilience in the cyberspace.

Universal Service Obligation for Telecommunications and Informatics Redefined by Indonesian Government

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (KOMINFO) issued Minister of KOMINFO Regulation No. 10 of 2018 (Regulation 10/2018) which replaces Minister of KOMINFO Regulation No. 25 of 2015 on the Universal Service Obligation (USO) for Telecommunications and Information Technology (KPU TIK). This regulation was issued to meet the growing digital consumption in Indonesia. Indonesia’s digital landscape has grown exponentially in the past years. Between 2015 and 2017 alone, Indonesia added 13 million mobile internet users to reach a user population of 76 million. Internet users are estimated at 132 million as of 2018. KPU TIK sets out obligations to provide telecommunication services to rural, lesser developed regions, non-economically feasible areas and areas which require information technology facilities and infrastructure. Funding for KPU TIK is sourced from KPU TIK contributions and other legal sources in accordance with prevailing laws and regulations. The government is targeting 100 percent 3G network coverage in all villages throughout Indonesia. In addition, the government is also targeting 514 districts and cities to have 100 percent 4G LTE network, which is a 64 percent increase from this year. Indonesia looks to achieve this development through its Palapa Ring Project which is supported by USO.

There are four stages of KPU TIK implementation: planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and development. Regulation 10/2018 places the Telecommunications and Information Accessibility Development Agency (BAKTI) as the central figure in KPU TIK implementation. Previously, KPU TIK implementation was managed by the Telecommunications and Informatics Financing Provision and Management Office (BPPTI) and by the Director-General for the Organization of Post and Informatics at the Ministry. Although Regulation 10/2018 has been in force since August 30, 2018; cooperation agreements on KPU TIK concluded prior to the issuance of this current regulation will remain valid.

On the sidelines of Indonesia hosting the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Bali two weeks ago, the government began the tender process for a multifunction satellite project. So far the project involves PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero) as the Lead Transaction Advisor, PT Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia and KOMINFO. The project has attracted the participation of investors from Japan, China, Luxembourg, the U.K. and the U.S. According to the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), the project has a concession period of 15 years with an investment value of IDR 6.7 trillion (US$ 440 million). Once in operation, the satellite is expected to expand broadband functions to underserved areas.

Thai Commerce Ministry Launches Feasibility Study on Blockchain Applications

Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce announced plans to launch feasibility studies on the application of blockchain technology to intellectual property (IP) registration, agriculture supply chains and trade finance. The feasibility studies, which are expected to conclude by February 2019, are just the latest example of Thailand’s interest in fostering the use of blockchain technology in the country, which could potentially set Thailand up to be a leader in the region on the use of the technology.

The benefit of blockchain, according to Pimchanok Vonkorpon, Director-General of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) under the Commerce Ministry, is increased transparency and efficiency in business operations. The topics covered in the IP feasibility study will include registration, protection and smart contracts via blockchain. In addition to the feasibility studies on IP and trade finance, TPSO aims to apply the regulatory sandbox approach the use of blockchain for organic rice export processing to encourage experimentation and innovation. The ultimate goal would be to increase trust and transparency while reducing costs and delays in the export process, with processing potentially being reduced to less than three days, according to Vonkorporn.

Thailand’s government overall appears to recognize the potential of blockchain technology, including its use in cryptocurrencies. TechCrunch reported that Thailand’s government is already mapping out its own central bank digital currency, called Project Inthanon, and the Thai government has become increasingly outspoken and welcoming of cryptocurrency projects and exchanges. Thailand has also delivered licensing services and permits exchanges for cryptocurrency companies. In June, the SEC laid out guidelines to allow seven cryptocurrencies to be used as trading pairs, following the enactment of a 100-section emergency decree in May detailing the requirements for the authorized use of cryptocurrency.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 
  • Vietnam Law on Cybersecurity (LOCS) Implementation Decree: As a part of the Council's advocacy strategy following the release of several internal drafts of the implementing decree for Vietnam's Law on Cybersecurity (LOCS), the Council is conducting an urgent Door-knock Mission to Hanoi to engage with key officials from the Government of Vietnam prior to the official release of the draft. During this mission, the Council is also organizing a Consultative Workshop on the draft decree in partnership with the Vietnam Digital Communication Association (VDCA). Additionally, the Council is preparing for a study tour with the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Team (PMEAT) from November 4-10.

The Council will seek member comments once the official draft implementation decree has been released for comments, which will likely occur near the end of this week. The Oct. 11 draft is still an internal document, but it appears that there are no meaningful changes from the Oct. 3 draft regarding the most problematic chapters, specifically Chapters 1 & 5. Prior to October 17, Council staff met with the Chairman of the Office of the Government and Minister of Planning and Investment, who were at that point unaware of the draft decree but willing to receive industry input.

Please contact Vu Tu Thanh (tvu@usasean.org) and Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) with any questions.

  • Indonesia GR82 Update: The Council has obtained the latest draft amendment to Indonesia’s Government Regulation 82/2012 on Electronic Systems and Transaction Operations (GR82), which the government is planning to finalize by the end of October. Currently, the text is only available in Bahasa Indonesia (see attached). This newest draft updates the previous version (circulated in February), for which the Council submitted joint industry comments (attached) to Indonesia’s ICT Minister Rudiantara. Substantively, the new draft has largely maintained its original provisions with revisions in a few areas. Domestic entities have appealed the government to require localization of both Strategic and High categories of Electronic Data. The Council is currently developing an industry submission on the newest draft, and hopes that the amendment will pass in its current form, with localization required only for data in the Strategic category. The Council will continue to work closely to ensure smooth implementation across sectors. Please contact Kim Yaeger (kyaeger@usasean.org) for any questions.
 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 

Cambodia
Experts quench technology fears
Report: Cambodia saw 140 per cent rise in tech startup investment in 2018
CMAC to use ‘smart’ dogs in demining

Indonesia
Data center competition heats up in Southeast Asia
Government to support e-sports tournaments
Jokowi urges local govt to tech-up
Bekasi residents queue before dawn for e-ID card tickets
Chris Kanter appointed Indosat president director
Ministry prepares two draft regulations on ride-hailing apps

Laos
Science, technology development as govt, private sector discuss

Malaysia
Study reveals Malaysians’ top three data security concerns
Digital tax may impact parcel delivery logistics
IT players seek greater incentives to build ‘Digital Malaysia’
Key challenges and opportunities in Malaysia’s e-commerce scene
The State of the Nation: Restarting Malaysia’s digital path
Malaysia to introduce the National Industry 4.0 Policy Framework
New Cyber Security obligations on Financial Institutions proposed by Bank Negara Malaysia

Myanmar
New digital tax collection system to launch next year

Philippines
Gov’t wants more clearing houses for digital deals
DOF eyes e-invoicing system to make VAT refunds possible
Bidder's suit against NTC may delay search for 3rd telco: DICT
Using tech to bring transparency to Philippines’ pharmacies
BPO industry association expands availability of career portal
Converge ICT to partner with KT for 3rd telco bid
China Telecom, Europe firm join 3rd telco bid

Singapore
How Singapore is redesigning retirement using biometrics
SingPass launches new app for e-services
72 HealthHub accounts accessed without authorisation, e-service shut down for 6 days
Singtel mobile network disrupted in several areas of Singapore
'Talent gap' is no excuse for lax cybersecurity
Companies eye Singapore for data centre storage, cloud leasing
Why Singapore’s defence tech agency asked 300 hackers to test its systems
Undersea superhighway: A new 4,600km submarine cable linking Perth to Singapore
Rules to bar fintechs from moving into banking ops

Thailand
AI, big data technology used in pilot project to ease Bangkok’s traffic congestion
The cybersecurity balancing act
How Thailand is using big data to power the government
Thai SMEs most tech-savvy in Asean: study
TFA: Fintech law to be enacted this year
Premier dismisses cyber bill criticism
Undisclosed online prices targeted
SET backs automated reports
Nectec academy formed to help train IoT skill set
Thailand paces region in CMMI-certified software

Vietnam
Technology continues to attract investment
Ha Noi focuses on e-commerce
500 enterprises in HCM City trained to use 24/7 e-tax payment scheme
Mobile providers to join e-payment services
Solution near for tech giant tax limbo
Vietnam develops own earth observation satellite
Ministry considers removing mobile phone promotion cap
MoIT makes out case for crypto mining

 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Cambodia

Experts quench technology fears Khmer Times 24th Oct 2018
An IT revolution is simmering in the global sphere, aided by experts in tech-related fields who are looking into the possibilities of the future, particularly those presented by Artificial Intelligence (AI). We are living in exciting times. What the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Internet of Things (AIoT) will do for us in the future is a question that many are asking now.

Report: Cambodia saw 140 per cent rise in tech startup investment in 2018 e27 21st Oct 2018
By Q2 2018, Cambodia had seen at least 12 tech startup funding announcements, which was exactly a 140 per cent increase from at least five in the previous year, according to a new report on the kingdom’s tech ecosystem by Mekong Strategic Partners and Raintree Development. Launched during the inaugural Cambodia Tech Summit 2018 in Phnom Penh today, the report also detailed the kingdom’s tech startup landscape by category, with fintech leading as a popular sector with more than 50 active startups operating. Examples of such startups are Morakot, Banhji, Pi Pay, BongLoy, and SmartLoy.

CMAC to use ‘smart’ dogs in demining Khmer Times 17th Oct 2018
The Cambodian Mine Action Centre is training intelligent dogs, equipped with cameras and communication systems, to detect landmines and cluster munitions in demining operations. CMAC director-general Heng Ratana yesterday said that the organisation is cooperating with APOPO, a demining organisation that uses rats, to carry out the programme. He noted that they are studying ways to train the dogs and equip them with cameras, sound systems and remote communication systems.

Indonesia
Data center competition heats up in Southeast Asia Nikkei Asian Review 19th Oct 2018
Indonesia is challenging Singapore's dominance in data center investment by attracting industry giants Google, Alibaba and Amazon, with the latter proposing to pour nearly $1 billion into the country. The U.S. internet giant Google said this month that Indonesia would become its newest Asian hub for cloud services. The plan, which means setting up a data center in the world's fourth most populous nation, will be taking form soon, said Google Asia Pacific Managing Director Rick Harshman, at a recent Google Cloud Summit in Jakarta. The company is making "long-term investments in the infrastructure," he added, without specifying the amount.

Government to support e-sports tournaments Antara News 23rd Oct 2018
Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara has expressed readiness to support the e-Sports tournament, with more enthusiasts of the sports branch in the country. "I will offer support for this event to be held in many cities. This is a proof of the government`s support," Rudiantara stated at the closing of the Southeast Asia Cyber Arena (SEACA) at the Taman Anggrek Mall here on Monday.

Jokowi urges local govt to tech-up The Jakarta Post 22nd Oct 2018
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the government had distributed up to Rp 400 trillion (US$26.4 billion) in infrastructure funds this year to help empower villages, but that impact would be minimal if local administrations did not improve their bureaucracy.

Bekasi residents queue before dawn for e-ID card tickets The Jakarta Post 18th Oct 2018
Dozens of local residents waited in line as early as 3 a.m. on Thursday at a Public Service Mall (MPP) located inside the Atrium Pondok Gede shopping mall in Bekasi, West Java, just to obtain a ticket number for processing their e-ID cards.

Chris Kanter appointed Indosat president director The Jakarta Post 18th Oct 2018
Chris Kanter has been appointed as Indosat Ooredoo's president director, part of the reshuffle of the company’s boards of directors and commissioners during the extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, according to a press statement received on Thursday.

Ministry prepares two draft regulations on ride-hailing apps The Jakarta Post 16th Oct 2018
The Transportation Ministry has prepared two draft regulations on ride-hailing apps after the previous regulations were annulled by the Supreme Court in September.

Laos

Science, technology development as govt, private sector discuss Vientiane Times 16th Oct 2018
Government officials, representatives of the private sector, research institutes and universities and entrepreneurs from Laos and abroad met in the capital yesterday to exchange experiences for the development of science, technology and innovation in the country.

Malaysia

Study reveals Malaysians’ top three data security concerns The Malay Mail 24th Oct 2018
Malaysians are now more concerned about data security issues — identity theft, credit card fraud and internet viruses or hacking, according to the 2018 Unisys Security Index(TM).

Digital tax may impact parcel delivery logistics BorneoPost Online 23rd Oct 2018
Local authorities looking to implement a digital tax on eCommerce transactions may have indirect impact on logistic players in the form of parcel delivery volume growth. The research team at Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd (AffinHwang Capital) in a special report said Malaysia was not alone with conventional tax mechanisms falling behind the emerging digital economy.

IT players seek greater incentives to build ‘Digital Malaysia’ The Edge Markets 22nd Oct 2018
Information technology (IT) industry players in Malaysia have urged the government to provide more constructive incentives and exemptions for companies involved in the digital ecosystem under the soon-to-be tabled Budget 2019.

Key challenges and opportunities in Malaysia’s e-commerce scene Yahoo! News 22nd Oct 2018
Malaysia is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia. The industry kicked off in 1998 with the launch of Lelong, followed by AirAsia, eBay and iPay88. E-commerce started picking up pace in 2010-2012, where major platforms like FashionValet, Mudah.my, Rakuten Malaysia (which was later closed), Carousell, Groupon, Hermo.my, Lazada and Zalora was introduced to the market (Source: ecInsider, entrepreneurcampfire).

The State of the Nation: Restarting Malaysia’s digital path The Edge Markets 22nd Oct 2018
To transform into a fully digitised government and society, a high-quality world-class infrastructure at affordable prices is a key ingredient — the reason the government is pushing to double internet speeds at half the price for Malaysians and had directed that wholesale prices be slashed.

Malaysia to introduce the National Industry 4.0 Policy Framework The Edge Markets 18th Oct 2018
A national policy framework on the fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will be formulated to promote innovation, creativity and competitiveness in embracing the intensification of the digital revolution.

New Cyber Security obligations on Financial Institutions proposed by Bank Negara Malaysia Lexology 11th Oct 2018
Given the increasing reliance of Financial Institutions (FIs) on technology and online systems and the increasing threat of cyber attacks, it is timely that the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) issued, on 4 September 2018, a set of minimum standards on technology risk and cybersecurity management by FIs in Malaysia - the Risk Management in Technology policy document (RMiT).

Myanmar

New digital tax collection system to launch next year The Myanmar Times 11th Oct 2018
The government will make existing tax laws clearer and start using technology to enable taxpayers to pay their taxes more conveniently.  The tax collection system will be changed from the current paper-based system to a digital system, said U Min Htut, director general of Internal Revenue Department under the Ministry of Planning and Finance, which collects 80 percent of the country’s taxes.

Philippines
Gov’t wants more clearing houses for digital deals Philstar 24th Oct 2018
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is rushing the launch of more automated clearing houses (ACHs) particularly on government transactions as it aims to increase the level of cashless transactions to 20 percent by 2020 from the current level of about one percent. Vicente de Villa III, officer-in-charge of the central bank’s financial technology sub-sector (FTSS), said there is a need to launch more ACHs to meet the target of the National Retail Payment System (NRPS) to establish a safe, efficient, affordable, and reliable e-payments system.

DOF eyes e-invoicing system to make VAT refunds possible BusinessMirror 24th Oct 2018
THE Department of Finance (DOF) is looking to establish an electronic invoicing system (e-invoicing) by 2020, which will allow for the implementation of a value-added tax (VAT) refund system for tourists visiting the country. During the Philippine Hotel Owners Association Inc. general membership meeting at the New World Hotel in Makati City on Tuesday, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told attendees, “Yes we will [set up a VAT refund scheme]; we don’t have the system at the moment, but we are certainly going to do it. And it should be in place some time in two years. There’s a possibility for us to outsource the system but our problem at the moment is we don’t have an e-invoicing system, which we are currently working on.”

Bidder's suit against NTC may delay search for 3rd telco: DICT ABS-CBN News 22nd Oct 2018
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said on Monday the selection process for the Philippines' third major telecommunications company may be delayed by a suit lodged by NOW Telecom against the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). On Oct. 9, NOW Telecom sued the NTC, saying the agency had turned the search for a third telco into "a money-making scheme."

Using tech to bring transparency to Philippines’ pharmacies Techwire Asia 19th Oct 2018
The Philippines' 105 million people are served by 15,000 registered pharmacies — all of whom keep paper records of the prescriptions that they fill. The country recently adopted a law requiring all pharmacists to use a new platform called the Electronic Drug Safety System (eDSS), developed by mClinica. Pharmacists will use their smartphones to photograph each prescription they fill and upload it to the eDSS, which uses artificial intelligence to digitize the prescription and send the data to a cloud-based database, enabling real-time public health insights. Nearly 300 million prescriptions will be digitized every year. The eDSS pilot in 2016 demonstrated the system’s power to reveal previously hidden trends, such as low use of antibiotics for tuberculosis despite prescribed dosage.

BPO industry association expands availability of career portal Business World 19th Oct 2018
THE Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said it will expand the availability of its career portal next month after initially offering the program to candidates in the provinces. In an email to BusinessWorld, IBPAP said it has entered into a partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to offer the portal to candidates living in major cities and in the academe. The portal provides career guidance on opportunities in the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector.

Converge ICT to partner with KT for 3rd telco bid Business World 16th Oct 2018
THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. has committed to joining the government’s bid for a new telecommunications player, with South Korean telecommunications giant KT Corp. as its partner.

China Telecom, Europe firm join 3rd telco bid Philippine Star 13th Oct 2018
China Telecom, China’s largest telecommunications company, has advanced its intent to become the country’s third telco player, while another European company is looking to enter the fray. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said China Telecom and Mobiltel Holding GmbH purchased bid documents yesterday, joining six other firms which have paid P1 million, respectively to acquire the documents since it started becoming available to interested participants on Monday. Norway’s Telenor Group made its purchase on Monday. 

Singapore

How Singapore is redesigning retirement using biometrics GovInsider 23rd Oct 2018
The Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board of Singapore has redesigned its mobile app to make information on retirement savings easier for citizens to access. The agency is now using biometrics to shorten the login process for users. Rather than having to key in their SingPass ID and password, users will now only need to use either their fingerprints or facial biometrics on their smartphones to log onto the app.

SingPass launches new app for e-services Singapore Business Review 22nd Oct 2018
Users can now log in using their fingerprint, facial recognition or a six digit passcode. Local and overseas SingPass users can now download a new mobile app which will let them access and perform government transactions on the go, an announcement revealed.

72 HealthHub accounts accessed without authorisation, e-service shut down for 6 days The Straits Times 18th Oct 2018
About 70 HealthHub accounts are suspected to have been accessed without authorisation in recent days, despite nationwide calls to tighten cyber security since the attack on SingHealth’s database in June. Both the HealthHub and SingHealth incidents – although seemingly unrelated – happened under the watch of Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS) which runs the IT systems of all public healthcare operators in Singapore.

Singtel mobile network disrupted in several areas of Singapore Channel NewsAsia 18th Oct 2018
Singtel's mobile network was down for many users in Singapore on Thursday night (Oct 18), with people in areas including one-north, Choa Chu Kang, Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Serangoon and Kembangan saying they were unable to access mobile services from around 10pm.

'Talent gap' is no excuse for lax cybersecurity The Edge Singapore 16th Oct 2018
To be sure, there is unlikely to be an infrastructure that is 100% secure against cyberattacks. But that also means the responsibility for protecting an organisation against a breach cannot be left only to the techies. Indeed, it is worrying that many assume cybersecurity is the responsibility of only skilled tech professionals or a sophisticated technology system.

Companies eye Singapore for data centre storage, cloud leasing The Business Times 15th Oct 2018
When it comes to big data, Singapore is going large. More companies are looking to lease existing buildings for data storage, and some tech companies are building their own facilities.

Why Singapore’s defence tech agency asked 300 hackers to test its systems GovInsider 15th Oct 2018
In the Singapore Government’s first-ever bug bounty programme, the Defence Science and Technology Agency of Singapore (DSTA) invited 300 ethical hackers from around the world to test the Ministry of Defence’s (MINDEF) internet-facing systems for vulnerabilities, or bugs. During the bug bounty project, ethical hackers tested 25 e-services from MINDEF, which ranged from medical systems and web mail to administrative systems.

Undersea superhighway: A new 4,600km submarine cable linking Perth to Singapore The Straits Times 15th Oct 2018
The Straits Times understands that several Singapore ISPs, as well as international ones, are in talks to work with Australian communications firm Vocus to use the 4,600km Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) system.The new 4,600km submarine cable linking Perth to Singapore that delivers a minimum capacity of 40 terabytes per second could make this a possibility.

Rules to bar fintechs from moving into banking ops The Straits Times 11th Oct 2018
While fintechs are welcome to set up shop here, there will be clear lines drawn to prevent them from using funds to push into banking operations, such as extending loans. Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) managing director Ravi Menon said yesterday that larger mobile wallet operators will have to ring-fence their e-wallet funds, meaning they will be barred from lending.

Thailand

AI, big data technology used in pilot project to ease Bangkok’s traffic congestion Thai PBS World 23rd Oct 2018
Four main roads in Bangkok are included in a five-year pilot project aimed at easing traffic congestion in the capital with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytical technology. The pilot project is part of the Communication Ministry’s “Sustainable Mobility Project”, which is cooperation between the ministry, educational institutions and a number of the private sector, said Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith. The roads included into the pilot project are Rama IV, Sukhumvit, Charoen Krung and the road around the Victory Monument, he said.

The cybersecurity balancing act Bangkok Post 22nd Oct 2018
The draft cybersecurity bill, which is yet to be completed, is being promoted as an attempt to expand Thailand's cybersecurity infrastructure, protect national security interests and crack down on cybercrime. Growing public backlash against the bill is causing tremors both online and offline because of concerns over the abuse of power and data privacy breaches.

How Thailand is using big data to power the government Tech in Asia 18th Oct 2018
As Thailand closes the second year of its two-decade “Thailand 4.0” plan to become a value-based economy, the infrastructure necessary to facilitate this transformation is almost ready.

Thai SMEs most tech-savvy in Asean: study The Nation 18th Oct 2018
Thailand’s small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the most active in Southeast Asia when it comes to investing in technology to drive business performance, according to the results of the Asean SME Transformation Study by United Overseas Bank (UOB), EY and Dun & Bradstreet. The study found that 73 per cent of Thai SMEs prioritised technology as their top investment over other investments such as factories and machinery. In Asean, they were the most positive about the importance of technology, followed by Malaysia (65 per cent) and Singapore (63 per cent).

TFA: Fintech law to be enacted this year Bangkok Post 17th Oct 2018
The Fintech Act is expected to be announced and become effective by the end of this year, making it easier for the public to process information and create a fintech platform, says the Thai Fintech Association (TFA). TFA chief executive Anon Aunsinmun said the law will make it easier for investors, financial institutions and the public to obtain information and data from government organisations, although this is not personal information.

Premier dismisses cyber bill criticism Bangkok Post 17th Oct 2018
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended the proposed cybersecurity law despite a public outcry that it would allow the state to search, penetrate, and seize computer systems without a court warrant. Public concern has grown as a result of speculation the government aims to approve the bill soon so that it can be scrutinized by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) this month.

Undisclosed online prices targeted Bangkok Post 16th Oct 2018
The Commerce Ministry has threatened to take legal action against online traders who do not disclose their price tags and opt to relay prices through online messages. A source from the Commerce Ministry who requested anonymity said the ministry has received lots of complaints from customers about online purchases, especially via Facebook, where the sellers choose to inform buyers of the prices via online messages.

SET backs automated reports Bangkok Post 15th Oct 2018
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) will talk with other capital market organisations this week and seek ideas for boosting the number of analysts and increasing the overall quality of Thailand's capital market. Besides helping to set up an academy fostering a new generation of analysts, the bourse will support automated reports delivered by an artificial intelligence (AI) tool.

Nectec academy formed to help train IoT skill set The Nation 15th Oct 2018
An Internet of Things (IoT) Academic Network is being set up through a collaboration involving the National Electronic and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec) and 23 educational institutes and schools to develop human resources in the country. The move is aimed at helping the country cope with the high demand for human resources in the coming years.

Thailand paces region in CMMI-certified software Bangkok Post 11th Oct 2018
Thailand ranks No.1 in Asean for a third straight year with the highest number of software firms receiving CMMI global certification in software development. The trend has helped increase the quality of local software and startup competitiveness amid digital transformation and the rise of emerging technologies, said the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA).

Vietnam

Technology continues to attract investment Viet Nam News 23rd Oct 2018
A Việt Nam Report survey on the 500 most profitable companies in the country said most business insiders expect technology to remain the leader in attracting investment. The survey announced the Profit500 Ranking for Việt Nam in Hà Nội on Monday. Technology was the most common answer among enterprises (51.4 per cent of respondents), construction and real estate (40 per cent) and retail (34.3 per cent).

Ha Noi focuses on e-commerce Viet Nam News 23rd Oct 2018
Hà Nội has implemented solutions to facilitate the sustainable development of e-commerce activities, which have grown rapidly recently, though problems persist in the quality of goods traded online. According to a survey of 1,000 enterprises in Hà Nội conducted by the Việt Nam E-commerce Association, 61 per cent have conducted business activities on social networks because it is an easy and effective business trend, while it also has low operation costs and offers quick feedback from customers.

500 enterprises in HCM City trained to use 24/7 e-tax payment scheme Viet Nam News 22nd Oct 2018
About 500 enterprises in HCM City have been trained to use a 24/7 e-tax payment system by the city’s Customs Department. The project will help taxpayers pay tax directly through the e-payment gateway at any time (including holidays) and anywhere with internet access. Customs will clear goods after receiving confirmation for successful tax payment from the banks.

Mobile providers to join e-payment services Viet Nam News 22nd Oct 2018
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked Viettel and VNPT to complete applications for submission to the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) to participate in e-payment mechanisms in Việt Nam. Earlier, the Ministry of Information and Communications and the two biggest telecom providers in Việt Nam – Viettel and VNPT – proposed that the PM instruct the central bank to allow them to offer financial switching services and electronic clearing services.

Vietnam develops own earth observation satellite Telecompaper 22nd Oct 2018
Vietnam is developing its own earth observation satellite to manage natural resources and mitigate the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. The country was estimated to lose 1.5 percent of its GDP due to climate change. The project using earth observation satellites for climate change and natural calamities prevention and control will be jointly implemented by the Japanese government and Vietnam. The project is worth about VND 7 trillion (approximately USD 301 million).

Ministry considers removing mobile phone promotion cap Việt Nam News 20th Oct 2018
The Ministry of Information and Communications is considering a proposal from telecom providers to remove the ceiling promotion rate of 20 per cent for pre-paid subscribers. The ministry’s Department of Telecommunications said they were working with the Finance Ministry to consider the proposal of adjusting the rate from the current 20 per cent to 50 per cent.

MoIT makes out case for crypto mining Vietnam Plus 16th Oct 2018
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has proposed not to suspend the imports of cryptocurrency mining machines (HS code 8471.80.90) in order to ensure the production and business activities of enterprises.