Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Digital Asia links: Pakistan’s suspect missile test, Cross-Strait cyber battles, keyboard armies, WeChat evolves and more

A new edition of our regular feature on Asian digital trends and events.

Digital Asia links: Pakistan’s suspect missile test, Cross-Strait cyber battles, keyboard armies, WeChat evolves and more
Published 13 Jan 2017   Follow @DaniellesCave

  • How Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte raised and mobilised a keyboard army.
  • China is deleting outspoken Taiwan and Hong Kong artists from its streaming services; many had previously shown support for pro-democracy movements. Australian band Frenzal Rhomb also finds itself on the leaked list of alleged banned artists.
  • The spokesperson for Pakistan’s armed forces took to Twitter on 9 January to announce and share a video of the first successful submarine-launched cruise missile. However, within 24 hours, open-source analysts used geolocation coordinates to allegedly debunk the launch.
  • WeChat is morphing into an all-in-one app so its 768 million logged in users will never have to download an app again.
  • Turkey’s Government has announced it will soon replace Google and Gmail with a domestic search engine and email service compatible with ‘national culture and values.’
  • On New Year’s Eve Chinese netizens jumped the firewall and flooded the Facebook pages of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese army and media with Chinese national anthem lyrics, poems and pro-China memes.
  • On the eve of Kazakhstan’s 25th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union, social media platforms, video sites and search engines were blocked.
  • Silicon Valley is losing ground as technology companies move their innovation hubs to Asia, setting up shop in Singapore, Bangalore, Tokyo and Shanghai.   
  • In preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the Japanese Government will hold a large-scale drill aimed at countering cyberattacks.
  • President-elect Trump and Alibaba founder Jack Ma announced the Chinese e-commerce company will create up to one million jobs in the US. There’s a lot of scepticism, although some believe such job creation is not impossible.  
  • Thailand’s army is recruiting a civilian unit of cyber warriors to work at its cyber crime security centre.
  • The Royal Malaysia Navy has launched a campaign against negative behaviour and false information on social media.
  • China’s censors ordered an app to cap pollution readings and deleted criticism of air pollution and the Communist Party as extreme smog blanketed parts of the country last week.


Photo by Flickr user sinkdd.

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