WeChat’s user base grows by 60% in Singapore

The younger generation in Singapore and other Asia Pacific countries are adopting WeChat, a mobile social communication application for smartphones, in droves. According to GlobalWebIndex (GWI), a market research company specialising in online consumer behaviour, WeChat’s active user base has increased over 55% from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014 globally, with Singapore’s growth attributed at 60%.


Singapore Wants You To Design Its Next Government Website

The Singapore Government has launched a competition to encourage citizens to help redesign its central government portal for information and services, ecitizen.gov.sg. A prize of $1,500 will be awarded to the nomination that best redesigns the homepage, topic page and directory of the website. The design brief states that it should be “warm, friendly yet credible”, “resonate with Singaporeans”, use dark colours and resize to fit any device.


Hong Kong And Singapore Agree To Automated Immigration Swap

Citizens of Hong Kong and Singapore will be able to use automated immigration clearance services when visiting each others’ cities. Starting on Monday, all passport holders older than 11 with no adverse record can enrol. The move will “provide greater convenience for holders of the Singapore passport and HKSAR passport. It will also enhance trade, business and tourism links,” an official statement said.


Singapore’s Economic Planning Agency Looks To Smart Energy Solutions

Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB) has announced plans to develop smart solutions for energy management and control, smart grids, energy storage and integration of renewable energies. The project will include research initiatives to integrate multiple renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy with existing capabilities. It will also look at how Singapore can reduce energy loss from utilities companies and enhance their capacity.


WeChat’s user base grows by 60% in Singapore

The younger generation in Singapore and other Asia Pacific countries are adopting WeChat, a mobile social communication application for smartphones, in droves. According to GlobalWebIndex (GWI), a market research company specialising in online consumer behaviour, WeChat’s active user base has increased over 55% from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014 globally, with Singapore’s growth attributed at 60%.


PDPC to investigate M1 ‘security loophole’

The Personal Data Protection Commission is in touch with M1 regarding an alleged security breach by a customer, wanting to flag a “loophole”, even though M1 says it has resolved the issue and put safeguards in place. SINGAPORE: The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) is investigating a “security loophole” that caused M1 to temporarily suspend pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone 6 smartphones on Monday (Sep 15). 


Wikileaks: Singapore firm with government ties bought cyber snooping software

On September 15, Wikileaks released copies of invoices and support tickets from Germany-based software company FinFisher. This revealed the names of most of their clients, and how much they’ve paid for their technology. If you’re wondering why they deserve this, you should know that this particular firm deals in weaponized surveillance malware that reportedly includes the following:


Singapore Launches Regional Disaster Centre To Coordinate Multinational Military Efforts

The Singapore government has announced plans to host a regional centre to coordinate large-scale humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts. The centre seeks to support military efforts in disaster-stricken countries by providing more timely information and coordinating efforts with other militaries, said Chan Chun Sing, Second Minister for Defence. This will help them make more informed decisions on how best to deploy their resources.


Singapore telcos set prices for iPhone 6

SINGAPORE, Sept 15 — Local telcos StarHub and SingTel have released prices for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, following M1’s release last week. Under Starhub’s new 4G 3 subscription plan which will cost subscribers S$42.90 (RM109.10) per month, prices will range from S$518 for a 16GB iPhone 6 to S$935 for a 128GB iPhone 6 Plus. Starhub’s booking site will open this afternoon for customers who registered their interest last week.


Singapore Launches Online National Child Care Registration System

Singapore parents can now search online and register for suitable child care centres for their children using a new centralised system. The Early Childhood Development Agency developed the Registration Management System to improve information sharing among parents and child care operators in the country. The online system, also available in a mobile-friendly version, lets parents search for child care centres by multiple fields, including location, age of the child, and programme type (eg. infant care, child care, or student care.)


India-Singapore City Partnership Makes Progress In Andhra Pradesh

India’s plan to call on Singapore’s experience of city management has made progress in the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh, where officials have requested advice on the development of a new capital city. The Singapore government would advise on the design of the city and how to make it an investment destination, according to news reports in Singapore. Two Singaporean senior politicians are currently in India, and as part of their visit are discussing and seeking to understand how Singapore could assist India in its plan to build 100 smart cities.


Optus crowns new CEO

Optus has flown in former head of SingTel’s Digital L!fe group, Allan Lew, to become its new CEO. The announcement comes seven months after former CEO Kevin Russell departed the country’s second largest telco in March, after two years at the helm. A SingTel veteran, Lew has been with the company for more than 30 years, first joining the Singapore owned telco in 1980. In this time he has moved back and forth between Australia and Singapore, serving as COO of SingTel’s regional mobile arm AIS, CEO of SingTel’s local operations, and managing director of Optus mobile and of Optus’ consumer business.


Singapore’s hot online grocer RedMart sets foot in India

Singapore-based online grocer RedMart announced its foray into India with a development center in Bangalore. No, it is not going to sell groceries online in India. At least, not yet. Instead, RedMart’s move to India is to push the technology side of its operations. To do that, the company is hiring engineers in India currently. RedMart was founded in March 2011 by Roger Egan, Vikram Rupani, and Rajesh Lingappa. It is backed by the venture arm of game publisher Garena, Skype co-founder Toivo Annus, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, CEO of FreshDirect Jason Ackerman, Visionnaire Ventures, and SoftBank Ventures.


Singapore Tourism Board Mulls Wearable Tech To Monitor Consumer Behaviour

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) intends to test up to 1,000 wearable tags and 20 tag detecting devices at an unspecified tourist destination and at a conference venue in order to monitor consumer behaviour, according to new tender documents. The wearable technology will help the STB gather insights about tourist behaviour and allow the development of a strategy to use these devices in the future.


Building a giant? Rocket bets big on new online markets

[SINGAPORE] Germany’s Rocket Internet faces daunting logistical challenges and rising local competition from Lagos to Laos as it races to capture customers in emerging markets before e-commerce titans Amazon and Alibaba can catch up. That spells mounting losses as the venture capital company gears up to launch an initial public offering (IPO) this month that will help provide the war chest it needs to build and defend what it hopes will be the largest online shopping empire outside the United States and China.


StarHub now offers 4G data roaming in 21 countries

STARHUB customers now have access to 4G data roaming services on 25 mobile networks across 21 countries – the largest number of roaming destinations so far, the telco said on Monday. The 4G data will have the same roaming rates as the existing 3G ones. The rates range from S$15 to S$30 a day on StarHub’s DataRoam Daily Unlimited plans, depending on the country in question.


HP opens digital printing centre in Tuas, Singapore

Tech giant Hewlett-Packard opened a multi-million-dollar facility in Tuas yesterday that will boost its commercial printing service. The plant expands HP’s Indigo ink manufacturing capability and is expected to quadruple production when it comes online next year. HP has a similar facility in Israel. The new two-storey plant also has a Centre of Excellence where HP and its customers and suppliers can exchange ideas and co-develop new digital printing solutions.


US firm buys Singapore instant messaging developer HotApps for S$876m

SINGAPORE: United States company Fragmented Industry Exchange (FIE) will be buying Singapore eDevelopment’s (SeD) subsidiary, HotApps International, for US$700 million (S$876 million). In a press release on Thursday (Sep 4), the Singapore Exchange (SGX) Catalist-listed SeD said FIE will acquire HotApps for 1 million new shares at US$10 each and US$690 million worth of zero-coupon perpetual bonds – for a total of US$700 million. Once the deal is completed, FIE will hold HotApps – an instant messaging software developer – as a wholly owned subsidiary, it said.


Xbox teams up with StarHub for localised content

SINGAPORE: Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming console, which will be launched in Singapore on Sep 23, will allow local users to stream programmes on their Xbox One thanks to a partnership with StarHub. This was announced by the company at a Xbox One showcase on Sep 1. Users of Microsoft’s newest game console in Singapore will be able to access content on the free StarHub TV Anywhere app for Xbox One. With the app, users will get access to StarHub TV Anywhere’s line-up of 89 channels, including SuperSports Arena.


Singapore’s economy moving up the value chain

SINGAPORE: Singapore’s economy is climbing up the value chain. Despite concerns over recent lacklustre exports data, economists have said there has been a shift towards higher-value services-related activities within the manufacturing sector, which could pave the way for further transformation and growth. The semiconductor chips in EZ-Link cards are made by Infineon Technologies, which started operations in Singapore about 40 years ago doing low-cost assembly. With semiconductors becoming smaller and more complex over the years, Infineon has been constantly upgrading its processes.