India vs. Facebook, Autonomous deliveries in China, Chinese Enterprise SaaS | Trusted Bytes News

Ep2: the next round in the fight between governments in Asia and Facebook, robo-deliveries in Beijing, and why B Capital is bullish on SaaS in China. Plus, what Singapore's doing to be the carbon exchange hub in Asia.

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Hey there everyone and welcome back to the Trusted Bytes podcast! Trusted Bytes is a weekly podcast where we bring the highlights from the week's news in business, along with insights, ideas, and emerging trends, and with a lens on Asia.

Let’s get to the news!

Governments vs Social Media. It’s the next round in the fight between Asia’s governments and social media giants. Looking at India - India’s new laws over communications platforms will force companies like Facebook and Twitter to comply with requests to track and remove content that undermine national security, public order, and what they call “decency or morality” under pain of criminal liability.

This effectively makes social media platforms directly responsible for content on their platforms, instead of passing it on to users. While not as drastic as totally banning the platforms like what China and Myanmar have done – for reasons eerily similar ­– measures like these are pretty much expected. Especially after how Facebook had been implicated the 2016 US presidential elections, remember that watershed moment? We can be pretty sure governments around the world are keenly interesting in checking the influence of social media platforms. Singapore was first in the region to issue it’s own “fake news” law with the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act, or what’s called the POFMA act, so we can expect more of such measures around Asia.

Next up we have the dawning of next era in autonomous vehicles – in deliveries!, Meituan, and Neolix are testing autonomous deliveries on Beijing’s public roads in the Yizhuang Development Area. Yizhuang had previously rolled out 5G aggressively, and we’re now seeing one of the most important use cases for 5G come to life. Having high speed, ubiquitous connection was one of the prerequisites of enabling the levels of connectivity for IOT and self-driving cars. Will you see this soon across China and a country you live in? It’s almost inevitable. Autonomous deliveries drive down costs, increase efficiencies, perhaps even save lives, but what of impact to local communities in terms of the loss of employment? Something governments are going to have to grapple with in time to come.

Next - B Capital, founded by ex-Facebook founder Eduardo Saverin looks to devote up to a 1 billion US to Chinese tech companies over the next few years. What does B Capital see in China? It’s a still growing enterprise software sector that’s still a fraction of the US SaaS market. China’s pretty much got the B2C side of tech down pat, with some of the biggest names in tech today being Chinese companies – think TikTok, Baidu, WeChat, Tmall, Pinduoduo. B Capital predicts that rising labour costs and increasingly stagnating productivity are going to power the demand for Chinese-based SaaS. B Capital, who will be partnering the Boston Consulting Group for the endeavour, will likely look to artificial intelligence and biotech as an initial area of focus.

Turning now to news on sustainability. In Singapore, DBS, SGX, StanChart and Temasek to launch global carbon exchange. Headquartered in Singapore, the exchange, called Climate Impact X (CIX) will look to give better price transparency and verification of the quality of carbon credits, through satellite monitoring, machine learning, and blockchain tech. Singapore’s no stranger to carbon credits, with local exchange Climate Resources or CRX blazing the trail for a carbon credits exchange. This is something Singapore’s good at – building up the infrastructure for supporting future demand. We’ve seen it in the oil & gas sector, utilities, finance, logistics – all to preserve a status of being the region’s hub. The demand for carbon credits, being a policy-driven and conscience-driven need, it’s likely to see uneven uptake depending on how governments in the region implement things like taxes and incentives. Just getting around the measuring and mitigating emissions is enough of a chore for most companies, and going to net-zero emissions is a lot more complicated for organisation to tackle. How quickly do you think people will jump on this? Let us know in the comments.

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