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All posts by Tech In Asia

Tech In Asia
Tech in Asia is an online technology news startup based in Asia, with team members all across the region. As a crew of journalists and bloggers with a passion for new ways of delivering the news, we’ve bonded together under one goal – to create a great Asia-focused tech news site to tell the world about the wonderful things that are happening here. Subscribe to our daily newsletter.
  • How Chinese tech companies are (finally) going global

    In light of the Alibaba IPO and the ecommerce giant’s plans to expand in the US, there’s a lot of talk on how Chinese tech companies are now finally ready to go global. I’d argue that the ambition to go abroad has always been strong for Chinese companies. Since China officially joined the WTO in 2000, its government has promoted the “Go Global” policy for its companies to expand the footprint and soft power of the country. It was just a matter of time. In the past decade, no country offered more opportunities for growth and development than China....

  • Facebook’s back up, but Thailand’s still blocking 219 sites after coup

    In the first few days of Thailand’s military coup, the country’s MICT shut down over 100 websites deemed a threat to the country’s stability. As of yesterday, the number of sites closed has gone up to 219 sites. In addition, authorities have warned social media users that their activities are being watched and personal content could be deemed illegal if it’s provoking. Yesterday, Facebook was inaccessible in Thailand for about an hour. People took to Twitter to speculate that the junta had ordered a block on Facebook. Reuters later reported that Surachai Srisaracam, permanent secretary of the MICT, confirmed the...

  • Facebook is loved in Vietnam while Twitter’s ignored: here’s why

    Although social media like Facebook and Twitter are growing in Vietnam in a way they’re not in neighboring China, it’s worth noting that the two are not doing equally well in Vietnam: Facebook is loved in Vietnam while Twitter is ignored. Why is that? Let’s look at some numbers. Facebook in Vietnam has been adding about one million new users per month. This month last year, Facebook had 12 million users in Vietnam. In January, that number hit 22 million. If the growth has remained stable, it could be around 24 million today. That makes Vietnam one of Facebook’s...

  • Sina’s latest Chinese infraction? That would be sexing up the web

    As part of China’s ongoing clampdown on pornographic content on the web, Chinese authorities intend to strip web giant Sina of its audio-visual and online publication licenses due to alleged pornographic content on its video and ebook websites. According to Xinhua, the state run news agency, that threatens the shutdown of Sina’s video sites and ebook portal. The report says authorities found 20 articles and four videos posted by third parties that were found to promote pornography. The content was noticed after receiving a “huge amount” of tips from the public. Some Sina staff were arrested, and officials plan...

  • LinkedIn’s biggest obstacle China? Forget censorship, it’s culture

    With a Chinese-language site and WeChat integration, professional social network LinkedIn is going after China’s young up-and-comers. Many people were skeptical that a Western social network would be allowed over the country’s Great Firewall, but LinkedIn so far has been able to stay on the censors’ good side. “LinkedIn and maybe Snapchat are the only ones that can get regulatory approval here in China,” said Youku CEO Victor Koo in response to an audience question at last week’s China 2.0 forum. The event at Beijing’s Peking University also brought Derek Shen, the newly appointed president of LinkedIn China, to...

  • The final milestone? Tencent’s QQ hits 200m simultaneous users

    Last Friday, Tencent’s 15-year-old QQ messenger and social network might have hit it’s final major milestone -- 200 million people used the service simultaneously. That’s more than the entire population of Brazil all concurrently using a single application. While Tencent’s mobile messaging app WeChat is renowned for having 355-million monthly active users, that number is still dwarfed by its desktop-first predecessor. In it’s latest quarterly report, Tencent reported 808-million monthly active users on QQ and a peak of 180-million simultaneous users. But those growth figures have started to slow as QQ reaches saturation in its home market and the...

  • Turns out just 5% of Weibo users post most of its original content

    Another scathing report documenting Sina Weibo’s decline hit the press yesterday, just one week before the Twitter of China lists on the US stock market. This one comes from the South China Morning Post via Hong Kong University’s Weiboscope, which reveals a huge original content gap between users. While monthly active users grew to 143.8-million according to the company’s prospectus, Weiboscope says only 10 million of them are posting original content. The university project, which makes censored Sina Weibo posts of certain Chinese microbloggers publicly accessible, says it skimmed tens of thousands of Weibo accounts. Almost 60% of them...

  • News via chat app: BBC uses WhatsApp, WeChat to report Indian elections

    When India last held a general election in 2009, the country had fewer than 50-million internet users – a mere four percent of the population at the time. But as voting begins this week in India’s newest general election – a marathon that runs through to the counting of the votes on May 16 – things have changed. And that means, as the country now grows closer to a quarter of a billion web users, the way people access the news is evolving as well. For this election, the BBC is reaching out to readers and the public via...

  • Thinking about investing in Sina Weibo? Heed the warning of Renren

    Sina Weibo, often heralded as China’s answer to Twitter, will soon IPO in the US. It’s a good chance for investors around the world to get a slice of the social network that’s the hive mind and collective voice of China’s web users. But it’s not as simple as that. If you look back to the spring of 2011, China’s biggest social media IPO to date gives us an omen of what could very well happen with Weibo. In May 2011, Renren -- hailed as “China’s Facebook” -- hit the New York Stock Exchange with shares that ended the...

  • Beyond Flappy Bird: could Vietnam teach the world a lesson in mobile games?

    By now, everyone has heard of Flappy Bird. It quickly rose to prominence and is arguably the Gangnam Style of mobile gaming. With over 50 million downloads at its height, the game has now become a point of pride for Vietnamese startups and gamers. Along with that has come a barrage of questions from foreign journalists about the viability of Vietnam as a market that can create world-class games and products. My position is that it’s very hard to tell until Vietnam consistently creates world-class products and games. At the same time, Psy and Gangnam Style did not explode...

  • Alibaba looks to close gap between physical and online, pumps $629m into Chinese department store chain

    China’s biggest ecommerce company is fusing online shopping with good, old-fashioned brick-and-mortar retailing. Sort of. Today, Alibaba announced a US$692 million investment in InTime Retail, which has 28 department stores and eight shopping malls across China. The deal will allow users of Alibaba’s ewallet app, Alipay, to make in-store payments at all InTime malls and department stores after tying the app to virtual prepaid cards. There’s no indicated launch date for this feature. The partnership between the two shopping giants will also result in some online changes. Shoppers on Alibaba’s Tmall site will be able to claim InTime members...

  • WeChat and ecommerce push Tencent past $3.15 billion in profit

    China’s Tencent has published its Q4 and full-year 2013 earnings report, full of financial details and user numbers for its many web services. We’ve already written about WeChat reaching 355 million monthly active users, so let’s browse through the rest. Here’s the finance side first: US$9.91 billion in revenue for the whole of 2013, up 38% on the 2012 figure. Q4 revenue of US$2.78 billion, up 40% over Q4 2012. 2013’s entire operating profit was US$3.15-billion, up 24% year-on-year. Q4’s profit was US$779 million, which is up 28% year-on-year. However, it’s down one percent from Q3 2013. Online games...

  • LinkedIn ramps up hiring as it readies Chinese version of Pulse

    LinkedIn, the global social network for working professionals, has ramped up its hiring efforts in China after officially launching there back in February. According to job postings on the website, the company seeking several candidates to fill positions such as events manager, head of marketing, head of sales, and chief editor for LinkedIn Pulse, the company’s up-and-coming news aggregation branch. “The China editor will oversee a Mandarin version of Pulse (formerly LinkedIn Today), LinkedIn’s widely heralded professional content product,” reads the job description. “Currently, 1.5 million English-language publishers feed into the product. Now, for the first time, Pulse will...

  • The quest for quietude: what online media can learn from Flappy Bird, Bitcoin’s creators

    In the past decade, we’ve seen a steady of convergence of two worlds that, until recently, were alien to one another: the worlds of reclusive cutting-edge nerds and the world of view-hungry journalists. Rembrandt’s The Philosopher In Meditation gives us a picture into the former’s world. Drawn in the 1630s, it pictures a genius plumbing the depths of philosophy (or maybe mathematics) away from the world. It’s that secluded and wondrous quietude that some people at the edge of their fields treasure. It allows them the focus they need to be creative. In many ways, programming is where...

  • Tencent set to take on Alibaba with 15% stake in ecommerce group JD.com

    Tencent, the tech giant behind China’s QQ and WeChat messaging apps, is radically shaking up its ecommerce operations by forming a strategic partnership with JD (a.k.a. Jingdong), China’s second-largest online shopping firm. Rumors of a collaboration between the two firms had been circulating for months. What’s the deal about? To put it as straightforward as possible, Tencent will give JD the money and visibility necessary to run Tencent’s ecommerce operations successfully. Following the completion of the deal, JD will fully acquire the business, personnel, and logistics of Tencent’s estores QQ Wanggou and Paipai. It will also acquire a minority stake in Tencent’s...