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Cyber minister wants Netflix-like Thai streaming platform

Jack Burton

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Cyber minister wants Netflix-like Thai streaming platform | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TheSmartLocal

Thailand’s minister of digital economy and society, aka. “cyber minister” says that Thailand should have its own streaming platform to bring in revenue and promote Thai movies and television overseas. Puttipong Punnakan remarked at a forum that creating a Netflix-like platform to stream and sell Thai films and series to foreign audiences would reel some sweet, sweet subscription revenue into the kingdom. He also says that the government would help support the promotion of the entertainment sector, following South Korea’s highly successful lead.

“Why doesn’t Thailand have a Thai social media or online services platform of our own? We’re always using foreign ones, sending advertising revenue and online shopping revenue overseas.”

“If Thailand can assemble some good content, then we can export it in the same way South Korea does. Team Thailand will consist of the private sector as well as the support of the government.”

California-based streaming giant Netflix, hugely popular among middle-class Thais and expats alike, has a wide range of Thai movies and series, as well as Thai-language series which it produces. But whether a Thai version could actually succeed remains in doubt, as the Thai government isn’t known for creating popular media, especially the current government.

During his junta years, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s weekly program reached record lows in viewership. A government-sponsored film promoting “12 Values” expounded by Prayut was also ridiculed on social media. And do you remember his song “Bringing the Happiness Back to Thailand’? (below… but only you REALLY have to).

One Thai political party has even publicly denounced Netflix’s billboard ads of its “Sex Education” show, much to the mockery of youths across the country.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Tom Prendergast

    Friday, June 5, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    The massage parlours are already open on Pattaya.

  2. Avatar

    Octavio Natal

    Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    In the paragraph next to last, was that your own take referring to the PM or did you borrow from Khaosod English taking another anti-government cheap shot?

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai industry representatives push government on vaccine passport policy

Maya Taylor

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Thai industry representatives push government on vaccine passport policy | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Lukas on Unsplash

Industry representatives are urging the Thai government to press ahead with the adoption of a vaccine passport scheme to re-ignite international tourism. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is also pushing for Thailand to form travel bubble arrangements with countries where Covid-19 infection rates are low to moderate.

Kalin Sarasin from the Thai Chamber of Commerce and a JSCCIB member points to the Digital Green Pass being introduced by the EU, which allows vaccinated people to travel more freely. He believes Thailand should introduce something similar.

“JSCCIB is confident a vaccine passport would boost economic sentiment. Many countries have already started mass vaccination regimes for their people.”

(Video below about the current world and Thailand Covid travel situation)

He adds that private companies should be allowed to purchase and distribute vaccines to employees in order to accelerate the national vaccine rollout.

The push for a vaccine passport scheme follows confirmation from the Thai PM that he has ordered a study into the idea. However, Prayut Chan-o-cha points out that nobody knows how effective such a scheme would be. The idea does have its critics, particularly among rights’ groups and doctors, who say there is not yet enough data to show that vaccines prevent transmission.

A limited number of Covid-19 vaccines have arrived in Thailand and have been distributed to 13 priority provinces. Healthcare workers and vulnerable groups are among the first people to be inoculated.

Supant Mongkolsuthree, a JSCCIB member from the Federation of Thai Industries, says a vaccine passport policy is one more way to restore tourism and, as vaccines are rolled out in the Kingdom, the economy has a chance at recovery.

“JSCCIB believes the economy is recovering. The vaccine will gradually build up confidence among business people.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says

Caitlin Ashworth

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Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says | The Thaiger

Cannabis could become a major cash crop in Thailand. An expert says the cannabis-based medicinal products could generate up to 8 billion baht for the Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025. Medical cannabis has been legal in Thailand for the past couple years, but recently the government agreed to allow parts of the plant with very, low traces of the “high-inducing” component tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to be in medicinal products and food.

Cannabis-based medicines have been used as palliative treatment for some cancer patients in Thailand. Last year, nearly 1 million patients used cannabis-based medicines, according to an economist at Kasetsart University’s Agricultural and Resource Economics Department, Ravissa Suchato.

Around 1.2 billion baht worth of medical cannabis was consumed last year, according to Ravissa, who led a recent study on the economic impact of commercial cannabis cultivation in Thailand. If the average consumption rises as expected, medical cannabis could generate 8 billion baht within the next 5 years.

“We believe marijuana has great potential as a cash crop because more patients will start using marijuana-based drugs soon.”

In the past, Thai officials have discussed the opportunity to tap into the global cannabis market by exporting medical cannabis, but Ravissa says Thailand still has a way to go.

“Globally, the recreational use of marijuana has risen a lot faster than pharmaceutical use, so the prospect of exporting marijuana-based medicines from Thailand is still a long way off.”

Parts of the cannabis plant that are rich in THC, like the buds, are still illegal and classified as a Category 5 narcotic. Trafficking the plant is still heavily criminalised. Just over the past few days, border patrol police in the Northeastern province Nakhon Pathom seized hundreds of kilograms of dried, compressed cannabis believed to have been trafficked across the Mekong River from Laos and destined for the South, possibly to Malaysia.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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