ICT Update: August 16, 2019

ICT Update | August, 16, 2019
Authors: Shay Wester, Ella Duangkaew, Jamie Lim, Chase Blazek
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Singapore’s IMDA Appointed as Fourth CBPR Accountability Agent

On July 23, APEC announced that Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) would be the fourth accountability agent for APEC’s Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR), a system designed to implement APEC’s nine privacy principles. These principles are: preventing harm; notice; collection limitations; use of personal information; choice; integrity of personal information; security safeguards; access and correction; and accountability. The other three accountability agents are Schellman & Company and TrustArc, both from the United States, and the Japan Institute for Promotion of Digital Economy and Community. Accountability agents are responsible for certifying that participating organizations are in compliance with CBPR and APEC’s Privacy Recognition for Processors (PRP), a system that guides conduct for data processors. Agents are also in charge of dispute settlement regarding compliance issues.

In contrast to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), CBPR focuses more on trade liberalization and developing the digital economy while GDPR focuses on citizens’ rights to privacy. IMDA’s appointment as an accountability agent is a boost to the credibility of the CBPR voluntary system. And with China pushing its own alternative model of data privacy, the U.S. will be interested in promoting the pro-trade CBPR initiative, especially in Southeast Asia. As of now, there are 8 APEC countries which have signed onto CBPR: the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and Taiwan.

Vietnam and Malaysia Seeking Investment and Government Tenders for Major ICT Projects

In Vietnam, the Trung Nam Group (TNG) is seeking investors for the Da Nang Information Technology Park (DITP), slated to be Vietnam’s own “Silicon Valley”. TNG aims to attract projects in the areas of software development, digital content, hardware products and services, and IT services, while DITP is expected to create 25,000 jobs and bring in approximately US$1.5 billion of revenue per year. Da Nang is a coastal city in central Vietnam with a thriving tourism industry, though the central and provincial governments are both pushing to transform Da Nang into Vietnam’s third major technology hub after Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

DITP will have access to the North-South Expressway, the Lien Chieu port and logistics center, the railway system, Da Nang International Airport, and a US$53 million hospital planned by TNG. The park is connected by a special highway to the Da Nang Hi-tech Park (DHTP), a similar project focusing on hi-tech manufacturing. Originally seeking four projects worth US$100 million in investment, DHTP has already secured 10 projects worth US$249 million, funded by Japanese and Vietnamese firms. With the city planning for a second IT park and a new international university, Da Nang is on track to become a nationally competitive tech hub.

Malaysia’s Electoral Commission (EC) will soon release a tender for the upgrade of its electoral computer system in light of the country’s new voting age (lowered from 21 to 18 years of age) and the EC’s recent adoption of automatic voter registration. The upgraded system will require interaction with databases from multiple government agencies, strict user privacy standards, and robust data processing capabilities so that, among other things, the EC can direct over 7 million new voters to the voting booths. The EC aims to have the new system running before the next general election, which EC Chairman Azhar Azizan Harun estimates will cost RM1.2 billion to manage, more than double the cost of the last election.

These projects from Vietnam and Malaysia exemplify ASEAN’s commitment to pursue rapid tech development at the central and local levels of government. Such commitment provides ample opportunities for American businesses to invest funds and expertise in a booming tech region with unprecedented levels of Government support. Though investment opportunities abound, it is crucial for ASEAN governments and US businesses to continue discussing ways to serve local constituencies (like ICT SMEs) while maintaining a friendly business environment for US firms.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

Final Submission on Vietnam's Online Curated Content (OCC) Regulation

On August 13, the Council submitted its industry submission on Vietnam's Online Curated Content (OCC) Regulation (Draft Decree to Amend Decree 06/2016) following a door knock Mission on this issue conducted by the Council from July 29-30. Thank you to all who provided input to the submission.  Please contact Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) or Vu Tu Thanh (tvu@usasean.org) with any questions for a final copy of the submission or a readout of the door knock Mission.

Final Call for Input on the Vietnam Draft Decree of the Law on Cybersecurity (LOCS)

The Council, along with BSA | The Software Alliance, has developed a final draft joint submission of its comments for the Draft Decree of the Law on Cybersecurity. Thank you to members who have provided input. Please send any final-flaw edits you may have to Jamie Lim (jlim@usasean.org) and Ella Duangkaew (eduangkaew@usasean.org) by Tuesday, August 21, COB SGT. Member may contact these same staff for a copy of the Council's final draft submission.

Pending any final flaw edits, the Council will circulate a final copy of the submission prior to submitting this letter to MPS. It will take several days to translate the submission and the Council plans to transmit our submission by August 26, 2019 (extended from the August 15 deadline).

Additional Background on the July Draft (please read in conjunction with past analyses)

  1. Burden to detect unlawful acts lifted
    • In Article 26, the July draft lifts the burden on service providers to determine that its service has been/is being used in unlawful activities. Instead, that burden now lies squarely with the Vietnamese authority, which has to notify the business of such violations.
  2. More clarity on the scope of data required to be stored locally
    • Article 26.2.b and 26.3.a in the July draft also tries to narrow down the scope of data required for localization. It introduces a process through which authorities and businesses work together to determine what data is to be stored.
  3. Data localization transition period is halved to 6 months
    • ​​Article 26.4.c reduces the transition period from 12 months to 6 months in the July draft.
  4. Vietnamese authorities no longer impose preventive measures directly on offshore businesses
    • Instead, authorities will require domestic entities (e.g. ISPs, telecom companies) to suspend their service or somehow stop what authorities declare as violations by an offshore business, as noted in Article 22.3.

Please let Jamie Lim (jlim@usasean.org) know if you have any questions, or for copies of our past analyses.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
5G - The Concorde of telecommunications?

Cambodia
Cambodia’s Adoption of Huawei’s 5G Brings Risk to Freedom of Speech, Critics Warn

Indonesia
Petition Rejects KPI Watching Netflix and YouTube Reach 75 Thousand Signatures
Fintech to E-commerce, Six Digital Services Provide Tax Paying Features
DPR Responds to Tapping Clauses in the Cyber ​​Security Bill
Ministry Blocks 40 Illegal Fintechs Every Day
Indonesia's gaming industry bursting with untapped economic potential
Workforce needs to step up game as interest in automation grows
Jokowi signs electric vehicle regulation
Ministry of Communication and Information Pessimistic Personal Data Protection Act Fixes Before October
Technology companies go to villages to empower people, protect forests
The devil is in the detail on Indonesia's efforts to curb illegal cell phones
9 KPI Members Period 2019-2022 confirmed
Kominfo Proposes IMEI Rules Effectively Enacted in February 2020

Laos
Laos to Develop Localized Office Software with Korean Support

Malaysia
Lim: National fiberisation plan needs RM21.6b investment
DICE policy to drive Malaysia as a regional digital content hub
Election Commission to open tender for new ICT system
Digital TV broadcast boost for content diversification, says Gobind
Malaysia's automation capital allowance stimulates transformation
IoT development to produce more data scientists

Myanmar
Loikaw Invites Tender Applications for Video Surveillance System
In Myanmar, 5G in Yangon, 7-week web blackout in restive Rakhine
Military-Backed Mytel Announces Successful Test of 5G Service
Royal capital to 'smart city': Myanmar's Mandalay gets high-tech makeover, sparks 'spy' fears | Malay Mail
Beware Myanmar’s New Information War

Philippines
Dito needs 3,000 towers to reach commitment
Smart says it made SEA’s 1st 5g stand-alone video call
Philippines Introduces New Laws, Initiatives To Boost Innovation And Entrepreneurship
Philippines auditor slams DICT free Wi-Fi project that saw UNDP pocket $1.2mln
SC issues guidelines for tele-hearing - Joel R. San Juan
Kaspersky ranks Philippines 5th among nations most attacked online - Elijah Felice Rosales
Philippines fifth on cyber-attack list | BusinessWorld

Singapore
Singapore ups the ante in chips industry's future
Arrival cards go digital for foreigners entering Singapore
Cryptocurrency industry seeks feedback on code of practice
Look into the black box of AI behind surge pricing
Singapore Appoints Its First Ever Accountability Agent Under the CBPR System

Thailand
Government raked in only B23bn from digital TV licensees
Digital content to reach B33bn
Tax perk aims to help SMEs join digital wave
Promising start for Thai IoT adoption
Govt releases white paper on IoT industry in push for digital economy
Digital Economy and Society Ministry banking on big data link
NBTC offers assurances on 5G progress
Thailand Ecommerce Market: Shooting For Success
NBTC: 5G upgrade requires massive outlay

Vietnam
ICT Summit talks digital transformation in Việt Nam
Đà Nẵng seeks investment in IT Park
Electronic invoicing needs detailed guidelines
Viettel pilots first 5G base transceiver station in HCMC
50,000 ICT firms needed to embrace digital transformation: Minister
Việt Nam jumps 50 places on global cybersecurity index
HCM City to begin 5G rollout next month
Hanoi to build digital traffic map for drivers as congestion worsens
Huge opportunities await foreign investors in Vietnam’s telco industry
Digital economy to bring new momentum for VN
Anti-hacking services charge high fees
Hà Nội to build digital traffic map for drivers as congestion worsens
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

5G - The Concorde of telecommunications? The Business Times 9th Aug 2019
Following recent rollout announcements by the local authorities, Singapore has been abuzz with excitement about the brimming possibilities 5G is supposed to bring. Honchos have touted the "vibrant 5G ecosystem" as critical to Singapore maintaining its spot as a globally competitive digital economy. But how much do we really know about 5G? And is it truly worth the hype?

Cambodia

Cambodia’s Adoption of Huawei’s 5G Brings Risk to Freedom of Speech, Critics Warn VOA 2nd Aug 2019
Cambodia recently became the first country in Southeast Asia to begin building the fifth-generation (5G) internet network developed by the Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies. Cambodia's early adoption of Huawei’s 5G network fits with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s tightening the political and economic relationship with Beijing, which has prompted a surge of Chinese investment across a range of sectors. 5G Internet speed is as much as 100 times faster than 4G and will be central to a future world of smart cities filled with smart homes and offices replete with devices connected to the “internet of things”.

Indonesia

Petition Rejects KPI Watching Netflix and YouTube Reach 75 Thousand Signatures Katadata 14th Aug 2019
The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission ( KPI ) has not yet determined the attitude regarding the discourse of monitoring digital video content such as Netflix and YouTube . On the other hand, a petition through Change.org refusing KPI to manage digital media content has the support of more than 75 thousand people. KPI Deputy Chairman Mulyo Hadi Purnomo said he would hold a special meeting to discuss KPI's stance on duties and coordination.

Fintech to E-commerce, Six Digital Services Provide Tax Paying Features Katadata 13th Aug 2019
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) collaborates with e-commerce such as Tokopedia and Bukalapak to make it easier for people to pay taxes . In addition to the two companies, there are four other startups that provide similar services. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati held a meeting with Bukalapak Founder and CEO Achmad Zaki at his office, Jakarta, Monday (12/8). The meeting, among others, discussed taxation services through the e-commerce platform .

DPR Responds to Tapping Clauses in the Cyber ​​Security Bill Katadata 13th Aug 2019
The Government and the House of Representatives (DPR) are in the process of designing a Cyber ​​Security and Resilience Bill. In it will be regulated about the role of the Siber Board and the State Code ( BSSN ). So, do you need the authority of wiretapping by BSSN? Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR) Bambang Soesatyo considered that tapping was important. "Because everything (related to national security) needs deterrence and prevention," he said in a public discussion in Jakarta, Monday (12/8).

Ministry Blocks 40 Illegal Fintechs Every Day Tempo 13th Aug 2019
The Communication and Information Technology Ministry (Kominfo) is part of the Investment Alert Task Force. According to the ministry's acting director information technology application control, Riki Arif Gunawan, the ministry's task is to block illegal financial technology (fintech) companies from the internet. According to Riki, Kominfo blocked the illegal fintechs after an assessment from the Investment Alert Task Force.

Indonesia's gaming industry bursting with untapped economic potential The Jakarta Post 10th Aug 2019
E-sports, a form of competitive video gaming, is growing in popularity in Indonesia. It made its debut at last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta and will have its own competition at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines in November. The government is also now backing gaming. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo pledged he would strongly support it, and various gaming competitions were introduced recently, including the President Cup, Youth National eSports Championship and 2019 IEC University Series.

Workforce needs to step up game as interest in automation grows The Jakarta Post 9th Aug 2019
As the government pushes ways to equip jobseekers with the necessary skills for employment, the need for automation in industries is growing amid a slow workforce growth rate, a new study has found. Indonesia’s automation pace has the potential to contribute Rp 5 quadrillion to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) over 11 years, Australia-based advisory firm Alpha Beta and the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Economic Development Prospera projected in a July report.

Jokowi signs electric vehicle regulation The Jakarta Post 9th Aug 2019
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo says he has signed the long-awaited presidential regulation (Perpres) on electric vehicles (EVs), three weeks after his minister revealed the plan. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Jokowi stated he had signed the regulation on Monday morning. Last month, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati had said the President was set to sign the regulation before July 21. 

Ministry of Communication and Information Pessimistic Personal Data Protection Act Fixes Before October Katadata 8th Aug 2019
The Ministry of Communication and Informatics ( Kominfo ) is pessimistic that the personal data protection law can be completed before the new government period begins in October 2019. Acting Director of Information and Information Technology Application Control Riki Arif Gunawan said, the draft bill is still awaiting approval from two ministries.

Technology companies go to villages to empower people, protect forests The Jakarta Post 8th Aug 2019
As the majority of technology companies open up offices in Jakarta to tap into the growing middle class, several other companies are taking a different approach, instead heading to villages to empower villagers through digital technology while helping to monitor forests in the process. Internet service provider PT Telekomunikasi Desa Indonesia (TDI) and technology startup Rainforest Connection are among such companies.

The devil is in the detail on Indonesia's efforts to curb illegal cell phones The Jakarta Post 5th Aug 2019
A plan by three ministries to issue regulations aiming to combat illegal cell phone sales in Indonesia faces a long list of technical challenges, raising concerns among industry players and consumers that the law will only demonstrate the authority’s lack of preparation. The Communications and Information Ministry, the Industry Ministry and the Trade Ministry are each set to issue a ministerial regulation to enhance their supervision over the cell phone market by validating the gadgets through their International Mobile Equipment Identity Code (IMEI).

9 KPI Members Period 2019-2022 confirmed Kabarpolitik 5th Aug 2019
Minister of Communication and Information Rudiantara officially confirmed 9 Central Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) Commissioners for the Period 2019-2022, Monday (07/07/2019). The inauguration is based on the Presidential Decree of the Republic of Indonesia Number 73 / P / 2019, concerning the Dismissal and Appointment of Members of the Central Indonesian Broadcasting Commission. This decree shall come into force on July 27, 2019.

Kominfo Proposes IMEI Rules Effectively Enacted in February 2020 Katadata 3rd Aug 2019
The Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) proposed that the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) rule be effective six months after it was signed by three ministries involved. The reason is that currently there are eight things that must be prepared by the government before the regulation is officially operational.

Laos

Laos to Develop Localized Office Software with Korean Support Laotian Times 9th Aug 2019
South Korean software developer Hancom has announced that it will support Laos to develop localized office software. Currently, Microsoft’s MS Word and MS Office, as well as Google’s Google Docs suite of office software are widely used in Laos.

Malaysia

Lim: National fiberisation plan needs RM21.6b investment The Malaysian Reserve 14th Aug 2019
The National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), to be spearheaded by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry, will require RM21.6 billion worth of investment from 2019 to 2023, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (picture). He said a large portion of the NFCP investment would be funded by the Universal Service Provision fund and managed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission while being funded by the private sector.

DICE policy to drive Malaysia as a regional digital content hub The Sun Daily 12th Aug 2019
The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia is working with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to establish a new Digital Content Ecosystem (DICE) policy to strengthen the local digital content industry and ultimately position Malaysia as the leader in digital content creation and production in the region.

Election Commission to open tender for new ICT system The Malaysian Reserve 9th Aug 2019
The Election Commission (EC) will undertake a major revamp of the electoral computer system to support the automatic processing of about seven million new voters, following the recent changes to the country’s voting laws. The open tender for the development of the multimillion-ringgit information and communication technology (ICT) system is expected in the next two months.

Digital TV broadcast boost for content diversification, says Gobind The Malaysian Reserve 7th Aug 2019
The gradual transition from the analogue TV broadcast to the myFreeview digital TV broadcast opens up opportunities to diversify the content to be delivered to consumers, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo (picture) said yesterday. He said the 15 channels available in the myFreeview digital TV broadcast are crucial for the delivery of information to consumers.

Malaysia's automation capital allowance stimulates transformation Tech Wire Asia 5th Aug 2019
In Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, government incentives in the form of tax write-offs, allowances, and financial assistance seem to have worked particularly well. The Malaysian government’s Budget 2015 provision for automation capital allowance to strengthen economic growth and accelerate the journey of local manufacturers into the digital age, for example, seems to have really delivered on expectations.

IoT development to produce more data scientists The Malaysian Reserve 2nd Aug 2019
Digitalization and Internet of Things (IoT) development will pave the way for more career opportunities particularly data scientists, while not replacing certain jobs. Siemens Malaysia Sdn Bhd senior VP and head of digital industries Adam Yee said most employers are also on the lookout for graduates who can do analytics as a result of the rapid pace of technological and digital change.

Myanmar

Loikaw Invites Tender Applications for Video Surveillance System Myanmar Business Today 12th Aug 2019
As part of Kayah States ambitious plan to transform Loikaw into a smart city, the state government is now inviting local tech firms to submit tender applications to implement a CCTV surveillance system in the State Capital. The state government refers the initiative as ‘AI Video Surveillance System’ and will implement the system it in three phases. 

In Myanmar, 5G in Yangon, 7-week web blackout in restive Rakhine South China Morning Post 10th Aug 2019
Myanmar ’s military-backed telecoms firm Mytel this week revealed the country had carried out its first successful test of 5G services in Yangon – but elsewhere in the nation an estimated 1 million people were entering their seventh consecutive week without the internet. Residents of nine townships across western Rakhine and Chin states have been without web access since June 21.

Military-Backed Mytel Announces Successful Test of 5G Service The Irrawaddy 5th Aug 2019
Mytel, the telecom venture between the Myanmar and Vietnamese militaries, and the fourth telecom operator to be established in the country, has tested Myanmar’s first 5G service using technology developed by China’s Huawei. According to Mytel, Huawei’s 5G NR technology will provide significantly increased capacity, lower latency (or delays in sending data) and faster download and upload speeds to its 15 million users across Myanmar in the near future.

Royal capital to 'smart city': Myanmar's Mandalay gets high-tech makeover, sparks 'spy' fears | Malay Mail Malay Mail 4th Aug 2019
Once a seat of kings, the city of Mandalay in northern Myanmar has seen turbulent chapters in its 162-year history — the fall of Burma's last royal dynasty and decades of colonial rule. Now, officials are attempting to transform the former royal capital into Myanmar's first “smart city.” In a country where officials still largely labour with pen and ink, surrounded by stacks of mouldering papers, authorities in Mandalay are tapping social media and new technologies such as artificial intelligence software and drones to revamp a lethargic bureaucracy.

Beware Myanmar’s New Information War The Diplomat 8th Aug 2019
An internet blackout imposed by Myanmar’s government in parts of conflict-ridden Rakhine and Chin states has now been in place for nearly two months. It’s raising deep concerns about the safety of civilians in a region where researchers have already documented gross human rights violations by the military. The measure also harks back to the tight control of information under junta rule and is the latest in a long line of attacks on free speech. It’s “a matter of great concern to our organizations as it should be to all of the millions of internet users in Myanmar,” said Yangon-based campaign group Free Expression Myanmar of the shutdown that took effect on June 21.

Philippines

Dito needs 3,000 towers to reach commitment philstar.com 12th Aug 2019
Third telco player Dito Telecommunity Corp. will rely heavily on its chosen common tower providers in the coming months to achieve its commitment of covering 37 percent of the population in its first year. Dito has a lot of catching up to do to be at par with the network reach of giants Globe and Smart. It intends to somehow narrow the gap by its first year through the help of various local and international common tower companies.

Smart says it made SEA’s 1st 5g stand-alone video call BusinessMirror 5th Aug 2019
SMART Communications Inc. claimed on Sunday that it made Southeast Asia’s first 5G stand-alone (5G SA) video call.  Using only 5G for data transmission, 5G SA is accepted to be “pure 5G,” as other products combine 5G with 4G technologies, Smart Chief Information and Technical Advisor Joachim Horn said. 

Philippines Introduces New Laws, Initiatives To Boost Innovation And Entrepreneurship Fintech Singapore 5th Aug 2019
The Philippines government is pushing for innovation and entrepreneurship, introducing new regulations and programs to support young companies, and leading numerous projects to bring convenient e-government public services to the masses.The Philippines’ president, Rodrigo Duterte, has signed a new law aimed at boosting innovation to help “promote growth and national competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs),” according to a report by the SunStar Philippines.

Philippines auditor slams DICT free Wi-Fi project that saw UNDP pocket $1.2mln AEC News Today 5th Aug 2019
The Philippines Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is under fire over its free Wi-Fi in public places programme, with state auditors questioning the cost effectiveness of its arrangement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). In a damning 2018 annual report the Commission on Audit (COA) found that rather than being a true partnership, the DICT has no control over the ‘Pipol Konek’ free Wi-Fi project.

SC issues guidelines for tele-hearing - Joel R. San Juan BusinessMirror 7th Aug 2019
THE Supreme Court (SC) has approved the guidelines for the implementation of video conferencing technology that would allow those facing charges and detained in jail to testify and be cross-examined from inside their detention cells. The “tele-hearing” which is the brainchild of Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez is set to be pilot-tested starting September 1 in Davao. “The Court is utilizing videoconferencing technology for inmates to eliminate the safety, security and health risks posed by personal appearance of PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) who are considered to be high-risk or afflicted with highly contagious diseases,” the SC said.

Kaspersky ranks Philippines 5th among nations most attacked online - Elijah Felice Rosales BusinessMirror 6th Aug 2019
THE Philippines placed fifth among economies with the highest number of detected online attacks as Filipino Internet users continue to visit unsecured and malicious web sites, according to antivirus provider Kaspersky. In its Global Q2 2019 Security Bulletin, Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) reported nearly 7 million, or 37.4 percent, of Kaspersky users in the Philippines got attacked by threats while browsing online between April and May. With the figure, the country climbed four notches and had the fifth most Internet attacks during the period.

Philippines fifth on cyber-attack list | BusinessWorld Business World 6th Aug 2019
THE Philippines moved up to fifth place from ninth a year earlier in Kaspersky Lab’s global list of countries with most online threats detected in the second quarter of 2019. The Russian cybersecurity firm said in a statement Monday that its Global Q2 2019 Security Bulletin, which compiles data from the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), found that almost 7 million or 37.4% of Kaspersky users in the Philippines were attacked by online threats during the period. The most-attacked countries are Algeria (44.1%), Nepal (43%), Albania (40.1%) and Djibouti (37.9%). “Data from Kaspersky revealed that its users in the Philippines were still being attacked by cybercriminals through the popular attack method called drive-by download,” it said.

Singapore

Singapore ups the ante in chips industry's future The Business Times 14th Aug 2019
Singapore will still be a hotspot for the semiconductor industry, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has said - in spite of a chipmaking decline that saw the economy grind to a halt in the second quarter. Noting that new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and 5G bode well for chip demand, Mr Heng, who is also the finance minister, said that "Singapore is well positioned to meet the rise in long-term global demand" for semiconductor chips.

Arrival cards go digital for foreigners entering Singapore Connected to India 14th Aug 2019
Foreigners entering Singapore will be able to fill in an electronic arrival card instead of the paper-based version used so far. The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has been conducting a trial for digital arrival cards since October 2018. The ICA has announced that the trial will be extended with the launch of the beta version of the “SG Arrival Card” e-Service on the ICA website and mobile application. 

Cryptocurrency industry seeks feedback on code of practice The Straits Times 14th Aug 2019
The association of Cryptocurrency Enterprises and Startups, Singapore (Access) is seeking public feedback for its newly developed draft code of practice. The code standardises the approach to tackling anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism, and other issues relevant to crypto asset and blockchain companies. These are the key considerations for the licensing and regulation of digital payment services providers here.

Look into the black box of AI behind surge pricing The Straits Times 12th Aug 2019
The Singapore Parliament's passage of the Bill that would empower the Public Transport Council (PTC) to regulate fares of ride-hailing operators is a step in the right direction. But more steps in that direction are needed. Because ride-hailing operators use artificial intelligence (AI) in their pricing, the regulations need to go beyond mere transparency to look at the factors that the ride-hailing platforms use in their AI to determine the level of surge in their pricing.

Singapore Appoints Its First Ever Accountability Agent Under the CBPR System The National Law Review 12th Aug 2019
On July 23, 2019, APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) issued a press release announcing Singapore’s appointment of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) as its accountability agent. Singapore joined the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) system in March 2018 and is the third economy after the United States and Japan to operationalize the system.

Thailand

Government raked in only B23bn from digital TV licensees Bangkok Post 14th Aug 2019
The state has earned slightly less than half of the 51 billion baht it is due after holding an auction for 24 digital TV licences in 2013, mainly because of a series of assistance and subsidies from the government, says the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the government has earned only 23 billion baht from licensees.

Digital content to reach B33bn Bangkok Post 14th Aug 2019
The value of the digital content industry in Thailand this year is expected to reach 33 billion baht, up 10% from 2018 thanks to rising demand for animation and games in the global market as well as business development and promotion by the private sector and state, says the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP).

Tax perk aims to help SMEs join digital wave Bangkok Post 14th Aug 2019
The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) plans to offer a 200% tax deduction for the purchase of smart devices, digital services, robotics and Internet of Things (IoT) devices by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in addition to software, starting next year.From 2017 to this year, SMEs have been entitled to tax deductions of up to 200% of the value of computer programs they buy, but the incentive places a ceiling of 100,000 baht in product value.

Promising start for Thai IoT adoption Bangkok Post 12th Aug 2019
Asia-Pacific is at the forefront of Internet of Things (IoT) adoption, with revenue from the technology expected to hit US$386 billion in 2025, according to research firm GSMA Intelligence. Global IoT revenue could quadruple to $1.1 trillion in 2025, driven by government promotion and strong industrial IoT connection growth, said the firm.

Govt releases white paper on IoT industry in push for digital economy The Nation Thailand 12th Aug 2019
The government has launched a white paper on the Internet of Things (IoT) industry to drive the country's digital economy. The “Thailand IoT Industry White Paper” was jointly released during a meeting on Wednesday (August 7) in Bangkok. The white paper outlines the framework of Thailand’s IoT technologies, ecosystem and application, which would guide the development of the IoT startups and stimulate the digital economy in the country. 

Digital Economy and Society Ministry banking on big data link Bangkok Post 5th Aug 2019
The Digital Economy and Society (DE) Ministry is gearing up for big data analytics development for industrial clusters as part of efforts to push the country forward under the Thailand 4.0 policy. Thailand 4.0 pertains to the economic drive through innovation and technology. According to DE Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta, CAT Telecom could play a major role in supporting big data system development in each cluster.

NBTC offers assurances on 5G progress The Nation Thailand 5th Aug 2019
The Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is aiming to boost private-sector confidence by accelerating 5G development and setting fees that are fair for consumers while guaranteeing operators enough profit to attract further investment. Secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said he and private licensees and operators are agreed that 5G should be in place as scheduled by the previous government – by late this year or early next. 

Thailand Ecommerce Market: Shooting For Success Thailand Business News 5th Aug 2019
Thailand’s nascent e-commerce industry is thriving and making serious money. According to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, Thai e-Commerce grew the most in ASEAN, the value of Thai ecommerce grew 14% in 2018, estimating that the value would increase to USD 103 billion, and its growth is expected to hit 20% this year.

NBTC: 5G upgrade requires massive outlay Bangkok Post 6th Aug 2019
Telecom operators may need to spend 200-300 billion baht each to change their network equipment for 5G technology, says the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, said he invited various players in the telecom industry for talks last week about steps to make 5G technology available in Thailand by late next year. The parties ranged from licensed telecom operators to internet providers, importers and producers of IT devices. The operators pointed out they need to invest a huge amount of money to transfer from 4G to 5G technology if the government and the NBTC aims to have 5G be adopted completely within the given time frame, Mr Takorn said.

Vietnam

ICT Summit talks digital transformation in Việt Nam vietnamnews.vn 12th Aug 2019
Digital transformation is an opportunity for Việt Nam to create greater value for each business, make each organisation more efficient and offer better opportunities for every citizen, said Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam at the Vietnam ICT Summit 2019 in Hà Nội on Thursday. Đam said that although Việt Nam is currently growing faster than many countries in the region and the world, its departure point was low. Therefore, it needs to speed up and be more sustainable.

Đà Nẵng seeks investment in IT Park vietnamnews.vn 12th Aug 2019
Authorities are seeking investment in the Đà Nẵng Information Technology Park (DITP), focusing on four areas of software products, digital content products, IT services and hardware products and services. The above areas were recently listed by the Đà Nẵng People's Committee. As for the production of software products, priority are given to attracting investment in DITP with software products related to system software, application software, software for programming development, utility software and information security software.

Electronic invoicing needs detailed guidelines vietnamnews.vn 12th Aug 2019
Fourteen months before electronic invoicing will be made mandatory in Việt Nam, which is set for November 1, 2020, there is still much work for the Government to do. Among the most crucial tasks to be completed is providing businesses with guidelines on how to issue and use e-invoices and across-the-board implementation among key State agencies such as the Tax Department, the State Treasury, the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance and insurers.

Viettel pilots first 5G base transceiver station in HCMC The Saigon Times 12th Aug 2019
The move is part of its overall plan to offer 5G service in HCMC. Viettel is accelerating the installation of 10 base transceiver stations located around Viettel’s headquarters in District 10’s Ward 12, to put them into operation this month. The telecom carrier has developed the 5G network on the Telco Cloud infrastructure, which helps shorten development time, assist its operation and match global trends.

50,000 ICT firms needed to embrace digital transformation: Minister The Saigon Times 12th Aug 2019
Vietnam needs an additional 50,000 information and communication technology (ICT) firms to speed up digital transformation, said Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung. The minister was speaking at the 2019 edition of the Vietnam ICT Summit under the theme “Digital Transformation for a Prosperous Vietnam,” held in Hanoi today, August 8. The event brought together more than 700 delegates, who are authorities, policymakers, entrepreneurs and experts in the ICT field.

Việt Nam jumps 50 places on global cybersecurity index vietnamnews.vn 12th Aug 2019
Việt Nam ranked 50th out of 175 countries on the Global Cybersecurity Index (CGI) in 2018, up 50 places from the previous year, according to a report by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). With a score of 0.693, Việt Nam ranked 11th in the Asia-Pacific region, which was topped by Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Việt Nam’s outstanding performance has exceeded the initial target of climbing to 70th position.

HCM City to begin 5G rollout next month VietNamNet 7th Aug 2019
In a document sent to the municipal People’s Committee, the Department of Information and Communications said the VNPT HCM City will complete the installation of equipment in August. After the Ministry of Information and Communications allowed the VNPT to test 5G in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the VNPT HCM City proposed to test the technology in three locations in District 1.

Hanoi to build digital traffic map for drivers as congestion worsens Eleven Media Group 5th Aug 2019
Hanoi is planning to build a real-time digital traffic map system similar to Google Maps within the year, according to the city’s transport department. Given the frequent congestions in the capital city, the use of information technology to build a digital traffic map will help drivers identify the optimal route to get to their destination, Vu Van Vien, director of Hanoi’s transport department, said in a document detailing the department's plan that was submitted to the Hanoi People's Committee.

Huge opportunities await foreign investors in Vietnam’s telco industry Voice of Vietnam 3rd Aug 2019
Fforeign investors are having big opportunities in Vietnam’s growing telecom sector as the government considers it a key driver for the country’s development in the digital economy and steps up the divestment from state-owned telco corporations. According to experts, the Vietnamese government’s strategic plans on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, smart cities, startups, and the National Innovation Network Program, enabled by state-of-the-art 4G and next-generation 5G Internet of Things mobile telecommunications networks, is clearly helping the ICT sector continue to record strong revenue growth.

Digital economy to bring new momentum for VN Vietnam News Agency 15th Aug 2019
Now is the time for Việt Nam to find new momentum for its development with the digital economy leading the way, an official has said. Nguyễn Anh Thu, vice rector of University of Economics and Business under Việt Nam’s National University, made the statement at a roundtable held in Hà Nội on August 14. At the seminar, experts discussed Việt Nam's economy and its ability to adapt to the digital transformation. Việt Nam has several advantages in terms of the digital economy. The country has a high percentage of young people, providing human resources for national development. Moreover, the digital economy depends significantly on consumers, so a young, tech-savvy population is considered an advantage.

Anti-hacking services charge high fees VietNamNet 5th Aug 2019
Many Vietnamese pay a fee to have their Facebook accounts protected, but experts have recommended against it. Vu Le Hang, an online cosmetics retailer in Hanoi, spent VND2 million to protect her account. “Selling goods online is my bread earner. I would rather spend several million dong more than lose my account,” she explained.Hang said the service provider is a ‘well known expert on Facebook’ and VND2 million is a ‘reasonable fee’. Dinh Anh, the owner of a Facebook account with 20,000 followers, said he is seeking an anti-hacking service provider.

Hà Nội to build digital traffic map for drivers as congestion worsens Vietnam News Agency 2nd Aug 2019
Hà Nội is planning to build a real-time digital traffic map system similar to Google Maps within the year, according to the city’s transport department. Given the frequent congestions in the capital city, the use of information technology to build a digital traffic map will help drivers identify the optimal route to get to their destination, Vũ Văn Viện, director of Hà Nội’s transport department, said in a document detailing the department's plan that was submitted to the Hà Nội People's Committee. The department has proposed including all information about traffic infrastructure and vehicles, including the locations of gas stations, medical stations and tourist attractions.