Business News Archive

Search Our News Archive

Search

Maxis and Huawei Collaborating On 5G Trial In Malaysia

ICT - Malaysia
March 2019

Malaysian telco, Maxis, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Huawei on 25 February to accelerate 5G technology in Malaysia. The MoU is about the two companies cooperating on a full 5G trial with end-to-end systems and services, was inked during the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Subsequently in the first week of March, Maxis initiated the first 5G live trials in the country to be conducted over six months in Cyberjaya. The trials will provide a deeper analysis of 5G characteristics, including the use of spectrum in higher bands, co-existence with current services, as well as use cases such as Gigabit high speed Mobile Internet and Ultra High-Definition Virtual Reality (VR) applications. As of 7 March, Maxis had recorded close to 3Gbps download speed. 

The trial also follows the recent announcement by the Government that Cyberjaya and Putrajaya will become the first smart cities in Malaysia to experience 5G technology. 

5G is expected to provide speeds up to 10 times higher than what 4G network can do today for applications such as Ultra High-Definition VR and 360 degree viewing. It will also open up new use cases in areas such as AI, robotics and drones. 

(Source: Digital News Asia; FMT News; Maxis)

Malaysia to Regulate ICOs, Cryptocurrency Trade

ICT - Malaysia
February 2019

Malaysia is set to regulate crypto transactions such as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and other cryptocurrency trades. The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) amended its Guidelines on Recognized Markets on 31 January, 2019 to introduce new requirements for electronic platforms that facilitate the trading of digital assets. Under the revised guidelines, any person who is interested in operating a digital asset platform is required to apply to the SC to be registered as a recognized market operator. Those involved in illegal ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges could face hefty jail time and fines by the SC. The amended guidelines follow the coming into force of the Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019on 15 January 2019. 

Local blockchain industry players such as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Fintech Association of Malaysia (FAOM) have reacted positively towards the new rulings by the SC.  However, they feel that the framework can be more forward-looking to include appropriate control measures on blockchain transactions.

The revised guidelines categorise crypto exchanges as Digital Asset Exchange Operators. The summary of requirements to operate a digital asset platform, including those operating within the current transitional period, are as follows:

  1. Offerors must put up a MYR 5 million (USD 1.2 million) minimum paid capital upon approval and prior to commencement of crypto exchanges.  This minimum paid capital is subject to additional financial requirements on a case by case basis based on the operations and risks to investors posed by the exchange.
  2. There is restriction on providing financial assistance to investors/customers for the purposes of purchasing cryptocurrencies/digital assets
  3. A robust risk management system needs to be put in place to ensure a high degree of security and reliability.
  4. Cryptocurrencies and digital assets have to be approved by SC prior to listing on the stock exchange
  5. There has to be clear rules and procedures in place for the trading, clearing and settlement of digital assets
  6. Players must provide clear, concise and fair disclosures that are not misleading to investors
  7. Trade of digital assets can only be carried out using Ringgit Malaysia and other legal tenders.
  8. Offerors must establish one or more trust account in a licensed financial institution in Malaysia.

Under the revised guidelines, any person who is interested in operating a digital asset platform is required to apply to the SC to be registered as a recognized market operator by 1 March 2019. The full details of the guidelines are available at https://www.sc.com.my/regulation/guidelines/recognizedmarkets.

Meanwhile, the guidelines for ICOs are expected to be released by end of March 2019.

(Sources: Business Insider – Malaysia;The FinTech News; NewsBTC; Securities Commission Malaysia)

SME Corp-Huawei Release Study On Digitalization Of Malaysian SMEs

ICT - Malaysia
January 2019

Following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SME Corp Malaysia and Huawei Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd signed in November 2017, a study involving 2,033 SMEs representing multiple sectors including services, agriculture, construction and manufacturing was conducted in June 2018 to assess the drivers and barriers of digital transformation among Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The study was administered by the International Data Corporation (IDC), together with a consortium of universities in the country, and was conducted as part of the government’s effort to propel for digitization and Industry 4.0 (IR 4.0) adoption among Malaysian SMEs.

The study which has been turned into a whitepaper titled ‘Accelerating Malaysian Digital SMEs: Escaping the Computerization Trap’ published in mid-December 2018, and revealed that more than half of the surveyed SMEs invested in technology to expand their businesses or develop competitive advantages, hence being classified as having an ICT leader mindset. Another 30% were found to have ICT follower mindset. They invested in technology to improve efficiency, while the remaining 20% were classfied ICT laggard mindset because they were cautious when it came to investing in ICT. There are gaps in terms of business usage and unexploited potential of ICT among the SMEs in Malaysia identified from the study.

The study highlighte the 'computerization trap'. Nearly all SMEs in Malaysia have computing capabilities and internet connectivity, in which they use either a smart device or a personal computer. However, SMEs often end up getting trapped with limited business usage of these tools, only using them merely for social media and personal consumption of digital content. According to the paper, for an SME to truly benefit from ICT, they need to start using such tools to drive more businesses through e-commerce as well as driving more productivity through the use of software that improves their business processes. The study also revealed that there is significant increase in productivity when SMEs adopt digitization tools, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), supply chain management and customer relationship management, gaining up to 60% gain in their productivity. SMEs with social media and e-commerce engagement are also seeing 26% to 27% improvement in their productivity.

The top five challenges for Malaysian SMEs to shift into digitization include financing (49%), employee skill set (48%), technology (48%), business planning and strategy (46%) and networking (40%). The government has announced a total of MYR 7.12 billion (USD 1.73 billion) in Budget 2019 to support various initiatives for Malaysian SMEs, which should provide support required by the SMEs.

(Sources: The Star; SME Corp Malaysia; Huawei Malaysia)

Malaysia To Tax Online Services From 2020

ICT - Malaysia
November 2018

Under Malaysia’s Budget 2019 tabled in the Parliament in November 2018, the imported digital service segment including online products and services such as software, music, videos and digital advertising will be subjected to digital tax. Providers of international online services must register with Malaysian tax authorities in order to continue offering them in the country.

The tax will be imposed on business-to-business transactions for online services starting January 2019 while the tax on consumer-level online services such as the Spotify and Netflix streaming services and the Steam online game store will begin in 2020.

However, the newly introduced tax will have a threshold to ensure smaller companies are exempted from it. This digital tax is aimed at ensuring a level playing field between local and foreign online service providers, and also neutralising the cost disadvantage faced by physical retailers against their virtual storefront counterparts, especially those operated by foreign entities.

(Sources : The Malay Mail; The Star; Bank Negara Malaysia)

NEC To Provide New Smart City Solutions In Sunway Iskandar

ICT - Malaysia
October 2018

Sunway Iskandar and NEC Asia Pacific Pte Ltd (NEC) today signed an MoU to explore a collaboration which aims to augment safety and security for the 1,800-acre Sunway Iskandar township in Johor and to develop smart city solutions together in an Innovation Centre of Excellence (CoE).

The MoU will see the appointment of NEC Asia Pacific as one of Sunway Iskandar’s preferred ICT Vendor (system integrator and equipment provider). NEC plans to invest an estimated USD 24 million into the township of Sunway Iskandar, which will create skilled tech jobs and develop local “technopreneurs” and tech-savvy talents within the economic growth corridor of Iskandar Malaysia.

As part of the MoU, NEC will explore the following:

  • The implementation of its range of digital solutions, including integrating IoT  and AI technologies such as fingerprint and facial recognition and video analytics technologies in Sunway Iskandar, augmenting its ongoing township security endeavours. 
  • The establishment of a one-stop service desk support centre for NEC’s Managed Service business in Sunway Iskandar
  • The creation of an 20,000 sq ft Innovation Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Sunway Iskandar in partnership with Sunway Innovation Labs. The parties will jointly explore the development of a pool of talent in the fields of public safety, transportation and healthcare, for the creation of new solutions by providing a “living lab” environment to allow proof-of-concepts before commercialization.

(Source: NEC)

Celcom Axiata Adopts Huawei Platform For Intelligent Network Operations

ICT - Malaysia
September 2018

Celcom, a telecommunications provider in Malaysia – will be the first in the country to adopt a full suite cloud-based operation support service system. This system is expected to create an agile, automated and intelligent network management system. 

Celcom Axiata Berhad, a part of Axiata Group Berhads group of companies, is collaborating with Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd to implement the digitised operation platform. It will utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, powered by Huawei’s Operation Web Services (OWS) suite. Huawei will leverage on their Automation & Intelligence Services Solution (AUTIN). 

This will enable Celcom to transform their operations from a reactive to proactive and predictive service to their customers, providing for a better customer service experience. The visualised automated system will also allow for better management and broad-based decisions to be made. 

The agreement for this partnership was signed by Amandeep Singh, Chief Technology Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad and Baker Zhouxin, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. on 10 August 2018. 

(Sources: The Edge Markets; Celcom Axiata)

ICT Industry Association Urges Government To Address Concerns

ICT - Malaysia
August 2018

The National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) recently urged the government to clarify several issues concerning the ICT sector in the country. It has requested for exemption of Sales and Services Tax (SST) on ICT products and services, called for MSC Malaysia-status companies to be granted tax-free status, and asked for verification on the implementation of venture capital incentives as announced during Budget 2018 last year.

According to PIKOM’s Chairman, Mr. Ganesh Kumar Bangah, the reintroduction of SST is causing anxiety in the industry as business owners are preparing to move towards the new tax regime. Prior to the introduction of GST in April 2015 most of ICT products were exempted from SST. Tax exemption on ICT products and services for this time around will enable Malaysians to have access to affordable ICT devices as the country progresses to build digital economy, and for the industry to be competitive in ASEAN region.  

The association is also seeking clarification on the suspension of the MSC Malaysia-status application and the changes in the Bill of Guarantees (BoGs). The MSC Malaysia BoG is a set of incentives, rights and privileges given to MSC Status companies which is designed to provide conducive environment for the companies to develop. The prolonged suspension of the MSC Malaysia-status application is creating a climate of uncertainty among investors.

PIKOM also urged the government to confirm the status of several incentives announced during the previous Budget 2018 to encourage venture capital activities in the country. In PIKOM’s view in order to enable start-up companies to develop it is important for the companies to receive intervention and incentives for investments in the early-stage and growth-stage of their businesses.

(Sources: The Malaysian Reserve; The Edge Markets; MDEC)

Malaysian Institute of Accountants Launches Digital Blueprint

ICT - Malaysia
July 2018

According to an announcement in Bernama, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) launched its MIA Digital Technology Blueprint on 12 July to help accountants manage changes arising from the digital economy and Industrial Revolution 4.0. 

MIA is the national accountancy body that regulate, develops, supports and enhances the integrity, status and interests of the profession in Malaysia and accords the Chartered Accountant Malaysia or C.A.(M) designation.

The blueprint is part of the regulator’s ongoing digital initiatives as it seeks to future-proof the Malaysian accountancy profession and provide more value to the ecosystem. It was prepared by the MIA technical team with inputs and guidance from MIA’s Digital Economy Task Force.

The MIA Digital Technology Blueprint outlines 5 driving principles to guide the Malaysian accountants to respond appropriately to digital technology: 1) assessing digital technology trends; 2) identifying capabilities; 3) harnessing digital technology; 4) funding; and 5) governance. The Blueprint lays out the MIA’s roles in supporting members in the 5 principles, which entails educating and upskilling MIA members and accountants in Malaysia on emerging core areas such as big data analytics, cloud computing, automation and artificial intelligence.

MIA President Encik Salihin Abang expressed confidence that the Blueprint would help MIA members and accountants in Malaysia to adopt the technologies that suit their business, whether they are large or small.

(Sources: Bernama)

Naza Communications To Roll Out 1,000 Telco Towers In The Next Five Years

ICT - Malaysia
June 2018

Naza Communications Sdn Bhd (NCSB), a subsidiary of Naza Group of Companies set up in 2013, is planning to roll out more telco towers to increase its footprint in the telecommunication sector. It is targeting to build 300 to 600 towers in 2019, and another 1,000 in the next five years. The company will achieve this target by optimizing upfront investment and maximizing roll outs. It has invested MYR 20 million (USD 5 million) and built 200 towers across the country to date.

NCSB is creating a niche for itself in the competitive telecommunication market by offering future-ready enablement platforms to urban, sub-urban and rural areas. It noted that the market has plenty of room for growth and expansion. Even though technology adoption is happening rapidly across the country, infrastructure lagging or not growing in tandem has caused coverage problems, which it aims to resolve.

Moving forward, the company will look at strategic collaborations, acquisitions and organic growth. It offers to work with non-traditional technology players, or any interested parties to realize the target.

(Sources: New Straits Times; The Edge Markets)

DFTZ Malaysia To receive RM800 Million Investment From MAHB-Cainiao JV

ICT - Malaysia
May 2018

The Malaysian Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) is expected to receive a total investment of RM 800 million (USD 200 million) for its expansion by 2020, from Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), through its joint venture (JV) company with Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (Hong Kong) Ltd. Cainiao Network is the logistics arm of the Alibaba Group. The investment will be directed towards development of the KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park within the DFTZ.

The DFTZ was launched last year through collabporation between the Malaysian Government and the Alibaba Group, to facilitate seamless cross-border trade and enable local businesses to export their goods with a priority for eCommerce.

The expansion plan of the facilities includes cargo terminal, sorting centre, warehouse and operation offices, and entails investment in the systems and equipment for the project. Some 60 acres from the 90-acre piece of land at the KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park will be developed as a regional e-fulfillment hub for Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainiao Network. The remaining 30 acres will be developed for other e-commerce players’ operations under the DFTZ initiative.

The areas of focus for this development are high-grade warehousing and distribution centres on a build-and-lease model to cater for specialised needs such as halal logistics, high-value goods and pharmaceuticals to attract other e-commerce players. The facilities will also include a free commercial zone corridor, an airport cargo freight station to support intermodal connectivity to seaports and big data analytics for operational efficiency.

(Sources: New Straits Times, The Malaysian Reserve, Xin Hua Net)

Cuckoo Electronics To Build RM 100 Million Factory In Malaysia

ICT - Malaysia
April 2018

South Korea’s home appliance maker, Cuckoo Electronics Co. Ltd., announced in March 2018 its plans to build a MYR 100 million (USD 25.7 million) factory in Malaysia to produce water purifier products. The expansion of its manufacturing to Port Klang, Selangor, is expected to bridge the growing demand gap for water purification products in South East Asia.

The company currently has two plants located in Yangsan and Siheung, South Korea, with total production capacity of more than 4.5 million sets annually. Since 2016, Cuckoo Malaysia has become Cuckoo’s South East Asia headquarters, expanding its market reach into Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia.

Moving forward, Cuckoo is planning to build two other factories in Indonesia and India, in addition to the Malaysian factory, to meet the increasingly rising demand. The company is targeting to reach USD 1.5 billion in sales this year, from USD 760 million last year, by expanding its pursuit of customers into Vietnam and India, in addition to its existing network in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore.

(Sources: New Straits Times; Malaysian Business Online)

Malaysian ICT Sector Experiencing Rapid Growth

ICT - Malaysia
March 2018

The Malaysian Department of Statistics has released the following statistics from its Individual and Household Survey Report on ICT Usage and Access in Malaysia:

  • Households having access to the Internet have increased by 15.6 percentage points to 85.7% in 2017, as compared to 70.1% in 2015
  • Households with computer and mobile phone access rose to 74.1% and 98.1% respectively, compared to 67.6% and 97.9% in 2015
  • Individuals using Internet aged 15 years and above in Malaysia rose by 9 percentage points to 80.1% in 2017, from 71.1% in 2015
  • Popular Internet activities carried out by the Internet users include participating in social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others (86.3%); downloading images, films, video or music; playing or downloading games (81.2%); getting information about goods and services (80.4 %); and, downloading software or applications (74.5%). Other activities carried out by Internet users are Internet banking (37.6%), and purchasing or ordering goods or services (23.2%)
  • The percentage of individuals using computers also increased to 69.8% in 2017, from 68.7% in 2015
  • The percentage of individuals using mobile phone rose by 0.2 percentage point in 2017 to 97.7%, from 97.5% in 2015.

(Sources: Department of Statistics; New Straits Times; SME Magazine)

Alibaba Rolls Out First Overseas Smart City AI Platform In Malaysia

ICT - Malaysia
February 2018

Since launching a digital free trade zone with the Malaysian government in November 2017, Alibaba is taking its collaboration one step further. In January 2018, Alibaba Cloud, the company’s cloud computing unit, in partnership with the local ICT agency, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), and the city council of Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), announced a new initiative, the Malaysia City Brain, which is a smart city artificial intelligence (AI) platform aimed at reducing traffic, monitoring the flow of vehicles, and improving urban planning across the country. It is the Chinese vendor’s first such implementation outside its domestic market.

Dubbed the Malaysia City Brain, the AI-powered platform, which is operated on Alibaba’s cloud infrastructure, will be using Alibaba’s data mining and video and image recognition technology, to track traffic volume and speed to automatically detect incidents and optimize the flow of traffic. In the first phase of the project, the tech company will work with DBKL to integrate data from more than 500 cameras across 281 intersections in the country’s capital, and provide real-time analysis to improve traffic efficiency. The second phase will bring in more data sources, such as GPS and the traffic light control system. Given that the Malaysia City Brain is an open platform, it will also have capabilities to integrate data from telecom operators and ride-hailing apps to make the City Brain platform more intelligent. In the future, the private sector, industry partners, and research institutions will also be able to access the data and technology on the platform, as well as to contribute their own algorithms to make it smarter.

(Sources: ZD NET; Tech in Asia; Business Wire)

The Race Towards The First Cashless City – TaPay In Cyberjaya

ICT - Malaysia
January 2018

Competing with the likes of Sweden, India and the United Kingdom, Malaysia has launched its first community-built e-wallet TaPay (Take Action Pay) in the city of Cyberjaya. The launch is in line with Malaysia's plan to reduce cash transaction in the country by 37% in the next three years.

TaPay was formed by the tripartite that consist of Fullrich Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Cyberview Sdn Bhd and Affin Bank Group. The city of Cyberjaya, dubbed as the "Silicon Valley of Malaysia", was selected for the pilot project due to its infrastructure and smart city features. TaPay will roll out in selected shops like restaurants and retailers within Cyberjaya before expanding to Greater Kuala Lumpur, nationwide and eventually across South East Asia. More banks are also being called to join in the collaboration for the cashless initiative. Chinese mobile wallet Alipay is expected to be another payment option in Malaysia by 2018 solidifying the e-wallet trend in the country. 

(Source: The Malaysian Insight)

The Meteoric Rise Of Malaysia’s Logistics – An E-Commerce Driven Sector

ICT - Malaysia
January 2018

Already one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the region, Malaysia was further catapulted by multinational e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd who is setting up its first regional logistics hub outside China in the KLIA Aeropolis Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) Park located in Sepang. Launched in November 2017, the hub includes customs clearance, warehousing and logistics facilities. Additional investment into the hub include Pos Malaysia’s MYR 60 million (USD 15.1 million) facility upgrade. Local supply solutions provider Century Logistics Holdings Bhd will also begin offering their services from this facility in Q1 of 2018.

This accelerating trend in e-commerce has become the driving force behind Malaysia’s logistics sector. In 2017, the logistics sector averaged a total return of 22.8%, outperforming the Malaysian stock exchange, gold exchange and even small capital index. Notable logistics providers in Malaysia that are expected to continue to benefit from the e-commerce boom include:

  • GD Express Carrier Bhd – with a 14% year-on-year increase in revenue, the company expanded its fleet from 654 to 831 units in 2017.
  • Pos Malaysia Bhd - with a 47.8% year-on-year increase in revenue in 2017, the company is stepping up promotional efforts for its PosLaju courier delivery services that saw a 12.6% year-on-year increase in revenue.
  • Xin Hwa Holdings Bhd, a leading land-transport operator which acquired a 50.01% stake in China-based Yiwugou Ecommerce Sdn Bhd for MYR 500,000 (USD 125,700), launching e5buy.com – a portal that provides Malaysian businesses and individuals access to suppliers in China’s Yiwu platform.
  • Tiong Nam Logistics Holdings Bhd became a first-mover, investing in areas that benefit cross-border road and rail transport as well as e-commerce delivery services. Their investments include rental of new warehouses and increase in staffing.
  • Transocean Holdings Bhd recorded a 41.5% year-to-date return at the end of 2017.
  • TASCO Bhd recorded a 39.5% year-to-date return at the end of 2017.

The strong growth potential in the last-mile delivery business is bound to attract new entrants into the market, creating a more vibrant, innovative and competitive sector.

(Source: The Edge Markets)

DHL To Spend USD 365 Million Enhancing Malaysian Data Center

ICT - Malaysia
December 2017

DHL eCommerce, a division of the world's leading logistics company, Deutsche Post DHL Group, is planning to increase its physical footprint in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, with a USD 365 million investment in its IT Services Center (ITSC). It will invest in new, more energy-efficient equipment, and will allow the company to adopt a hybrid cloud operating model. The rest will fund training and career development programs for the site’s 1440 employees. The four-story, 100,000 square foot facility is based in Cyberjaya, and supports its logistics operations in Malaysia. DHL runs another two data centers, in Prague and the US state of Pennsylvania.

DHL's other investments in Malaysia include a 48,000 sq ft central distribution hub in Puchong as well as depots in Penang, Johor Bahru, Cheras and Puchong and a fleet of 2-wheel and 4-wheel vehicles. The fleet of vehicles provide next-day delivery to all urban areas in Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru, and two to fourday delivery to all other locations across West Malaysia and East Malaysia. DHL eCommerce's end-to-end domestic delivery solutions also offer pick-up services, track and trace, reverse logistics, cash on delivery with daily remittance and call center capabilities for deliveries within Malaysia.

According to the company, Malaysia has enormous opportunities, with huge e-commerce growth expected. E-commerce has become a way of life for Malaysians, with 47% already using their smartphones to shop online. The company is banking on the fact that e-tailers need customer service supported by high quality logistics to leverage this immense growth and meet the rapidly changing needs of online shoppers.

(Sources: Deutsche Post DHL Group; Nikkei Asian Review)

Huawei Announces OpenLab In Malaysia

ICT - Malaysia
November 2017

Huawei has announced that it will construct a new OpenLab in Malaysia, which will serve as an open, flexible and secure platform for joint innovation with local partners. The OpenLab will allow Huawei to collaborate with various industry partners worldwide to create customer-centric and innovation solutions that enable digital transformation, while promoting the development of the industry ecosystem. Huawei has built similar OpenLabs in countries such as Singapore, China, Dubai and Munich, and they support extensive cooperation between Huawei and over 400 solution partners worldwide.

The company also signed MoUs with the SME Corporation Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Terengganu State Government, and CyberSecurity Malaysia, in a bid to expand cooperation across a number of domains, including scientific research, innovation, talent, smart campuses, and cyber security.

(Source: Huawei)

Malaysia On Track To Grow Global Tech Start-up Ecosystem

ICT - Malaysia
October 2017

Malaysia reaffirmed its position as a regional hub for tech start-ups with the announcement of leading global venture-builders setting up a presence in Malaysia to help accelerate the growth of start-ups in Malaysia and South East Asia.

Mountain Partners, a Swiss-headquartered 'company builder', will set-up their South East Asia operations hub in Malaysia. The set-up will see Mountain Partners helping more than 15 of their global portfolio companies expand into Malaysia by creating their presence here, and creating more than 400 job opportunities, including more than 50 top C-suite talent roles. Mountain Partners will also set-up a USD 100 million fund to invest in Malaysia and South East Asia tech start-ups.

Additionally, the partnership between the private equity firm Leonie Hill Capital and Japan-based IP Bridge (the largest intellectual property fund management company in Japan) will see Malaysia as the home ground for their venture building initiative that will invest and nurture Malaysian and South East Asian innovative Intellectual Property-based tech start-ups, particularly in IoT, sensor and wearable technology, agri-tech and food-tech. The partnership, through IP Bridge’s global expansion initiative, ManGO Factory, will also relocate more than 10 South East Asian and Japanese start-ups in Malaysia, providing them with facilities, access and market opportunities in Malaysia and Japan. Leonie Hill Capital will provide expertise in commercialization, while IP Bridge will provide expertise on Intellectual Property strategy and advisory.

(Source: Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation)

ECS ICT Apointed Distributor By Hortonworks

ICT - Malaysia
September 2017

ECS ICT Bhd has announced that the company has been appointed as the first distributor of Hortonworks Data Centre Solutions in Malaysia. Hortonworks Data Centre Solutions is an enterprise-ready connected data suite, with end-to-end capabilities for managing data-in-motion and data-at-rest. Under the distributorship deal, ECS will be recruiting new resellers with Hortonworks’ accord, and manage the resellers through the provision of contracting, pricing, order management, joint support for pre-sales and enablement, as well as marketing across Malaysia.

Hortonworks Data Centre Solutions offering will not only enhance ECS distribution portfolio, but it will also benefit the stature of the Group, as ECS is currently a value-added distributor for IBM software in Malaysia.  IBM will resell the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) as its official Hadoop product, while Hortonworks will resell IBM's Data Science Experience (DSX) and BigSQL as part of specially-targeted versions of HDP.

(Sources: The Edge Online; VST ECS)

Huawei, Mimos Sign MoU To Identify Public Safety And Smart City Solutions

ICT - Malaysia
September 2017

MIMOS, Malaysia’s National Research and Development Centre for ICT, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global ICT company Huawei's Malaysia office, agreeing to work together in identifying opportunities related to public safety and smart city projects across the region and jointly develop solutions with Huawei’s Openlab and MIMOS’ Open Innovation Platform.

The partnership will see discussions in an exchange of intelligence to develop technology solutions using both Huawei’s Openlab and MIMOS’ Open Innovation Platform. Both parties intend to work together in the research and development of public safety, based on intelligent video cloud solution in the area of smart city. Huawei first signed an agreement with MIMOS back in 2015 in an effort to promote and develop big data analysis and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for industry applications.

(Sources: Malay Mail Online; Huawei)

Malaysia’s BPO Market To Soar To USD 1.4 Billion By 2021

ICT - Malaysia
August 2017

Malaysia’s BPO market is expected to reach USD 1.4 billion by end of 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9%, according to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest research titled “Business Process Outsourcing Market in Malaysia 2017”. The growth of the BPO market is mainly related to the increase in demand for the customer care segment and high-end analytics solution by Malaysian enterprises.

According to IDC, enterprises that implement Digital Transformation (DX) initiatives in their business will be fraught with challenges due to the lack of expertise to assist in the transition process. Therefore, to stay competitive in the market, enterprises will eventually seek for BPO providers for assistance as they have the experiences and resources required.

(Source: IDC)

Palo Alto Networks Appointed ECS As Authorised Distributor In Malaysia And Brunei

ICT - Malaysia
July 2017

ECS ICT Berhad, Malaysia's leading ICT distributor, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, ECS Pericomp Sdn Bhd has been officially appointed as an authorized distributor for Palo Alto Networks in Malaysia and Brunei. Palo Alto Networks will be able to leverate on ECS' vast ecosystem of channel system integrators to strengthen its market presence in Malaysia and Brunei. As an authorised distributor, ECS will offer the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform, which consists of the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall, Threat Intelligence Cloud and Advanced Endpoint Protection. By delivering highly effective breach prevention capabilities, the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform reduces cybersecurity risk, enabling organisations to focus on expanding business operations.

ECS is a leading distribution hub for ICT products in Malaysia. It distributes a comprehensive range of ICT products comprising notebooks, personal computers, smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, printers, software, network and communication infrastructure, servers, and enterprise software with over 40 leading principals. With a nationwide channel network of more than 6,100 resellers comprising retailers, system integrators and corporate dealers, ECS also provides value-added product support and technical services.

(Source: ECS ICT Berhad, The Edge Markets)

ICT Employees Salaries Is Expected to Grow 6.8% In 2017

ICT - Malaysia
June 2017

The National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) is targeting a 6.8% growth for the average monthly salary of IT professionals this year, bringing it to USD 2,100 which is more than double the amount in 2007.

Pikom expects the ICT contribution to GDP to grow from MYR 152.1 billion (USD 35.46 billion) in 2015 to about MYR 164 billion (USD 38.24 billion) in 2016, which is four times the value ten years ago. The official GDP data for 2016 is expected to be released by the Department of Statistics in September this year.

Pikom also anticipates the share of contribution of the ICT industry to the economy in 2016 to increase to about 18.3% from 17.9% the previous year, with ICT services being the main driver. Among the developments that will have significant impact on the growth and success of the industry include the launch of the Digital Free Trade Zone and the growing digital economy led by e-commerce. The zone is set to become a regional hub for SMEs.

(Source: PIKOM, Bernama)

Celcom Teams Up With Ericsson To Deliver Malaysia's First 5G Trial

ICT - Malaysia
May 2017

Celcom Axiata Berhad and Ericsson have performed Malaysia's first ever 5G trial, pioneering the evolution of the nation's telecommunications technology. It is also the first 5G trial conducted on the 28GHz band in South East Asia. The trial demonstrated Celcom's commitment to bringing the best of technologies to Malaysia.

The trial featured 5G Radio Prototypes, achieving a peak throughput up to 18Gbps (Gigabits per second) and latency as low as 3ms (milliseconds). It also demonstrated futuristic 5G use cases such as robotic control, connected environment, virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT) applications and 4K video streaming over 5G - from video capture at the server end to playback on the 5G prototype device.

This milestone is a result of the 5G memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Celcom and Ericsson in Barcelona in February 2017. The MoU paved the way for a joint partnership to evaluate opportunities for 5G and IoT in Malaysia.

(Source: Ericsson)

Sarawak Government Partners Huawei To Push Digital Economy

ICT - Malaysia
April 2017

Sarawak’s government and Huawei signed a MoU on digital economy cooperation to explore collaboration on State Digital Economy Programmes - these aim to promote economic growth in Sarawak through digital transformation. The East Malaysian state hopes to leverage on Huawei’s ICT technology to develop smart city solutions to strengthen public safety, traffic management control, smart tourism, smart buildings, smart education, e-commerce, and others. Sarawak's initiatives are part of a long-term plan, as outlined in the recently established the Sarawak Socio-Economic Transformation Program, to help the state realize its aspirations to become an economic powerhouse.

Huawei brings its experience of working with over 170 countries on high-speed broadband, wider wireless coverage, new submarine links, smart applications platform and data centers, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to the partnership, and will help Sarawak achieve digital economy transformation. Huawei’s regional hub and its 11 sharing centres are located in Malaysia.

(Source: Bernama)

Malaysia Launches A Digital Free Trade Zone

ICT - Malaysia
March 2017

Malaysia has launched the world’s first Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) this month. DFTZ will provide physical and virtual zones to facilitate SMEs to capitalise on the convergence of exponential growth of the internet economy and cross-border eCommerce activities. It will act as a microcosm to support internet companies to trade goods, provide services, innovate and co-create solutions. DFTZ will be a boost to Malaysia’s eCommerce roadmap that was introduced in 2016, which aims to double the nation’s eCommerce growth and increase the GDP contribution to RM211 billion (approximately US$47.68 billion) by year 2020.

DFTZ’s implementation of physical and virtual zones will be done in phases. The first eFulfillment Hub will be centred at KLIA Aeropolis. KLIA Aeropolis development is centered on the key clusters of air cargo and logistics, aerospace and aviation. The initial phase will be rolled out before the end of 2017 by Alibaba, Cainiao, Lazada and POS Malaysia, leading to the formal launch of Alibaba's facility at the end of 2019.

The other physical component of the DFTZ is the Satellite Services Hub, to be located in Bandar Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur Internet City (KLIC) will be the first satellite services hub of DFTZ and will be developed by another strategic partner, Catcha Group, Southeast Asia’s leading internet group. KLIC is set to be the premier digital hub for global and local internet-related companies targeting Southeast Asia. It will comprise of key players within the internet ecosystem to facilitate end-to-end support, networking and knowledge-sharing that will drive innovation in the internet economy and the eCommerce industry.

(Source: MDEC)

Top ITC Predictions by IDC Malaysia

ICT - Malaysia
March 2017

IDC Malaysia has unveiled its annual predictions for 2017 and beyond, highlighting the impact of emerging technologies and market changes that will drive the future of the Malaysian ICT industry in the next one to three years.

By 2018, new cloud pricing models will emerge for specific analytics workloads, where the growth for cloud analytics solutions will be three times more than on-premises analytics solutions. Many Malaysian organizations will deploy cloud-based analytics software in the next one to two years while some would have already deployed analytics solutions. IDC foresees that Malaysian organizations will continue to shift more critical applications into the cloud platform, and that the demand for cloud analytics will grow exponentially.

By 2018, connected vehicles, insurance telematics, personal wellness, and smart buildings will be four Internet of Things (IoT) use cases in the spotlight across Malaysia, accounting for USD 700 million in forecast spending. 

By 2019, 30% of unregulated enterprise organizations will offer a choose-your-own-device (CYOD) program for eligible employees as their default device policy. Bring your own device (BYOD) will become the primary choice in organizations, with 31% preferring this approach - a stark contrast from 2015 at 19%. Interestingly, 19% pointed to a CYOD model already in place, compared with just 14% when the same survey was conducted in 2015, indicating a growing interest among organizations to strike a balance between employee choice and IT manageability.

(Source: IDC)

InsurTech & FinTech Players Join Hands In Malaysia

ICT - Malaysia
February 2017

U for Life, Malaysia’s first and largest online term life insurance provider together with Jirnexu, the company behind Malaysia’s largest financial comparison website, RinggitPlus.com, announced its strategic partnership – a move to aid consumers in progressing with the digital movement, especially within the insurance technology (InsurTech) and financial technology (FinTech) industries, where U for Life and Jirnexu are leaders respectively.

U for Life has identified a gap in the market for a convenient and affordable online solution for term life insurance. In support of U for Life’s intention to build on their digital distribution of simple hassle-free insurance online, Jirnexu is committed to ensure that RinggitPlus will not just serve as the consumer reference point, but also offer a seamless online application experience for insurance products.

According to Jirnexu, Malaysians are increasingly looking towards alternative channels to find, research and apply for their next financial product. By offering simple term life products such as U for Life, RinggitPlus experienced a 200% growth in digital insurance applications in 2016. It is evident that Malaysians are now prepared to purchase insurance online when the insurance provider offers a market competitive product via a digital platform. This strategic partnership between U for Life and Jirnexu also plays a key role in supporting the government’s drive to embrace the digital economy.

(Source: SME Magazine)

Malaysia Airport Partners With Telekom Malaysia For KLIA Aeropolis

ICT - Malaysia
January 2017

Vads Lyfe (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telekom Malaysia) and Malaysia Airport (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airport Holding) have signed a MoU for the development of integrated telecommunications, ICT and smart services for the KLIA Aeropolis development projects spearheaded by Malaysia Airports. KLIA Aeropolis is an airport city development of over 9,000 acres, extending its commercial reach and economic impact well beyond the airport’s boundaries.

With the MoU in place, Telekom Malaysia and Malaysia Airports will be working closely in strengthening the existing telecommunication and ICT infrastructure at KLIA Aeropolis. At the same time, both parties will explore ways to incorporate smart services through the provisioning of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled smart services. This is envisioned to transform KLIA Aeropolis into a world-class airport city and a tourist destination in itself. The success of KLIA Aeropolis will strengthen Malaysia Airports’ position as a key economic enabler for the country by contributing significantly to national GDP and job creation.

(Source: Telekom Malaysia)

Malaysia's ICT Roadmap A Success

ICT - Malaysia
December 2016

In a bid to advance Malaysia’s standing in ASEAN, the government has drawn up various policies to encourage homegrown companies to venture abroad. Under its 10th Malaysia Plan, several ICT initiatives were announced to transform the nation into an innovative digital economy, which include the Strategic ICT Roadmap and Digital Malaysia.

Malaysia’s ICT roadmap has shown success. The country’s ICT custodian, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), noted that MSC Malaysia—a national initiative designed to attract world-class technology companies to the country - recorded USD 3.88 billion in export sales in 2015, representing an 18% increase over 2014. It also contributed USD 3.64 billion to the national gross domestic product, up 11% from 2014.

The four focus areas of MDEC—the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and data centers, big data analytics (BDA) and e-commerce - contributed about 10%, or USD 393 million, to total export sales in 2015.

(Source: Forbes Custom)