Digital

A person walks past a sign of Alibaba Group during the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai, China, 1 September 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Rebirth of China's tech companies possible through regulatory reforms

While it appears that large digital platforms in China have been hit hard by a series of regulatory reforms in the last few years, they are down but not out, says researcher Jia Kai.
Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (left) with Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, on 22 May 2019, at the start of his week-long visit to China. (Ministry of Communications and Information)

Heng Swee Keat: Singapore and China will build better future for region and the world

Ahead of the 18th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meetings between Singapore and China — the first to be held in person since the outbreak of the pandemic — Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies Heng Swee Keat sets out a few priorities in taking Singapore-China relations to new heights.
Sensing that I'm drawn to such content, Douyin’s algorithm recommended more stories of Chinese families that tug at the heartstrings. (Screenshots provided by Jessie Tan)

Singaporean in China: China's poor no longer beg, they livestream

Former journalist Jessie Tan muses over the phenomenon of those in need transitioning from begging on the streets to selling goods on Douyin. While the poor or disabled have been given a more dignified and effective source of income, this is just one aspect of the good that comes with social media and technology.
Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of binary code are seen in this picture illustration taken 28 March 2018. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

Web3 with Chinese characteristics: Finding China's solution for regulators, developers and users

Crypto ban notwithstanding, China’s getting firmly in the act of building Web3 infrastructure to its specifications. While China is unlikely to allow global Web3 to play a role in its economy or the lives of its citizens, Chinese developers and entrepreneurs remain fascinated by the promise of global Web3 platforms and cryptocurrencies. This portends the development of two blockchain markets in China: one which caters to those who “jump” the virtual fence to join in the global Web3 movement, and one which uses blockchain in line with Beijing’s vision.
A representation of cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in front of a stock graph and US dollar in this illustration taken 24 January 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Reuters)

Why Bitcoin can never be a mainstream currency

Technology expert Yin Ruizhi notes that while Bitcoin is a bold experiment in cryptocurrencies, in its current form it is still too unstable and resource-intensive to take the place of legal currencies as a mainstream global currency.
People walk past a Xiaomi store in Mumbai, India, 11 May 2022. (Francis Mascarenhas/Reuters)

Once ‘the world’s factory’, China now builds global brands

In the sixth of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, we look at how brands from China are going international, particularly among Gen Z consumers in Southeast Asia.
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.