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Sunday, December 18, 2016

APAC 2017: A petri dish for new technologies | IDG Connect

"What might 2017 look like for tech in APAC?" according to Jonathan Keane, freelance journalist, living in Ireland, covering business and technology.

Photo: IDG Connect

Given its vast population, Asia Pacific is usually bustling with activity in the ICT sector but it’s not always equal across the region.

When it comes to funding for tech startups, Asia Pacific hasn’t been hurting but according to stats from CB Insights, the funding is skewed much more towards Asia than Australia and New Zealand for example. Startups from China, South Korea, and Singapore are all well-represented when it comes to startup funding.

There have been some very particular sectors that have flourished or experienced growth in 2016, which will be interesting to keep an eye on in 2017.

Fintech is primed to be Asia’s calling card. At least that’s what the startups and various ecosystems want you to think. Everyone wants to make a big bet. In Singapore, Marvelstone, an investment group, is launching what it calls the world’s largest fintech development centre for both local and foreign startups to come to and develop their ideas. The country’s central bank meanwhile backed its first fintech startup, SoCash, in November.

But there are struggles. Japan’s fintech ecosystem, despite being placed in one of the world’s most active economies, has not taken off. Startups in the space believe that old-fashioned regulations are too stifling and holding back innovation...

The constant problem that is cybersecurity is not unique to Asia but the entire continent has been subject to much scrutiny.

Two reports released in the last year claimed that Asian companies had some of the “worst” cybersecurity in the world and were particularly at risk. EMEA didn’t fare much better but it highlighted an ongoing problem for the entire region – Asia needs to get better at security.

The most infamous story this year came out of Bangladesh where hackers made off with $81 million in a cyber heist on the country’s central bank. It brought the whole problem into perspective.

Source: IDG Connect