Digital

Staff members walk past a logo of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, on 27 May 2022. (AFP)

China tech companies draw up war plans for ASEAN battleground

In the second of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, Zaobao senior correspondent Chew Boon Leong looks at the strategies adopted and challenges faced by China’s tech companies in Southeast Asia.
Shoppers on a pedestrian street in Shanghai, China, on 18 June 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China needs to rethink its regulations and governance of the platform economy

Over the past year, the Chinese government has taken strong action against monopolistic practices in the platform economy. However, with the effects of the pandemic, the economy needs a boost and the platform economy seems to be the way to lift it. Chinese academic Yi Xianrong says that to truly harness the strengths of the platform economy, the authorities need to see that it is a totally different entity from the traditional economic sectors and its governance needs some deep thinking.
A woman holds US dollar banknotes in this illustration taken 30 May 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Quit the dollar: Can Asia build its own digital currency and digital payment infrastructure?

Calls for de-dollarisation have increased since the financial sanctions of the Ukraine war and the very real threat of the US dollar being weaponised. In this context, academic Pei Sai Fan explains why conditions are ripe for China and Asia to offer innovative alternatives, such as developing regional digital currency cooperation in the payment and settlement of regional trade and investment, and expediting the development of new cross-border digital payment infrastructure in Asia known as multi-CBDC platform projects.
Southeast Asian governments have to step up cybersecurity and IP law enforcement. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Southeast Asia should confront the threat of economic espionage from China and elsewhere

China is known for using cyber weapons to pursue geostrategic goals. In recent years, entities linked to the Chinese state have carried out alleged economic espionage of commercial firms in Southeast Asia. The region is increasingly vulnerable as it is home to some of the most rapidly growing knowledge-intensive sectors in the world. To help themselves, Southeast Asian governments should be more proactive in discussing the threat of economic espionage with foreign states and committing to norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace.
An attendee wearing a virtual reality (VR) headset takes part in a concert experience in the metaverse at the SK Telecom Co. stand on the opening day of the MWC Barcelona at the Fira de Barcelona venue in Barcelona, Spain, on 28 February 2022. (Angel Garcia/Bloomberg)

Metaverse: What is it and who's in control?

The phrase “metaverse” has been bandied about but what exactly is it and how far along is the project? Academic James Pang and entrepreneur Liang Xinjun explain that the implications of this development are larger than most think. The metaverse is not so much a sub-world to enter into on the side but the integration of the real and virtual worlds and economic systems, essentially creating a new world with new governance structures and norms. US and Chinese firms are, of course, racing to get a big slice of the future.
A man wearing a protective mask is seen inside the Shanghai Stock Exchange building at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai, China, 28 February 2020. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Digitalisation: How China’s smaller investment banks could compete with big foreign players

The recent accelerated opening up of China’s capital market has presented a challenge to investment banks in China, which may have seen their role marginalised or bypassed by major foreign players who have international experience and are highly capitalised and better managed. Academics Pei Sai Fan and Peng Chang suggest how investment banks in China can compete and stay relevant.
A user demonstrates the Owo vest, which allows users to feel physical sensations during metaverse experiences such as virtual reality games, including wind, gunfire or punching, at the Consumer Electronics Show on 5 January 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP)

Metaverse: Why Microsoft is acquiring Activision

Technology expert Yin Ruizhi notes that Microsoft’s recent announcement to acquire gaming company Activision Blizzard is not just about breaking into the gaming market, but an important step towards building its capabilities to develop the metaverse. Can it succeed and will other Western tech giants follow?
A student cycles past a wall mural in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, on 10 December 2021. (Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP)

Huawei digital talent programme: Another source of China's soft power in Indonesia

Huawei’s digital talent programme in Indonesia is contributing to China’s soft power as the latter seeks to engage Indonesia as an important node of its Belt and Road Initiative. Indonesia stands to gain from the exchange but also needs to be wary of possible cybersecurity concerns.
A man wears a VR headset at a booth during the DCentral Miami Conference at the Miami Airport Convention Centre on 1 December 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)

Metaverse: Plans of the tech giants

When it comes to the metaverse, the various tech giants are taking different approaches, from conservative to aggressive. Technology expert Yin Ruizhi takes a look at three major players — Facebook, Nvidia, and Tencent — and their respective strategies, and how they are likely to contribute to building the metaverse.