Asia’s tech news, weekly: October 12th

In this edition: Binance in Kazakhstan; India’s digital currency; education-tech in Vietnam; Singapore, NFTs & music festivals; Australia and space debris tech; and more.

• Taiwan: 500 Global and Taiwan Tech Arena unveil 500 Global Accelerator Taiwan’s 2nd cohort of startups for Demo Day — here’s a brief intro to the 20 startups selected / article

• “Could a digital twin of Tuvalu preserve the island nation before it’s lost to the collapsing climate?” / article

• Binance crypto exchange hacked with near $100M lost following initial $580M stolen, around 80% of which funds were frozen immediately / article

• Japan: Canon to build new semiconductor equipment plant in eastern Japan, set for production by spring of 2025 / article

• China: Alipay mobile payment giant cut from Shanghai high-tech company listing over failure to meet gov’t-set R&D spending requirements, likely losing certain tax benefits in the process / article

• Binance crypto exchange gains license to act as digital asset and custody services provider in Kazakhstan, with plans to aid the country in developing digital asset regulation / article

• US gov’t publishes heavily-expanded export controls, including cuts to China’s access to some semiconductor chips made anywhere in the world with US tools / article

• India: Kerala’s Greenikk launches end-to-end single platform supply chain focusing on banana cultivators, traders and exporters, spanning finance, seeds, crop advisory, insurance and more / article

• India’s CBDC launch: 5 key issues that the Reserve Bank needs to fix before a Digital Rupee pilot / article

• Taiwan’s Foxconn unveils US deal with EV startup, INDIEV, to manufacture prototypes for first production vehicle at recently-acquired Ohio plant / article

Deloitte Digital: New Zealand Fintech Pulsecheck — Open Banking & Beyond

• Australia’s Southern Launch inks data sharing agreement with US Space Command to provide Southern hemisphere de-orbit, re-entry and end-of-life de-orbit support in reducing space debris / article

• Singapore’s Hype Records partners Spartan Labs for NFT-enabled music festivals, looking to blockchain tech for more fan engagement, beat fake ticket scams, and release 600 NFTs / article

• Philippines: MooMart preps for December launch with online marketplace for farmers and buyers to transact directly, minus middlemen and stores, aiming for better profits for farmers and fresher produce for consumers / article

• Citi Ventures invests in its first digital asset manager, co-leading $6M round in Xalts which focuses on institutional-grade investment products and solutions with high compliance and control standards / article

• Singapore: klikit food delivery software startup raises $2M pre-seed with software-as-a-service cloud platform, aggregating and analysing a restaurant’s food delivery orders on a single mobile device / article

• An overview of Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology & Innovation’s $3.88M gov’t grant to boost MRANTI Park, seeking global innovation hub status / article

• Vietnam: 50 startups selected for inaugural Google for Startups Startup Academy-Vietnam, a training and mentorship program for early-stage startup founders / article

TechFest Vietnam / October 19 & 20 2022

• Vietnam: Marathon Education raises 7-figure seed capital with live, interactive classes in large or small formats for K-12 students / article

• Japanese medical, financial, and sustainable materials technology startups seek key Southeast Asian collaboration partners to scale solutions / article

• UK Business Secretary restricts access that Chinese state owners of Electricity North West have to UK power grid details, seeing 35pc China stake as national security risk / article

• Pico Group and Founders Factory partner for Asia-focused initiative with accelerator for pre-seed and seed stage startups, and venture studio to identify and help new startups / article

• Singapore: Monetary Authority to inject seed capital into Asia Climate Solutions Design Grant to fund ‘blended finance’ innovations towards sustainable development / article

• WebEngage Startup Program opens applications for SE Asia cohort of early-stage B2C startups in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, focusing on e-commerce, D2C, education-tech and fintech firms / article

• Taiwan to begin accepting proposals for backup satellite internet network in the event of ‘intense military aggression’, natural disasters or problems with undersea cables / article

• China: Chip supplier flagged due to concerns over supply to sanctioned Huawei — “Supposedly owned by the Shenzhen gov’t, Shenzen Pengxin Micro has a former Huawei executive as its CEO.” / article

North Korean Cryptocurrency Operations: An Alternative Revenue Stream

• Japan: PM policy speech indicates boosted investment in metaverse and NFT-related tech, building on establishment of Web3 Policy Promotion Office / article

• India: VideoLAN, maker of VLC media player, issues legal notice to DoT and MeitY over banning the company’s website in India, having received no notice, reason or appeals process for the ban / article

• Thailand: T&B Global media giant partners Switzerland’s Sygnum crypto bank for $300M hybrid equity-NFT round to develop Translucia, T&B’s metaverse platform / article

• Thailand: Globish education-tech firm gains $2.36M, targeting 500K classes for this year with focus on language skills / article

• UK’s Vodafone to test national security laws with plans to merge UK operation — including undersea cables — with China-owned rival, Three, igniting concerns over data security / article

• Satellites data: “…with China where they’re just simply not sharing information. And we cannot safely operate in space if a major space participant isn’t actively engaged and sharing information in a way that enhances safety for all.” / article

• Myanmar Digital Coup Quarterly, produced by Myanmar Internet Project, provides a summary of digital oppression issues faced by the country’s citizens in May, June and July of 2022 / article

Accenture: Chinese Consumer Insights 2022 / A new stage of growth

Wider-world tech news with Asia-Pac / Indo-Pac relevance, useful points of reference and food for thought.

» SWIFT financial messaging system has laid out blueprint for global central bank digital currency network / article

» An analysis of the impact quantum computers might have on the Bitcoin blockchain’, an overview from Deloitte / article

» Meta’s metaverse woes: “…stock price has tumbled nearly 60% in the past year — a reflection not just of broader market turbulence, but of some investors’ skepticism that the metaverse will be highly lucrative anytime soon.” / article

» Bessemer steel group wants to put venture scouting on the blockchain with BessemerDAO ‘investment club’ move allowing DAO members to propose deals to governance committee / article

» PayPal publishes and hastily backtracks from new policy update that would have fined users $2500 for spreading what it deemed to be ‘misinformation’ / article

» Micron microchip manufacturing major to open semiconductor plant in New York state, looking at investment of up to $100BN and potentially generating up to 50K jobs / article

» ‘The Apple Car project — Everything We Know’ from MacRumors / article

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WK Wright

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