When both presidential candidates claimed to have won the July election, Indonesian citizens got together online and used open data to verify the votes. The General Elections Commission had earlier published scanned tallies from close to 500,000 polling stations on their website. Ainun Najib, an IT expert based in Singapore got his friends together and set up a website where 700 volunteers manually transcribed the scanned tallies into a spreadsheet.
By now, you may have heard about Jakarta’s Ideabox accelerator letting all eight of its second batch startup finalists into the program last week. You may have also heard about the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank taking an interest in local tech ventures. But what you may not realize is that the two initiatives have a common denominator in local telco Indosat , one of the archipelago’s largest telecommunication companies. Right now, Indosat is calling itself one of the most aggressive players in Southeast Asia’s tech startup scene, particularly when it comes to forming new partnerships.
The government of Jakarta is forming a team of senior officials to assess the performance of civil servants across the city administration. The move will affect thousands of civil servants in the city, from agency heads to subdistrict heads and community health centre managers. “Under-performing higher-echelon officials will be demoted to lower positions or become staff,” Regional Secretary Sekda Saefullah announced this week. The city administration will also conduct tests to allow lower officials to be promoted into the higher ranks.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has reportedly entered the Indonesian market and will exclusively sell its products via the local e-commerce website Lazada. The retail price of the Hongmi smartphone in Indonesia is IDR1.5 million, which is about CNY786, according to multiple media reports. To support the post-sales services of Hongmi, Xiaomi has launched 17 service centers in Indonesia. Over the next few months, Xiaomi will launch its flagship product in this country.
The newly established One Door Integrated Services Agency (BPTSP) will establish 520 service offices in Jakarta in the next year, providing residents a single point of entry in to the often confusing city bureaucracy. As part of the reform, current licence issuing departments will see all licensing consolidated in the new agency.
Indonesia is an attractive emerging market for many tech companies due to the large number of young consumers and the slowly expanding middle class. Along with its good internet penetration, Indonesia could become an important technology market in the future. Following Facebook’s and Apple’s moves to open representative offices in Indonesia, Twitter revealed today that it also plans to do just that.
Last year Bolt entered the scene and became Indonesia’s first 4G internet provider with its two pocket wifi modems. Following nine months of strong growth, the company on Thursday launched its first handsets. Dubbed “Powerphone ,” Bolt hopes the Android-powered smartphones will attract more users to the fledgling internet provider.
Indonesia’s largest information and communication company, Telkom, shocked the nation’s startup ecosystem last week with its announcement of a US$200 million fund via its CVC (corporate venture capital) to invest in tech startups. The CVC, partnering with multiple VCs, aims to invest globally, with US and Indonesian startups as its focus. One of Telkom’s CVC partners is US-based Fenox VC (Disclosure: Fenox VC is also an investor in Tech in Asia. See our ethics page for more information).
JAKARTA: South Korean electronics giant Samsung has submitted a plan to invest in a mobile telephone factory in Indonesia, a senior official at the company’s Indonesian unit told Reuters on Monday. The Indonesian government is currently processing the plan, Lee Kang Hyun, vice-president of PT Samsung Electronics Indonesia, said in a text message.
For the past few weeks, Xiaomi has been teasing its fans about which is the next country it will enter. Today we know the answer: Indonesia. Xiaomi’s Indonesia website is now up , and its Indonesia Facebook account has also started . It means the Android handset manufacturer has officially entered the country, but there’s not yet a launch date for any of its gadgets. The Xiaomi Indonesia website poses one question to visitors: what cool smartphone can you design with a budget of only IDR 2 million (US$171)?
Indonesia’s tech startup scene gets a boost of confidence today as the country’s biggest information and communication company Telkom (IDX:TLKM) announces its plan to invest US$200 million in tech startups, as reported today by Okezone . “As a CVC (corporate venture capital), Telkom is the first one in ASEAN,” says Telkom’s president director Arief Yahya. It will also be the biggest fund to ever come out of Indonesia for tech startups.
Indonesian startups don’t really talk that much about the government. Besides the annual tech competition INAICTA , a lot of people still feel that the government doesn’t understand the tech scene. Thankfully, that perception could change in the coming years as more government departments are starting to embrace the open government initiative. Thanks to the initiative, citizens can access public information much more easily from the internet, and be more proactive in utilizing the raw information. During the recent presidential election for example, citizens created numerous websites to count the official vote tally documents made available on the General Elections Commission’s website.
A study by aCommerce, an e-commerce solutions provider in Southeast Asia, found that Indonesians started shopping online as early as 4 am during the recent Ramadan, the fasting month for Muslims. The study analysed e-commerce data of five retailers selling apparels, beauty and sports products during the two weeks prior and two weeks during Ramadan.
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.
US-based information and communication technology (ICT) company Hewlett-Packard (HP) is targeting customers from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the public sector in Indonesia, considering these market segments to be the nation’s most robust. HP senior vice president and general manager of Enterprise Group for Asia-Pacific and Japan, Jim Merritt, said his company views developing markets like Indonesia as an engine of growth.
Millions of Indonesians today enthusiastically cast their vote for a new president and a better future. The presidential race has been the closest one yet in the country’s election history as both candidates – Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto – declared they won the election based on differing quick count results. Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), one of the country’s favorite social media sites, played a huge role in the online campaign build-up. Today the company broke down a few important moments that took place on the site.
Facebook just saw its active user base in Indonesia rise to 69 million, according to a statement from Facebook’s Indonesia head, Anand Tilak. Two quarters back, the company reported 65 million active monthly users in the country pointing to a 6-percent increase. Indonesia is actually one of Facebook’s largest markets, despite the fact that Internet access isn’t always available and just 23-percent of the Southeast Asian country’s 240 million people have smartphones, according to Nielsen.
The world’s leading enterprises application software company SAP AG (SAP) is targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia, an industry it believes will significantly transform into an information and communications technology (ICT) market in the next few years, say the company’s national and regional leaders.
Mozilla has announced plans to release inexpensive smartphones for users in India and Indonesia in the coming months. The announcement was made during the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai. Given the high competition in the smartphone market, it has become very difficult for smartphone manufacturing companies to stand out from the rest. And Mozilla is expected to take a large chunk of the market with the launch of its low-cost smartphones.
A lot of people in Southeast Asia have been hotly anticipating the arrival of Android smartphone brand Xiaomi in their country. The Chinese gadget-maker has made its way to Singapore and Malaysia in the past few months, and it has a few other countries on its roadmap. Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra (pictured above) is in Jakarta right now, and earlier today he gave a clear indication that Xiaomi’s Indonesia launch in imminent.