A Chinese regulator is conducting an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft over its Windows operating system, in the latest of a growing number of competition probes that have unnerved Western firms in China. China’s State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) is also investigating a Microsoft vice president and senior managers, and has made copies of the firm’s financial statements and contracts.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a new website, mygov.nic.in, for citizens to share their ideas with the government and take part in projects. The site is a “blend of technology and people power for India’s growth,” Modi wrote on Twitter this weekend as he launched the site. Citizens register to join the site, and can then take part in online forums and volunteer their time to participate in public sector projects. The tasks that volunteers complete will be reviewed by and shared with the community on the website.
A four-year $490 million Government trial of the use of smart technologies in the energy sector has found the country could reap $28 billion in net economic benefits over the next 20 years if the devices were rolled out nationally. A report released yesterday by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane – written by four local consultancy firms – analysed the results of the Smart Grid, Smart City project and found the use of such technologies could result in consumers paying hundreds of dollars less a year through reduced energy usage.
Microsoft disclosed in a statement that China is investigating the company in an antitrust probe after China government officials paid unexpected visits to the software firm’s offices. Representatives from China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce, which is responsible for enforcing business laws, made the visits to Microsoft offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. In a statement released by Microsoft the company said it was working with officials, ”We will actively cooperate with the government department’s investigation and answer related questions.”
There is an “urgent” need for mobile services in the Australian state government of Victoria according to 89% of IT officials in the region, an exclusive FutureGov survey has found. FutureGov polled the 130 regional CIOs and senior public officials who attended the FutureGov Forum, Victoria last week, and asked them “how important/urgent is your need for mobile solutions?” In response, 59% said “important/urgent” while a further 30% said “very important/urgent”. No-one said that it is “not important at all,” 6% said that it is “not important,” and 3% said that they were “neutral”.
The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has signed a deal with Fujitsu to migrate 27,000 email accounts to the cloud, which will improve mobility of on-ground staff serving communities across the state. The Department of Family and Community Services, which supports disadvantaged individuals, families and communities, will migrate its email to Fujitsu’s pay-as-you-go cloud model. This “aligns well with the NSW Government strategy of consuming IT services”, said Albert Olley, Executive Director, Business Services Unit.
Singapore: The Indian government should look at public-private partnership (PPP) to make its Rs.10,000 crore start-up fund a success, says Amit Anand, founding partner of Singapore-based Jungle Ventures, an entrepreneur-backed venture firm focused on funding start-ups in the Asia-Pacific region. In an interview, Anand said India is among the top five start-up ecosystems in the world and despite limitations such as a lack of sufficient funding, the country is on track to produce several $1 billion companies, riding trends such as cloud computing and mobility.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued a notice today requiring developers to register with their real names when publishing their mobile apps to the public, according to Techweb. The aim is to discourage developers from anonymously pushing apps containing pornographic content and viruses, both of which are illegal in China. The notice also states that MIIT will create a blacklist database for developers who break the rules. Telecom operators, smartphone makers, and app stores will all be responsible for obtaining the names of developers who publish on their respective platforms.
The country was ranked 4th in Southeast Asia and 12th among 27 countries in the Asia Pacific region, said the ministry at the E-Government Symposium 2014 held in the central city of Da Nang on Thursday. Meanwhile, the country’s e-government index climbed three positions to 34, thanks to the government’s effort to push the development of the ICT sector in Viet Nam. At present, all 22 ministries and 63 local governments in Viet Nam have official information portals.
BEIJING: China is now home to 632 million Internet users, a government agency said Monday, although use of social networks has dropped amid a crackdown. The Asian giant’s Internet population — defined as those who have gone online at least once in the past six months — has increased by 14 million since January, according to the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC).
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be providing technical and financial assistance to help countries in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) implement their initiatives, announced Joe Powell, Deputy Director, OGP Support Unit. “The ADB’s support will focus on exploring opportunities to provide technical and financial assistance to help countries meet OGP eligibility criteria and to develop and implement OGP action plans,” he wrote this week in an OGP blog announcing the partnership.
Indonesia’s general election last week still hasn’t provided a winner as both presidential candidates claim to have the mandate. That’s where Indonesia’s netizens come in. Because of the recent ‘open government’ initiative in Indonesia, the Elections General Commission (KPU) is sharing all election-related data on the internet – including documents related to the vote tally. That has inspired a number of crowdsourced vote counts.
Singapore and India plan to partner and share knowledge on how to build successful new cities using technology and data, following a recent visit by Singapore’s foreign minister. India’s Budget has just committed to spend US$1.2bn on building 100 new smart cities across the country . The partnership will focus on water and port management, and infrastructure development, K Shanmugam, Singapore’s foreign minister, has told India’s regional press.
Within the next 15 years, Queenslanders could find their humble Go Card transformed into a loyalty card, a way of paying for bikes and taxis, or even phased out altogether in favour of a mobile phone or a simple fingerprint scan before boarding a train. The Queensland Government’s contract with current Go Card operator Cubic Transportation Systems is coming to an end, and the state’s transport department is scouring the market for new capabilities that have become available since Go Card went live in 2007.
TAIPEI–A trade delegation from New Zealand is visiting Taiwan to seek more opportunities for bilateral trade cooperation, according to the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the country’s international business development agency. The arrival of the 30-member delegation marks the first such mission to Taiwan since the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) took effect last December, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise said Monday.
SINGAPORE: The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National IT Industry Promotion Agency of the Republic of Korea (NIPA) to support the expansion of Korean tech startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into the South-East Asian market. In a statement on Monday (July 14), IDA said the MoU was signed last Friday, after South Korea picked Singapore as its South-east Asian hub to site IT Cooperation Centre.
BEIJING: Chinese state broadcaster CCTV has accused US technology giant Apple of threatening national security through its iPhone’s ability to track and time-stamp a user’s location. The “frequent locations” function, which can be switched on or off by users, could be used to gather “extremely sensitive data”, and even state secrets, said Ma Ding, director of the Institute for Security of the Internet at People’s Public Security University in Beijing.
TOKYO: Japan has seen a surge in cases of irregular access to government computer systems and cyberattacks on operators of critical social infrastructure, and Tokyo is considering ways to respond, a top official said on Thursday. Japan is striving to harness information technology to help revive the economy as well as looking to bolster cybersecurity in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
BANGALORE: A number of websites including torrent file aggregators, file storage sites and even Google Docs and Google’s URL shortener Goo.gl have been blocked in India, reports TOI. Delhi high court has commanded the internet service providers to block around 472 websites. The order, sanctioned by Justice V Kameswar Rao, was passed following a complaint against the Multi Screen Media, a company that runs sports channel.
That was fast. Looks like this lift has lasted hours at most, as all services are down once again. Tech in Asia apologizes if we inspired hope, optimism, relief, or joy for our readers based in China. Every single Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) service was blocked in China in early June in the run-up to 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident. But today web users in mainland China are finding that some of Google’s sites and products are now unblocked and accessible.