Technology and Telecommunications

Chinese Ride-Hailing Company Founder to Launch Blockchain-powered App

Chinese Ride-Hailing Company Founder to Launch Blockchain-powered App

Chen Weixing, founder of ride-hailing firm Kuaidi Dache, announced this week that he will be launching a blockchain-based ride-hailing app with the co-founder of on-demand local services firm Meituan, Yang Jun. Chen said that it will be the first time the technology will be tested on a social application on a mass scale. Jun meanwhile said at the China International Big Data Industry Expo 2018 that he thinks blockchain can be used to build new economic systems, adding that traffic from the Internet can directed and different services can be added to meet users’ needs. Source: Coin Telegraph

Uber India President Promoted to Head of APAC Operations

Uber India President Promoted to Head of APAC Operations

Ride-hailing giant Uber announced this week that the president of its India unit Amit Jain has been selected to lead the company’s business in the Asia Pacific region. Jain will be put in charge of operations in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and India after the firm has sold its Southeast Asian business to Grab Holdings. It is further speculated that a similar merger will take place in India, one of Uber’s fastest growing markets, with local rival Ola. Source: Reuters

Indonesia’s Go-Jek to Enter Philippines, Other Southeast Asian Countries

Indonesia’s Go-Jek to Enter Philippines, Other Southeast Asian Countries

Go-Jek, an Indonesian ride-hailing and online payments company, is reportedly investing $500 million for its expansion to the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore within the next few months. CEO Nadiem Makarim said that riders in Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines feel that they don’t have much of a choice when it comes to ride-hailing, which is why Go-Jek will focus more on its transportation services before expanding to other sectors. The company, which counts Astra International, JD.COM, Tencent and Temasek as investors, revealed that it is already working with regulators from various countries in preparation to setting up operations. […]

Uber to Give Drivers New Protections

Uber to Give Drivers New Protections

Uber announced this week that it will be giving its drivers additional coverage and compensations such as sick leaves, parental leaves, and bereavement payments. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the company had “focused too much on growth and not enough on the people who made that growth possible”, adding that Uber called drivers “partners” but didn’t always act like one to them. However, unions have questioned the new protections that will be made available to all Uber drivers and Uber Eats delivery couriers across Europe, saying that a similar injury and illness insurance had been offered by the company in […]

Chinese Researchers Uncover Flaws on BMW Car Computer Systems

Chinese Researchers Uncover Flaws on BMW Car Computer Systems

Chinese security firm Keen Lab recently found 14 separate bugs on the computer systems of BMW vehicles which, according to the researchers, may even allow hackers to take partial control even while in use. The researchers said that by plugging in infected USB sticks, as well via contactless means including Bluetooth and the vehicles’ own 3G/4G data links, they were able to compromise the cars and identify the security flaws. The Tencent-owned cybersecurity firm shared a year’s worth of findings with BMW, who said that it will be working on fixes immediately.   Source: BBC  

French President to Tech Giants “There is no free lunch”

French President to Tech Giants “There is no free lunch”

Last Wednesday, French president Emmanuel Macron warned the executives of tech giants such as Microsoft and Facebook that “there is no free lunch” and that he would like them to contribute more to society. Macron is said to be pushing to transform France into a “startup nation” which will draw significant investments from technology and artificial intelligence. He is also leading European efforts to obtain more taxes from tech companies. Macron is also set to hold talks with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on tax and data privacy during the Tech For Good summit this week. Source: Reuters

Grab, Maybank Partners for Adoption of Mobile Wallet in Malaysia

Grab, Maybank Partners for Adoption of Mobile Wallet in Malaysia

Ride-hailing firm Grab and Malayan Banking Bhd revealed last Monday that they will be partnering to push the adoption of the GrabPay mobile wallet in Malaysia which will be launched in beta in the next few weeks.   Grab, which received its e-money license from Bank Negara Malaysia in 2017, has already made GrabPay available in other countries in various applications. However, Malaysia will be the second market where the wallet can be used to pay in restaurants and shops Source: Reuters

Connected Alarm System Flaw Leaves Cars Completely Vulnerable to Hackers

Connected Alarm System Flaw Leaves Cars Completely Vulnerable to Hackers

Two researchers disclosed this week that a bug in a popular internet-connected vehicle management system could give hackers enough access to track a vehicle’s location, collect user information, and even cut out the engine. The system, developed by a telematics company called Calamp, is said to be used in a good portion of  modern vehicles which owners may not even be aware of. One such app called Viper SmartStart, which allows users to locate, start, and control their car from their phone, uses a Calamp modem to connect to its cloud-based servers The researchers also said that they were able […]

Vietnam Mulls Formal Antitrust Investigation Into Grab-Uber Deal

Vietnam Mulls Formal Antitrust Investigation Into Grab-Uber Deal

Last Wednesday, Vietnam’s trade ministry said that it may launch a formal investigation into Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia business, stressing that the transaction could be blocked since an initial probe found that the combined market share of both ride-hailing firms in Vietnam was over 50% percent, as per the nation’s law. It is unclear what kind of impact Vietnam’s move will have on the deal, which is already being scrutinized by other countries such as Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia. However, lawyers and analysts say that there is little that can be done to stop Uber from leaving […]

China Lauds Trump Move to Save ZTE Jobs

China Lauds Trump Move to Save ZTE Jobs

China this week praised US president Donald Trump for vowing to save jobs affected by the suspension of Chinese telecom giant ZTE in the US. In a tweet, Trump said that he is working with President Xi to get ZTE back in business citing his concerns about the massive job loss in China, adding that he had already given instructions to the Department of Commerce to act on it. Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang praised Trump’s efforts and said that they will be in close communication with the US on the matter. US observers however, noted that the move was […]

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