Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Digital Asia links: PLA QR codes, a new OBOR portal, India’s social sphere and more

The Asia-Pacific is the most dynamic digital landscape in the world.

Photo: Flickr/Jaehyun Lee
Photo: Flickr/Jaehyun Lee
Published 7 Apr 2017   Follow @DaniellesCave

  • A fantastic description of the ongoing tussle between the New York Times and China's Great Firewall.
  • The New York Times is not the only group trying to get around China's Great Firewall – a robust industry of Chinese 'information smugglers' has arisen to meet domestic demand for international news and current affairs. These Chinese media agencies use circumvention tools each day to access foreign web content and then translate and repackage these (often sensationalised) stories for the domestic market (original Chinese-language piece here).
  • Teenage Singaporean blogger Amos Yee was granted asylum in the US last month.
  • This blog post runs through how South Korea manages its national cybersecurity drill and how participants, including anti-virus companies, video game developers, financial operators and defence officials are coordinated.
  • QR (quick-response) code scams are on the rise in China but that hasn't stopped thirteen units across the People's Liberation Army (PLA)'s Navy, Air Force and Rocket Force being issued QR code metal tags. The piloted QR code tags also contain a built-in microchip containing health information to be used in emergencies. 
  • Twitter launched a data-light version of its platform in India yesterday, Instagram has become the country's second-most popular social media site, but Facebook remains dominant with 183 million users (though only one-quarter of these are women).
  • China's liberal, social media–savvy generation are really taking to Donald Trump.
  • There is a growing demand for mobile payment systems across Asia but growth is disparate. While China leads the way and Indonesia's cashless future looks bright, cash remains king in Japan and the Philippines.
  • Chinese Internet company Baidu has doubled its Silicon Valley presence and has gone all-in on Artificial Intelligence (AI). But the company is desperate to lure AI talent to China after recently losing its chief scientist.
  • Kakao Corp, the company behind South Korea's largest online media platform KakaoTalk, has been granted permission to become the country's second online bank.
  • The Chinese Government launched a portal for the Belt And Road Initiative.
  • This piece argues Singapore needs to leverage its expertise and smart-nation vision to become a leader in global cyber-security services.
  • With China's skies crowded with unmanned aerial vehicles, the government is considering real-name registration for unregulated drones.
  • North Korea is hacking banks and using ransomware (viruses that encrypt data in an infected computer or smartphone) for revenue.
  • Interesting insight into why some Chinese rural entrepreneurs are quitting e-commerce platform Rural Taobao.
  • While Japan has laid the foundations for becoming a serious player in cyberspace under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, this paper argues the government's efforts remain underfunded and hampered by overly complicated bureaucracy.
  • Anthony Kuhn, a media correspondent in China, went viral on Weibo after asking a question at a government press conference last month.
  • Hong Kong activists and artists used Facebook Live and the hashtag #1194only to crowdsource and live-stream four hours of silent video protest to highlight what ordinary Hong Kongers were doing on 26 March while 1186 Hong Kong electors (1194 are eligible) voted in new Chief Executive Carrie Lam:

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