Tech company expanding to Singapore? 3 things you may not know about the city

Singapore is perhaps the most cliché-ridden startup hub in the world. Everyone knows about its business-friendly status, the lack of capital gains tax – which prompted Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin to set up shop in Singapore – and how it’s a testbed for technologies and a gateway to the region. But that’s scratching the surface. At our Startup Asia Singapore event on May 7 and 8, we’ll have a number of Market Expansion Tracks (MET) sessions covering five countries.

TCS top enterprise mobility services provider: IDC

TAG indexBANGALORE: Indian IT bellwether Tata Consulting Services (TCS) has been evaluated as leader in enterprise mobility services by industry market researcher IDC for securing highest scores in customer satisfaction, innovation and productivity.  “Of the 14 mobility service providers evaluated on 117 parameters, customers rated TCS high in resource scalability, HTML (hyper text mark-up language) skills, thought leadership and ability to improve,” the US-based International Data Corporation (IDC) said in a statement here Monday.

HootSuite Launches New Chinese Apps to Further Asia Pacific Localization

Singapore, Mar 31, 2014 – (ACN Newswire) – To broaden access for users in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, HootSuite, the world’s most widely used social relationship platform, is introducing a refreshed set of Chinese app integrations in its App Directory: Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, as well as Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo Analytics by Klarity. Built for global social business, the HootSuite App Directory makes it easy for enterprises to localize reach and engagement with over 90 free and premium apps, including Mixi, Nexalogy, Statigram and YouTube Analytics.

After stellar start to new year, Xiaomi ups 2014 sales target to 60 million

Xiaomi founder Lei Jun is spewing out more numbers than the Count in Sesame Street today. After saying that Xiaomi plans to sell 100 million smartphones next year, the phone-maker boss revealed that the upstart company has already shipped a stellar 11 million smartphones in the first quarter of this year – that’s more than half of its sales for the whole of 2013. ‘Shipments’ don’t equate to sales, but it shows that Xiaomi is off to a rocketing start to 2014. So much so that Lei Jun has revised his sales target for the year from 40 million to 60 million.

Broken sea cables cause web speed woes in Philippines – and the misery isn’t going to end soon

Even more people than usual in the Philippines are bemoaning their woeful internet speeds right now. Philippine telco company PLDT, which is the country’s largest broadband ISP, is currently hit by a slow-down that’s affecting many of its subscribers nationwide. This is following the reported breaks in two internet fiber lines in the Asia Pacific Cable Network (APCN). The telco company explained what’s happening in a post to Facebook late last week.

TSMC likely to launch 16nm FinFET+ process at year-end 2014

TAG indexTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is likely to add two more advanced processes to its 16nm process portfolio in order to compete with the 14nm nodes to be released by Intel and Samsung Electronics, according to industry sources. According to TSMC’s original roadmap, the 16nm FinFET process is expected to enter trial production at the end of 2014.

China has 1.24 billion mobile phone users in February, says MIIT

There were 1.24 billion subscribers of mobile communication services in China as of February 2014, growing 0.36% sequentially and 9.52% on year, and 429.79 million (34.67%) of them were 3G users and 839.05 million (67.68%) mobile Internet-access users, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The number of subscribers in February accounted for 90.8% of the country’s population.

Sina Weibo: “Just call me Weibo”

Sina Weibo is now officially just Weibo. China’s Twitter-like social forum dropped the former half of its name as it prepares for a public listing in the US (hat-tip to TNW for spotting). The site’s logo has been altered accordingly. The news no doubt irked other weibo platforms – weibo tranlates to “microblog” in Chinese. Those include Tencent Weibo and Netease Weibo, among others. But let’s be honest, Sina (NASDAQ:SINA) won that war the day it bought the domain name.

5 things you need to know about Southeast Asia’s mobile game industry

At the Global Mobile Game Congress in Beijing earlier this week, I was invited to moderate a panel on a subject I admittedly was not an expert in. Luckily, I was joined by an experienced panel who gave me a crash course in Southeast Asia’s mobile gaming industry. They included global head of game partnerships at Google, Sergio Salvador; chieftain of Inzen Studio, Gerald Tock; founder and CEO of Sanuk Games, Yan Marchal; CEO of Appota, Do Tuan Anh; and founder and CEO of Mig33, Steven Goh.

Global semiconductor industry to remain strong in 2Q-3Q14, says TSMC chairman

TAG indexThe global semiconductor industry will remain promising in the second and third quarters of 2014, according to Morris Chang, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). The production value of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry is expected to reach NT$2 trillion (US$65.46 billion) in 2014, buoyed in part by TSMC’s leading market position in the 28nm process and the commencement of the 20nm process, Chang said on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Taiwan Semiconductor Industry Association (TSIA).

The Rise Of Xiaomi And Micromax — Asia’s Smartphone Innovators That Are Taking On The World

The mobile industry’s future will no longer be decided in Silicon Valley or Korea.  It’s being determined at the Beijing headquarters of Xiaomi, often described as the “Apple of China,” and at Micromax’s campus on the outskirts of India’s capital, New Delhi.  Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak recently visited Xiaomi’s headquarters and declared, “They’re good enough to break the American market.”–asias-smartphone-innovators-that-are-taking-on-the-world-2014-3

Huawei keen on more govt contracts

KUALA LUMPUR: Having established key collaborative agreements for its enterprise business in Malaysia, China’s information technology giant Huawei Technologies is keen on more government contracts. Fresh from a deal in October 2013 with Khazanah Nasional Bhd for a regional data hosting centre and logistics centre in Nusajaya, Iskandar Malaysia, the company now believes its competitively priced products and services would be an advantage for government bids.

Japan-, Korea-based vendors increase ODM orders for 8- to 10-inch Windows tablets

Japan- and Korea-based vendors have recently released more orders for 8- to 10-inch Windows tablets to ODMs in Taiwan, which is expected to boost Windows’ share in the tablet market, according to sources with Taiwan’s supply chain. The fierce price competition in the 7-inch tablet market and the gradually saturated tablet demand are driving Japan- and Korea-based vendors to seek to rely more on product differentiation.

Microsoft aims at global shipments of 25 million Windows tablets in 2014, say Taiwan makers

Microsoft has set an internal goal of increasing global Windows tablet shipments, including its Surface, in 2014 to 25 million units, five times the five million units shipped in 2013, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. The target shipments are too optimistic, and 18-20 million units is more likely, according to the sources.

HDD vendors promoting ultra-slim models

HDD vendors have been promoting 5mm ultra-slim HDDs for ultrabooks, 2-in-1 devices and above 10-inch tablets, with Dell, Asustek Computer and Lenovo expected to be initial adopters. Large-volume shipments will begin at the end of 2014, according to supply chain makers. The sources pointed out that consumers should be able to see ultra-slim HDDs in mobile devices between the end of 2014 and early 2015, competing against SSDs for the mobile device storage market.

Here’s data on Malaysia’s Twitter population, where they tweet, and who they follow (INFOGRAPHIC)

Twitter is the world’s fourth most popular social network. Although it originates from the US, English is not the most common language on the platform. In fact, only 34 percent of all Tweets are in English. Malay, which is spoken in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and a few other countries, is actually the fourth-most popular language on Twitter, accounting for 8 percent of all Tweets. But of those tweets, how many actually come from Malaysian residents?

How a Chinese Tech Firm Became the NSA’s Surveillance Nightmare

The NSA’s global spy operation may seem unstoppable, but there’s at least one target that has proven to be a formidable obstacle: the Chinese communications technology firm Huawei, whose growth could threaten the agency’s much-publicized digital spying powers.  An unfamiliar name to American consumers, Huawei produces products that are swiftly being installed in the internet backbone in many regions of the world, displacing some of the western-built equipment that the NSA knows — and presumably knows how to exploit — so well.

IBM eyes India market for its cloud services

India will also be part of the $1.2 billion investment that IBM plans to invest in increasing its global cloud footprint. As part of this investment IBMs data centre will go up from 13 now to 40 in 2014. Among the newest IBM cloud centres to launch will be in China, the US, UK, Japan, India, Canada and Mexico. This is part of the strategy where IBM aims to bring cloud to every corner of the globe.

Windows Azure Service Available in China

The Azure cloud now reaches all the way to China.  Microsoft’s cloud computing service reached “general availability” commercial status Wednesday, prompting Microsoft to tout that it’s the “first” multinational company to offer public cloud services in the country.  Windows Azure services are provided by Chinese Internet service provider and Microsoft partner 21Vianet. The company currently supports “more than 3,000 customers in China,” according to an announcement by Takeshi Numoto, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for cloud and enterprise marketing.

Samsung and PayPal team up to bring Singaporeans fingerprint-scan payments on the Galaxy S5

Singaporeans – if you’re looking for a reason to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S5, you might have one. The Korean hardware manufacturer will be partnering with PayPal, the global third-party payment service, to launch PayPal fingerprint login for all Galaxy S5 owners residing in the city-state.  This means that Galaxy S5 owners who want to buy a pair of shoes on their mobile phones via PayPal, or at a shoe store that accepts offline payments from PayPal, now don’t have to go through the tedious process of thumbing in one’s PayPal username and password. Swiping one’s finger across the phone’s fingerprint sensor does the trick.

Line now has 390 million users with Japan and Thailand as top countries

Today, along with the opening of a new Bangkok office, the makers of Line messaging app revealed its latest user numbers – 390 million registered users worldwide.  Last August Line had 230 million registered users. Seven months on and that number has grown by almost 70 percent. However, Line still refuses to disclose how many active users it has, which is a much more useful metric. WeChat has 355 million active users right now, while WhatsApp has 465 million.

Reprimanded by his manager, frustrated real estate agent left to start Japan’s largest property portal

Takashi Inoue (pictured below), founder and CEO of NEXT, is responsible for HOME’S, one of Japan’s largest real estate listings and housing information sites.  Established in 1997 in Yokohama, HOME’S was NEXT’s first online product, and it has now grown to over four million listed properties. The company itself made over US$117 million in revenue in 2013.  Inoue – an economics graduate from Aoyama Gakuin University – started his career at Recruit Cosmo, the real estate developer subsidiary of Recruit.

Ex-Facebook COO invests in GoCoin, a Singapore-based PayPal for digital currencies

GoCoin, a California and Singapore-based company that is creating a PayPal for digital currencies, has closed a US$1.5 million series A venture round led by former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta and Bitcoin Shop, an ecommerce website that transacts in Bitcoin. Crypto Currency Partners also joined the round. GoCoin’s competitors in Bitcoin payment processing include the well-funded Coinbase and BitPay. Brock Pierce, co-founder of GoCoin, told CoinDesk that his company is the number three cryptocurrency payment provider globally.

ChinaSoft International Recorded an over 20% increase in 2013 Service Revenue & a 33% increase in Profit for the Period

BEIJING and HONG KONG, March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — ChinaSoft International Limited (“ChinaSoft” or “the Company”) (SEHK:354) today released its 2013 Annual Result for the year ended December 31, 2013.  For the year ended December 31, 2013, the Company recorded service revenue of RMB 3.07 billion, an increase of 20.2% compared to the same period in 2012. Profit for the year increased by 33.2% to RMB 200 million. At December 31(st) 2013, the Company had over 23,600 employees.

Microsoft opens ‘first’ foreign cloud service

Microsoft officially rolled out its cloud service in China on Wednesday, claiming it is the first foreign player in the country’s small but potentially huge cloud computing sector. “Microsoft is committed to do whatever it takes to make sure Azure [Microsoft’s cloud service] is the first and best in China,” Doug Hauger, Microsoft’s general manager for China commercial cloud services, said during a press conference Wednesday.

JAL to Expand In-flight Internet Service on Southeast Asia Routes

NEW YORK, March 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “JAL”) and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (hereinafter “Panasonic”) have been collaborating on providing in-flight Internet service – JAL SKY Wi-Fi on international Boeing 777-300ERs, operated on North America and Europe routes in July 2012. JAL has recently reached an agreement with Panasonic to aggressively install JAL SKY Wi-Fi on its international Boeing 767-300ERs, Boeing 777-200ERs and Boeing 787s operated on its Southeast Asia and other international routes.

HPC server market growth dips in 2013, says IDC

Worldwide factory revenues for the high performance computing (HPC) technical server market declined 7.2% to US$10.3 billion for the full year 2013, down from a record US$11.1 billion in 2012, according to IDC. IDC said it expects the worldwide HPC server market to enjoy a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% over the 2013-2017 forecast period with revenues to exceed US$14 billion in 2017.

MacBook shipments in 2014 may fall to 10 million units, say Taiwan makers

MacBook shipments in 2014 are likely to drop by about 15% from 12 million units in 2013 to 10 million units or even 9.9 million units, according to some of Taiwan-based supply chain makers. MacBook shipments in January-February 2014 were as expected, but Apple has significantly decreased shipments in March, the sources said.

China smartphone market to reach 422 million units in 2014, says Digitimes Research

Demand in China’s smartphone market is expected to reach 422 million units in 2014, with 278 million units contributed by China-based vendors, according to the latest Digitimes Research Special Reprort, “2014 China Smartphone Market and Industry – Forecast and Analysis.”  The continued expansion by international vendors Samsung and Apple will push up their sales to almost 144 million units in the China market, growing nearly 4% from 2013.

Tencent pays $500 million for big stake in Korean mobile gaming company

Chinese web and game company Tencent (HKG:0700) is boosting its mobile gaming prowess today by paying US$500 million for a stake in South Korea’s CJ Games. CJ Games makes a mix of casual and more in-depth mobile RPG titles like Taiming Monsters, Every Vroom Vroom Vroom, and Special Force 2. Many of the casual games are created to integrate with Korean messaging app KakaoTalk and its social gaming features.