Asia’s tech news, weekly: October 25th

In this edition: TikTok’s livestreaming e-commerce; EU-to-Asia cable via the Arctic; Australia’s data breaches; Tendulkar’s cricket NFTs; Philippines’ Union Bank hits the metaverse…

• European Commission mulls financing fibre optic cable connecting Europe to Asia via the Arctic in bid to minimize cable vulnerabilities and avoid ‘single points of failure’

• Japan: Sun Metalon Inc raises $5.6M pre-series A with 3D printer for metals, claiming a speed up to 500 times faster than conventional machines

• India’s Garuda Aerospace inks MoU with Lockheed Martin for Uncrewed Aerial Systems use in defense and commercial applications, alongside data processing collaborations and wide-focus algorithm development

“Fake reviews influenced around $152 billion in global spending on lackluster products and services last year…”

• Australia: CoinSpot crypto exchange launches cryptocurrency-backed digital-only CoinSpot Mastercard

• China: A dive into TikTok’s bid for livestreaming e-commerce dominance overseas, building on huge mainland success of programs like TikTok Shop Partners. Will this translate to the US market ? Semafor takes a look.

• Australia’s Optus data breach: “Equally important is to strengthen obligations for organisations to publicly disclose data breaches. Optus made a public announcement…but was not legally required to do so.”

• Singapore Fintech Association partners Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs to create 80RR, a co-working space for Korean companies in Singapore

China, Russia & microchips: Since sanctions were imposed on Russia “…40% of chips imported from China have been defective, while the rate before March was just 2%, Kommersant reported…”

• Australia: MediBank, country’s largest private health insurer, had 200GB of data stolen in hack, including customer medical service location, and codes relating to diagnosis and procedures

• India: Footrax performance tracking startup raises $100K with sports wearables and data analysis

• Australia: evokeAG 2023 set for 21–22 February 2023 in Adelaide, bringing together the best and brightest to talk about global agri-food innovation and agri-tech

• Download: India Fintech Report 2022 from Bain & Co

• Vietnam: Fundiin buy-now-pay-later startup gains $5M Series A funding with more than 300 partners and exposure at 4000 retail outlets country-wide

“Currently, fintechs have a 7% share of the $1.4 trillion enterprise valuation of the Indian financial sector, which is set to rise to 15% in 4 years, says Bain & Co study…”

• “…leaders of the world’s biggest trading bloc discussed ways to reduce their dependence on China for tech equipment and the raw minerals used to make items such as microchips, batteries and solar panels.”

• New Zealand: eVouch social media marketing startup banks NZ$500K pre-seed funding, building on word-of-mouth marketing provided by customer social media posts

• PropertyGuru online real estate portal acquires Singapore’s Sendhelper, adding home services including cleaning, maintenance and repair to services portfolio

• India’s cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar makes equity investment in Rario cricket-focused NFT platform, making Tendulkar’s digital collectibles exclusively available on the platform

• Australia: EnergyLab Start-Up Showcase set for October 27, featuring Aus and NZ’s upcoming clean energy startups and including a session on opportunities presented by lithium batteries

• Union Bank of the Philippines preps to enter The Sandbox metaverse platform, looking to engage the Filipino Web3 community with sights on the next generation of potential customers

“If Australia hopes to be a trusted member of its regional community it must make long-term investments in teaching and learning Asian languages…”

• In Southeast Asia-focused e-sports bid, Translucia metaverse firm acquires share in Thailand’s Infofed e-sports company

• India: Bodhi AI education-tech startup raises $200K with interactive, online 1-to-1 video teaching, allowing teachers to conduct classes and sell courses

• South Korea: An intro to 27 startups taking part in ASEAN-Korea Startup Week, working in education-tech, fintech, blockchain, the metaverse and more

• Philippines: Packworks B2B platform for mom-and-pop stores takes win at Ignite 2022 Startup World Cup x Wildfire Pitch competition, moving on to compete in 2023 SWC Grand Finale

• A brief intro to 5 startups from the F10 & K-Startup Center Singapore Program, working in maritime propulsion, insect farming, user authentication and more

• Philippines: Digital Pilipinas inks MOU with Singapore’s Affinidi decentralised ID solutions provider around open standard ‘verifiable credentials’ for use in workforce-focused digital upskilling

“…Apple’s iPhone is stealing share from Samsung phones powered by Google’s Android software. At the same time, U.S. antitrust regulators are scrutinizing Google’s search deal with Apple…”

• Japan: “By March 2024, Japan Virtual and Crypto assets Exchange Ass’n could also scrap pre-screenings for coins new to the nation, as well as for tokens issued through initial coin or exchange offerings…”

• South Korea: CLASSUM education-tech raises $11M pre-Series B with interactive learning platform used by more than 6000 organizations across 32 countries

• Philippines: An introduction to FactsFirstPH, a Google News Initiative-backed resource addressing the rise of disinformation

ICYMI: In other news…

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

» Interpol launches metaverse specifically designed for law enforcement agencies worldwide, responding to judgement that potential for criminal activity may grow ‘exponentially’

» Israel to issue government bonds using blockchain platform, seeing reduced costs and increased transparency as benefits

» Germany’s Deutsche Bahn rail operator moves ahead with NVIDIA on country-scale digital twin of its entire rail network, encompassing 5700 stations and 33K kilometers of track

» Defense-tech: “An explosion at the underwater Nord Stream pipeline has geopolitical consequences, and highlights the value and vulnerability of the bottom of the ocean.”

More of Asia’s tech news:

Asia’s tech news, weekly: October 25th 2022 round-up

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WK Wright

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