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Tech News

15-09-2017
Innovation and Technology Venture Fund

The Government has launched the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund on 15-09-2017. It is now open for application by venture capital funds to become co-investment partners (Deadline: 15-01-2018). A briefing session will be held on 03-10-2017 at the Hong Kong Science Park. Interested venture capital funds are welcome to attend.

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13-11-2018
Gartner: Heritage financial firms to go out of business by 2030

Handwriting on the wall: Gartner says by 2030, 80% of heritage financial services firms will go out of business, become commoditized or exist only formally but not competing effectively.The analyst says these firms will struggle for relevance as global digital platforms, Fintech companies and other nontraditional players gain greater market share, using technology to change the economics and business models of the industry.David Furlonger, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner said banks face a growing risk of failure if they continue to maintain 20th-century business and operating models.“Digital transformation is largely a myth as institutional mindsets, processes and structures stand firm,” said Furlonger. “Established financial services providers will have to move faster on digital business by building digital platforms or finding niche products and services to sell on others’ platforms.”RELATED: 2019 hurdles and opportunities to financial innovationAccording to Gartner’s 2018 CEO survey, while financial services CEOs continue to prioritize revenue growth, there has been a clear shift toward emphasizing efficiency and productivity improvements and the importance of management as growth levers. This shift indicates that digital business is predominantly a channel and transaction automation play, focused on business optimization as opposed to a transformation.”Pete Redshaw, practice vice president at Gartner, warns that this attitude is dangerous.“It underestimates the degree of change that digital technology will bring to the industry,” he said. “The future of the financial services industry is increasingly weightless, requiring few physical assets to establish or maintain a presence. That makes the industry especially vulnerable to disruption by digital competitors.”In addition, emerging technologies (such as blockchain) offer transformational opportunities by creating trust between parties that do not know each other, without intermediary relationships that incumbent financial firms cultivate. Equally, peer-to-peer consensus algorithms can directly match borrowers to those with money, without requiring a bank to mediate.“The biggest mistake financial services CIOs make is putting too much focus on technology,” said Redshaw. “They should push their organizations for a more coherent response to digital business — it’s important to set the digital vision and destination first, then think about how to lead an organization there.”According to Gartner, of the 20% of traditional firms that will remain as winners, three types will flourish:Power-law firms: Companies that own a digital platform will use its scale, low-cost infrastructure and the customer information it generates to create new services and enter new markets. Very few (5%) of these winning heritage institutions have the ability to become power-law firms.Fintechs: Individual companies or pure-play/neobank subsidiaries will disaggregate traditional financial services in discrete product areas. They will participate in digital platforms, but will not own them. Less than 15% of the winning group of traditional firms can convert themselves into or successfully spin off Fintechs.Long-tail firms: The dramatically lower costs enabled by digital platforms will allow some traditional providers to act as service brokers. This is likely for large populations of poor and working-class people around the world that were not profitable customers previously. Simultaneously, they can act as concierge providers of bundled offerings to high-net-worth individuals. Around 80% of winning traditional financial services providers can become long-tail firms.The speed of digital transformation in financial services partly depends on regulation, as well as customer demographics and behaviors, which will vary from country to country. In some nations, conservative regulations will inhibit innovation, while other countries, such as Australia, Brazil, China, India and the U.K., will use regulation to speed transformation. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto/danielfela

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13-11-2018
Hong Kong card holders get free personal credit score

CreditGo has announced the launch of Hong Kong's first platform focused on providing consumers with free access to their credit scores and reports.The free web-based platform offers personalized credit score management and monitoring, and can also help consumers quickly identify any suspicious activity on their accounts.Full personal credit reports are retrieved directly from TransUnion through an API, and consumers can use the service any number of times.CreditGo, a subsidiary of Asian financial management platform provider CompareAsiaGroup, has been established to address the need to raise awareness in Hong Kong about the importance of credit score.RELATED: Self-monitoring: key to improving credit scoreA survey conducted for CompareAsiaGroup by CSG found that while 97% of respondents have heard of a credit score, around half have a very limited understanding of the concept and how it may influence their lives.Only around half know the score's impact on interest rates and even fewer know its impact on employment. Over 70% would consider obtaining their credit scores and reports in the future.“At this juncture when data security is so important to all of us personally, we want to help people in Hong Kong identify new credit activity, be informed of changes in personal data and identify fraudulent activity to ensure that people can take control of their financial destiny,” CreditGo GM Steven Di Vincenzo said."Frequent access to credit reports and scores will help people take control of their credit and financial health. The survey shows the importance of educating consumers on the importance of their credit health and with CreditGo people have access to educational resources and planning tools.”First published on Computerworld Hong Kong Caption: Image from iStockPhoto/

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13-11-2018
Southern Asia Pacific gearing up for 5G launch in 2020

A new report by MIT Technology Review Insights, in association with Huawei, finds that digital transformation in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand is already heavily underway particularly in terms of internal systems, products and services.The digitalization of manufacturing and supply chains is lagging, but will be substantially accelerated by the launch of 5G.The report From follower to leader: Digital transformation and the road to 5G is based on a multi-industry survey of senior technology executives across the six Asia Pacific markets as well as expert interviews.It examines how companies are deploying Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies such as cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, robotics, blockchain, and virtual and augmented reality, as well as preparing for the opportunities that will open up through 5G. Key findings include:Companies are already making strong progress with digital transformation in internal systems, products, and services. Cloud and IoT are the most established 4IR technologies, with 29% and 34% of respondents having already deployed these for one year.   Improving customer experience is the single biggest driver of technology adoption across the region, followed by increasing the speed of decision-making and increasing operational agility. The high cost of deployment is the number one challenge to further digitalization.   5G is expected sooner rather than later. Two-thirds of respondents report that there are active conversations taking place inside their organizations about the future impact of 5G, yet only 46% say that there is a good understanding of the benefits that 5G will bring. Nevertheless, 65% expect 5G to be available in 2020, with a further 18% anticipating 2021 as a more likely date.   Collaboration and ecosystem development will further fuel digital transformation. Only 35% of respondents believe that there is sufficient infrastructure in terms of regulation, connectivity, and public services to support further digitalization, which shows there is more to be done.   Some 82% of survey respondents think infrastructure upgrade costs are the key 5G hurdle that telecom operators will need to overcome, yet 83% believe that telecoms will take the lead in the future 5G ecosystem. A further 70% feel that governments should create a collaborative environment for 5G.“This survey finds that executives in Asia-Pacific are bullish on new technology, with the majority having plans to launch either AI, automation, or IoT within a year,” says Claire Beatty, editor of the report. “They also have high expectations that 5G will be available within the next two years, and that the manufacturing, financial services and automotive sectors will benefit the most.”Download full report here.

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13-11-2018
Forrester: 2019 the year transformation goes pragmatic

According to Forrester’s 2019 predictions, which identify the major dynamics that will affect companies in the coming year, 2019 will be a year where organizations will shift from strategic ambitions to pragmatic, surgical efforts. In 2018, business leaders have set their sights on largescale initiatives such as digital transformation and customer experience (CX).But many faced the harsh reality that these strategies are difficult, costly, and challenge the way leaders run their businesses. As a result, CX performance was flat and more than 50% of digital transformation efforts stalled. In 2019, leaders will turn their attention to pragmatic, surgical efforts. Forrester predicts that:  CX remains under fire: Brands will give up on strategic CX initiatives and resort to old-school methods for short-term gains.    Digital goes surgical: Digital transformation will move to a pragmatic portfolio view of digital investments.     Purpose regains meaning: Purpose will become a strategic priority again, acting as the strategic compass for firms.    CMOs rebrand: CMOs will bring back brand as their top priority.     CIOs take the reins: CIOs will expand their remit, building a model that translates tech-led innovation into customer value.     Artificial intelligence (AI) builds a foundation: Firms will put more building blocks in place to accelerate their ability to meet AI’s promise.    The world goes to Zero (Trust): Zero Trust will become the ad hoc standard security architecture.    Consumer brands enter the outrage: More brands will partake in market-baiting, but most will misjudge the mechanics and make minimal impact.    B2B in a squeeze: B2B marketers will shift away from blunt outbound methods and reorient around customer outcomes.    Employee experience (EX) takes center stage: Leaders will reignite change management efforts, substituting targeted initiatives for 2018’s broad-based culture efforts. |   Robots reimagine talent management: Talent leaders will use automation to address the talent scarcity squeeze.    VC funding recalibrates: Martech and adtech investments will dry up as investors look to put their dollars into specific verticals.    Blockchain exposes advertising: Blockchain will allow advertisers to see where waste and abuse lie and how their money is spent in the media-buying supply chain.    Internet of Things (IoT) gets down to business: IoT in the B2B space will take off while B2C incarnations still try to find their footing.  

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13-11-2018
Customer experience to dominate holiday shopping season

With the advent of globalization and e-commerce, countries such as Singapore and Japan have started participating in major shopping holidays such as Black Friday and even Singles’ Day (11th November).As a result, sales have skyrocketed, with the 2018 edition of Singles’ Day breaking 2017’s record by racking up more than US$30.8 billion (214 billion yuan) in the 24-hour shopping event.The start of Singles’ Day marks the beginning of the online holiday shopping season and the battle of the brands for consumers’ mindshare and wallet share.Jennifer Arnold, VP of marketing, Asia Pacific Japan & Greater China, SAP Customer Experience (CX), said: “To come out on top, online retailers have to look beyond the provision of a seamless and personalized shopping experience – that’s table stakes these days – and ask themselves how the experience they offer can be more engaging so they stand out from their competitors.”According to the SAP Consumer Propensity Report, customers want basic services for ease-of-use, such as having an easy means of exchanging products and a 24/7 enquiry service.Shoppers are also looking for a more tactile experience, where they can touch and feel products, easily see all the options, and experience how the products will work in their life.Read also: Unlocking holiday growth in South-east Asia this shopping seasonMeanwhile, to help advertisers make the best decisions for their campaign strategy, MediaMath has released its 2018 APAC Holiday Playbook – which contains an overview of the market trends from Holiday 2017 that may inform this year, along with analyses of MediaMath’s own campaigns run during the holiday season.Interesting insights from the playbook include:Research for gifts starts early: More than half of holiday shoppers said they started researching potential purchases in October or earlier. While only a third of these consumers were actually purchasing at this point, many already know what they want and what price they’re willing to pay when it comes time to buy. Make the bid in December: According to a MediaMath analysis of global holiday campaigns that ran on our platform last year, APAC is busiest right at the beginning of December and then right on Christmas Eve. Marketers should be aggressively bidding in early December to secure conversions early. Make use of video to capture the attention of target shoppers early in the awareness phase: Follow up video branding campaigns with native, display and other formats to bring consumers down the funnel. Mobile is the preferred channel: In APAC, 59% of impressions came from mobile, proving the need to invest in mobile inventory as part of omnichannel holiday campaignsAccording to SAP’s Arnold, such consumer desires are encouraging online brands to introduce physical locations to showcase products and give consumers the opportunity to try them out.“That may be through a bricks-and-mortar store, even if it’s only a short-term pop-up or a dedicated space in another retail or public space. And to attract customers in, the retailers may look to create a memorable, interactive experience for the customers in their locations, such as free yoga classes to sell athletics gear, or a reading by an author to sell books.” If a physical location isn’t possible for a retailer, SAP research found that consumers are interested in having retailers provide virtual or augmented reality technologies to help them picture how products will look like in real life.She added: “With the surge in online shopping, now is the best time for retailers to attract new shoppers with unique experiences but also use those experiences to build a connection and provide a strong incentive to keep them coming back for more after the holiday period ends.” 

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13-11-2018
Hong Kong to have presence at China Hi-Tech Fair 2018

The ITC and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council will be hosting the Hong Kong Pavilion of China Hi-Tech Fair 2018, which commences tomorrow

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13-11-2018
China's Xiaomi officially expands to the UK

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is continuing its recent push into Europe with an expansion into the UK

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13-11-2018
BlackBerry rumored to plan Cylance acquisition

BlackBerry is in talks to buy security company Cylance for up to US$1.5b, according to reports

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13-11-2018
Managed service provider market primed for consolidation

Some 70% of managed service providers will explore buying, selling or merging options within the next five years, ConnectWise predicts

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12-11-2018
OPINION: How Google is looking to ensure AI development is ethical and fair

Google wants its AI to "do no evil"

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12-11-2018
Drop in card usage in SG suggests unhappiness with reward programs

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) there were approximately 8.318 million credit and charge cards in use in the city-state in September 2018. An 8.7% drop compared to the same period in 2017.  Whatever the reason for the drop, the 2018 Singapore Credit Card Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power revealed that credit card customers are not as satisfied with their reward programs (716 in 2018 vs. 725 in 2017). This is a serious problem given that 66% of cardholders choose their primary card based on the rewards offered.Why? To set the scene, Anthony Chiam, Regional Practice Leader, Financial Services at J.D Power, noted that there were fewer new cards and richer rewards program in 2018.“This drop in satisfaction shows that cardholders are not only hungry for more rewards, but also that issuers competing on rewards alone is a never-ending battle, and this is not financially sustainable in the long term. To compete and differentiate in the marketplace, issuers need to go back to the basics, listen to their cardholders and invest in making the customer journey frictionless,” said Chiam.    RELATED: Customer experience practices among FSIs in AsiaThe study also finds that against the rise of digital banking and a consumer preference for mobile convenience, Singapore is witnessing a slower growth in credit card mobile app uptake rates. This year, mobile app usage has grown by 8 percentage points (55% in 2018 vs. 47% in 2017), whereas the increase was almost double that from 2016 to 2017 (18 percentage points). Unexpectedly, the usage rates of non-digital channels have risen this year despite card issuers’ gradual shift toward a digital-first strategy. Slightly more than half (51%) of cardholders use call centers, while 36% use automated phone assistance, both increasing from 2017 (6% and 5%, respectively).Perhaps more worryingly for card issuers, satisfaction levels across all three channels have fallen, with the largest decline in automated phone assistance (-33 points), followed by mobile apps (-25) and call centers (-4).Singaporeans are more willing to accept non-bank issued cards in 2018, with rewards and benefits offered continue to be a key deciding factor (44%).Nearly 9 in 10 (86%) customers lack a complete understanding of their credit card terms. Legal and regulatory language is the primary driver of this confusion, with 58% of customers saying they “do not” understand the terms. Key takeaway? Be more transparent with your terms and conditions.The study finds that installment services are popular, especially for cardholders who need to borrow for large purchases (67%) and travel (31%).   Caption: Image from iStockPhoto/Kritchanut

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12-11-2018
DBS and GO-JEK ink strategic partnership ahead of GO-JEK’s arrival in Singapore

DBS Bank and GO-JEK today announced that the two parties have entered into a regional strategic partnership.The partnership will see the two companies work together on payment services ahead of GO-JEK's arrival in Singapore and this will soon extend to other countries in Southeast Asia.GO-JEK, whose investors include Google, Temasek, Tencent and Meituan Dianping, is set to launch its beta ride-hailing app in Singapore within the coming weeks and as part of this, DBS customers in Singapore will enjoy a slew of exciting privileges.“As Singapore’s leader in payments with over four million debit/credit cards in circulation and DBS PayLah! being the nation’s most popular mobile wallet, we are committed to making payments simple, seamless and invisible for our customers,” said Tan Su Shan, Group Head of Consumer Banking & Wealth Management, DBS Bank. “In doing so we are stepping up to partner with like-minded companies like GO-JEK, one of Southeast Asia’s most iconic technology companies, to build inclusive digital ecosystems for our customers.”GO-JEK president, Andre Soelistyo, said: “This partnership makes perfect sense because GO-JEK and DBS are both so committed to providing the best possible consumer experience. By joining forces, we will be able to pool our resources as we focus on making life better for people in Singapore.”He added: “We are very much looking forward to the launch of our beta ride-hailing service within the coming weeks. We know that people are desperate for more choice in the sector and we believe we can satisfy this demand. The response from the driver community since we opened pre-registration has been overwhelming and we are confident that by working with DBS, we will see the same level of excitement from consumers too."

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12-11-2018
Ambient commerce to attract highest investment in IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is widely recognized by enterprises as one of the most important emerging technologies. Increased levels of investment can be expected across all IoT technology areas in the next phase. However, consumer IoT (ambient commerce) will attract more investments among all IoT technologies over the next three years, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData.In a recent survey by the company, ‘Global Emerging Technology Trends Survey 2018: Focus on the Internet of Things’, IoT was identified as an important emerging technology by almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents.The only technologies that have a higher rating than that were cybersecurity and cloud computing. IoT performed similarly to artificial intelligence (AI), another much-hyped technology.Businesses are confident about their ability to make IoT a core competency, with more than three-quarters of GlobalData’s survey respondents expecting to reach that stage within two years. Certain industries are leading the way, in particular the technology, media and telecoms sector.According to GlobalData’s Disruptor Tech Database, IoT can be divided into seven distinct areas of application – ambient commerce, automated home, connected cars, industrial IoT, medical IoT, smart cities and wearable technologies.Kathryn Weldon, technology analyst at GlobalData, said: “Ambient commerce and industrial IoT are top of mind for executives, although increased levels of investment can be expected across all IoT technology areas over the next three years (largely due to differing priorities across industries e.g. healthcare companies focusing on medical IoT).“Ambient commerce is offering goods and services to customers before they order them, based on an analysis of past spending patterns and information derived from sensors, taking advantage of online sites and mobile handsets, among others. Ambient commerce’s growth in future is backed by the rapidly evolving interconnected digital lives.”While there are many technology challenges associated with implementing IoT projects, the most difficult to address issues relate to the organization’s existing culture, processes and applications. The smartest organizations will be those that take on the challenge of integration with existing processes and systems, rather than simply viewing IoT as something to tack on to an existing offer.Weldon continued: “The development and implementation of IoT solutions is a complex, multi-disciplinary effort. Smart companies are choosing to partner with technology providers, and participate in industry consortia rather than trying to develop the full range of skills themselves. We would advise all enterprises to engage with partners for IoT technologies, and establish partnerships across their customer and supplier base.“Across every sector, leading companies are actively deploying IoT solutions but the majority of organizations are still in the ‘planning’ or ‘pilot’ stages. Don’t be left behind; the effective deployment of IoT will differentiate in the market in the short-term, and will be essential over the long-term.” 

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12-11-2018
PCCW Global enters partnership with Hengqin New District

HKT's PCCW Global will collaborate with the Hengqin New District Administration Committee on areas including IoT and smart city development

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12-11-2018
TCL unveils latest BlackBerry branded smartphone

TCL Communication will launch its latest BlackBerry branded smartphone in Hong Kong on Thursday

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CyberLink Vol.121 October 2018

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development met with start-ups at Smart-Space 8

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CyberLink Vol.120 September 2018

Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF) to bring top investors' insights and foster match-making opportunties this Novmber

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CyberLink Vol.119 August 2018

 

Cyberport-grown Klook takes off to new unicorn status

 

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