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Digital Asia links: Data regulations, Faceook’s Cambodia experiment, bitcoin exchanges and more

Sarah Logan with links on digital developments across Asia.

Phnom Penh, October 2017 (Photo: Yosomono/Flickr)
Phnom Penh, October 2017 (Photo: Yosomono/Flickr)
Published 17 Nov 2017   Follow @DrSarahLogan

  • In a deal signed this month between Facebook and the Philippines, the social media giant will assist in laying a submarine cable system to improve to underperforming Philippine internet speeds, among the slowest in Southeast Asia.
  • Indonesia has drafted new regulations for internet service providers, including social media companies and online gaming operators. Under the regulations, foreign companies would need a local presence, a content filtering system and censoring mechanism. They will also be required to use the Indonesian national payment gateway and provide the government with access to their data.
  • Vietnam's Minister of Public Security has defended a draft cybersecurity bill, due for a vote in the National Assembly's summer session. If passed, the bill would likely force foreign internet companies to store Vietnamese data in Vietnam.
  • Thailand's Finance Ministry has announced plans to give the country's welfare recipients free internet-only SIM cards. The measure is expected to be part of the second phase of the government's welfare and subsidy scheme, due to be announced next month.
  • Facebook has experimented with how its users' feeds function in Cambodia. The experiment separates personal and non-personal information in users' feeds and appears to have generated losses of traffic for a range of news outlets, online stores, political parties and smaller NGOs. A trial is also underway in other countries.
  • South Korean lawmakers are debating new proposals to regulate foreign internet companies. The laws propose changing the way such companies are taxed, with possible implications for the Korea-US free trade agreement.
  • A brick and mortar bitcoin exchange has opened in South Korea – reportedly the world's first.
  • Indonesia plans to introduce an automated content blocking system in January. This week Indonesian authorities threatened to block WhatsApp due to explicit gifs.
  • Myanmar's lower house has passed a bill authorising the government to oversee ‘immoral' use of the internet.
  • One of the largest leaks of consumer data is likely to have affected almost all Malaysians and thousands of tourists. The 2014 leak of more than 46 million mobile subscribers' data attempted was revealed this week.
  • Chinese netizens are indulging in a craze for videos and livestreaming of rural life. Li Bo, a farmer from the country's northeast, filmed this cheery footage of his neighbour's ducks and added a patriotic ditty over the top. He recently purchased his first air conditioner thanks to gifts from viewers.

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