Asia’s tech news, weekly: December 20th round-up

WK Wright
5 min readDec 20, 2022

In this edition: China’s Saudi Arabia EV moves; data localization’s false promise; AI and digital sovereignty; Japan’s new cyber laws; solar panel farms in Australia; and more.

• Hong Kong: Gov’t attempted to pressure Google to remove ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ protest anthem from search results; Google refused.

• China’s Enovate Motors EV firm launches JV with Saudi Arabia’s Sumou Holding to establish manufacturing and R&D base with planned annual output of 100K EVs

• Data localization: “…a one-unit increase in an industry’s data restrictiveness is associated with a 0.5% decrease in the following year’s trade — a 0.6% decrease in imports and a 0.9% increase in import prices.”

“The future is digital, even for face-to-face payments.” Report now available to download from Accenture

• South Korea: Bunker Kids raises $1.5M Series A with combined diet recommendations and delivery services, optimizing for personal health goals using data and algorithms

• New Zealand: Partly aims to connect car parts buyers globally, integrating with online marketplaces like eBay with a database of 50M parts from 20K suppliers and OEMs

• Thailand: SPACE-F food-tech startup incubator and accelerator is now accepting applications globally for 4th cohort

ABN AMRO / Dealroom: Fintech Q3 2022 Report

• Indonesia: PaperID raises $12M with software-as-a-service platform providing one-stop platform for creating invoices, and managing accounting and inventory

•‘The geopolitics of artificial intelligence and the rise of digital sovereignty’, looking at the European Union, the United States and China

• Japan: Gov’t to intro new laws allowing it to engage in offensive cyber operations, ‘monitoring potential attackers and hack their systems as soon as signs of a potential risk are established’

OECD: Digitalization and Finance in Asia

• Download: ‘The Metaverse in Asia — Strategies for Accelerating Economic Impact’ from Deloitte, with 12 individual country reports

• Australia and Vanuatu ink wide-angle security agreement, spanning defense, cybersecurity, humanitarian support and more, in the wake of Vanuatu hack

• China: More than 30 tech firms to be added to US blacklist, including YMTC semiconductor firm found to have breached Huawei supply sanctions

• Japan: Kansai Startup Mashups brand launches, backed by Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe, to support startups from the Kansai region

ASPI: The future of digital identity in Australia

• Fiji: Leaders demand recount following vote-counting mobile app glitch that showed opposition ahead before, but second once data was re-uploaded

• India: Cricket start Shikhar Dhawan launches $75M VC fund focusing on sporting tech and innovation

• Philippines: CoinsPH digital wallet and crypto exchange platform gains central bank Advanced Electronic Payment and Financial Services license

• Thailand: Huawei, Ministry of Commerce and Office of Commercial Affairs launch digital training with ‘Digital Bus’ to boost knowledge in local gov’t and community

Pacific Partnership Strategy of the United States

• India: MoneyyApp, platform for SMEs, digital solo-preneurs and creators, raises pre-seed funding with sights on services for India’s 100M creators and 63M MSMEs

• Australia & TikTok: “…Chinese law stipulates that domestic organisations must ‘support, assist and co-operate with the state intelligence work

• Singapore: Plugo secures $9M Series A with full-spectrum e-commerce services for direct-to-consumer brands, from website creation to warehousing and logistics

• Alipay+ cross-border digital payments giant rolls out year-end promo with e-wallet partners from Hong Kong, the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia

Facebook: “…a major milestone in our enforcements against covert influence operations…disrupted more than 200 global networks…from 68 countries…in at least 42 languages…”

• Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, subsidiary of Foxconn, to sell off minority stake in Tsinghua Unigroup, China’s semiconductor giant

• India: Ministry of Electronics and Info Tech Startup Hub and Google unveil Appscale Academy, and multi-city roadshow to engage 1000+ startups in emerging hubs

• Download: The Startup Economy Report 2022, from India’s StrideOne (pdf)

Pacific Islands Forum: 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent

• Australia’s 5B lands BP funding with rapid-deployment solar panel farms capable of covering the size of a soccer pitch in a single day

• New Zealand: Futureverse merges 8 Web3 firms to form single company of 300 people across 16 countries, aiming to create an open metaverse ecosystem

• Australia: CSIRO ON Accelerate program unveils 10 deep-tech startups selected from Australia’s universities and research, working in biotech, IoT, nutrition and more

Project mBridge: Connecting economies through CBDC

In other news…

Wider-world technology news providing larger points of reference.

» Major accounting firm suspends all work on proof-of-reserves assessments for crypto clients including CryptoCom, KuCoin and Binance

» Apple to make major change to App Store, working to ‘allow alternative app stores’ on the iPhone and iPad, potentially launching with next year’s iOS 17 release

» Nillion closes oversubscribed round of over $20M, with network allowing nodes in a decentralized network to work in a unique way, without blockchain

» Cross Chain Coalition Web3 Demo Day is set for January 11th, a TechCrunch event

More of Asia’s tech news headlines:

Asia’s tech news: Weekly tech news headlines to December 2022
Asia’s tech news: Weekly tech news headlines to December 2022



WK Wright

All things tech, startup & funding: Short form for the time-poor at Startup News Asia