LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Tag Archives: China

China’s approach to control technologies

Following Beniger, I have pointed to the need for control in soft sense as the driver for much of what is going in ICTs these days. But is China understanding control in a hard sense? China Telecom showed off its ability to measure the amount of trash in several garbage cans and detect malfunctioning fire […]

African bandwidth hub: Djibouti rising, so is China

With less than a million citizens, Djibouti struggles with the abysmal ICT indicators. Its internet hums with 12% penetration while mobile SIM penetration is 36% only. Now flip the page. Nine submarine cables transit at Djibouti to link Africa, the Middle East and Asia with Europe. Australia is coming soon! That’s why Djibouti has the […]

Same actions by Saudi Arabia and China draw different reactions

There was a bug kerfuffle about China banning Whatsapp. But when Saudi Arabia did the “beheading” in 2013, much less outrage. Oh well. It helps when you have driven expectation down to the negative range. But anyway, they seem to have figured that there’s a downside in not having these services. Services such as Skype, […]

Use of knowledge in economic reforms

“We are very poor. We have lost touch with the world. We need the World Bank to catch up.” This is a quotation from Julian Gewirtz’s book, Unlikely Partners, that I will be using in my keynote address at the University of Peradeniya Humanities and Social Sciences Conference on 28 July 2017. It was in […]

Internet companies invest in ICT infrastructure layer

The first time this happened was when Pacific Century Cyber Works (PCCW), controlled by Richard Li, acquired Hong Kong Telecom. But that 2000 adventure did not end well. PCCW’s stock price tanked. Seventeen years later, things are different. The real story may not be a state-sanctioned infusion of private capital into a 100% state owned […]

Are discussions of the Big 5 ethnocentric?

It is increasingly common to read/hear references to the Big Five (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft) as the entities shaping our virtual experiences, and perhaps the trajectory of human development. But why are Alibaba and Tencent not included in this conversation? This Digital Asia Hub piece provides a valuable corrective: The attributes, connections, and […]

Big data generates an independent assessment of the Chinese economy?

One of our current priorities is to work with the National Statistical Agency to see how we can complement official statistics instruments on socio-economic monitoring. China watchers are not collaborating with the NSO. They are trying to second guess it. I was wondering though, wouldn’t we be happy if we got these kinds of correlations? […]

China is good at mobile innovation

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I was surprised to hear an otherwise knowledgeable person participating in the Grand Challenges discussion here at University of Washington say there was no innovation in China. The time and place were not right for that discussion. But then NYT came with a substantive refutation: Snapchat and Kik, the messaging services, use bar codes that […]

Trade agreements and information policy

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Twenty years ago, when NAFTA was still a novelty, Patrick Hadley and I looked at the interface of trade and communication policy. I recalled this when I was asked a question during a TV talk show about safeguards for culture in trade agreements. Looks like the issues we wrote about are becoming mainstream: China’s notorious […]

China getting into big data?

We have always said that big data is about control, in the soft form first described by James Beniger. Information and control are closely connected. Beniger (1986, pp. 7-8) states that the twin activities of information processing and reciprocal communication (or feedback) are inseparable from the concept of control. Control is defined in the broadest […]

300 Gbps international capacity addition for Myanmar by 2017

A carrier-neutral international cable that will connect Myanmar to Thailand and Malaysia is be operational by 2017. he story does not say anything about SEA-ME-WE 5, scheduled to be operational in 2016, and the AAE-1 cable scheduled for completion in Q4 2016. Nor is any mention made of the already built new links to China. […]

Reflections on another day of discussing big data for development

ESCAP is part of the UN. By design, it is better positioned to work across silos than specialized agencies such as the ITU and WHO. One of the key points made about the sustainable development goals that were recently adopted is that they require working across silos. Big data naturally cuts across disciplinary boundaries. It […]

Making Central Asia central to Eurasian trading

The notional ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ under One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative connects China with Central Asia, Russia and Europe. It also links China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean through Central Asia and West Asia. Trains carrying goods as well as the Block Trains between Chinese and European destinations via Kazakhstan under […]

Infrastructure services enabling Maritime Silk Road

I spent Nov 5-6 in Shanghai at the invitation of the Pathfinder Foundation as part of a Track 2 discussion with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. The focus of my presentation was on how the MSR could serve Sri Lanka’s economic advancement. It was not limited to research undertaken by LIRNEasia. However, the section […]

China linked Myanmar. Plans to loop ASEAN. Next?

China Unicom has built the US$50 million China-Myanmar International (CMI) terrestrial link. But it is yet to be activated for unknown reasons and Myanmar keeps suffering from outages. Now Beijing has ceremoniously announced its plan to build a Sino-ASEAN submarine cable network without revealing any details. South Asia and Southeast Asia has become the hotbed […]

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