Asia’s tech news, weekly: December 6th round-up

WK Wright
5 min readDec 7, 2022

In this edition: Animoca’s NFT fund; Penang Startup Investor Club launches; Startup Island Taiwan podcasts; India’s CBDC pilot; Indonesia’s EV push; and more

• Australia: “…newly identified information confirms the high-profile hacks of Medibank and Optus represent just a fraction of the confidential Australian records recently stolen by cyber criminals…”

• An intro to Singapore National Parks Board’s trees management using digital twin tech, capturing LiDAR point clouds and then applying AI to geolocate each plant

• China: State-run television edits out maskless fans from World Cup coverage in bid to prevent comparisons between China’s zero-COVID policy and the outside world’s pandemic response

• At the recent Singapore International Cyber Week 2022, women leaders in cyber discussed the challenges and triumphs of women in the industry, and what they are doing to bridge the gender gap

Fiji: “A lawyer who made light of a legal document’s error [in a Facebook post] was convicted of contempt of court, in a sign of the island nation’s eroding civil liberties…”

• Thailand: TechSauce media group launches Thailand Accelerator, targeting firms from seed to pre-Series A funding

• Reserve Bank of India to commence retail CBDC pilot project from December 1st, with locations and closed user groups using a digital token representing legal tender

Critical Minerals: Global supply chains and Indo-Pacific geopolitics

• Malaysia: Penang Startups Investor Club launch event set for December 8th in George Town, taking place in Draper Startup House Penang

• Hong Kong: XanPool cross-border payments infrastructure firm raises $41M with growth sights on Europe, MENA and Latin America, alongside Thailand R&D hub

Indonesia: “…gov’t aims to boost domestic use of electric vehicles to 2 million units in 2025, and…plans to offer an incentive of $484 for consumers to swap gas-guzzling motorbikes for electric ones.”

• Thailand: Bitkub, country’s largest crypto exchange, aims to list in Hong Kong, potentially in 2023 and moving on from SCB’s withdrawn investment

• Animoca Brands to launch $2BN metaverse-focused Animoca Capital fund, aiming for first investments in 2023 and focusing on digital property rights for NFTs and ‘land’ in the metaverse

NFT Taipei / December 9–18 2022

• Binance enters Japan with acquisition of Sakura, a local crypto exchange licensed and regulated to operate in the country

• Taiwan: A brief look at the recent DevDays Asia 2022 event, Microsoft’s largest developer conference in Asia, held in Taipei this year

India: “The [Enforcement Directorate] has also charged Vivo India for money laundering, alleging more than 50% of its turnover has been transferred to China to avoid paying taxes…”

• Available now: Carousell Recommerce Index, 2022 edition — sustainability impact made across SE Asia by buying and selling secondhand items

• Australia: Uber launches Uber Carshare platform following acquisition of Car Next Door, aiming to help ‘operate Australia more efficiently with less cars’

Thailand Accelerator: Open for startup applications

• Taiwan’s Gogoro to pilot battery swapping and smart scooters in the Philippines in 2023, with gov’t also removing import duties on EVs and parts for 5 years

• Philippines: CIMB Bank partners SeaMoney digital payments provider with sights on onboarding 2.5M BNPL loan customers via Shopee in 2023

Australia: Dep’t of Home Affairs, ASIO and ASD now scrutinizing use of Hikvision and Dahua surveillance cameras, citing similar security concerns to those raised in recent UK and US bans

• Malaysia: Saudi Arabian Al Rajhi Bank’s Malaysia operation launches Rize digital banking app, offering Shariah-compliant financial services

• Startup Island Taiwan podcast discusses TSMC and Taiwan’s semiconductor industry, started 40 years ago at a soy milk restaurant

Deloitte: Economic impact of the metaverse in Vietnam (pdf download)

• China’s Aiways electric car manufacturer to build vehicle and battery assembly plant in Thailand, following large order from Phoenix EV e-mobility service provider

• New Zealand gov’t to pursue legislation requiring tech giants to pay for local news they use, with estimated $30M to $50M likely to flow on to NZ media

“Now that 5G…is being rolled out across the world, the race for 6G is on. This is not only a contest for technology, but also for geopolitical influence.”

• Philippines: The PH SaaS Challenge launches, seeking B2B solutions from local and international early-stage startups

• Taiwan’s EchoX takes 2 awards at major innovation fairs in Japan, showcasing services including web3 membership CRM platform and NFT minting

• Australia: Ettle blockchain-driven fintech sets sights on introducing an Australian dollar stablecoin for business in 2023, using digital Australian dollar token AUDE

Asia-Pacific Regional Security Assessment 2022

• A look at the difficulties faced by Singapore’s free Mindline at Work AI therapy-bot, an attempt to relieve pandemic stress for teachers

• Taiwan and Slovakia ink 3 MoUs, aiming to boost trade, startup exchanges, and collaborations on nurturing talent for the semiconductor sector

• India: Gamerji e-sports tournament platform raises $3M Pre-Series A, with sights on MENA and SEA expansion, and introduction of E-sports-as-a-Service

BusinessWire: Press releases, investor releases, analytics…

Wider-world technology news providing larger points of reference.

» Silicon Valley’s Reach Power raises $30M to beam electricity wirelessly, claiming to meet transmission safety standards no higher than cellphones

» Interpol seized $130M from cyber-criminals in global ‘HAECHI-III’ operation to crack down on cyber-enabled financial crimes and money laundering

» Sweden launches major state initiative to fight cybercrime aimed at smart cars

» In acquiring Germany’s Hamburg shipping terminal “COSCO presents national and economic security risks not through a single investment in any European port, but because of three key factors…”

More of Asia’s tech news headlines:

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Asia’s tech news, weekly: A round-up of Asia-Pac and beyond’s tech news headlines to December 6th
Asia’s tech news, weekly: A round-up of Asia-Pac and beyond’s tech news headlines to December 6th



WK Wright

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