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Asia's tech news, weekly: September 26th 2023
Japan's satellite-tech, China's cell-based seafood, Australian hydrogen & space, Taiwan & wind power, Vanuatu digital payments, Indonesian seed-to-table tech...
• Australia: Canberra Space Hub proposed as method to deliver a fit-for-purpose workforce, expand research capabilities, boost investment and promote ACT space-focused tech
• China: CellX completes successful trial of 200-litre fish cell pilot, working towards scale and cost-effectiveness for cultivated seafood
• Taiwan's TSMC inks agreement with Germany's Saxony state to train German students for semicon-related careers, adding to new $3.8BN TSMC factory announced for Dresden
• Japan's Soramitsu: A deep-dive look at the low-profile blockchain firm behind projects including Cambodia's Bakong digital currency
Digital payments: "...the report suggests this growth will accelerate to 2.3TN by 2027...at a rate of 15% annually... digital payments will grow by 19.8% across the Asia Pacific..."
• AI chip firm SambaNova unveils new TSMC-manufactured semiconductor to run higher-level AI models at lower cost, specifically for large language models running enterprise applications
• Indonesia's Bababos gains $3M seed with platform connecting small SME manufacturers with raw material suppliers, streamlining supply chains and consolidating processes
• Veyond Metaverse XR platform was used to facilitate real-time surgery across 8800km, connecting surgeons in France and Myanmar
• Japan: Astroscale won $25.5M contract from US Space Force to develop in-orbit service satellite capable of refueling other sats, removing debris and more
• Australia & zero-knowledge ID: "Digital services that rely on the aggregation of personally identifiable information attract identity fraud and cybercrime at-scale."
• China: EHang autonomous aerial vehicle firm invests in Inx Technology for solid-state lithium metal battery tech
• Taiwan to establish overseas training centers under 10-year semiconductor innovation program, aiming to boost cooperation with countries on chip development and workforce skills
• Australia: An intro to the firms and startups under consideration in the Defence, Dual-Use Tech & Space category of the 2023 InnovationAus Awards for Excellence
• Australia: West Australia's H2EX and Adelaide's Fleet Space Technologies partner to speed satellite-driven discovery of naturally-occurring hydrogen in SA's Eyre Peninsula
"...TikTok has become the 3rd-largest e-commerce player in major markets in [SEA]... In response, Lazada plans to utilise a fresh injection of US$845 million..."
• India: A brief intro to Xovian Aerospace, deploying radio-based 'nanosatellite' infrastructure featuring AI-backed data analysis for sectors including maritime, aviation and defense
• Indonesia: Koltiva secures 7-figure Series A with software-as-a-service for multinationals, providing seed-to-table traceability for food products
• Australia: Tikpay raised $1.6M with cloud-based transport ticketing, with user info stored digitally rather than a tangible card to provide multiple fund sources, management and payment options
• Taiwan set to deepen ties with Arizona and New Mexico with visit from state politicians, with Arizona's sights on semiconductor manufacturing
• Reserve Bank of Vanuatu unveils VANKLIA digital payments, aiming to lift banking and financial services access and encourage citizens to open bank accounts
• TikTok's EU data woes: "TikTok has been fined €345m (£296m) for breaking EU data law in its handling of children's accounts..."
• Taiwan: Japan's Mitsui trading firm to take 40% stake in 73-turbine Hai Long Offshore Wind Power Project, with Canada's Northland Power participating
• India-Saudi Arabia StartUp/Innovation Bridge launches, with 45 MoUs signed to enhance bilateral investments
Cars & data: "...84% say they can share personal data with service providers... 76% said they could sell on the data.. [Only] Renault and Dacia... drivers had the right to delete their personal data."
• Taiwan: TAcc+ 2023 Int'l SpaceTech Startup Supporting Program aims to connect space-tech firms and global bodies including European Space Agency and Indian Space Research Org'n
• Singapore: OCBC bank customers in the city-state can now make QR code payments in China under new Alipay partnership
• Australia: 'Innovate to Grow - Agrifood' program launched by CSIRO, a 10-week program to help early-stage firms advance their agri-food technology, solutions and ideas
• China: Nio electric vehicle firm launches its own smartphone, aiming for car systems integration for navigation and more, alongside announcing production of in-house auto semiconductors
• New Zealand: LawVu workspace for in-house legal teams completes NZ$15M fundraise, consolidating technology stacks for legal firms into one shared workspace
• Japan's Incubate Fund hits 1st close of 3rd fund with target of $50M for seed-stage investments, looking at India and South East Asia investments
• Philippines: A video intro to Packworks and 'sari-sari' small store operations in the country
• "SentinelLabs observes sustained tasking towards strategic intrusions by Chinese threat actors in Africa, designed to extend influence throughout the continent...against telecommunication, finance and government..."
• Australia's Cyclion launches $1.5M crowdfunding campaign to commercialise tech to clean soft-plastic waste, possibly partnering Philippines for processing
Philippines: James Dyson Award-winning Pili Seal, sustainable aviation-focused sealant with applications in construction, automotive, marine and more
• Philippines: An intro to Nila Capital, new venture fund focusing on Gen Z startup founders
• Australia: An intro to the startups that presented at the recent Swinburne Innovation Studio 2023 Accelerator Demo Night
• New Zealand: Māori education institution, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, withdraws from Kōkiri accelerator it co-founded, citing high resource requirement vs small participant numbers
• Vietnam Venture Summit 2023 set for October 30th in Hanoi, delivered by Golden Gate Ventures - register your interest in attending
"Payments-focused fintechs now number more than 5000 globally and account for about $100BN of total industry revenues. By 2030, they could command a revenue pool worth $520BN..."
In wider-world technology news:
» Saudi Arabia to launch 5.9GHZ bandwidth for 'vehicle-to-everything' technologies, in part to boost autonomous vehicle development
» Intel to launch laptop featuring AI data-handling chip features, running a local generative AI chatbot rather than cloud data services for computing
» 'DeepMind cofounder...wants to build a chatbot that...can carry out tasks you set for them by calling on other software and other people to get stuff done.'
» Poland's Nevomo trials tech adapting traditional railroads to support electrified, high-speed trains alongside traditional trains, at 1/3-1/2 the cost of new rails
» Modern Synthesis and GANNI fashion firm unveil 'Bou Bag', in part created via bacterial fermentation, and part of a move away from use of leather
» Shell Global plans to install 50,000 on-street electric vehicle charging posts for the UK by the end of 2025
» UAE's Cultos Global gains backing with platform providing brands with tools to establish brand tokens and Web3 rewards systems
Social media: "...even if content moderation were implemented perfectly, it would still miss a whole host of issues that are often portrayed as moderation problems but really are not."
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