Nswitch Selected as the First TUNE Certified Partner in APAC Region
Feb 21, 2018

February 21, 2018 10:00 PM Hong Kong Time - SEOUL, South Korea--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nasmedia (KOSDAQ:089600) (CEO Kenny Chung), a digital media advertising agency in KT Group of Korea, announced that its proprietary app marketing platform ‘Nswitch’ has been selected as a Certified Partner by TUNE. As a result, Nswitch has been the first TUNE Certified Partner in the APAC region.

On February 12, TUNE announced its new Certified Partners in 2018 through its official website and their marketing channel. The newly selected advertising platforms include Nswitch, Dynalyst, AdAction Interactive, Global wide media and Affle. Of the approximately 1,500 mobile advertising platforms integrated with TUNE, only a total of 33 platforms are registered as the TUNE Certified Partners.

TUNE Certified Partner is defined as a global advertising platform certified by TUNE, mobile analytics and performance marketing platforms. It provides best practices to marketers and advertisers who want to promote app marketing so that clients can get better marketing results.

To become a TUNE Certified Partner, it is necessary to proceed the ‘TUNE Certified Partner Program’. The TUNE Certified Partner Program is divided into three sections in total and 15 details, and can be chosen as a Certified Partner only if all the requirements are met through a rigorous screening process.

In addition, after being selected as a TUNE Certified Partner, it should go through ongoing examination every year to maintain as a Certified Partner.

Byungjo Kim, who is in charge of general affairs for Nswitch in Nasmedia, gave his impression and plans regarding this nomination saying "Nswitch has consistently made efforts to provide better marketing effectiveness to advertisers as a front-runner in Korean market," “We will strive to become and settle as a global advertising platform beyond the Asian market."

Meanwhile, as of February 2018, Nswitch is currently in the second place on TUNE’s global install volume ranking, right behind Google Adwords. Therefore, there is much attention towards the move of Nswitch henceforth as a global advertising platform.

Nswitch website:http://www.nswitch.co.kr/
TUNE website (related to CPP):https://www.tune.com/blog/tune-welcomes-five-new-certified-partners/

Jessica Jang, +82 2 2188 7406

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

Decoding the ‘Private Message’ Culture
Jan 29, 2018

E-commerce vendors expanding into Southeast Asia need a unique sales model for each country. Increasingly, Southeast Asians living in Taiwan and Southeast Asian online celebrities are emerging as the key to social media-based e-commerce.

E-commerce is still in the fledgling stage in Southeast Asia. Most consumers still habitually shop in brick-and-mortar stores where they can see and touch the products. Many harbor doubts about the security and trustworthiness of online shopping platforms.

Aside from trust issues, internet infrastructure is still relatively undeveloped in some Southeast Asian countries. Little bandwidth and slow internet speeds make browsing on mobile devices a tedious affair as images downloads are slow or full of errors, hampering local e-commerce development.

A survey by international consulting firm PwC indicated that consumers in Southeast Asia favor shopping via mobile phone and social media apps more than consumers in other countries.

If consumers don’t trust e-commerce platforms, finding the right product online is as difficult as looking for a needle in a haystack. However, since mobile phone use is widespread, Southeast Asian consumers are much more open to shopping in the social media world through apps such as Instagram, Facebook or Line.

“The biggest obstacle to online shopping for Southeast Asian consumers is [the lack of] trust,” observes Tai Fan-chen, deputy head of the Commerce Technology Application Research Division of the Commerce Development Research Institute (CDRI).

Although each country has a distinct culture and background, Tai says, Southeast Asian nations have one point in common - they all greatly value personal contact.

Therefore, social media platforms that provide such a “human touch” are very popular and an important channel for reaching out to potential customers. Comparable to direct selling, this type of e-commerce model exploits interpersonal relationships to generate profits or entice people into making a purchase.

When you ask Taiwanese and Malaysian e-commerce companies what is indispensable to know when one wants to be successful in the Southeast Asian market, they will inevitably tell you: Private message or chat room economy.

What is Meant by Private Message Culture?

Private message culture means that customers use social media platforms and messaging apps to ask all kinds of questions about a product before they decide to place an order.

They inquire about product features such as size, measurements and price, or want to know how to place an order: how to navigate the site, make a money transfer, accept a delivery, and so on. While online shoppers in Taiwan are used to these logistics processes from order to delivery, inexplicable problems can crop up anywhere along the way in Southeast Asia.

“What occurs most often is that people ask you how to place an order; people here are used to letting you help them order,” explains Zhi Qing Wong, a customer representative at the Malaysian subsidiary of Taiwanese cosmetics company All Young.

“Many people are lazy,” remarks Ng Shern Yau, co-founder and COO of Hong Kong-based Logistics Worldwide Express (LWE), which uses Malaysia as its logistics and customer service hub. Ng points out that some people get in touch not to ask the price, but rather to haggle about the price, which would not be possible if they order through a website. “Malaysians like to haggle,” notes Ng.

Consumers in different markets also differ. Shoppers in the Philippines tend to be impulse buyers, whereas Malaysian consumers tend to hesitate and think over purchase decisions for some time.

“They love chatting; I once spent an hour answering a customer's questions, but he waited a month before placing his order,” recalls Eng Sin Yee, customer representative at Taiwanese online cosmetics and body care retailer Shopping99.

Hsu Yi-chih, general manager of Vacanza Accessory, a jewelry vendor who is also active in Malaysia and Vietnam, points out that communication with new customers is time-consuming and therefore costly. Consumers expect an exchange of several private messages, and even after all their questions have been answered, they do not necessarily make a purchase. “They want to chat with you to confirm that you are a real person,” Hsu points out. (Read: Appealing to Southeast Asian Markets with Taiwanese Quality)

In Taiwan, online vendors often use endorsements by Internet stars or manage social media communities because this has proven the most effective approach for building reputation and trustworthiness in Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asian Graduates in Taiwan Manage Social Media Communities

Shopping99 counts among the Taiwanese online vendors who expanded into overseas markets at an early date. Last summer, the company made a second attempt to win the Malaysian market, relying on Malaysians living in Taiwan to manage social media communities in their home country from Taiwan.

Shopping99 co-founder and chief marketing manager Sharon Peng has hired Malaysians who graduated from universities in Taiwan and put them in charge of marketing, social media, customer service and promotional live broadcasts because they know best how to communicate with Malaysian consumers.

A mobile phone, two hosts, three products and four spotlights are all it takes to get rolling for a live broadcast on the latest must-have beauty products sold on Shopping99.

“You definitely won’t find this in Malaysia…,” the two Malaysian hosts, Fang Wan-yi and Huang Hsin-yi, tell their live audience. The pair, who speak Mandarin, English and Cantonese aside from their mother tongue Malay, smoothly switch from one language to another when introducing products. During the broadcast, they occasionally respond to online messages from viewers.

The live broadcasts take place two to three times per week lasting 20 minutes to half an hour. During the program, Fang and Huang not only advertise the products but also present life in Taiwan. They once did a live broadcast from an Ay-Chung Flour-Rice Noodles outlet, and also filmed an episode comparing different bubble milk teas.

“We don’t do live broadcasts only to sell stuff; sometimes it is to build brand recognition and intimacy,” notes Peng. The broadcasts help convince customers that Shopping99 is a legitimate shopping website and enlivens the fan community so that people ask questions when they consider a purchase.

Aside from managing their own social media communities, the fastest way for companies to boost their brands is to directly partner with online influencers who take advantage of their popularity and their fans’ trust to feature products in their videos.

Teaming Up with Internet Celebrities

“Online celebrities and online models are not the same. Online celebrities must have their own ideals. What we are doing now is steering online celebrities’ focus away from simply viewer numbers to gaining their viewers’ trust,” explains Kokee Lau, general manager Greater China for Malaysian online artist management agency Red People. Taiwanese online cosmetics retailer 86shop collaborates with Red People to boost the site’s popularity in Malaysia through online influencers.

Shopping99 also once invited Philippine online celebrity Sachzna Laparan, who has more than a million followers, to Taiwan. During the four-days, three-night trip she not only promoted products in live broadcasts but also food and fun activities in Taiwan, which greatly boosted interaction with her fans.

Marketing by Compatriots Engenders More Trust

Another trend that has recently emerged is Taiwanese companies collaborating with Southeast Asian social media influencers who live in Taiwan to promote their products among migrant workers and immigrants from Southeast Asia.

Indonesian national Anny Ting has lived in Taiwan for 16 years. She is well-known among Taiwan’s Indonesian community as the host of an award-winning radio program. Ting also works as a translator, voice-over artist and, most recently, in a new capacity as live broadcast celebrity.

As a Muslim, Ting often wears a headscarf. She is known for her acute fashion sense and ability to pick the right colors, and is often asked where she buys her headscarves.

“Sister, I want to buy the same scarf as yours,” is a request Ting often hears from migrant workers.

Last October, a Taiwanese headscarf maker asked Ting to present their products. So she launched live broadcasts on social media such as Facebook and Line promoting cosmetics, health and body care, make-up brushes and wireless karaoke microphones, eliciting an overwhelming response from her audience.

Ting reveals that of all the products she has endorsed, the headscarves have so far proven most popular, while clothing and body care are also selling well. On average, customers spend between NT$1,000 and NT$2,000 per purchase. Clearly, this is a previously overlooked market segment.

Ting is convinced that “trust” is the key reason why her live broadcasts became a success. “Because I used to be a migrant worker, the Indonesians in Taiwan feel that I am one of them,” she notes.

Evidently, understanding the market, localizing marketing and building trust among consumers are the keys to e-commerce success in Southeast Asia.

Translated from the Chinese article by Susanne Ganz

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

GrabPay launches next phase of growth with new Managing Director for GrabPay in Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines
Jan 09, 2018

Ooi Huey Tyng adds more than 25 years of experience from senior payments roles in Southeast Asia incl. Visa, DBS, UOB, and Citi
Appointment comes as GrabPay successfully onboards 1,000 merchants in Singapore for 2017

Singapore, 8 January 2018 – Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, today announced it has appointed Ooi Huey Tyng as Managing Director, GrabPay Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippines. Based in Singapore, Huey Tyng brings on board more than 25 years of experience in senior positions at global banks and leading payments providers. Following shortly after a number of GrabPay milestones to end 2017, this appointment underlines the scale of the payments platform’s ambitions coming into 2018.

Huey Tyng joins Grab from Visa, where she was the Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei. During her time, Huey Tyng drove the company’s innovation and digital roadmap as well as the strategic engagement of regional banks headquartered in Singapore. Prior to that, Huey Tyng held leadership roles at DBS, UOB, and Citi among others, where she was responsible for managing retail cards businesses, co-branding and rewards partnerships, as well as engagement with merchants. Huey Tyng also served as a representative to the MAS Payments Council and the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE).

“Huey Tyng brings deep leadership expertise from some of the region’s premier banks and payments providers. Her experience with our current and potential payments partners will be invaluable as GrabPay moves into its next phase of growth. Millions of people in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines are still heavily dependent on cash. Huey Tyng’s skills in forging business partnerships across each country will enable us to bring more merchants and consumers into the cashless future faster,” said Jason Thompson, Managing Director, GrabPay Southeast Asia.

Commenting on her new role, Huey Tyng says, “It’s an exciting moment to join Grab. There are unique opportunities and challenges in the payment space for each country in Southeast Asia. For instance, even in highly-developed Singapore, more than 20,000 merchants remain primarily cash-based. With GrabPay, we can complement the work of our partners and offer millions of consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines the opportunity to go cashless.”

To close out 2017, GrabPay onboarded a total of 1,000 merchants in Singapore, reaching its target a mere two months after launching its in-store and in-restaurant payments service. For 2018, the payments platform will continue to focus on Singapore’s more than 20,000 local, cash-based merchants who will see the most immediate benefits from adopting cashless. In Malaysia, GrabPay was granted the e-money licence by Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia’s central monetary authority. As a result, consumers in Malaysia will be able to pay with Grab in restaurants, shops and online, starting in the first half of 2018. End of December, Grab also moved beyond transport in the Philippines to launch its peer-to-peer (P2P) fund transfer feature. In the cash-heavy Philippines, this feature enables Grab consumers to send GrabPay Credits to one another in an instantaneous, simple and secure way.

As Grab plans to expand all payments services across SEA in 2018, these milestones continue to mark Grab’s transformation from Southeast Asia’s largest on-demand transportation platform to the region’s #1 consumer internet platform.

Today, the Grab platform facilitates more than 3.5 million transactions daily. To support the growth of the GrabPay platform, Grab also made a number of business announcements in 2017:

  • The appointment of Jason Thompson, a former Managing Director for EMEA and Asia at Euronet, to lead GrabPay as Managing Director, GrabPay Southeast Asia.
  • The acquisition of Kudo, one of Indonesia’s leading O2O (online to offline) ecommerce platforms, followed by a partnership with leading payments services PayTren to form Indonesia’s largest network of more than 3 million micro-entrepreneurs
  • The appointment of Vikas Agrawal as CTO of GrabPay and Ongki Kurniawan as Managing Director of GrabPay Indonesia
  • The launch of a revamped GrabRewards platform, one of Southeast Asia’s largest loyalty programmes with more than 160 Rewards partners

    SOURCE / Grab

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

    How Innovative Payment Methods Can Change Your Business
    Dec 28, 2017

    In this modern world, it is vital that you are constantly on the lookout for new ways to save money, time, and effort. Otherwise, you will end up being left behind and lose your competitive edge. Most young businesses fail due to cashflow challenges, and so forward thinking is especially important when it comes to financial transactions. Giving and receiving funds is a huge part of daily life, so it is important that you understand the process. Long gone are the days of writing a check and waiting days for it to be cashed. Even tangible capital and pin machines are beginning to look dated. That is why you should embrace innovative payment methods.

    Innovative payment methods can keep you organized

    If you really struggle to keep on top of your budget and cashflow, you really must get your affairs in order. Take advantage of direct debits and standing orders to pay bills so that you never miss a pay date. By understanding your income and regular outgoings, you will be able to set yourself financial goals and regain control of your accounts. Using technology and innovative payment methods allows your accounting systems to record transactions accurately, which is essential for your business’s success – and your accountant’s happiness!

    Innovative payment methods can save you effort

    Innovative payment methods have transformed how we consume. They enable you to save considerable time and effort having to buy either goods or services. For instance, when you buy items online, you can avoid lengthy queues and the inconvenience of having to physically attend a brick and mortar store. Think about when you want to attend a sporting fixture or concert, and you find out when the tickets are being released; you no longer have to queue at a ticket office, but can easily access them online from companies such as Ticket Sales at a time that is convenient to you. This is a quick and easy way method for you to obtain exactly the tickets you want and at the best price available.

    Innovative payment methods can save you time

    You should also embrace innovative payment methods in an effort to save valuable time. Making use of contactless alternatives, such as fit-pay, will help you to deal with your transactions at lightning speed. When you are struggling to manage a busy schedule, every second counts. If you are going to secure success in life, you need to ensure you are making the most of your time.

    Innovative payment methods can send a message

    Making use of these payment methods will also help you to send a message that you are forward-thinking and up to date with technology. This is especially important if you are a business professional who is looking to impress your industry peers or your valuable clients – you want your business to be streamlined for efficiency, and that itself is attractive to current and potential customers, and will convey the message that you are a slick operating business.

    mybitwallet introduces Payment Request feature
    JCN Newswire
    Nov 13, 2017

    Singapore/Tokyo, Nov 11 - JCN Newswire - mybitwallet, a world-wide, online payment services e-wallet, is pleased to announce the availability of a new Payment Request feature for businesses and individual users of the mybitwallet payment service. The new feature offers an easy and convenient way for merchants or other users to request and collect online payments from among mybitwallet account holders and send custom Payment Requests with complete tracking and payment receipts which are automatically sent to both parties with each transaction.

    The new service is designed for any number of everyday situations. It is for friends or colleagues who simply want to share the expenses of food and drink easily among themselves. It is for borrowers who may wish to repay their debts incrementally, or for service providers who may want to receive monthly or periodic payments. By using this service, anyone with mybitwallet can issue a Payment Request in an ad-hoc way, or make payments promptly and securely, between friends or clients or for any periodic or impromptu payments for business.

    Benefits for users sending Payment Requests --
    Friends using mybitwallet Payment Request system can exchange funds without actually meeting, while businesses can receive a more stable collection of funds or monthly payments by using the Payment Request system. Moreover, senders of a Payment Request may limit payment methods to those available for a particular friend or client as a means of settlement.

    Senders of a Payment Request can normally select from various payment methods, such as credit-card settlement, mybitwallet account, or mybitwallet plus credit-card payment, while a Payment Request may also be sent to someone who doesn't have a mybitwallet account. After a Payment Request is sent, the sender may change or even cancel the request if it hasn't yet been paid.

    Benefits for customers receiving Payment Requests --
    Customers who receive a Payment Request won't have to visit a bank or convenience store for fund transfers, rather they may withdraw the requested amount from a mybitwallet account or settle by credit-card. Further, customers can make payments without any worry, as an invoice with details of the item(s) and sender of the request will always be attached to the e-mail.

    With the release of the Payment Request feature on mybitwallet, businesses and other users will be able to collect payments more conveniently, while customers will able to respond to requests with a transfer of funds more easily. The team at mybitwallet is available 24/7 to help you with your daily payments or collections of sales proceeds.

    Payment Request service flow --
    Businesses or other users who wish to send a Payment Request can easily send a request email with a PDF invoice attached to a specified email address. Each email also has a link to the 'make payment' page and a list of the outstanding items on the customer's account.

    Customers receiving a Payment Request e-mail may easily make the payment by logging in to mybitwallet and accessing the one-time payment screen by clicking the URL in the request email from the sender. From that payment screen, payment can be easily made. The remittance fee will be borne by the user on the sending side, while the same applies if the payment is made by card settlement.

    About mybitwallet

    mybitwallet digital Wallet was introduced in 2016 by E PROTECTIONS PTE LTD, which was founded in Singapore in 2012. mybitwallet is a leading online payment solution driven by a team of passionate disruptors determined to create a seamless payment platform for business owners and merchants around the world and their clients.

    mybitwallet aims to provide not only the world's best multi-currency, real-time payment experience for all mybitwallet users, but the world's best complete payment solution experience across all industries. Please visit our official 'mybitwallet' site athttps://mybitwallet.com.

    Contact: mybitwallet
    Jasmine Chang
    T: +65 6221 0111
    E: jasminechang@epro.sg

    Japan Customer Service
    T: +81 3 6893 0958
    E: info@mybitwallet.com

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

    Company JCN Newswire
    Contact Tiara Liu
    Telephone +81-3-5791-1821
    E-mail info@japancorp.net
    Benefits of Indonesia’s digital economy will be felt nationwide
    Oct 14, 2017

    10 October 2017 --( ASIA TODAY )-- JAKARTA, Indonesia: As Indonesia’s rapidly growing digital economy promises to deliver benefits for businesses and end-users across the nation, the full impact on each sector, potential challenges to overcome and how it will change the country’s landscape will be discussed at the Indonesia Digital Economy Summit, which forms part of Communic Indonesia and Broadcast Indonesia 2017.

    This year’s conference comes at a time of great innovation in Indonesia, with the nation’s government having launched an e-Commerce Roadmap that aims to create 1,000 new tech start-ups. The country is aiming to become ASEAN’s largest digital economy by 2020, with cyber sovereignty seen as a key factor in achieving this target.

    Among those hailing the potential of the new digital economy is Hana Abriyansyah, Chief Information Security Officer, PT Midtrans, who will share his view that this new digital ecosystem will lead to cyber sovereignty for Indonesia on a panel titled “Cyber Sovereignty: Should Countries Impose Localized Cyber Laws and Regulations?”

    “Indonesia is an emerging technology nation, with the tech startups that have grown over the last decade having a huge impact and creating a vast potential market,” said Abriyansyah. “The Indonesian government needs to support the infrastructure, regulation and education around the subject to ensure that we as a nation are ready for the global trends of digital technology. Cyber sovereignty will help us do this by improving our cyber security, our technological infrastructure and our digital economy.”

    Vertical industries such as healthcare will also reap the rewards of the digital economy, according to Freidrik Nainggolan, President Director of PT. Segen Medical Nasional. He will tell delegates that new technologies will deliver great benefits to the industry, making it more patient-centric and saving time and money for healthcare professionals.

    “With the number of medical specialists such as radiologists and cardiologists in Indonesia still limited, it is incredibly difficult to provide good quality healthcare services for all, especially those in remote areas,” said Nainggolan. “Telemedicine can improve this level of care, give the patients the service and attention they deserve and save logistical costs for healthcare providers as tasks become more automated.

    “The cloud will deliver a particularly great benefit to the Indonesian healthcare system, storing records accessibly and safely for access by the full range of doctors and specialists. It also means healthcare providers can scale services to fit their needs and deliver applications quickly without concerning themselves with underlying infrastructure costs.”

    The media industry is also likely to gain from innovation in the digital sector, with Desmond Poon, CTO, PT First Media/Link Net, saying that changes in strategy will improve customer experience.

    “With so much content being consumed over an internet connection, the data analytics that are now available can provide broadcasters and service providers with new insights into subscriber viewing behavior,” said Poon. “These can be combined with rich metadata and recommendation engines, which helps improve content discovery and introduces personalized search for the consumer, improving viewing experience and retention. This is also the case with broadband connectivity, where insights into internet traffic and user tendencies can help identify network performance issues.”

    Abriyansyah, Nainggolan and Poon will all be speaking at the conference sessions at the Indonesia Digital Economy Summit, part of Communic Indonesia and Broadcast Indonesia 2017, which is hosted by MASTEL and will take place at the Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran, in Jakarta, from Wednesday, October 25 to Friday, October 27.

    Abriyansyah’s panel “Cyber Sovereignty: Should Countries Impose Localized Cyber Laws and Regulations?” takes place on Thursday, October 26 at 2pm. Poon will feature on the panel “Embracing a Customer-First Strategy: Envisioning the Future of TV”, which is at 9.45am on Thursday, October 26, and Nainggolan will present his case study on “Cloud in the Healthcare Industry” at 1pm on the same day.

    The full conference schedule can be found here:http://www.communicindonesia.com/conference/.

    For more information, please visit:http://www.communicindonesia.com orhttp://www.broadcast-indonesia.com


    PR Contact
    Hermin Susanti (Santi)
    PT Pamerindo
    Tel: 021 – 2525 320
    Mobile: 081295284156
    Email: santi@pamerindo.com

    Jayne Brooks
    Proactive International PR
    Tel: +44 1636 704 888
    Email: jayne.brooks@proactive-pr.com

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

    Interactive Gaming Techniques Bring the Industry Into the 21st century
    Oct 03, 2017

    There is no doubt that platforms such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis are the pillars of the modern gaming industry. However, such humble roots are now being overshadowed by the role of the interactive platform. No longer are we subject to the confines of a console or a hard-wired controller. On the contrary, our everyday experiences are being reshaped thanks to a synergy of personal preferences and modern technology. How are interactive gaming techniques causing this industry to evolve and what advancements are set to take centre stage in the not-so-distant future?

    Ground-Up Interaction

    Developers are keen to obtain the input of their dedicated fans. Not only will this serve to streamline the creation of a game, but catering to the needs of constituents guarantees loyalty into the future. This is why a number of Kickstarter campaigns have attempted to provide investors with an active role during the creative process. So, it is now possible to interact with a game before it is ever released.

    Bringing the Spectator into the Equation

    It is not only the players who wish to enjoy superior levels of interaction. The prevalence of platforms such as Twine clearly indicates that spectators are enjoying an increasingly interactive presence. This will have two notable impacts upon the entire industry. First, the role of social media will become much more prominent. Secondly, word of mouth is likely to spread much faster. Should a game prove to be popular, the creators can expect to enjoy a wealth of success.

    The Physical Side of Interactive Gaming

    Traditional board games such as Monopoly and Chess will always appeal to players. However, technology is playing an equally important role in the ultimate user experience. This observation has not been missed by developers, as there are many firms which are seeking to create an amalgamation of digital tech and physical gameplay. Some of these unique platforms will soon be released to the market. Casingdom have a prototype "Shock to the System" board game which should be quite popular with poker players. Through the use of wireless technology and wearable wristbands, participants are given mild electric shocks when they annoy others or make a mistake. Not only can this "level the playing field", but gamers will undoubtedly enjoy a much more engaging overall experience.

    Virtual Reality to Become a Commercial Reality?

    Although the concept of virtual reality has been popular with science fiction writers for decades, it remained out of touch until recently. AI has already had an immense impact within the world of interactive gaming and many industry leaders feel that we are only scratching the surface. This is primarily a result of the fact that such devices are now becoming affordable to the average consumer. No longer will only a few name brands dominate the marketplace. As competition grows, the prices of this hardware will likewise fall. This should ultimately result in AI becoming a mainstay within the world of digital gaming. When we take into account that wireless technology enables players to interact with one another, it may not be long before we witness the birth of entirely digital AI social media platforms.

    These are some of the techniques which are serving to redefine the role of interactive gaming within the 21st century. The majority of developers now realise the impact that such approaches will have upon the experience of the player and therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to expect even more unique systems to be unveiled in the years to come.

    Southeast Asia’s Lifestyle Consumers
    Sep 19, 2017

    New HKTDC study finds ASEAN consumers focus on quality, style and online reviews.

    Hong Kong trade with its second-largest trading partner looks set to expand following the conclusion of three years of negotiations on a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Set to be formalised in November, the agreement adds new impetus to a new Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) study, which found the outlook for quality, unique-style products and services remains bright in the region.

    The study of markets in the ASEAN economies, conducted in the second quarter of 2017, surveyed more than 1,400 middle-income class consumers in Jakarta, Surabaya, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Manila.

    “Travel and leisure were found to be the most popular spending category among ASEAN middle-class consumers,” said HKTDC Principal Economist (Asian and Emerging Markets) Dickson Ho. About 56 per cent of respondents indicated that this was among their top spending categories in the past two years. In second place was health, beauty and wellness (36%), followed by fashion (32%),

    “On the other hand, fashion has the biggest growth potential, with 63 per cent of respondents saying they would spend more on fashion in the next two years,” Mr Ho added. This was followed by travel and leisure (54%) and health, beauty and wellness (36%).

    Local Brand Preference

    The study also revealed that ASEAN consumers were spending more on local brands than overseas ones, although Hong Kong brands that offer good design and quality enjoy a good reputation.

    “The results showed that many Hong Kong brands are well-known among ASEAN middle-class consumers, who would like to see more of these introduced to their home countries,” said Mr Ho.

    An overwhelming 95 per cent of respondents said they were willing to spend more on products with better quality, while 89 per cent liked “personal style,” said Mr Ho. “These ASEAN consumers also exhibited a great desire to try trendy and novel items, with 83 per cent saying they were always willing to try new brands and products.”

    Environmental features, certifications, good design and packaging were found to be among ASEAN consumers’ product selection criteria. “Brands have to create value beyond their core functions to succeed in the ASEAN market,” Mr Ho said.

    The survey found that ASEAN middle-class consumers were multi-channel shoppers, with their purchasing decisions heavily affected by online reviews. “At least 50 per cent of respondents have made purchases online or used both online and offline channels,” said Mr Ho. “More than 50 per cent also reported that social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, had influenced their buying decisions. This shows that Hong Kong suppliers can use social media platforms to market products to ASEAN consumers.”

    Export Confidence

    The study comes as the latest HKTDC survey of trader confidence showed a slight dip in overall sentiment. “The HKTDC Export Index dropped to 46.2 in the third quarter of the year (3Q17) from a four-year high of 50.1 recorded in the preceding quarter (2Q17),” said HKTDC Director of Research Nicholas Kwan.

    “This shows that local exporters have become slightly negative about prospects for Hong Kong’s export performance in the near term,” said Mr Kwan, noting that the reading was dragged down by the clothing, toys, jewellery and timepiece sectors.

    The HKTDC Export Index monitors the current export performance of Hong Kong traders and gauges their near-term prospects. Readings above and below 50 indicate positive and negative sentiment, respectively. The Index covers markets in the United States, the European Union, Japan and the Chinese mainland.

    Mainland most promising, US least encouraging

    “By market, a marginal decline in confidence swept across the board,” said HKTDC Principal Economist (Global Research) Daniel Poon, noting that the Chinese mainland “remained the most promising market, while the United States was least encouraging.”

    The mainland, Hong Kong’s largest trading partner, was the only market that stayed above the watershed 50 mark – with a reading of 51.5 in Q317, down from 51.9 in the preceding quarter.

    The European Union scored 49.5, followed by Japan with 48.6. The US posted a reading of 47, down from 48.1 in 2Q17 and 50.3 in 1Q17. “While exporters were once positive on the US in the beginning of 2017, confidence in the market slid down over the course of the year,” Mr Poon said.

    The survey also indicates that the perceived impact of Brexit on Hong Kong’s export performance continues to decrease. The new research found that 91 per cent of respondents report “no impact” so far from the United Kingdom’s eventual withdrawal from the European Union. The figure was 86 per cent in 1Q17 and 83 per cent in 3Q16. Only eight per cent of responding exporters in the latest survey anticipated a negative impact, down from 13 per cent in 1Q17 and 17 per cent in 3Q16.

    Meanwhile, the perceived effect of US protectionism under the Trump administration on Hong Kong’s export performance also declined. Among respondents, 81 per cent said they saw no impact, compared with 71 per cent in 1Q17. In the latest survey, 18 per cent of respondents expected a negative impact, down from 27 per cent recorded in 1Q17.

    “Among the exporters affected in the UK and US markets, the majority planned to respond by developing new markets,” said Mr Poon.

    Alipay launches its mobile payment gateway at Changi Airport
    Sep 07, 2017

    Alipay and Changi Airport Group (CAG) today announced the signing of a strategic five-year partnership agreement, to roll out the Alipay mobile payment option in Changi Airport on a wide scale. A joint marketing agreement was also inked, for both parties to offer customised and targeted shopping and dining offers to Chinese passengers using Alipay.

    Alipay, operated by Ant Financial Services Group, is the world’s leading online and mobile payment platform with over 520 million active users. Alipay is the first Chinese mobile payment partner for Changi Airport. Changi Airport’s yearly concession sales grew 5% to hit another new high at S$2.3 billion in 2016, with travellers from China accounting for a third of all retail sales last year as one of the top spenders at the airport. This new mobile payment option will allow travellers to enjoy yet another convenient payment mode when shopping and dining at various commercial offerings at Changi Airport – including the Cosmetics & Perfumes and Wines and Spirits duty free shops.

    The Alipay mobile payment service has been progressively offered as a new payment mode by Changi Airport’s tenants since May 2017, and is now available at more than 78 shopping and dining outlets at Changi Airport.

    Value-added experiences for Alipay users

    Under the joint marketing agreement, Alipay and CAG will collaborate to create passenger-centric content, providing information on ongoing promotions, as well as location-based information about shopping and dining options at the airport.

    In addition, Alipay is also partnering CAG in the eighth season of the "Be a Changi Millionaire" anchor shopping promotion, providing publicity outreach for the event with their extensive marketing network in China. Shoppers who use Alipay as a payment mode when making their purchases will double their chances of winning the S$1 million cash prize or an all-new Volvo S90 luxury sedan.

    Ms Teo Chew Hoon, CAG’s Senior Vice President for airside concessions said, “Changi Airport provides a myriad of customised services for our Chinese travellers – including our mandarin-speaking shopping concierge services and Chinese version of the airport’s online shopping portal, iShopChangi. The Alipay mobile platform provides a brand new payment option to further enhance our Chinese travellers’ shopping experience here at Changi, while also providing personalised information and offers for their enjoyment. Looking ahead, we will continue to work with our partners to explore other ways to provide an exceptional Changi Experience for our passengers.”

    Douglas Feagin, head of Alipay International said, “We are so happy to be working with Changi Airport and its various merchants, connecting them with Chinese travellers and helping them better target their Chinese customers via big-data-based marketing capabilities. Users at different locations and with different user profiles will receive targeted marketing content.”

    Alipay will also be made available as a mode of payment at Changi Airport Terminal 4 when it begins operations from 31 October 2017.

    About Alipay

    Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently has over 520 million active users and over 200 domestic financial institution partners. Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Over 10 million brick-and-mortar merchants now accept Alipay across China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers more than 30 countries across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 24 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 19 currencies.

    About Changi Airport Group

    Changi Airport Group (Singapore) Pte Ltd (CAG) (www.changiairportgroup.com) was formed on 16 June 2009 and the corporatisation of Singapore Changi Airport (IATA: SIN, ICAO: WSSS) followed on 1 July 2009. As the company managing Changi Airport, CAG undertakes key functions focusing on airport operations and management, air hub development, commercial activities and airport emergency services. CAG also manages Seletar Airport (IATA: XSP, ICAO: WSSL) and through its subsidiary Changi Airports International, invests in and manages foreign airports.

    Changi Airport is the world's sixth busiest airport for international traffic.It served a record 58.7 million passengers from around the globe in 2016. Including the soon-to-be-opened Terminal 4, Changi Airport will have 400 retail and service stores, as well as 140 F&B outlets. With over 100 airlines providing connectivity to 380 cities worldwide, Changi Airport handles about 7,000 flights every week, or about one every 90 seconds.

    Corporate & Marketing Communications
    (65) 8608 3522

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com

    Goldpac Group Limited:Sharing Economy Blossoms in the Sky -- AA Jet, China's first private jet travel sharing platform
    Aug 30, 2017

    3 August 2017, the world's fourth largest and China's top ranked payment solutions provider, Goldpac Group Limited ("Goldpac" or the "Group", stock code: 03315.HK) announced that Goldpac has entered into a strategic cooperation with AA Jet, to jointly build China's first-ever flight sharing platform for private jets, taking the sharing economy to the skies.

    From the rapid development of the sharing economy business model exemplified by Uber and DIDI Taxi, AA Jet, a realization of the sharing economy concept for aviation market, was born. Capitalizing on Cloud-based technologies and Big Data, AA Jet changes the traditional model for private jets bookings management and is ushering in brand new rules for the market. This effectively complements the blueprint for a sharing economy that now ranges from cycling to driving and from driving to flying.

    As an explorer and pioneer in the sharing economy business model, Goldpac is leveraging its technological innovation to build an effective and precise information-sharing platform for private jets travel and to set the standard for a flight sharing concept that brings together Cloud-based services, Artificial Intelligence, Data Analysis and Precision Marketing. Through AI and Big Data, the platform offers apps and push notification capabilities for business and private operators to connect supply and demand for the private jet market and to provide more localized and bespoke services. The platform will enhance efficiency, reduce costs and mitigate resource wastage in the private jet market.

    Mr. LI Jun, CTO of Goldpac, said, "As a platform provider, Goldpac is leveraging its industry leading competiveness and resource advantages, to satisfy the needs for a sharing economy based on resource upgrades and synergy effects. By proactively capitalizing on Cloud-based technologies and Big Data, Goldpac is driving innovation to deliver more creative products and services. Through industrial cooperation and redundant market activation, further integration of cross-industry resources and market demand will be further promoted. Goldpac is committed to providing safer, easier to use and more efficient total solutions and diversified Fintech services to realize the creation of shared value."

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution http://www.AsiaToday.com