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Tech News

15-09-2017
Innovation and Technology Venture Fund

The Government has launched the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund on 15-09-2017. It is now open for application by venture capital funds to become co-investment partners (Deadline: 15-01-2018). A briefing session will be held on 03-10-2017 at the Hong Kong Science Park. Interested venture capital funds are welcome to attend.

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24-01-2019
Doctor World launches health and wellness platform

Telehealth company Doctor World has launched a health and wellness platform for users to access all their healthcare needs.The platform offers patients a comprehensive suite of healthcare services including round-the-clock outpatient care via its teleconsultation and home care features. Patients can also book medical appointments, manage health records, purchase health products and services, and get updates on the latest health issues through the platform.“Advancements in digital technologies have been transforming the way we live. Therefore, it is crucial that healthcare innovates to respond to changing needs,” said Calvin Chan, CEO of Doctor World. “Today, we need to be more than just another teleconsultation provider. Our mission is to provide an integrated healthcare platform that promotes health and wellness empowered by technology.”“Through the platform, we want to improve 24/7 access and affordability of healthcare services so that patients can receive timely care without paying a premium for it,” said Dr. Ryan Thian, Clinical Director of Doctor World.Doctor World aims to enhance the personalization of patient care through the provision of content tailored to users’ health topics of interest. Using the “Health Advisor” feature, users receive and are alerted via push notifications of curated health information including articles, advisories, tips and videos. Users who are travelling overseas can search for relevant vaccinations by country, and purchase these vaccinations straight from the platform.The platform lets users store and track their personal health records all in one place. This feature enables users to upload and save all medical-related information such as clinic visits, laboratory reports and health statistics in a central repository for easy access. By next month, the platform will allow users to set medicine reminders, and track their health readings over time for better monitoring of their conditions.Another key feature of the platform is 24-hour teleconsultation. Patients can video-consult with Singapore-licensed doctors any time on non-emergency medical conditions, and have their prescribed medication delivered directly to them in less than 2 hours. Any medical certificate or referral letter will be electronically sent to patients after the consultation. Appointments with referred doctors are automatically scheduled in the platform. The entire experience is seamless, cashless and paperless. Teleconsultation not only helps patients save time on travelling to clinics and waiting in line to see a doctor, its consultation fees are generally cheaper compared to in-clinic consultations.“Teleconsultation is suitable for treating minor ailments that are non-emergency in nature. I am also using this technology to conduct reviews of health screenings and tests,” said Dr. Melvyn Wong, a senior family physician who is using the platform to conduct teleconsultation with patients.He added, “Teleconsultation complements physical consultations in the clinic and is not meant to replace it. If in doubt, I will always advise the patient to go for an in-clinic consultation.”To ensure that safety and quality of care are not compromised, Doctor World partners with established and licensed healthcare providers in Singapore. Raffles Medical Group, an integrated private healthcare group in Asia, is one such partner who is in collaboration with Doctor World to jointly develop digital solutions for the seamless delivery of healthcare services to its 2.2 million patients in Singapore.Through the strategic partnership with Doctor World, Raffles Medical Group now offers telehealth services at the corporate healthcare level. More than 6800 corporate clients of Raffles Medical Group can enjoy all the platform services as part of their customized corporate healthcare programs for employees.Going forward, Doctor World will continue innovating and developing new features that add value to its users. Leveraging artificial intelligence and integration with wearable technology, the company will be developing a symptom checker, healthcare cost calculator and pharmacist chat consultation feature, among other initiatives.

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24-01-2019
HKPC urges enterprises to adopt “security by design”

The number of security incidents reported to the Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team grew 55% in 2018

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24-01-2019
Xiaomi teases a folding phone

Xiaomi has shown off a foldable smartphone in a video teaser which looks far smoother than Royole’s FlexPai

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24-01-2019
Microsoft integrates NewsGuard into its mobile Edge browser

Microsoft has stepped up the fight against fake news by integrating NewsGuard into its mobile Edge browser

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24-01-2019
270% increase in malware detection among Asia Pacific businesses in 2018

Malwarebytes' latest annual State of Malware Report analyzes top malware threats from January through November 2018 and compares them with the same period in 2017.In Asia Pacific, the report identifies a sharp increase in business-based malware detections, including massive increases in backdoors (5137%), cryptocurrency miners (1184%), and the use of exploits against their endpoints (3690%).key findings for Asia Pacific from the 2019 State of Malware Report include:1. Businesses took a hit, malware detections increased more than 270%Malware authors pivoted in the second half of 2018 to target organizations over consumers, recognizing that businesses provided a bigger payoff. Overall business detections of malware rose significantly over the last year - 270% - pimarily due to the increase in backdoors (5137%), cryptocurrency miners (1184%), and the use of exploits against their endpoints (3690%), suggesting a greater need to patch and secure endpoints. 2. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and the Philippines all finished in the top 10 countries with most business detections globally.Five countries in APAC made the top 10 for the most business threat detections per country in 2018, by volume. This includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and the Philippines, which ranked 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 10th on the global rankings respectively.Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have been fending off an influx of backdoor malware in their business networks. In Australia, the main threat was adware and cryptomining, a big reason to be concerned as many miners and adware families drop additional malware, modify system settings, slow down or use up computing power, or otherwise disrupt operations.3. Cryptominers were the all-stars of the yearIn APAC, we saw a massive wave of malicious cryptominers forcing their way onto corporate networks. While cryptomining detections increased only by 7% globally, in Asia Pacific we saw a 1184% increase year over year.Threat actors seemingly abandoned all other forms of attack for experimentation in this new technique, spanning from desktop to mobile; Mac, Windows, and Android operating systems; and software -and browser- based attacks.4. WannaCry infections are still spreading in Asia PacificIn our region, the biggest ransomware threat is WannaCry infections that are still spreading to unpatched endpoints and laterally moving across networks. The payload should be neutered, in the sense that the malware can install but won’t encrypt anything.Overall, while ransomware isn’t the wide-ranging threat it was in 2017, we saw more sophisticated attacks aimed at businesses, specially across education, manufacturing and government verticals. Indeed, the main spike in numbers has been in the realm of the workplace.5. Globally, education, government, manufacturing and healthcare were the top industries impacted by Trojans.When we zoom in on the Trojan category to look at its top family – Emotet - the industries shift. Education, manufacturing and hospitality top the list.The current trends with Trojans are likely to continue, while there are opportunities for criminals to exploit weak configurations and outdated assets. However, the greater concern is the copycats and new generations of families that are likely going to dominate 2019 across verticals and around the globe.“We experienced another very active year for malware that shows no signs of stopping,” said Jeff Hurmuses, Area Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Malwarebytes.“Attackers continued to shift their methodologies to follow the payload. We saw evidence of this with the strong focus on attacking businesses with insecure and unpatched networks. From massive data breaches to ransomware attacks, businesses are experiencing what consumers have been dealing with, but on a larger scale. In the coming year, Malwarebytes is dedicated to providing the cutting-edge protection and remediation tools needed for protecting the world against the most dangerous malware now, and well into the future.” 

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23-01-2019
DBS unveils loadable QR red packets

DBS has embarked on the pilot launch of a loadable QR red packet named DBS QR Ang Bao.The DBS QR Ang Bao aims to offer adigital twist on the age-old tradition of red packet exchange, allowing DBS PayLah! users to preserve the traditional act of giving and receiving physical red packets, while eliminating the use of cash.This solution allows users to go beyond scanning or generating QR codes to make payments and fund transfers. DBS QR Ang Baos provide users with the ability to ‘load’ their desired cash values onto unique QR codes – the first time in the world that this functionality is being introduced in QR codes.      How DBS QR Ang Baos workUsing mobile wallet DBS PayLah, customers simply need to scan a unique QR code on a DBS QR Ang Bao to ‘load’ a cash value of up to SGD 999. They may then gift the DBS QR Ang Bao to their family and friends, who can scan the QR code with their own DBS PayLah! app to receive the loaded amount.Each DBS QR Ang Bao contains a unique QR code and serial number for added security, and users can easily cancel a particular DBS QR Ang Bao’s loaded funds via the DBS PayLah! app in the event that it gets lost or stolen.Starting 25 January 2019, limited quantities of DBS QR Ang Baos will be made available to customers who wish to try them out. Two sets (in packs of eight) of DBS QR Ang Baos will be distributed to customers at all full-service DBS/POSB branches and all POSB Pop-Up ATMs from 25th January onwards, subject to availability. The DBS QR Ang Baos will be valid for use from 25 January 2019 to 15 March 2019; funds not redeemed by 15 March 2019 will be refunded to the givers.Said Jeremy Soo, Managing Director and Head of Consumer Banking Group (Singapore), DBS Bank, “In the spirit of celebration and reinvention this Chinese New Year, we decided to introduce a fresh, digital take on the traditional red packet exchange, while retaining the meaningfulness of the physical act of giving and receiving red packets itself. The pilot also showcases the different, unexpected ways in which digital funds can replace cash. The DBS QR Ang Bao is ideal for time-starved customers who hope to forgo the usual hassle of obtaining new notes for CNY, or for those who embrace the spirit of being early adopters and appreciate having conversation-starters during family gatherings.”    

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23-01-2019
NETS launches same-day settlement for hawkers

Singapore-based payment network NETS has launched same-day settlement for hawkers in Singapore.The initiative will enable hawkers to receive their sales proceeds in their bank account the same business day, giving them faster access to their funds and improving cash flow.No special arrangements are required to enjoy the benefit of same-day settlement – all NETS transactions (with the exception of NETS FlashPay and Cashcard) made before 5pm will be credited to the hawkers’ DBS, OCBC or UOB bank accounts by 11pm the same day.NETS transactions made after 5pm will be credited to the hawkers’ bank accounts before 9am the next business day. This allows hawkers to make their own payments to their suppliers and vendors before the start of the work day for most businesses. The initiative was made possible through a collaboration between NETS and its merchant banks, DBS, OCBC and UOB.NETS hopes the move will encourage more hawkers to adopt e-payments. It comes on the back of a series of initiatives to propagate e-payments at such establishments including the launch of QR code payments at Tanjong Pagar Food Centre in September 2017, the acceptance of EZ-Link and concession card payments on NETS terminals in hawker centres and the appointment of NETS as master acquirer to implement a unified e-payment solution at coffee shops, hawker centres and industrial canteens in September 2018.Ang Sok Hong, Head of Sales at NETS, said, “The hawker business is like any other in that you not only have to collect payments, you also have to make payments. We’ve taken away the hassle of collection by introducing QR code and other e-payment options and now with same-day settlement, stallholders will be able to settle supplier payments and other business expenses more easily.”   

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23-01-2019
FWD launches chatbot for 24/7 travel insurance

Digital insurer FWD Singapore has launched a virtual personal insurance assistant named Faith. Available 24/7, Faith can guide customers through the entire process of submitting a travel insurance claim.Faith is the result of the collaboration between FWD Singapore and Active.Ai, a Singapore FinTech start-up that specialises in helping financial institutions process and understand unstructured customer data through its proprietary AI enterprise platform.Customers who have questions about FWD’s wide range of life and general insurance products can also get answers to their queries from Faith.With Faith, customers who normally would have to send an e-mail or leave a request for a call-back outside of the insurer’s call centre operating hours (9am to 10pm on weekdays, 9am to 1pm on Saturdays, excluding public holidays) can now have their queries and claim requests attended to immediately.“When customers do need to make a claim on their insurance plans, they’d want the process to be seamless, quick and efficient. With Faith, this is exactly what they will experience, with the bonus that they can talk to her at any time of the day, from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a mobile device and a working internet connection,” said FWD Singapore CEO Abishek Bhatia.Ravishankar, Co-Founder and CEO of Active.Ai said, “We are absolutely ecstatic to partner FWD Singapore, as they look to enhance the way they engage with their customers. With the launch of Faith, customers can now experience the immense potential of digital customer engagement and conversational insurance.”

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23-01-2019
Wirecard issues multi-currency Visa cards for China’s United Money

Wirecard has partnered with United Money, one of China’s largest currency exchange companies, to digitize payment processes and offer multi-currency Visa travel cards.The multi-currency Visa travel cards, dubbed Travel Cashcard, aims to be an alternative to traveler’s checks and cash. The product is targeted at Chinese nationals who plan to travel abroad and are seeking a widely-accepted and convenient payment method which can be managed via an online account. Currently, United Money manages close to 100 exchange offices in major airports, business districts and upscale communities nationwide.The digital card supports currencies from the most-visited regions of the world: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the UK, US and Eurozone. Consumers can load the cards before traveling, locking in exchange rates. United Money, one of the first officially recognized currency exchange companies in China, offers additional services in VAT refund processing and banknotes wholesale.The multi-currency cards allow users to lock in favorable exchange rates before traveling. A study by Coresight Research on Chinese outbound tourists found that foreign exchange rate fluctuations, especially unfavorable ones, will affect frequent travelers’ decisions when choosing a destination. By using the Wirecard-issued multi-currency Visa card, travelers can avoid this problem and take advantage of favorable exchange rates instead. Jiang Zhongmo, founder of United Money, said “We are delighted to offer our customers a reliable and secure payment solution, which is backed by trusted industry leaders Wirecard and Visa. As experts in the field of foreign currency exchange, we are confident that Wirecard’s digital payment solution will fulfill the expectations of our customers, whether they are first-time or experienced travelers. We welcome this innovative and forward-thinking solution by Wirecard.”“As a global company at the forefront of digital financial innovation, we understand the barriers that are faced when paying in a foreign currency,” said Grigoriy Kuznetsov, EVP of Global Financial Services at Wirecard. “This is why we are proud of the collaboration with United Money, a market leader in China in the area of currency exchange. We look forward to developing further innovative solutions for United Money.”“Multi-currency Visa travel cards are a great option for consumers travelling internationally who want a convenient, secure payment alternative to cash,” said Rajiv Ramanathan, Head of Products, Asia Pacific, Visa. “Visa’s role as a global payments network is about creating the right industry standards for people to pay digitally wherever they choose to travel, and we’re proud to work with United Money and Wirecard on this new solution.” 

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23-01-2019
CaregiverAsia and Holmusk partner to provide real-time, customized home care solutions for diabetic patients

Caregiver Asia Pte Ltd, an online aggregator of on-demand health and caregiving services, and Holmusk, a digital health and data science company, has partnered to wage war against diabetes – a disease that affects one in nine Singaporeans.Supplementing the CaregiverPlus Program – a customized home care management service by CaregiverAsia – Holmusk’s GlycoLeap app will enable the CaregiverAsia user community to prevent or control diabetes through a mobile dietician coach.“Careseekers who are suffering from diabetes or are concerned about keeping the disease at bay will be recommended to subscribe to the GlycoLeap app by our Nurse Consultants,” said Kumari Rai, CaregiverAsia’s Nurse Manager. Along with a comprehensive care plan provided by CaregiverPlus, a healthier weight and lifestyle can be achieved in three to six months.GlycoLeap will also be made readily available on CaregiverAsia’s newly launched E-store, allowing customers to subscribe for the service through an integrated marketplace.Said Yeo Wan Ling, CEO of CaregiverAsia, "With the GlycoLeap app, our customized care plans for diabetes will be augmented by Holmusk’s crew of dietitians who are available in real-time for advice and guidance. Innovative startups working together by leveraging on their unique strengths are an excellent way of providing ground-breaking solutions to everyday problems. We look forward to more exciting partnerships like the one we have with Holmusk.”Nawal Roy, CEO of Holmusk had this to share, "We're really happy to partner with CaregiverAsia to provide their members direct access to GlycoLeap, a digital program which empowers people with chronic diseases like diabetes to manage their health and stay healthy. In today's rapidly aging society, innovative solutions like CaregiverAsia's on demand home care services and Holmusk's GlycoLeap make it extremely simple and convenient for people to access the professional care they need, whenever they need it."

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23-01-2019
A massive CX disconnect is putting businesses at risk

The majority of respondents from the Asia Pacific region felt that customer experience is not represented at board level, says Dimension Data, who warned that organizations in competitive markets where customer loyalty is critical could see their business at risk.Dissatisfied with CXThe findings were outlined in its annual Customer Experience Benchmarking report, titled “Bridging the Artificial Reality”. The report found that 67% of respondents from the region who say that lower-level management or multiple managers are assuming responsibility instead.Ironically, while most business respondents here recognize that the customer experience (CX) is an important competitive differentiator, nearly a quarter of respondents (20%) are dissatisfied with their own customer experience services. Indeed, a mere 11% believe they are delivering experiences that would lead customers to recommend them to others.The report called this current situation an “artificial reality” where companies talk about CX, but don’t deliver on it. The result is a massive gap between their CX ambitions and actual CX capabilities.And while businesses are looking at several CX technologies, such as customer analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and digital integration, the report noted that they aren’t currently able to implement them properly.Addressing the disconnectTo succeed, brands should look to address these areas of disconnect within their business and measure, benchmark and report effectively to ensure such disconnects don’t creep back in, says Frost & Sullivan principal analyst Nancy Jamison.“Customer experience must be higher on the agenda for every business and the whole organization should get behind it. Brands acknowledge how crucial customer experience is, yet so few are making it a board level responsibility, leaving it siloed or delegating it to individual managers,” said Pranay Anand, the solutions director for customer experience at Dimension Data Asia Pacific.“There’s an artificial reality between organizations’ CX ambitions and making real change that benefits the customer. This disconnect must be resolved. Brands must make customer experience the priority they say it is,” he said.Further reading:How AI is set to revolutionize the customer experienceCollinson brings together loyalty and benefits businesses to deliver smarter customer experiencesHong Kong retail marketers failing on customer engagement Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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23-01-2019
AXA Hong Kong charts AI path

The insurance firm wants to put AI engines in all parts of its organization within five years in order to take the delivery of personalized customer experiences to the next level

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23-01-2019
Hong Kong Maxim's Group deploys IBM Flash Storage

Food and beverage giant Hong Kong Maxim's Group has selected IBM Flash Storage infrastructure to help meet its rapidly increasing data storage demands

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23-01-2019
HGC, Expresso partner to improve data connectivity in MEA

HGC Global Communications and Africa's Expresso Communications have teamed up to offer richer data connectivity across the Middle East and Africa

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23-01-2019
Microsoft declares the official end to its smartphone era

In the wake of the company's failed acquisition of Nokia's phone assets, Microsoft is reminding Windows 10 Mobile users that support ends this year

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CyberLink Vol.124 January 2019

Cyberport spotlights FinTech and InsurTech at Asian Financial Forum 2019

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CyberLink Vol.123 December 2018

Cyberport parades FinTech start-ups at the region’s largest tech events

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CyberLink Vol.122 November 2018

CVCF 2018 celebrated HK$234M fund raised on Cyberport Investors Network's anniversary

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