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Staff picks: 9 top news stories this week on Tech in Asia

NOTW - Asia tech news this week

This week, 14 of our bloggers select these 9 articles and explain what’s significant. Let’s jump right in…

Phoebe’s Pick: LinkedIn acquires US and Philippine job search startup Bright for $120 million

Bright is a US- and Manila-based startup that boasts a pool of Filipino talent. This is LinkedIn’s biggest acquisition. It’ll be interesting to see how LinkedIn can improve its core job matching capabilities using Bright’s tech.


Paul’s and Andre’s pick: Apple resurrects the discontinued iPhone 4 for India, Indonesia, and Brazil

Paul: The unprecedented decision to resume production of a discontinued phone makes sense on paper; Apple needs a cheaper entry-level option for price-sensitive markets. But it begs the question: is this what Steve Jobs would do?

Andre: This resurrection aims to gain more profit in developing markets, but will Indonesia’s Apple fans want the old model when shops are teeming with more affordable brands of smartphones?


Terence’s and Lucas’ pick: The lowdown on Lang Van’s massive $400 million lawsuit to obliterate Vietnam’s VNG

Terence: This case is unique because Lang Van is going after the venture capital firm that invested in the alleged copyright infringer as a way to get at their target. It could set a precedent for other copyright holders who want to protect their property against online businesses but prefer the legal environment on home soil.

Lucas: This case may set a precedent for US companies looking to sue Asian companies for violation of copyright. It will be an interesting case to watch in the next few months.


Saiyai’s pick: Led by China, Asian countries are the world’s biggest online spenders

It’s not a surprise to see that the top four countries are BRIC nations. But it’s good to keep in mind where the money is when developing or expanding an e-commerce business.


Minghao’s pick: Now developers in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand can start earning money from Google Play

This is a great news for developers in these countries. I used to hear many complaints from developers in Indonesia of not being able to make money from their Android apps on Google Play. This is a good start but more needs to be done for developers in these countries to really make money, as not many people in these markets pay online via credit card. Enabling in-app billing for apps and games, or maybe store-bought prepaid cards, will help even more.


Willis’, Andrew’s, and Vanessa’s pick: Line messaging app racks up $338 million in revenue in 2013

Willis: Line has so much potential and so much money to build its future. But can the sticker craze last? That’s the question.

Andrew: The growth from Q1 to Q4 is simply tremendous, considering that Line is mainly a messaging app. I have to admit that I’m a huge Line fan and I purchase Line stickers.

Vanessa: In the past, I didn’t use Line so much, but recently it has become my top messaging app and is now on my iPhone’s homescreen dock. That’s mainly because it syncs across devices and has cute stickers which beautifully capture what I’m unable to express in words. I actually still think the sticker craze will last for a while more.


Josh’s pick: Chinese WeChat users send out 20 million cash-filled red envelopes to friends and family within 2 days

This looks to be the beginning of an annual digital tradition in China, much to the joy of Tencent.


Dewi’s pick: An unlikely team makes budget air purifiers for China’s pollution-choked residents

An exceptional example of how a team dreamed to launch a simple product that meets an important need and does so much more cheaply than established brands. Even without conducting any customer research, and with no funding, they still managed to nail it.


Steven’s pick: Indonesian man convicted of libel on Twitter, protest surges over draconian internet law

This seminal case doesn’t just affect Twitter. It has ramifications for free expression across all media in Indonesia.


BONUS – Gwen’s pick: Watch out, Startup Arena is back at Startup Asia Singapore 2014!

This is a selfish pick but I’m so proud of our events! We are holding our next conference on May 7-8th in Singapore and we’re looking for the hottest startups across the region to come compete.


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