ICT Update: January 31, 2019

ICT Update | January 31, 2019
Authors: Shay Wester, Riley Smith, Ella Duangkaew, Goh Jing Yi, David Mineo
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
February 15, 2019: In-Person ICT Committee Meeting: The Council’s ICT Committee Chair, Cisco, will host an in-person ICT Committee Meeting on February 15. The meeting will build upon what was discussed in the Q1 Committee Call on January 23/24 (notes found here), and will discuss strategy and next steps for the Committee’s 2019 plans and priorities. Click here to register for the meeting, and please contact Ella Duangkaew at eduangkaew@usasean.org with any questions.
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Singapore Releases Proposed Model Artificial Intelligence Framework

On January 23, 2019, Singapore released the Proposed Model Artificial Intelligence Framework at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. The Framework builds upon the discussion paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Personal Data released by the Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on 5 June 2018. IMDA seeks to drive industry adoption of the Model Framework in the recognition that AI is an enabler in the implementation of the Digital Economy Framework for Action.

The Model Framework is underpinned by two fundamental principles: (1) Decisions made by or with the assistance of AI should be explainable, transparent and fair to consumers, and (2) AI solutions should be human-centric. The framework constitutes a forward-looking policy response to the rapid advancement of AI and the consequential need to frame ethics-related issues vis-à-vis the corporate use of AI. It aims to mitigate risks of unintended discrimination potentially leading to unfair outcomes and enhance consumers’ knowledge about how AI is involved in making significant or sensitive decisions about them. The Model Framework is voluntary and serves as a broad, ready-to-use tool to enable organizations that are deploying AI solutions at a scale to do so in a responsible manner. For more information, see our Analytical Update here.

The PDPC is encouraging organisations to review and provide feedback on the Framework until 30 June 2019, particularly by providing practical examples to aid in illustrating sections of the Framework; providing feedback on experiences in implementing the Framework, and how the Framework could be improved to ease implementation; and any other feedback on the Framework. Interested members should email feedback directly to the PDPC at corporate@pdpc.gov.sg by 30 June 2019. 

Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act and Cybersecurity Bill Awaiting Final Approval from NLA Before Passage

As of January 23, Thailand’s Draft Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) and Cybersecurity Bill have been forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) for approval, following approval by the Council of State in December 2018. The NLA will appoint a committee to review the two bills, which will then be subject to the NLA’s final approval and signed into law by His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The law will then be published in the Government Gazette and will come into effect 180 days after publication. While it remains unclear how long the NLA will take to approve the bill, it appears likely that approval will be granted in the next few weeks, and the Bill will be published in the Government Gazette sometime in February.

The Council has been engaged in consultation with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) on both bills since they were released for public comment in late 2018. The PDPA was released in September 2018, and the Council submitted comments on October 2, 2018. The Cybersecurity Bill was released twice for public comment in October and December 2018, and the Council provided comments for both versions in the same month as their release. For both bills, the Council expressed support of MDES’s commitment to protecting data privacy and cybersecurity in Thailand, but expressed concern that compliance with restrictive provisions in both bills would introduce burden to businesses of all sizes, particularly SMEs. The Council also raised concerns that the bills, in their current form, would stifle the innovation that the Government aspires to foster through its Thailand 4.0 vision. For the PDPA, the Council’s comments were followed by a technical workshop co-hosted by the Council and AsiaDPO on October 30, which facilitated discussion between the PDPA drafting team from MDES, the Electronic Transactions and Development Agency (ETDA), and industry data protection officers and privacy experts to discuss technical examples of how the PDPA’s implementation would impact Thai consumers.

For both bills, it is unclear what the final drafts under review by the NLA contain. This is particularly concerning as no further drafts of the PDPA have been shared since the September public comment period. While the latest draft of the Cybersecurity Bill was shared in December, this draft did not incorporate many of the concerns raised by industry in both the October and December public comment periods. For the Cybersecurity Bill, it is likely that the final bill will closely resemble the December draft, given the short timeline between when the draft was released and its approval by the Council of State. However, both bills may have undergone revision during review by the Council of State and may undergo revisions during the NLA’s review, leading to uncertainty for outside stakeholders on the content of the final bills. Implementation for both bills will most likely not take place until the last quarter of 2019, after the Government has settled down following elections and the coronation. At that time, it will be critical for industry to engage frequently and with specificity on the implementation processes. The bills’ implementation is likely to be a top priority for the post-election Government, particularly as the finalization and passage of these bills prior to elections was a top priority for the current administration.

Vietnam Makes Further Amends to Decree on Radio and Television Services to Regulate OTT

The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) announced it would amend The Decree on the Management, Provision and Use of Radio and Television Services (Decree 6/2016). Following MIC’s publication of a draft decree to be used for public consultation from July 23 to September 23, 2018 the Council and industries submitted concerns to Vietnam’s Authority for Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI), noting that some of the provisions under Decree 6 would stifle growth and innovation in over-the-top (OTT) services.

In its comments, the Council suggested that Vietnam engage with industry stakeholders to develop a regulatory framework that could adapt to and accommodate changes in the rapidly evolving media landscape. Specifically, the Council encouraged ABEI to embrace a self-regulatory approach that would satisfy all stakeholders without unduly burdening service providers and consumers. Much of the regulation in Decree 6 that applied toward traditional broadcasting would be difficult to apply toward OTT, where subscribers have greater agency in choosing the content they will upload or consume. The Council highlighted that self-regulation under frameworks such as the Subscription Video on Demand Industry Content Code (SVOD Code) could benefit all stakeholders, allowing Vietnam to better achieve its goal of becoming one of the top 10 global providers of digital content by 2020.

According to Tilleke & Gibbins, local and foreign chambers of commerce convened a workshop on December 12, 2018, to discuss stakeholder concerns on the latest draft of the decree (titled “Draft 4”). Of particular concern were unclear definitions of terms and questions of applicability, opaque licensing requirements that may constitute a barrier to market entry and hinder foreign investment, translation mandates, a restriction on foreign advertisements, and a quota on domestic programs. To date, neither ABEI nor MIC have publicly released details concerning the status of the decree’s development, any revisions made to the content, or the timeline for implementation.

On January 1, 2019, the Government issued Resolution 02/NQ-CP, which aims to improve Vietnam’s business environment and promote competition. In light of this development, it is possible that the Government will tailor Decree 06/2016 to align with the goals of the Resolution. However, in the past, the Government has incorporated very little industry input into its legislation, and final bills have resembled their original versions. Such is the case with the highly controversial Law on Cybersecurity (which went into effect on January 1, 2019) and its implementation decree. The latter is still being finalized, but in the most recently shared drafts it retains many concerning provisions. If amendments to the decree are not significant, industry will have to work closely with the Government to gain greater clarity on how Decree 06/2016 will impact and apply to OTT service providers.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 
  • The ICT Committee held its 1st Quarterly Call of 2019 on January 24, and the notes from the call can be found here. Please note that a previous version of the notes incorrectly stated that Vietnam is developing a data privacy law, when it is actually developing a data privacy decree. There are no data privacy laws in place in Vietnam, and at this stage the in-development decree will not be linked to a law. The notes linked above include this correction. For more information on the Vietnamese data privacy decree, please contact Vu Tu Thanh at tvu@usasean.org
 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
ASEAN
Tourism gets a boost with e-wallets

Brunei
ASEANAPOL must continue enhancing capacity to combat cybercrime surge

Indonesia
Indonesia poised to become the most dynamic market in SE Asia
Indonesia Plans Electric Vehicle Incentives for Foreign Car Makers
Regulation on ride-hailing 'ojek' to be issued this week
Technology policy likely to stay its course in Indonesia: Fitch Solutions
If at First You Don’t Succeed... Indonesia Makes Another Attempt to Regulate App-based Ride-Hailing Services

Malaysia
Malaysia's game plan: Improving human lives through the power of tech
What's Behind China's Belt and Road 'Smart Power' Push in Southeast Asia?
LinkedIn just named Sarawak and Kedah Malaysia’s ‘hidden gems’ of tech talent
Malaysian tech company signs major MOUs for enterprise
Malaysia and Japan pledge to collaborate further in tech

Myanmar
Philippines and Myanmar sign information accord
Newcomer in Myanmar triggers customer losses, revenue dip for foreign telcos

Philippines
Gov't to deploy modern tech, boat skimmers for Manila Bay rehab
PLDT joins the Next Generation Enterprise Network Alliance
Mislatel targets commercial rollout by late-2020
Chinese tower firm signs up with DICT

Singapore
Here are 8 areas of deep tech that Singapore startups are working on
Singapore, Australia and Japan nudge WTO one step nearer to coming up with e-commerce rules
Singapore releases framework on how AI can be ethically used
Dyson moves HQ to Singapore: 5 things about the British home appliance giant and its billionaire founder
Banks push for e-hongbao with QR-coded red paper amid high wastage from printing new notes

Thailand
E-tax bill on foreign firms unlikely to pass
Survey: IT and digital market projected to increase 13.7%
Chatuchak shops plied with e-commerce, loans
MEA and TOT investing in Smart Park
Depa plans March launch of government startup hub
NBTC board approves Oct 31 for 2G shutdown
Asian firms eye 700MHz auction
NBTC aproves termination of 2G service on Oct 31
Digital bills pass second reading in Assembly

Vietnam
Vietnam to Amend Decree on Broadcasting and TV Services to Regulate On-Demand Content
VN to build product origin portal
Digital content revenue estimated at $895 million in 2018
Vietnamese companies hit hard by cyber attacks
Digital economy: new driving force for VN’s development
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
ASEAN

Tourism gets a boost with e-wallets The ASEAN Post 22nd Jan 2019
The internet has changed the way most of us live. Through internet related technological innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and e-commerce, a lot of our day to day tasks have been made easier. Such innovations could also boost many industries, making it easier for those who engage in certain types of business to carry out their tasks. The mushrooming of e-wallets in Asia – particularly Southeast Asia – could be useful for the tourism industry. E-wallets or digital wallets allow an individual to make cashless electronic transactions. E-wallets are usually linked to your bank account, credit cards and some can even store cryptocurrencies.

Brunei

ASEANAPOL must continue enhancing capacity to combat cybercrime surge Borneo Bulletin 23rd Jan 2019
THE advent of technology has coincided with an increase in computer and cyber-enabled crimes, which have created new threats and challenges to regional security. Therefore it is imperative that ASEANAPOL, as the main law enforcement agency in the region, continues to step up efforts to strengthen its capacities in fighting and solving crime by way of effective policing strategies and operations. Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) Commissioner Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy bin Haji Muhd Shah Al-Islam highlighted this at the opening ceremony of the 9th ASEANAPOL Training Cooperation Meeting (APTCM) being hosted in Brunei Darussalam. The commissioner said training “is multi-faced, multi-functional and multi-dimensional”, and that the main objective “is to increase our capability in facing known or unknown (threats).”

Indonesia

Indonesia poised to become the most dynamic market in SE Asia Disruptive.Asia 31st Jan 2019
South East Asian markets acquired a large number of e-commerce platforms such as Lazada and Alibaba. Subsequently, mobile apps such as e-wallets and electricity tracking tools faced significant growth amongst consumers. Indonesia possesses a unique mobile-first ecosystem and demographic that allows it to stand out to investors among other emerging markets in Southeast Asia. As the fourth most populous country in the world, and growing further still, Indonesia presents significant potential in terms of mobile penetration rates. The country is projected to be a huge contributor to the Next Billion Users of the Internet, the latest generation of internet users to come online on smartphones. 

Indonesia Plans Electric Vehicle Incentives for Foreign Car Makers US News 29th Jan 2019
Indonesia is finalizing a new electric vehicle (EV) policy that will offer fiscal incentives to foreign car makers, as it ramps up efforts to become a lithium battery hub, its deputy industry minister said on Tuesday. The minister stated that Indonesia's target is for 20% of all cars produced to be electric vehicles by 2025. Indonesia, second largest car production hub in Southeast Asia after Thailand, plans to introduce a fiscal scheme that will offer tax cuts to EV battery producers and automakers, as well as preferential tariff agreements with other countries that have a high EV demand.

Regulation on ride-hailing 'ojek' to be issued this week The Jakarta Post 28th Jan 2019
The Transportation Ministry will issue a regulation this week to protect users of ride-hailing applications that use ojek (motorcycle taxi) services, the ministry’s land transportation director general, Budi Setiadi, said on Sunday. He said the ministry would hold a meeting this week that would be attended by representatives of all stakeholders to discuss the final draft of a new transportation ministerial regulation. “We will complete the regulation this week and it will begin to be enforced in March 2019,” Budi said as quoted by kompas.com. He explained that there were three main points in the regulation, namely suspensions for drivers, floor and ceiling rates and safety. Similar to how ride-hailing vehicles are regulated with a price floor of Rp 3,000 (21 US cents) per kilometer and price ceiling of Rp 6,000 per km, motorcycles will also be given set rates.

Technology policy likely to stay its course in Indonesia: Fitch Solutions The Business Times 24th Jan 2019
The president has been receptive to the idea of leveraging technology to boost the economy and has introduced stimulus packages and funding for tech projects and network infrastructure. That being said, macroeconomic headwinds, namely volatile currency and uncertain global growth, remain and could weigh on government spending around these IT initiatives.

If at First You Don’t Succeed... Indonesia Makes Another Attempt to Regulate App-based Ride-Hailing Services Lexology 23rd Jan 2019
As is the case in practically all jurisdictions around the world, Indonesia’s regulators have struggled to come to grips with the disruption caused to conventional public transportation models by the emergence and phenomenal growth of app-based ride-hailing services. To date, the Minister of Transportation (the “Minister”) has made a total of four attempts to regulate the sector, with the latest being Reg. No. 118 of 2018 on the Provision of Special For-Hire Transportation Services (“Reg. 118”),[1] which entered into effect on 19 December 2018. The Minister’s first attempt, back in 2016, proved short lived after an outcry from conventional taxi companies and drivers. The next attempt was Regulation No. 26 of 2017. However, the specific provisions of this regulation that related to ride-hailing services were struck down by the Supreme Court, which found that they contravened Law No. 20 of 2008 on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Law No. 22 of 2009 on Road Traffic and Transportation.

Malaysia

Malaysia's game plan: Improving human lives through the power of tech e27 31st Jan 2019
Four of Malaysia’s tech startups innovators were interview to see what innovations they’ve come up with and how those innovations are hinged on helping improve human lives. For the coming year, these startups aim to develop new technologies such as a GPS tech to enhance driving safety, more livable spaces for millenials, and other human-development related technologies.

What's Behind China's Belt and Road 'Smart Power' Push in Southeast Asia? The News Lens International Edition 31st Jan 2019
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) took further shape in March 2015. It is envisaged that the BRI will connect South East Asian regions. The Malaysian response to Chinese investment has not been wholly positive. An obvious example is the suspension of the East Coast Rail Link and the cancellation of the high-speed rail link with Singapore. After Malaysia’s general election in May 2018, the government changed its attitude towards Chinese infrastructural investment completely. In China, arguments in favor of furthering geopolitical objectives through investment are frequently made, and the rhetoric of harmonious benevolence and a positive, outward-looking vision dominates the discourse. But the discourse in Malaysia is different. It has been pointed out that the Malaysian government’s long-standing ‘pro-Malay’ policy might hinder the implementation of China’s BRI project. The case of China’s unsuccessful investment in Myanmar’s hydropower projects – the Myitsone Dam and the Mong Ton Dam – and Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port might also have led the Malaysian government to have second thoughts.

LinkedIn just named Sarawak and Kedah Malaysia’s ‘hidden gems’ of tech talent Business Insider Malaysia 29th Jan 2019
Sarawak and Kedah were identified by professional networking site LinkedIn as “hidden gem” locations – places in Malaysia where the supply of tech talent actually exceeded demand, the company said in its 2019 Emerging Jobs in Malaysia Report published on Tuesday (Jan 29). In its report, LinkedIn analysed “millions” of job titles listed by users in Malaysia to find out the top emerging jobs for the country. These were tech related jobs such as data scientist, full stack engineer, drive test engineer, user experience designer and content writer.

Malaysian tech company signs major MOUs for enterprise OpenGov Asia 23rd Jan 2019
According to a recent report, a Malaysian tech company has signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs); one with a Developer of Integrated Projects based in Johor Bahru, and another with a custom footwear company for the development of blockchain technology. Under the terms of MoUs, the tech company will use blockchain technology, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence to develop solutions for the two firms it is partnering with to record consumer payment behaviour and transactions for big data collection to analyse their spending pattern.

Malaysia and Japan pledge to collaborate further in tech OpenGov Asia 18th Jan 2019
According to a recent report, the relations between Malaysia and Japan will be elevated to a new level with the Look East Policy (LEP) 2.0 paving the way to a vast range of opportunities, according to Malaysia’s Ambassador-Designate to Japan. LEP, the brainchild of Prime Minister, was anchored with the aim of emulating Japan’s success in transforming the nation into a high-tech industrial value chain in various sectors, particularly in manufacturing. On the Industry 4.0, he said Malaysia looked forward to collaborating with Japan to create a conducive investment environment that would encourage and support more companies in Malaysia to innovate and adopt the strategy in their business processes.

Myanmar

Philippines and Myanmar sign information accord Manila Bulletin News 25th Jan 2019
The Philippines has forged a pact with Myanmar on promoting the development of cooperation in the field of information. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and the Ministry of Information of Myanmar Friday at the Palace, involves information cooperation on news exchange, radio and television broadcasting, film industry, information technology, public relations, print and publishing. Under the pact, the two agencies have recognized the need to strengthen the existing friendly relations between the two countries.

Newcomer in Myanmar triggers customer losses, revenue dip for foreign telcos TelecomTV 31st Jan 2019
Once heralded as the world's last great untapped telecoms market, where major international telcos clamoured to win an operating licence and the chance to capture a slice of its potential, Myanmar is proving to be something of a financial headache for its foreign mobile operators, who are battling with declining revenues and even customer losses. Essentially, in a very short space of time, Telenor and Ooredoo have gone from addressing an emerging market environment, in which network build-out and bureaucracy posed serious obstacles but SIMs were flying off the shelves, to facing many of the same challenges they have at home.

Philippines

Gov't to deploy modern tech, boat skimmers for Manila Bay rehab Rappler 31st Jan 2019
The government is planning to use modern tools to resolve the decades-old pollution problem of Manila Bay. Boat skimmers can gather solid waste materials from bodies of water. Some models even have the ability to clean up oil spills. Philippine's communications and technology secretary have also indicated that they will be installing sensors that will monitor pollution levels in Manila Bay. There will also be 3 phases of environmental and natural resource rehabilitation.

PLDT joins the Next Generation Enterprise Network Alliance Rappler 31st Jan 2019
PLDT Enterprise entered into a partnership with Next Generation Enterprise Network Alliance (NGENA). This means that PLDT further strengthens its position as the number one provider of fully-managed global SD-WAN services for enterprises in the Philippines.The alliance offers end-to-end managed Software-Defined Wide Area Networks and provides customers access to secure global corporate networks. Besides partnering with NGENA, PLDT has also been actively promoting its software defined network to their customers in the Philippines.

Mislatel targets commercial rollout by late-2020 Business World 27th Jan 2019
THE MISLATEL Consortium is targeting to start the commercial rollout of its network by late 2020, based on the new major telecommunications player’s rollout plan submitted to the Senate public services committee on Thursday. While the final copy of its rollout plan has yet to be submitted to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Mislatel said it aims to officially launch the commercial use of its network 20 months after it secures the certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN).

Chinese tower firm signs up with DICT Philstar Global 19th Jan 2019
MANILA, Philippines — China Energy Equipment Co. Ltd. (CEEC), the latest international tower provider which inked a deal with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), has expressed readiness in providing for the bulk of the country’s additional common telecommunications infrastructure needs. CEEC yesterday became the fifth tower provider that signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the DICT for cooperation to enter in the Philippine market through the construction of common towers. CEEC vice president Huang Fei, through an interpreter, said the company could provide as many as 50,000 common towers for the Philippines. “We have no problem meeting the 50,000 towers,” Huang said, adding that “in China, we have the experience in manufacturing and maintaining 100,000 towers.”

Singapore

Here are 8 areas of deep tech that Singapore startups are working on e27 28th Jan 2019
The Singapore government has committed S$19 billion (US$14 billion) in deep tech commercialisation in its RIE2020 plan, and with friendly Smart Nation policies, Singapore is becoming a haven for the development of deep tech startups. But what exactly is deep science or deep technology? Startup Business defines deep tech as a “set of cutting-edge and disruptive technologies based on scientific discoveries, engineering, mathematics, physics and medicine. New technological applications that can have a profound impact on people’s and society’s lives.” So what exactly has Singapore startups been up to in the areas of deep tech? And how do these technologies affect Singapore and the rest of the world? Below is a glossary of deep technologies that Singapore has focused on and the applications behind them. It is not exhaustive but still a good start to give readers a simple introduction.

Singapore, Australia and Japan nudge WTO one step nearer to coming up with e-commerce rules The Straits Times 25th Jan 2019
Digital trade, including e-commerce, is one of the bright spots in the global economy and offers many opportunities including for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), said Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S. Iswaran. To that end, Singapore, together with Australia and Japan, hosted a meeting of World Trade Organization (WTO) members on Friday (Jan 25) to kick start negotiations for rules governing e-commerce. The meeting took place in Davos, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF). The meeting was a step forward for the Joint Statement on Electronic Commerce initiative launched at a WTO ministerial conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017. The three countries then led exploratory work geared towards laying the foundation for WTO negotiations. Friday's meeting will now move the matter into the negotiations stage, with the aim of getting as many WTO members to participate as possible. Mr Iswaran said this will take the digital trade agenda forward. It will also strengthen the WTO as a multilateral agency which is able to continue to respond to the latest needs of the economy, and respond to it by creating a set of rules and norms.

Singapore releases framework on how AI can be ethically used The Straits Times 23rd Jan 2019
Singapore has released a framework on how artificial intelligence (AI) can be ethically and responsibly used, which businesses in the Republic and elsewhere can adopt as they grapple with issues that have emerged with new technology. This model framework for AI governance is a “living document” intended to evolve along with the fast-paced changes in a digital economy. It takes in feedback from the industry, and will be tweaked when it gets more views. It was released by Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting which he is attending. The framework is the first in Asia to provide detailed and readily implementable guidance to private sector organisations using AI, said the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Dyson moves HQ to Singapore: 5 things about the British home appliance giant and its billionaire founder The Straits Times 23rd Jan 2019
British home appliance giant Dyson said it will be moving its head office to Singapore, a decision that comes just months after it announced that it will set up its first electric car plant here. Dyson chief executive Jim Rowan said on Tuesday (Jan 22) the decision was not due to tax or fears of Brexit, but because ofthe shift in the importance of the region to the company. Currently based in Malmesbury, in south-west England, Dyson has grown steadily in recent years to become one of Britain's largest technology companies. Its growth was spurred by rising consumer demand in Asia, as well as its expansion beyond vacuum cleaners and hand dryers into air purifiers and haircare products.

Banks push for e-hongbao with QR-coded red paper amid high wastage from printing new notes The Straits Times 23rd Jan 2019
With just over 100,000 e-red packet fund transfers in Singapore last year, one can hardly envision a cashless Chinese New Year (CNY) in the future. This year, however, DBS Bank is giving a new spin to the digitalisation of red packets given during the festivities, hoping it would catch on among Singaporeans who still cannot do without the physical hongbao.

Thailand

E-tax bill on foreign firms unlikely to pass Bangkok Post 29th Jan 2019
The Revenue Department expects a draft bill on e-business tax, a levy on foreign-based online platform operators earning income in Thailand, will not be vetted by lawmakers before the Prayut Chan-o-cha government leaves office. The draft bill, a priority for the Finance Ministry to be passed ahead of March's general election, is not on the National Legislative Assembly's agenda yet because it is still being deliberated by the Council of State, said Ekniti Nitithanprapas, director-general of the Revenue Department. "We proposed the draft law more than two years ago. We understand the Council of State is overloaded with a large number of draft bills and cannot deliberate all of them. The department is preparing to propose the law to the next government for consideration," he said.

Survey: IT and digital market projected to increase 13.7% Bangkok Post 29th Jan 2019
The information technology (IT) and digital market in Thailand this year is forecast to be worth 527 billion baht, 13.7% larger than the previous year, according to a study by IMC Institute commissioned by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa). Of the total, hardware makes up the largest portion at 234 billion baht, followed by smart devices (122 billion), software (106 billion) and digital services (65.2 billion). The hardware segment (notebooks, PCs, servers, mini-computers, printers, hard disks, storage and SD cards) will grow only 5% this year, bested by digital services (34%), smart devices (20%), and software (17%).

Chatuchak shops plied with e-commerce, loans Bangkok Post 29th Jan 2019
The Industry Ministry plans to encourage 11,505 merchants at the Chatuchak Weekend Market to join the e-commerce platform and use short-term loans to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The ministry is teaming up with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank) and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) to work on this programme. E-commerce site Shopee was chosen to support 11,505 merchandisers at the market. The ministry plans to bring Chinese and Indian SMEs to take part in the business matching scheme.

MEA and TOT investing in Smart Park Bangkok Post 24th Jan 2019
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) has signed agreements with two state-run agencies to develop two advanced infrastructures in the Smart Park Industrial Estate in Map Ta Phut, Rayong, with a budget of 2.8 billion baht. The first agreement was signed with TOT to develop digital and telecom infrastructures. TOT plans to invest in the system and platforms such as big data, cloud service and fibre optics to facilitate industrial and business operators in the project. The second agreement is with the Metropolitan Electricity Authority to develop a smart energy system in the industrial estate.

Depa plans March launch of government startup hub Bangkok Post 24th Jan 2019
The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) will start operating the government startup centre in Bangkok by March to promote and scale up local startups, serving the government's goal of creating a hub in the region. Located at the Ladprao Hills building, the startup centre will partially operate as a pioneer unit of the IoT (Internet of Things) Institute, which will be located in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). Depa will transfer staff and operations from the Chaeng Wattana Government Complex to Ladprao Hills, where the agency will rent the eighth floor starting in March.

NBTC board approves Oct 31 for 2G shutdown Bangkok Post 23rd Jan 2019
The board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) approved on Tuesday a timeline for the 2G mobile system shutdown at midnight Oct 31. The move will help mobile operators more efficiently manage network capacity, paving the way for 5G wireless broadband service by 2020. The major mobile operators must seriously begin preparing all related backup systems to serve the transfer of 2G users to 3G and 4G systems, including new promotion packages, said the regulator. The NBTC will report the move to the cabinet to ask for cooperation with the governors of all provinces, to help alert 2G users nationwide.

Asian firms eye 700MHz auction Bangkok Post 23rd Jan 2019
Two foreign mobile operators expressed interest in joining the 700-megahertz (MHz) spectrum auction unless the reserve price is based on the previous licence auction. The two overseas operators are from Malaysia and South Korea. Representatives of the two companies recently met Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), asking for details of the auction's procedures. Meanwhile, the NBTC board yesterday insisted on holding the 700MHz auction date in May as originally planned, despite its subcommittee previously proposing the auction date be moved to December.

NBTC aproves termination of 2G service on Oct 31 Bangkok Post 22nd Jan 2019
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has approved the termination of 2G mobile phone service on Oct 31 this year to pave the way for the 5G adoption. Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, said on Tuesday that the NBTC board resolved to shut down the 2G mobile service on Oct 31 this year as proposed by the three major mobile phone operators. Advanced Info Service (AIS), through its subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network (AWN), Total Access Communication's (DTAC) TriNet and True Move H Universal Communication (TUC) earlier submitted letters to the telecom regulator asking for the termination of the 2G mobile service.

Digital bills pass second reading in Assembly The Nation 18th Jan 2019
The six digital bills are: Electronics Transaction Organisation Restructuring, Data Protection, Cybersecurity, Council of Thailand Digital and Society, Digital ID, and Electronics Transaction Officer. The government has argued that the bills together would drive a move toward “digital government” through developing the required infrastructure, including government Big Data, a data centre, cloud services, and one- stop service. The legislation would also help to reduce the investment duplication among governmental organisations in Big Data, security and data protection.

Vietnam

Vietnam to Amend Decree on Broadcasting and TV Services to Regulate On-Demand Content Lexology 23rd Jan 2019
Content on demand and video on demand, also known as OTT (over-the-top) TV services, quickly generated interest and support from local users after entering Vietnam. In response to pressing complaints from some local service providers that there is unequal treatment between foreign service providers and domestic service providers (domestic providers have many obligations related to content, taxes, and charges that are not imposed on cross-border providers), the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) has plans to amend the current Decree 6 on the management, provision, and utilization of broadcasting and TV services. In this regard, the MIC released a draft decree for public consultation from July 23 to September 23, 2018.

VN to build product origin portal Vietnam News 29th Jan 2019
The Prime Minister approved the ‘Scheme of deploying, applying and managing the traceability system’ with the goal to build and operate a portal on national product and goods traceability by 2020. The project aims to improve the system of legal regulations, documents and guidelines on traceability; promote social engagement in traceability activities to serve international integration and improve the efficiency of State management; ensuring the quality and safety of products and goods. At the same time, the project will focus on raising awareness among the public, agencies, organisations and enterprises on traceability through dissemination of information and training for related parties; ensuring publicity and transparency of information on traceability of products and goods on the market; providing essential information and knowledge about traceability.

Digital content revenue estimated at $895 million in 2018 Vietnam News 21st Jan 2019
Digital content revenue was estimated at US$895 million last year, of which revenue from digital content export reached $775 million, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC). The whole digital content industry has more than 3,700 enterprises with nearly 63,000 employees. The average income per capita in the digital content sector is more than $7,000 per person per year.

Vietnamese companies hit hard by cyber attacks Vietnam News 20th Jan 2019
Companies in Việt Nam suffer the highest costs from cyber attacks in Southeast Asia, according to the Cisco 2018 Asia Pacific Security Capabilities Benchmark Study released on Friday. Among firms surveyed, 33 per cent said an attack costs more than US$10 million. This greatly exceeds the average in Asia-Pacific (5 per cent), as well as the worldwide number (3 per cent), suggesting that breaches in Việt Nam are severe. Among Southeast Asian countries, only 2 per cent of respondents in Singapore, 4 per cent in Indonesia, 5 per cent in Thailand and the Philippines and 11 per cent in Malaysia say the cost of an attack exceeds $10 million. The study shows that outages, when systems are down due to a breach, caused by cyber attacks are longer in Việt Nam, with 14 per cent of respondents saying an outage lasts between one to five days. This is the highest number in Southeast Asia. The longer the outage, the greater the financial impact.

Digital economy: new driving force for VN’s development Vietnam News 18th Jan 2019
Living life in a digital age is a key component for the future growth of Việt Nam. That was the message from Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc who was speaking at the Việt Nam Economic Forum (VEF) held by the Central Economic Commission on Thursday in Hà Nội. He said the digital economy would be a new driving force for Việt Nam to achieve the goal of rapid and sustainable growth. “The internet economy of Việt Nam is booming,” Phúc said. “It is forecast that the internet economy of Việt Nam will reach a value of $33 billion by 2025.”