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Asia's tech news, weekly: September 12th 2023
Quantum in Australia, Japan & 2nm chips, India tests CBDC use-case, DPRK crypto heist, China & sea-launch sats, Singapore AI cancer diagnosis, Foxconn in India...
• Australia: Q-CTRL and Diraq partner for 3 multi-million dollar quantum computing projects delivering quantum hardware and software solutions
• India: Gov't in talks with South American and African nations on use of Unified Payment Interface and RuPay cards, aiming to grow the platforms internationally
• Japan: Gov't-backed Rapidus breaks ground on Hokkaido facility, aiming for 2nm chip wafer plant online by 2025, and with engineers now studying with IBM
• China: JD e-commerce giant and Industrial & Commercial Bank to release 'comprehensive' and 'programmable' supply chain finance solution, using digital CNY smart contracts
Former co-founder of DeepMind AI firm: "My fear is that AI will undermine the information space with deepfakes and targeted, adaptive misinformation..."
• Indonesia may curb TikTok Shop platform, with Minister raising domestic SME impacts of 'monopolistic' practices in payments, logistics and platform influence
• India: Taiwan's Foxconn reportedly partnering Europe's STMicro for new semiconductor facility in India, focusing on 'larger', established chips
• China: Galactic Energy conducted 1st sea launch, placing 4 maneuverable satellites in orbit and moving towards 38-sat constellation for client firm
• India: Reserve Bank plans to pilot use of CBDC in the interbank borrowing market for call money market use, using CBDCs as tokens for settlements
• China: 5 Gov't Ministries unveil metaverse-focused plan for 3-5 industrial clusters by 2025 to boost domestic blockchain, AI and related tech, and to produce 3-5 global metaverse firms
• South Korea: 'Should chip funds go to chaebols or underdogs? In South Korea, the question has taken on partisan undertones.'
• Japan's Toyota builds hydrogen production facility at California logistics center capable of delivering fuel for more than 200 Toyota Mirai fuel cell cars per day
• India: Jio Platforms unveils plans for high-level cloud AI infrastructure in collaboration with NVIDIA, looking at areas including research into drug discovery and climate change
Baidu's Ernie AI: "Inaccurate hallucinations aside, it is interesting that ERNIE is very comfortable making moral assertions and even policy proposals when responding to a prompt."
• Taiwan's SemiCon 2023 Conference sees UK delegation explore opportunities and partnerships for trade, investment and R&D collaboration
• Singapore: An intro to WealthGreen, soon to launch an app allowing retail investors to buy and hold carbon credits for potential resale
• 500 Global closes 500 SEA III, $143M Southeast Asia-focused startup fund, with $100M earmarked for early-stage firms and remainder set for growth-stage
• China's DeeprouteAI, Alibaba-backed autonomous tech firm, to establish operations centre in Germany by 2024, targeting Euro market and partnerships with automakers
• Australia: River City Labs launches the Elevating Female Founders Program to empower female entrepreneurs in Queensland
• South Korea: Neurophet selected for Startup Creasphere APAC 2023, digital health-focused platform from Roche pharma giant and Plug and Play, with AI-assisted brain imaging analysis
• China: Digital yuan project head urges Alipay, WeChat Pay QR code standardization as central bank pushes for more e-CNY use following lackluster utilization by citizens
• Australia: BP completes feasibility study for WA H2Kwinana large-scale green hydrogen hub, seeing domestic and export opportunities alongside sustainable aviation fuel and 'renewable diesel'
"Bad news - your car is a spy. Every major car brand's new internet-connected models flunked privacy and security tests conducted by Mozilla."
• Australia: Commonwealth Bank innovation arm, x15ventures, to incubate an as-yet unnamed spin-out firm in bid to combat rising number of scams and online fraud activity in Australia
• Export-Import Bank of Korea inks MOU with Export Finance Australia to collaborate on stabilizing core mineral supply chains
• Singapore: FathomX, AI-powered breast cancer solution improving diagnoses, with false positives reduced by over 20% and false negatives by over 38%
• Taiwan: Gov't unveils guidelines aiming to restrict unlicensed offshore cryptocurrency platforms from operating locally without registration, in move to tighten on AML/CFT requirements
• North Korean Lazarus Group hackers believed to be responsible for $41M theft from crypto-based sports betting platform Stake, taking this year's hacking proceeds over $200M
• South Korea: BANF secures $3M focusing on real-time truck tire sensing technology, initially targeting logistics industry in which tire issues account for 30% of accidents
• India may pause consideration of crypto ban in light of potential for G20 consensus on broadly shared regulation
• Australia's Agetech Startup Map 2023 is now available, highlighting and aiming to boost Australian tech and innovation in the aged-care sector
"A judge said the absence of a 'guiding human hand' disqualified the AI-generated image from copyright protection, but other generative art may still qualify."
• Vietnam: Indonesia's Gojek partners Selex Motors to pilot Selex Camel e-bikes across Gojek’s transport, food delivery and logistics services in Vietnam, seeing significant savings
• Taiwan: Palo Alto Networks cybersec firm launched new cloud infrastructure in Taiwan, localizing data handling and storage, threat detection and prevention
• Philippines: An intro to Gamer Points, tech startup aiming to use low-intrusion ads in games, generating income for players via GP, virtual currency that can be converted to cash
• Taiwan: A brief overview of the country's drones-focused supply chain, both commercial and military
• Japan to boost cooperation with SEA nations across transport infrastructure, cybersecurity and more, alongside training for 5000 in maritime law enforcement
• China: Nat'l Development & Reform Commission to establish specialized department focusing on private sector businesses, in part for 'efficient implementation and execution of critical measures'
• Malaysia: An overview of the government's sovereign wealth fund, Kazanah Nasional Berhad, and the many ways in which it is investing in the country's future
• Philippine Islands Bank selects 70 startups, micro- and 'nano-enterprises' for mentoring, support and grants
"An estimated 2.9BN people — more than 1 out of every 3 people on the planet — played a video game in 2021, when global revenue for the industry exceeded $193BN..."
• Taiwan: A podcast intro to Authme, an AI-powered ID verification solution aimed at know-your-customer checks
• HK-NY Web3 firm, TRLab, raised $5M seed funding with focus on digital asset representations of fine art
• Australia: Internet of Things Alliance Australia’s State of the Nation event set for Sydney Startup Hub, October 10th
• Philippines: TANGGapp raised $2.5M seed funding with free mobile payments app that doesn't charge transfer fees, focused on US-based workers sending remittances to the Philippines
In wider-world news, relevant to the Indo-Pacific:
» Canada's ALORA is trialing salt-tolerant rice following activation of specific gene, with tech relevant to crops including cotton and corn
» International Criminal Court will now prosecute cyberwar crimes, with first case potentially Russia's cyberattacks on Ukraine civilian critical infrastructure
» EnerVenue unveils nickel-hydrogen battery, aimed at large-scale renewables and storage, claiming energy density at least equal to lithium-ion batteries
» London Stock Exchange has drawn up plans to offer blockchain-based trading of traditional financial assets, minus the use of cryptocurrencies
» d-Matrix raises $110M with AI-focused chips and management software, backed by Microsoft, Singapore's Temasek and others
"...a shipping container that today travels from Mumbai, through the Suez Canal to Europe, could in the future go by rail from Dubai to Haifa in Israel and on to Europe."
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