Asia’s tech news weekly: November 1st round-up

WK Wright
5 min readNov 1, 2022

In this edition: NFTs as property in Singapore; Australia’s hacking woes continue; Taiwan’s battery-swapping in India; rice decarbonisation in Asia; Huawei faces Ireland ban; Korean VC in Vietnam…

• Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co suspends advanced silicon production for China’s Biren Technology, a graphics competitor to Nvidia and AMD, in order to ensure compliance with US regulations

• Singapore: High Court Justice rules that NFTs meet certain legal requirements to be considered property

• Bill Gates’ Wavemaker, Singapore’s Temasek, and others, to launch startup to address rice decarbonisation in Asia, using climate-tech, agri-food and venture-building capabilities

• Vanuatu takes key step towards more cashless activity with reforms under IFC Pacific Payments Project enabling debit card and EFTPOS machines to be interoperable

ASEAN: “…the 55-year-old Association of Southeast Asian Nations is facing an existential crisis, owing to severe internal splits over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Myanmar’s military coup and other issues.”

• Japan plans to allow near-autonomous Level 4 vehicles on public roads in a limited capacity in April 2023, a first step towards services such as robotaxis and driverless buses

• Australia: Silentium Defence unveils ‘space observatory in a box’ to track Low Earth Orbit objects in quickly deployable system which emits no radio waves

• Taiwan’s Gogoro electric vehicles startup to pilot 6-second battery swapping stations in India, building on Singapore and Indonesia pilots

• The Korea Tourism Organization’s Korean Startup Showcase 2022 Singapore StartTour, and the 11 startups taking part

• India: 3 digital asset management firms now under investigation over suspected illicit drug transactions, with near $3.5M so far tracked

• China’s TuSimple self-driving truck firm under FBI, SEC, CFI investigation over relationship with China-backed Hydron and suspected breach of intellectual property sharing laws

e-Conomy South East Asia 2022 / Temasek, Google, Bain & Co

• Australian Strategic Policy Institute and India’s Centre for Internet and Society unveil project focused on techdiplomacy and standards settings in Artificial Intelligence in the Indo-Pacific

• Hong Kong: WATI — WhatsApp Team Inbox — raised $23M Series B, with Shopify onboard as a new investor

• Australia’s hacking woes continue with Australian Clinical Labs pathology firm revealing cyber-attack resulting in data of 223K people stolen, some posted to the dark web

Australia’s MediBank hack: “…begun when a person with high-level access within Medibank’s systems had their credentials stolen by a hacker, who then put them up for sale on a Russian-language cybercrime forum…”

• China: Huawei’s woes grow as Ireland mulls ban on telcos using Huawei gear in infrastructure networks, over concerns networks could be accessed by Chinese state

• South Korean VC firm Nextrans to launch new $50M Vietnam-focused fund to target the country’s tech startup ecosystem, looking at investments up to $3M in value

• India: Facebook launches community accelerator program, selecting 15 Indian Facebook group leaders for the 4-month program, partnering Hyderabad’s IT Hub

India Fintech Report 2022 / Bain & Co

• Japan: The challenges faced by the government’s My Number attempt at digital ID

• Animoca Brands and TinyTap to auction first education-focused Publisher NFTs, each linked to a bundle of educational games and interactive activities created by teachers

First bitcoin ETF loses record amount in its initial year: ‘BITO’s 70 per cent decline suggests it has burnt through $1.2bn of investors’ cash.’

• Australia: In the wake of high-profile MediBank and Optus hacks, identity theft victims share their experiences of having personal information stolen and used

• Singapore: Monetary Authority published 2 papers proposing regulatory measures to reduce consumer risk from crypto trading, and to support development of stablecoins

• Union Bank of the Philippines unveils new digital collectibles trading platform, Artifract, allowing tokenization of real-world or digital assets, and fractionalization of asset ownership

Asia-Pacific Digital Transformation Report 2022 / UN ESCAP

• Hong Kong: Reap digital payments firm secures $40M with focus on infrastructure to facilitate payments between Web3 projects and traditional business

• Singapore: Possible ban looms on credit lines used to fund crypto purchases as Singapore takes another step to rein in the digital assets sector

AI in Medicine Is Overhyped: “AI models for health care that predict disease are not as accurate as reports might suggest. Here’s why…”

• Download: The BNPL Code of Conduct for Singapore, covering buy-now-pay-later firms

• Cambodia: An overview of the Kingdom’s tech, startup and innovation ecosystems

Startup Bangladesh VC firm partners Eastern Bank and Visa for special startup-focused loan product, Startup Explorer

H1 2022 Malware and Vulnerability Trends Report from Recorded Future

• Cambodia Academy of Digital Tech and Otis elevators firm unveil 3 STEM Robotic Competition winners, working in first aid, motorbike cameras and smart parking

• Philippines: Quezon City unveils StartUp QC program to provide qualified startup entrepreneurs in the city with financial grants of up to $17K

• Taking cues from Ukraine, Taiwan to spend $17M to bolster mobile infrastructure — including undersea cables — and boost deployment of 5th-gen mobile network base stations

• Cambodia: Gov’t launches web portal as central hub for all info on doing business in Cambodia, with guidelines for registering businesses online

• Thailand: Stripe digital payments giant expands Asia Pacific presence with entry to Thailand, adding to regional footprint

pwc’s H1 2022 Global Cryptocurrency Mergers & Acquisition and Fundraising Report

ICYMI: In other news

Wider-world technology news with broad Asia Pacific relevance, or simply providing larger points of reference and food for thought.

» Central Bank of Turkey plans to launch a central bank digital currency in 2023

» Empty Promises report can now be downloaded, ‘how Meta, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube are failing to crack down on hate and anti-democratic disinformation…’

» Saudi Aramco has floated a $1.5BN venture capital fund to back sustainability-focused businesses and those working on climate change solutions

» Ford and Volkswagen exit Argo self-driving vehicle startup, potentially signaling adoption of automated vehicles may be far from mass deployment

» UK Financial Conduct Authority to examine regulation of big tech firms including Apple, Google and Amazon over concerns they could harm competition in Britain’s financial services sector

» New optical chip demo transmits 1.8 million gigabits of data per second using a single laser and a single optical chip, splitting light into 223 different data channels

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WK Wright

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