The Asia Pacific is the most dynamic digital landscape in the world, home to the fastest adopters of new technologies and the largest concentration of mobile and social media users. An escalation in online activism, changing cyber dynamics, developments in digital diplomacy and the exploitation of big data are shaping the region's engagement with the world.
- The Thomas Crampton blog has outlined key changes in the Chinese social media space including the versatility and continued rise of WeChat, the growing popularity of mobile video sharing and social travel platforms and how LinkedIn has successfully crossed into China.
- Neighbourhood Facebook groups in Singapore – initially set-up to deal with local construction issues – are empowering residents and changing the face of municipal politics.
- Savvy cyber attackers targeting Taiwanese Government officials have leveraged the popularity of Japanese mobile messaging app LINE (550 million total worldwide users; 18 million in Taiwan). Intended targets received a spear-phishing email with malware embedded in an attached ZIP file. Coincidentally, the new mayor of Taipei recently admitted he uses LINE to communicate with executive officials via a 'private' chat room.
- An Indonesian startup is using high-end tech solutions, including big data, drones and weather sensors, to identify digital farming products and increase the productivity of Indonesia's agriculture sector (which provides employment to about 41% of the country's workforce).
- Do you live in China and need help getting your life in order? A new mobile app - WeChat Secretary - is here to help. The app gives users a virtual personal assistant who can help with any task, not matter how mundane, such as finding a repair person or setting up a Taobao account (China's Ebay equivalent) h/t Asia Digital Life Project.
- A new report by Ericsson on mobile internet users in India has found one in three people are using smartphones in urban India, and of these, 36% of these are accessing financial service on their smartphones each week.
- The Chinese Meteorological Administration has banned unofficial weather reports, allegedly after false forecasts went viral on social media. Violators of the regulation, which came into effect 1 May, can be fined up to AUD$10,000 for distributing false or manipulated weather information that may 'create a negative impact on society'.
- Pakistan's parliament is drafting a new cyber crimes bill (follow online discussion about it via #PECB15) and there are concerns the bill's broad scope will be used to justify online censorship and impact the country's booming tech industry. A video made by 19-year old entrepreneur Asad Malik summaries some of the key issues of those opposing the bill: