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Tech News

15-09-2017
Innovation and Technology Venture Fund

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

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22-06-2018
World Cup projected to boost APAC ad spend to US$216M

Last year was a year of weaker growth in advertising expenditure as consumer-packaged goods companies and traditional high advertising spenders to announced huge cuts to spend in 2017, says Dentsu Aegis Network.The recently released bi-annual report titled “Dentsu Aegis Network Global Ad Spend Forecasts June 2018” noted that giants such as P&G and Unilever are battling to cope with low growth and the rise of e-commerceAsia Pacific is growth areaHowever, the June 2018 forecasts for global ad spend points to a more positive 2018 for Asia Pacific (APAC) ad spend than was previously expected. Indeed, the report pegged Asia as a major growth area, contributing to a substantial portion (41%) of the global increase. Comparatively, North America accounts for 32%, Western Europe accounts for 13% with Latin America at 8% and Eastern Europe 5%.Ad-spend growth will rise from 4.0% in 2017 to hit 4.5% in 2018 in the region, higher than the 4.2% forecast in January 2018 – and taking total investment to USD 215.95 billion. This was attributed to regional events such as the 2018 Winter Olympics hosted in South Korea earlier this year, the 2018 World Cup in Russia kicking off last week, and the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia and Australia’s federal election.And in line with the rest of the world, digital ad spend in APAC is projected to reach 45.5% of APAC share (TV 33.5%). Digital will be the leading advertising channel in 2018 in seven out of the 14 markets tracked, with fully one quarter (25.2%) of APAC ad spend delivered through mobile devices for the first time.Top countriesIn China, the advertising market is predicted to grow by 6.5%, up from the previous forecast of 5.4%, to reach RMB 630 billion – 16.2% of global ad investment. Similar to global trend of tech giants accounting for a major part of ad spend, ecommerce platforms Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT) are forecasted to contribute around 80% of this growth in China.Ad spend in Australia will be primarily driven by government and pre-election related advertising at a growth of 2.8%. Digital media is expected to increase by 6.1% in 2018, representing 48% share of the total media spend. Finally, investment in India’s ad spend is also expected to grow by 10.5% to reach 624 billion rupees.“The region as a whole displays a positive outlook with increasing growth rates. We are seeing upward revisions in most key markets, with India, the Philippines and Vietnam showing high rates of growth. Spend in China continues to grow at pace, though driven almost entirely by the ecommerce platforms, Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu,” said Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific.“Digital remains the dominant growth area with a quarter of Asia Pacific advertising spend expected to be delivered through mobile for the first time. Digital will be the leading form of advertising in half of the markets that we track in the region,” he said.Further reading:APAC ad spend to increase by US$8.1 billion this yearOnline ad spend in China impacts the region3 trends that will shape mobile marketing in Asia in 2018 Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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21-06-2018
TMT sector to boost HK to top three IPO destination in 2018

The Hong Kong IPO market is on track to grow to HK$250b this year thanks to several planned mega-sized technology IPOs, according to KPMG

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21-06-2018
HKBN launches free trial of Global Phone service

HKBN enterprise customers will be able to take advantage of a two-month free trial of HKBN's Global Phone international roaming service

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21-06-2018
Palo Alto Networks launches first APAC Cyber Range facility

Palo Alto's first Cyber Range facility in APAC is a dedicated training facility where IT and security teams can practice their skills

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21-06-2018
NVMe is changing enterprise storage

Non-volatile memory express is shaking up the enterprise storage industry

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21-06-2018
NETSPay now available for OCBC and UOB cards

OCBC Bank and UOB customers will now be able to make NETS payments with their mobile phones via the NETSPay app instead of using their physical NETS ATM bankcards[1].Customers can digitise (store) their NETS ATM bankcards on their mobile phones for NETS payments at more than 105,000 acceptance points island-wide including at more than 60,000 NETS QR acceptance points. NETSPay works just like the physical NETS ATM bank card with purchases debited directly from the customer’s bank account. Consumers just have to scan the NETS QR code or tap their NFC-enabled phone on the NETS terminal to make payments. Paying via NETSPay comes with the added advantage of not having to key in a PIN for transactions less than S$100.NETS static QR will be incorporated under the SG QR code specifications when the latter is released later in the year.NETSPay users can store up to 10 ATM bank cards on the app, allowing them to choose between bank accounts for different purchases. This enables NETSPay users to dedicate bank accounts for different types of purchases and also easily track their transactions by bank account in a single app.Jeffrey Goh, Group CEO, NETS Group, said, “We are pleased to welcome OCBC and UOB cardholders to NETSPay. Since NETSPay was launched in Oct 2017, we have already seen transactions increase 70-fold as consumers see the convenience and benefits of mobile payments at point-of-sale. We’re confident that this number will continue to grow exponentially with the addition of OCBC and UOB customers.”Milind Sanghavi, Head of Digital Payments, OCBC Bank, said, “Mobile payments are gaining steam in Singapore, with increasing levels of awareness and the government’s push for a cashless society. OCBC started our war on cash with OCBC Pay Anyone, the industry’s first cashless payments solution, in 2014. Last year, we upped the ante to provide our customers a consolidated payments app and partnered with NETS to offer peer-to-merchant and peer-to-peer payments via QR codes, in addition to payments via mobile numbers, Facebook and emails.“While we have seen exponential growth in our customers’ cashless payments adoption volumes, digital payments still take up only a small portion of the total number of payment transactions in Singapore, so we are delighted to deepen the partnership with NETS, with its NETSPay service, to tap into the growth opportunity in digital payments. This will give our customers an additional avenue to perform digital NETS payments – via a QR code scan or a contactless tap directly from their mobile devices. We are confident the ease of usage of the NETSPay platform will encourage more customers to adopt mobile payments as a primary mode of payment, displacing cash,” Sanghavi added.Aaron Chiew, Head of Digital and Mobile, Regional Digital Banking, UOB, said, “At UOB, we know that our customers want simpler, smarter and secure ways to make payments through the mobile phone. For example, our customers have taken to the ease of using their phones to pay by NETS, with such transactions growing an average of 198 per cent every month since we enabled NETS QR code and NETS mobile contactless payments on our mobile banking app UOB Mighty last year[2]. The NETSPay app will complement our initiatives and give our customers different options that enable them to make mobile contactless payments directly from their bank accounts.” 

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21-06-2018
DBS launches virtual bank recruiter

DBS has launched a virtual bank recruiter, named Jim, to help its recruiters hire wealth planning managers more efficiently. The bank is looking to hire 40% more wealth planning managers this year to support its growing wealth management business.Jim, an acronym for “Jobs Intelligence Maestro”, is the brainchild of Singapore start-up Impress.AI and DBS’ Talent Acquisition team. It was custom-built to meet the needs of DBS’ recruiters and applicants. Jim is powered by artificial intelligence and over time, will learn to make better assessments in screening candidates. Over the course of a year, Impress.AI and DBS experimented with several different iterations to ensure a smooth application journey for candidates.In pilot since April this year, Jim has helped DBS recruiters to review resumes, collect applicants’ responses for pre-screening questions, and conduct psychometric profiling assessments on candidates.Recruiters tend to spend up to 20% of their time collecting information and responding to emails before meeting with shortlisted candidates. By automating the pre-screening process, Jim will help save some 40 manhours a month. This enables recruiters to spend more time sourcing for candidates, interviewing applicants, focus on talent advisory or even upskilling themselves. With Jim, candidates also benefit from a faster, more streamlined process, with real-time interaction available 24/7. “Our candidates are often busy during the day, and many of our recruiters end up working long hours to cater to their schedules. A virtual recruiter, such as Jim, would lighten our employees’ workload. Previously manual processes – such as posting screening questions, conducting psychometric assessments and tests – have now been fully automated. This frees up our recruiters’ time so they can take on higher value work,” said James Loo, Head of Talent Acquisition Group, Group Human Resources, DBS Bank. Over the next few months, Jim will be available in DBS’ core markets – Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Indonesia and India - for wealth planning manager roles. The virtual recruiter will also be made available for other high-volume roles such as the Management Associate and Graduate Associate programmes. These programmes typically see more than 7,000 candidates vying for 20 roles.

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21-06-2018
7-Eleven partners soCash, offers cardless cash withdrawals

7-Eleven has partnered FinTech start-up, soCash to offer cash withdrawal via the latter’s mobile app. This cardless cash withdrawal service has been available at all 7-Eleven stores from 1 June 2018.The collaboration will see soCash’s proprietary digital cash circulation platform integrated into 7-Eleven’s retail network of more than 370 stores island-wide.  This will enable customers to effortlessly withdraw money, with the condition of any in-store purchase, using just the soCash app on their smartphone.The app, which was launched by soCash in 2017, works by having customers select the amount they wish to withdraw via its mobile app and selecting a nearby 7-Eleven store to collect cash. The cashier will then scan the unique QR code on the mobile app without the need for an ATM card or a PIN code. The service is available around the clock and provides access to “cardless” cash withdrawal network for banking customers of POSB, DBS and Standard Chartered.To encourage the digital savvy consumer to sign up for this service, soCash is offering S$5 cash back for new users.The collaboration aims to help the convenience retail chain to enhance its value proposition as the preferred destination of convenience for its wide offering of basic banking and financial services.Steven Lye,  Managing Director of 7-Eleven Singapore explained, “We are always striving to bring more convenience and digital innovations to our customers. Through our partnership with soCash, we aim to better meet our customers’ ever-evolving needs by moving beyond our core offerings, at the same time providing rudimentary banking and financial services”.This latest cardless cash withdrawal service joins a other banking and financial services offered by 7-Eleven, this includes cash withdrawal service for POSB, DBS, UOB, OCBC and HSBC users.Hari Sivan, founder and CEO of soCash, said that the partnership showcases 7-Eleven’s commitment to embrace digital innovation while improving its services for today’s consumers embracing digital banking in a big way. “soCash is a distributed cash network connecting banks to retailers using Singapore’s digital payment infrastructure. While smartphone becomes the primary banking touchpoint for many, finding an ATM or queuing up is often a hassle. By utilising our digital platform, 7-Eleven is redefining ‘convenience’ in their stores and – as shoppers now have a one-stop avenue to withdraw cash 24/7, purchase essentials at any 7-Eleven outlets and benefit from the in-store promotions in the outlets. Why hunt for an ATM or spend time queuing up every time you need cash? With this partnership, cash is really just around the corner for everyone.” 

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21-06-2018
CREALOGIX integrates cryptocurrencies into its digital banking hub

Digital banking software provider CREALOGIX has integrated cryptocurrencies with existing investment products in its open banking architecture, the CREALOGIX Digital Banking Hub.The CREALOGIX product Invest Crypto allows bank customers to see and manage cryptocurrency assets and conventional types of investments via a central platform. Bank customers can also use devices compatible with Amazon Alexa to control Invest Crypto via voice control.CREALOGIX aims to give bank customers an all-round view of their assets – regardless of where they are or what types of investments they have in their portfolio. This all-round view now also displays investments in cryptocurrencies so financial institutes can integrate cryptocurrency assets and blockchain data into their digital banking infrastructure. End users also have the ability to use basic trading functions in the event that the cryptocurrency in question is traded on an exchange.If a bank already uses CREALOGIX software, CREALOGIX Invest Crypto will seamlessly integrate an interface into the existing CREALOGIX digital banking infrastructure. Banks and financial service providers who still don't use CREALOGIX banking software can use CREALOGIX Invest Crypto as a standalone product.Alexa is also available for Invest Crypto. In future, users with devices compatible with Amazon Alexa will be able to use voice control to find out price information or credit levels, and perform basic trading functions for their crypto assets."Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are becoming more and more popular, but up until now banks have had big problems accessing the relevant data and allowing their customers to see different crypto assets on a single platform", explains Maryam Danesh-Kajouri, Global Head of Product Marketing at CREALOGIX. "CREALOGIX Invest Crypto now allows bank customers to easily integrate cryptocurrencies and blockchain data into their existing platform infrastructure, more effectively meeting their customers' needs."Alexa is also available for Invest Crypto. In future, users with devices compatible with Amazon Alexa will be able to use voice control to find out price information or credit levels, and perform basic trading functions for their crypto assets. 

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21-06-2018
SMU School of Law awarded S$4.5M grant to address governance of AI and data use

The Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Law has been awarded a grant of S$4.5 million (US$3.3 million) from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to helm a five-year Research Program on the Governance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Use.  SMU School of Law will also set up a new research center to undertake focused efforts on the program.  The award follows a competitive application process that was open to all Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) in January 2018.The award was announced today by S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, at the opening of Innovfest Unbound, the anchor event of Smart Nation Innovations Week.  The grant call by NRF and IMDA was made with the aim of collaborating with an IHL to set up the aforementioned program, so as to achieve various strategic objectives, including to (i) promote cutting edge thinking and practices in AI and data policies and regulations; (ii) inform AI and data policy and regulation formulation in Singapore through research publications and stakeholder engagement events and activities; and (iii) establish Singapore as a global thought leader in AI and data policies and regulations.Professor Steven Miller, SMU’s Vice Provost (Research), said, “SMU is delighted to have secured this research grant to support Singapore’s national needs as we advance Singapore’s digital economy through a focused effort on the governance of AI and data use. This award is the largest research grant that the SMU School of Law has received since its inception in 2007, and provides strong recognition of our School of Law’s research excellence and ability to be an important contributor in Singapore’s research and policy eco-system. This new program is based upon a distinctive interdisciplinary approach that will involve other Schools within SMU, highlighting SMU’s strength in doing research at the intersections between disciplines.”The Research Program on the Governance of AI and Data Use that the SMU School of Law will undertake will comprise three integrated streams – AI and Society, AI and Industry, and AI and Commercialization.  The program aims to build critical interdisciplinary capacity in the area that will help build bridges between the academy, industry and government.  It will be carried out by a new research center to be housed in the SMU School of Law and formally launched later this year.  Pages1 2 » last »

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20-06-2018
HKSTP announces second round of NxTEC program

HKSTP, J.P. Morgan & Chase and HKIHRM have announced the second round of the Next Technologist Entrepreneurial Champion program

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20-06-2018
Quantifeed raises US$10m in funding round

Hong Kong based based B2B robo-advice provider Quantifeed will use the proceeds from a recent Series B funding round to further expand in APAC

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20-06-2018
Is Microsoft already killing off Windows 7?

Microsoft appears to be regretting promising 18 more months of support for Windows 10’s biggest competitor

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20-06-2018
HPE places a US$4b bet on its edge-network portfolio

HPE has a US$4b plan to build out a computing architecture that spans the data center, the edge network and the cloud over the next 4 years

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20-06-2018
Broadband Forum hits 5G milestone

Operators looking to quickly and cost-effectively deliver new 5G services are today a step closer to being able to do so, as the Broadband Forum and NTT successfully demonstrated the disaggregation of time-critical PON functions.Launched with NTT last year, the 'PON Abstraction Interface for Time Critical Applications (TCAs)' project looks at how Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) can be applied to Optical Line Terminals (OLTs) to eliminate the need for operators to rebuild an OLT from the preliminary stage of development, for example, a remake of the PON chip, which requires a large amount of investment. Time-to-market for new offerings, including support for 5G fronthaul interfaces and services for business users, is also accelerated.The quick progress the project has made was showcased for the first time on the last day of the Broadband Forum’s Q2 meeting in Osaka, where NTT demonstrated two scenarios – mobile and FTTH – where a future OLT could be optimized with Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation (DBA) software to significantly reduce latency to meet the stringent latency requirements of 5G fronthaul interfaces. This enables dense small cells to be accommodated cost-effectively by TDM-PON. A second DBA software could also be applied to OLTs in FTTH services that require high bandwidth efficiency.“Time Critical Applications are essential to meet changing user behavior,” said Akihiro Otaka, executive manager at NTT Access Network Service Systems Laboratories at NTT. “The demonstration we have carried out at the Broadband Forum meeting is a significant step for the project as it shows how operators can cost-effectively upgrade OLTs via a software upgrade. Standardization in this area is essential as it will achieve a vendor-agnostic system and ensure mass deployment which is key to realizing agile and flexible next-generation broadband networks and the delivery of 5G.”Following the successful demonstration, the Forum and NTT will now look at whether a cooperative interface, which controls the TCAs shown in the demonstration, can be established between the Central Unit in mobile networks and an OLT. This will involve coordination with standards defining organizations such as 3GPP and CPRI and IEEE.“Consumer demand, in regard to both quality of service and types of applications being used, is advancing at a rapid pace – the speed of which is being matched by how quickly new technologies and concepts are being developed,” said Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh. “As we hurtle towards this new era of broadband connectivity, the work we are doing within the Forum remains key, but as fixed and mobile networks converge, it is more important than ever that this work is not done in silos. Industry-wide collaboration will ensure the interoperability we are enabling does not end at a certain point in the network but encompasses the whole architecture to create an open broadband infrastructure.”For more information about the 'PON Abstraction Interface for TCAs' project, please visit: https://www.broadband-forum.org/tcpf

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CyberLink Vol.117 June 2018

Cyberport's Smart-Space 8 in Tsuen Wan is open for online application

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CyberLink Vol.116 May 2018

Message from CEO

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CyberLink Vol.115 March 2018

Check out the key drivers for the new economy at IES 2018

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