This week I share 3 items that may interest my APAC readers.
China adds a new weapon to its web control arsenal. While many links are available, this one is courtesy of Fortune.
Hank Paulson’s new book, Dealing with China, is receiving favourable comments from may China watchers. I wonder if the timing of this book makes him a possible candidate for a VP nomination or embassy nominee? hmmm
A few weeks ago We Are Social released a huge report on digital APAC and it is worth a look (especially if you are a data junkie, like me).
This item has been siting on my desktop for a couple days, but happy to finally share some of the latest Pew research insights. The Pew Research Center surveyed thousands of people across 32 emerging and developing nations about their technology use and how the rising influence of the internet affects their daily lives. But beyond the larger findings, we found some notable data points about specific countries that might have been lost in the fray.
1. Chinese internet users love to shop. About half of online Chinese (52%) have used the internet to buy products in the past 12 months. Given the size of the online Chinese marketplace, this goes a long way in explaining the meteoric rise of commerce giants such as Alibaba and Baidu.
2. Filipinos love social networking. Among adult internet users in the Philippines, 93% say that they use social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. This is the highest such percentage across the emerging and developing countries surveyed and greater than the 74% of internet users in the U.S. who use social networking sites. Roughly seven-in-ten of those Filipino social networkers use these platforms to share views about music and movies, while half talk about sports.
What would you pick as the major trends impacting ASEAN? Rising middle class? Environmental degradation? Mobility? McKinsey takes a look and shares their report Three Paths to Sustained Economic growth in SE Asia. The following infographic also gives a nice summary.
This week in Asia, I pick up stories out of Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. Site Tech in Asia reports that Thailand’s current rulers will approach Google and Facebook in an effort to censor individual citizens. I also share the story of a Singaporean blogger who wants to crowdsource his legal fees after making some questionable assertions about the Prime Minister. Finally, the report wraps up with Cadbury’s Halal problems in Malaysia and Indonesia.
On this side of the globe, Rakuten’s purchase of Viber for $900 million is an interesting story for several reasons. You can hear why, and how the purchase fits into broader regional trends, by listening here.
As always, subscribe to For Immediate Release (FIR) and check out all the exciting new podcasts available in the FIR Network.
Intel launched a new branding campaign featuring the tattoos of a champion badminton player, Lin Dan. The videos describe what’s really on the inside that drove the champion to get these tattoos. A nice play on the Intel Inside theme.
I stumbled upon a fascinating post from a professor of strategy, Phanish Puranam, describing how India’s Aam Aadmi Party achieved a stunning electoral success in Delhi by turning to networks and the power of crowds. I must admit I completely missed this story as it developed during one of my busiest times of the year. But you can read all about it in Beating the Incumbents with a Fraction of Their Budget.
This story illustrates several important ideas.
Aam Aadmi appears to have had 1/6th the budget but still won the election
Their activities are purpose-driven (i.e., anti-corruption) as discussed by Dan Pink
Social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, served as tools for organizing volunteers
The party gave people many ways to get involved–from homemade banners, to rickshaws as mobile billboards, and volunteer telephone call campaigns.
The localization of these efforts is fascinating–the rickshaws and such–especially because of one simple point that seems to have been overlooked in all the media coverage (at least what I read). This success story is a textbook replica of the means that the Obama campaign used to win the democratic nomination in 2008. I have been teaching the Obama-Clinton YouTube case for years as an example of how networks function and crowds can be mobilized.
I have also spoken with colleagues from India and I am equally intrigued that the Aam Aadmi Party is now being criticized for not delivering upon its promises quickly enough. In one news article, they are described as being out of their depth. While the timeframe differs (i.e., much more rapid in India), the same phenomenon was seen in the US after Obama was elected. The high tide of commitment and emotion that drove voters to the polls now appears to be a source of criticism.
Is there a risk to to the crowdsourced approach? Do the techniques that activate a network also lead to create discontent when overwhelming success is not immediately replicated (in a completely different content, I might add)? What must crowdsourcing protagonists know about their techniques and the risks involved?
In plain English, the skill set that got us elected is not the same skill set that allows us to govern successfully.
We now have a fantastic example from India and this one definitely will be discussed in Friday’s class.
Brain food for your Wednesday morning–numerous articles have appeared these last few weeks linking current events in Asia to the lead-up to World War 1. Gideon Rachman in the FT delivers one of the more coherent statements of the past-present connection in his article Time to Think More About Sarajevo, Less About Munich.
Similarly, a lot has been said about Zappos and the decision to eliminate classic hierarchy. Andrew Hill draws out some great concerns regarding the company’s decision, linking the decision to suppliers, customers and employees. Clear and sober considerations regarding the decision and its potential consequences.