Digital economy

The Alipay logo is seen at the Asian Games 2023, Hangzhou, China. (SPH Media)

Has Alipay become a state-owned enterprise?

With Alibaba founder Jack Ma ceding control of Alipay in January 2023, and the People's Bank of China granting the application for no controlling shareholder at Alipay a year later, no single individual is in control of the company's decisions, and no shareholder holds more than 30% of its shares. This is seen as a critical step before Ant Group's IPO. But, has Alipay become a "state-owned enterprise"?
The logo of e-commerce app Pinduoduo is displayed next to mobile phones displaying the app, in this illustration picture taken on 25 October 2023. (Florence Lo/Reuters)

Pinduoduo's popularity a sign of Chinese consumption downgrading wave

Popular Chinese online shopping app Pinduoduo has done well in terms of profits, outdoing competitors such as Alibaba and JD.com. While a major factor is due to revenue from Pinduoduo's multinational e-commerce platform Temu, it may also be a sign that consumers in China are changing their spending habits and going for cost-effectiveness and value for money.
Web3.0's ultimate value lies in integrating with real-world finance, economy and society. (iStock)

Web 3.0 should be a network to create and maintain a global community of shared future

Hong Kong and Singapore can and should leverage their position as international financial and technological hubs to help build an inclusive and fair digital global network that brings people all over the world together for a more equitable and mutually-beneficial collaboration and development, says academic Pei Sai Fan.
Beijing has put in place new measures to tighten its grip over domestic data to protect national security. (Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

How China is tightening controls over cross-border data transfers

In an effort to tighten its grip over domestic data to protect national security, Beijing has implemented the Measures on the Standard Contract for the Cross-Border Transfer of Personal Information, requiring certain personal data processors to sign contracts with overseas recipients before sending data abroad.
This picture shows a poster depicting King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud (left), the founder of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (centre), and Crown Prince Mohammed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 16 April 2023. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP)

Chinese firms flock to Saudi Arabia in Middle East gold rush

Chinese businesses are flocking to Saudi Arabia, in what they see as the latter's "reform and opening up" period of opportunities. While bilateral trade and investment has increased, the Chinese also see Saudi Arabia as a gateway for the Middle East market, in emerging fields such as cloud services and artificial intelligence, and as a vibrant venture capitalist hub.
A researcher plants a semiconductor on an interface board during a research work to design and develop a semiconductor product at Tsinghua Unigroup research centre in Beijing, China, 29 February 2016. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Can China's semiconductor industry survive under sanctions and the Chip 4 alliance?

Researcher Ding Ke looks at the US’s Chip 4 alliance initiative and its implications for China’s semiconductor industry. With the US seemingly intent on containing China’s high-tech industries, it will take a lot of effort for China to keep this sector going and growing, especially if the Chip 4 alliance works out.
A QR code for Covid-19 contact tracing was displayed at the entrance of a shopping mall in Shanghai, China, on 29 November 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China's growing digital economy does not guarantee a 'digital civilisation'

Amid the frequent refrain of building a digital civilisation in China, Chinese academic Zhang Tiankan warns of the natural progression assumed in digital progress leading to greater civilisation. Innovations such as facial recognition technology or human tracking devices are placed in the hands of man and can be used for good or evil.
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.
Short video platforms Douyin and Kuaishou have focused on a new model of "goods seeking people". (Internet)

Newcomers Douyin and Kuaishou takes on tech giants to refresh the face of e-commerce

Technology expert Yin Ruizhi delves into the differences between traditional e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba and JD, and “interest-based” platforms such as Douyin and Kuaishou, and explores the possibilities for what e-commerce might look like in the future, as both types of platforms operate alongside each other.