Tech in Asia: Our Picks for News of the Week [Nov. 10, 2012]


More of our bloggers than ever before have emerged from their basements to give you their pick for the title of top news story of the week. Perhaps the biggest shocker was China’s Great Firewall apparently testing out a total Google shutdown – though thankfully that turned out to last for not much more than 12 hours.

Andrews pick: Tencent’s WeChat app to offer coupons and local deals after major acquisition?

Rumour has it that WeChat is in action again. It’s amazing to see how active the app is in trying to bring new services to its users. If the Tencent acquisition of TongCard is true, it would be really fun to see how rivals would react to Tencent’s leap into the coupons and local deals market via its social app.

Charlie’s pick: China blocks Google, VPNs and throttles overseas web connections

With a Party Congress in session for the first time since China really embraced the internet age, we have gotten to see how the government deals with information control during such a sensitive time. Turns out, they deal with it by mostly just shutting stuff down. Google and Gmail vanished from China’s internet on Friday evening local time, but was mostly restored by this morning. But the web is still being interfered with very badly right now. Will it go back to ‘normal’ later? We’ll have to wait and see…

Rick’s pick: DeNA picks up 20 percent stake in Cygames for $92 million

In what was a pretty big week for social games in Japan, this was perhaps the biggest news. Cygames is a subsidiary of CyberAgent, and the publisher of the hit battle card game Rage of Bahamut. And this move by DeNA should lead to more collaboration and cooperation for the two Japanese gaming powerhouses moving forward.

Steven’s pick: Confirmed: Xiaomi to take on Apple, launch TV set-top box on November 14th

After the sucess of Xiaomi’s Android-based phones, the upstart Chinese gadget maker revealed today that it’s about to make a streaming video box that’ll hook up to TVs. Hopefully it’ll be like the Apple TV, except running MIUI-themed Android – and a lot more open to new apps and hacks. Can’t wait to see the real thing next week.

Willis’ pick: TradeHero: Probably one of the best startup ideas in Singapore

It has been a long time since I have written about a startup so passionately. I can’t remember when it happened last. Anyway, TradeHero has pure epicness in it. It has just launched (though its app it still awaiting Apple approval) and I’m positive that the idea will be well received. It may need to make some changes along the way, but the general concept should remain. Click on to read about its epicness.

Minghao and Enricko pick: Blackberry under attack as Samsung and Telkomsel launch new BBM-like deals for Android

Enricko: Is this the end of the era for Blackberry smartphone dominance in Indonesia? The company’s exclusive Blackberry Messenger (BBM) package deal is facing its biggest adversary in the form of similar packaged data deals for emerging Android-based chat apps. I wonder what RIM’s next move will be besides going into fashion?

Minghao: Blackberry has became an essential communication device in Indonesia due to its hugely popular BBM service. With strong competitors in the likes of WeChat, Kakao Talk, Line, and Chaton wanting a slice of this market, it will be interesting to see how RIM will innovate its messenger service – and its platform – to stay in the lead.

Emily’s pick: Rumor: Foxconn planning factory in the US

Foxconn has been infamous for quite some time, with a spate of suicides and then labour abuse cases at a large number of their factories in China. It certainly comes as a huge surprise to hear rumors of the company planning to set up manufacturing plants in America since labor costs in the States are much higher than in China. Such a geographic shift would surely also come with a different manufacturing model, such as greater mechanization. Though it’s just an unconfirmed rumour for now, let’s see how this story progresses.

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