The Asia Pacific is the most dynamic digital landscape in the world, home to the fastest adopters of new technologies, the largest concentration of social media and mobile users, and some of the world's most innovative tech companies. The rise of mobile messenger apps, use of big data and online activism are shaping the region's engagement with the world.
- As Taiwan struggles with its role as the 'testing ground' for Chinese cyber attacks (some have labeled it as one of, if not the most, hacked place on earth) the Government is ramping up its focus on cyber defence amid calls for greater cyber security cooperation between the US, Japan and Taiwan.
- It is perhaps awkwardly fitting that as Prime Minister Abbott described social media as 'electronic graffiti', India's soft power savvy leader was tweeting his best wishes to Australians on Australia Day (to his 9.7 million followers).
- Recent comments by Vietnam's Prime Minister suggest the country may ease up on internet censorship. But commentators caution against optimism, and it's worth noting that there are 27 bloggers in Vietnam's prisons.
- In a decision apparently sparked by the Snowden revelations, China's cyber regulator has announced security screenings of foreign-produced ICT products will begin this year. The new rules, which are said to include demands for source code and back-doors into hardware, have heightened concerns foreign companies are being forced out of the world's most populous tech market.
- A Bangladeshi mobile app, 'Doctor in a Tab', which connects rural residents with doctors, has won a major USAID award. The app, which is planning an expansion into Myanmar, is worthy of the attention of DFAT's new (rather mysterious) 'innovation hub'.
- As the skirmish intensifies between e-commerce giant Alibaba and the Chinese Government over the sale of counterfeit goods (public support is said to be with the company), it's worth taking a look at recent profiles of both Alibaba and its less well-known competitor JD.com.