China’s Techno-Utilitarian Experiments with Artificial Intelligence

In just a very short period of time China has emerged as an important centre for Artificial Intelligence

Dev Lewis examines China’s motivations for becoming a global leader in AI, maps out the size of China’s ecosystem so far and the ways in which the Chinese government and internet companies are building the AI ecosystem.

China's Tech-Giants: Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent

Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, the three largest Chinese technology companies, are at the forefront of China's booming digital economy

Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, the three largest Chinese technology companies, are at the forefront of China's booming digital economy. Their rapid growth was promoted by investments of Western countries, a huge domestic market and support of the government. While the “Great Chinese Firewall” prevented overseas companies from asserting themselves on the Chinese market, it has enabled domestic companies to thrive in areas such as search engines, e-commerce, social media, and mobile gaming. The new "Internet Plus" policy is now helping these companies find their way into new fields of activity while fostering the emergence of a new generation of Chinese unicorns.

Identifying ways to deepen the EU-Singapore cyber relationship

The first EU-Singapore Security Think Tank Dialogue was held in Singapore at the end of January at the initiative of the EU Delegation to Singapore in order to promote greater political and security cooperation between these parties. Three policy areas were chosen for discussion, namely maritime security, cybersecurity, and counter-terrorism. While cyber-related questions also cut across maritime security and counter-terrorism issues, the underlying goal of the cybersecurity panel was to identify ways to deepen the EU-Singapore relationship in the field of cybersecurity, pointing out areas where the two sides could mutually learn from each other and cooperate more. This commentary was originally prepared to explore possible avenues for cyber cooperation between the EU and Singapore for the EU-Singapore Security Dialogue in January. The approach taken below is to first analyse the cyber nexus with wider EU-Singapore political and security cooperation in order to establish avenues for cyber cooperation. This then leads to a discussion about identifying specific priority areas for cyber cooperation through offering a list of examples, which is by no means exhaustive.

Dissecting the Rise and Plateau of Digital Payments in India

The recent years have witnessed an unprecedented push towards digitisation and increasing access to both basic technologies and government services in India. A significant portion of this push is geared towards economic and financial inclusion in an effort to remedy India’s high levels of income inequality. Bedavyasa Mohanty provides an overview of India's digital payments landscape and examines which regulatory principles have spurred growth of payments and which ones have hindered it.

Japan’s Innovation Systems at the Crossroads: Society 5.0

Today, policymakers operate in a complex, dynamic and uncertain environment, where governments are increasingly asked to act as facilitators in the face of these constantly changing conditions. Yuko Harayama and René Carraz show the steps that led to the introduction of the Japanese "Society 5.0" and outline its conceptual definition as a foundation for future economic growth.

Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 in Southeast Asia

The velocity, scale and scope of change enabled by advanced information and communication technologies imply that past models and strategies for social, economic and technological development are becoming increasingly obsolete or ineffective. Raja Mitra names 12 pillars that drive and constrain digital transformation, namely: historical legacy, geography and timing, demand and supply settings in local and external markets, human and social capital, financing, technology and innovation, infrastructure, urban and rural development and institutional and stakeholder eco-systems: government, legal and regulatory-frameworks, the private sector, the Diaspora and the leadership context.

Energy Security in the Digital Age and Its Geopolitical Implications for Asia

New forms of mobility, and new consumption patterns, providers and platforms are changing the energy sector, which is being transformed by the reinforcing strategic trends of the “3 Ds”: decarbonisation, digitalisation and decentralisation. Frank Umbach explores digitalisation in the worldwide energy sector, which is offering new economic and business opportunities, but also poses new risks and vulnerabilities through increasing internet interconnectivity and a vast amount of sensitive data.

ASEAN and the US.Perspectives of Southeast Asia on Relations with the US since Donald Trump

Since the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, US foreign relations with many countries and regions of the world have significantly altered. Examples of this include the escalating trade conflict with China and the marked departure from the policies of the Obama administration. This is despite the fact that the US under Trump recognizes the importance of Southeast Asia, especially regarding China. How have US relations with ASEAN developed since Trump, and how are US priorities shaping up in times of weakened multilateralism, impending arms races, and escalating tensions in ASEAN and its individual member states? The following is an illustration of the US’ ambivalent role in the region.


Happy Birthday, Internet! In 2019, we are celebrating the World Wide Web’s 30th anniversary. Growing from ARPANET, a decentralized network created by the Pentagon that was designed to withstand a nuclear attack, to its status as a global platform that connects billions of people and devices, the development of the Internet has long been guided by the United States. It is Asia, however, where the future of the Internet is most likely to be written. We have dedicated this issue of Panorama – Insights into Asian and European Affairs to addressing current developments in the area of digital policies, digital economy, and cyber security in Asia.

Promoting Prosperity and Providing Protection: Australia’s International Cyber Engagement Strategy

Australia's International Cyber Engagement Strategy reflects the role that digital networks increasingly play in the country's international relations, trade and investment, as well as security and strategic concerns. This is partly a response to current developments and partly a consequence of persistent geo-strategic realities, Damien Spry discusses the Strategy, its priorities and progress to date, with an emphasis on cyber security, governance and cooperation, and human rights and democracy online.