Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Digital Asia links: internet cafe camping, a stink over Winnie the Pooh in China, and more

A digital round-up from across Asia.

Curling at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics (Photo: Steve Russell/Getty)
Curling at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics (Photo: Steve Russell/Getty)
Published 27 Feb 2018   Follow @DrSarahLogan

  • To the dismay of privacy activists everywhere, Apple has announced it will store its Chinese users’ iCloud accounts in a new Chinese data centre at the end of February, in compliance with Chinese cybersecurity laws. This means that Chinese authorities will have easier access to text messages, email, and other data stored in the cloud.
  • The Cambodian Government has asked ISPs to block the Cambodia Daily and its associated social media accounts, according to evidence surfacing this month. The Daily was forced to close on 4 September 2017, and since then there have been complaints that its website, including the newspaper’s extensive archive, is unavailable on certain Cambodia-based ISPs.
  • A recent survey has ranked Malaysia in the bottom 20 of 88 countries for 4G speed. A major centre-left political party has raised this as an issue in the context of the Alibaba-sponsored digital free trade zone implemented last year.
  • In mid-2017 the Chinese Government announced an ambitious plan to become the world’s “primary AI innovation centre” by 2030. Ever wondered how this plan will actually work, beyond the cheerleading? Read this, from the Paulson Institute.
  • A new survey of internet cafes in Tokyo has found that approximately 15,000 people sleep in the country’s internet cafes during the week, 4000 because their housing is unstable.
  • A prominent religious leader in Malaysia has suggested the government should crack down on LGBTQ content in chat apps, especially WeChat.
  • After announcing it would begin paying tax in Korea from early 2019 (following similar moves in the UK and elsewhere), Facebook has assumed the vice-chair position in the country’s internet association, following a tussle over usage fees charged by local mobile operators.
  • A new survey has found that Thailand leads the world in time spent on the internet, driven by social media use and the popularity of online videos.
  • In its first month of operation, a new effort to control online content in Indonesia has blocked more than 70,000 websites displaying “negative” content, such as pornography and extremist ideology.
  • Bahrain has extended an activist’s prison term for tweets critical of the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen and conditions in Bahrain’s prisons.
  • In immediate response to changes to the Chinese constitution removing term limits, an old Disney photo featuring Winnie the Pooh – a popular (and banned) reference to Xi Jinping – has gone viral on Chinese social media.
  • The South Korean women’s curling team has had surprising success with a silver medal at the Winter Olympics. The team have become internet superstars, with their serious demeanour, country-girl origins, and unexpected win spawning a rap in their honour ...

    … as well as numerous online tributes.



You may also be interested in