Asia's tech news, weekly: March 7th 2023
Japan's semicon moves, India ups pressure on big tech, Singapore and autonomous shipping, Malaysia's metaverse ecosystem, trustworthy AI, China versus StarLink...
• Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co reportedly planning 2nd facility in Japan to produce more-advanced 5 and 10 nm chips, with the first likely to be producing by December 2024
• China: PLA paper sets aim to quickly launch 13K satellites to prevent SpaceX from taking 'low-orbit resources', providing 'net service but also to spy and carry out anti-Starlink missions
• Australian Defense Force Space Command sees need to quickly secure 'non-destructive' capabilities to deter attacks on satellites, or interfere with enemy satellites
"Vendors in the supply chain play a critical role in helping organizations operate and compete in our global economy. In fact, the average company shares confidential information with 583 parties..."
• Malaysia's CelcomDigi and South Korea's SK Telecom ink MoU to develop Malaysia's metaverse ecosystem, looking at verticals to work on including education, health, retail and entertainment
• Hong Kong: HashKey gains Securities & Futures Commission approval for off-platform virtual asset trading
• India: Gov't to establish 3 large-scale 'grievance committees' to oversee moderation decisions of Meta, Google, Twitter and others, sparking concerns over censorship and political misuse
• ‘Why Technology Will Define the Future of Geopolitics' by Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO
• Download: 'Trust In Artificial Intelligence', a global study which surveyed over 17,000 people, from KPMG and the University of Queensland
• Singapore's Yinson Green Technologies makes strategic investment in Norway's Zeabuz, startup specializing in autonomous shipping services, with sights on future electric vessels
"...a recent study from Juniper Research clearly shows that online payment fraud will cost neobanks more than $206 billion between 2021 and 2025..."
• Japan and New Zealand to fast-track talks on intelligence-sharing to strengthen security ties and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, in part also aiming to boost Pacific Islands engagement
• India: NeoDocs startup unveils smartphone-based health test kit, using a urine sample to give results in 30 seconds
• Hong Kong Science & Tech Parks partners Roche pharma giant for life science innovation, looking at areas including policy, startup co-incubation, and health data sharing
• Huawei and du, fast-growing UAE telecoms operator, ink MoU on 5.5G cooperation
• Japan: Major firms including Fujitsu, Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi Corp partner to create 'Japan Metaverse Economic Zone', using Open Metaverse Infrastructure to enable interoperability between platforms
• Japan: Rapidus Corp, formed by 8 major Japanese firms, unveils plan to build its first next-gen semiconductor chip plant in Hokkaido
"Ernie, what is censorship? China’s chatbots face additional challenges."
• South Korea: Sapeon semiconductor chip firm, backed by SK Telecom, memory-chip producer SK Hynix and SK Square, announces fundraising effort with valuation above $400M
• Australia: LaunchVic unveils new grant program, offering up to $300K for organisations to run pre-accelerator programs to help women founders build a minimum viable product and find their first customers
• India: Foxconn iPhone maker reportedly to establish $1BN 300-acre mega-facility near Bengaluru International Airport as part of diversification bid in response to China issues
• India and Italy unveil Startup Bridge initiative, a matchmaking platform to link early-stage startups with investors
• Taiwan's Foxconn looks at cooperation in India in new areas including electric vehicles and chips, looking to boost India production to 25% from current 5-7%
"...e-wallet market in Việt Nam is booming with 90% of the market falling on three wallets: Momo, Moca and ZaloPay.... In addition, the 3 other major service providers...are ShopeePay (AirPay), ViettelPay and VNPTPay."
• China: Realme smartphone maker launches GT3 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, claiming full-charge in under 10 minutes
• Sequoia China Seed Fund's Fund III raised $480M last year and now enters the investment period, managing nearly $2.16 billion
And in other news…
» 15 companies issuing 20 different stablecoins form Stablecoin Standard industry body, aiming to create standards that promote consumer confidence
» White House cybersec strategy document coming which aims to force large firms to take responsibility for designing secure products, and to redesign digital ecosystems to be more secure
» Global Methane Tracker 2023 online now - "Methane is responsible for around 30% of the rise in global temperatures since the Industrial Revolution..."
» Bluesky, Twitter alternative backed by Twitter co-founder Dorsey, launches on the App Store, aiming to provide decentralized form of social media
» US congressional panel forms to examine the role of private equity, venture capital and Wall Street firms in China, building on a forthcoming screening mechanism for outbound investment
» Conspiracy Theories Have a New Best Friend: "Generative AI programs like ChatGPT threaten to revolutionize how disinformation spreads online."