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Phuket Business: Google extending online reach for local businesses

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Phuket Business: Google extending online reach for local businesses | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Celebrating its inaugural year and 100,000 new businesses online, Google Thailand’s ‘Thai Businesses Go Online’ program (TBGO) has paved the way for the next stage in the evolution of an economically prosperous online ecosystem. Highlighting TBGO’s success, the IT and Marketing mega-icon’s country office reported that it has attracted more than 100,000 participants nationwide in a year – far exceeding its initial target of getting 50,000 Thai businesses online.

Pornthip Kongchun, program spokesperson and Head of Marketing for Google Thailand, expressed her gratitude: “We are delighted to celebrate this milestone which would not have been possible without the significant effort invested by our partners – the Office of SME Promotion, the eCommerce Association of Thailand, Dot Arai, Webiz, Thai Post and Kasikorn Bank.

Ms Pornthip went on to highlight that the top three participating regions are Central (Bangkok), North (Chiang Mai) and Northeast-Isaan (Ubon Rachathani) Thailand.

“This shows the reach and increased opportunity that going online gives rural businesses, connecting any business with customers who may never step foot in their stores. We’re committed to building a vibrant Thai online ecosystem and to partnering with Thai businesses through every step of their online evolution,” she said.

Of the 100,000 businesses, about 10,000, or 10%, were based in Thailand’s South, with just over 10% of these (about 1,000) based in Phuket, which was ranked fourth in the region behind Songkhla, Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Surat Thani.

Broken down by type of business, Phuket’s participants were dominated by retail with 31.3%, followed by services (18.6%), travel-tourism (13.2%), entertainment (9.1%), Business-to-business or B2B services (8.2%), real estate (5.8%), Food and Beverage (4%), education (3.6%), health (2.1%) and transport (2%).

This is compared to the entire Southern region as a whole with 47% being retail, followed by services (14.9%), entertainment (11.5%), B2B services (9.9%), tourism (7.4%), restaurant (3.6%), health (2.4%), real estate (2.2%) and offices (0.7%).

On a national scale it was retail, services, B2B services, entertainment, tourism and food/beverages representing the top five participating industries.

Despite the success of TBGO, there are still some bumps in the road ahead.

According to a recent study by the Electronic Transaction Development Agency (ETDA), 66% of small businesses say the number one challenge they face is the lack of expertise in promoting their products and services online, even though taking the first step by creating a website has on average increased their income and their customer base.

To address such a challenge, Google was pleased to announce the launch of “Google Trader”, a new choice to help Thai businesses connect with buyers in a vibrant local online marketplace.

The launch of Google Trader in Thailand is a complimentary addition to the TBGO program, giving Thai businesses a new choice as they continue their online evolution.

Google Trader helps buyers and sellers find each other on one simple platform, and being completely free to use, it also helps businesses promote themselves and gain access to greater economic opportunities.

Thailand is the first Asian market to launch Google Trader, with the firm recognizing the potential of the online ecosystem and the opportunity ahead for Thailand to contribute to regional growth as ASEAN prepares for an integrated economic community in 2015.

Through the on-going activities of the TBGO program and Google Trader, Google is helping to build a vibrant Thai internet that can contribute to Thailand’s continued economic growth and competitiveness while increasing quality Thai content online.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. 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. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

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 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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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.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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