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18 years of internet growth in Asia

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18 years of internet growth in Asia | The Thaiger

Sourced from DataLEADS – Asia News Network

The internet continues to grow swiftly in all parts of the world. Asia continues to show impressive growth trends in the last eighteen years although there are still many pockets in south east asia that need improved access to the www.

To say that access to the internet has made a profound change to the life of people in Asia is an understatement.

South East Asia has seen the most penetration with China, unsurprisingly, leading the way. In nearly two decades China has grown tremendously by providing internet from 22 million people to 772 million people. China’s internet availability rate has reached 55.8 per cent, exceeding the world average by 4.1 percentage points.

Thailand has made internet available to 57 million people over the same period.

In India, internet penetration has jumped from five million to 462 million by 2017. It is expected to grow up to 500 million in this year.  However, there is a rural urban divide in the country in terms of internet penetration.

In the last decade internet penetration in Indonesia has grown from 2 million to 143 million. It is followed by Japan with 118 million. Japan although has been far ahead of other countries ten years back with the internet penetration at 47 million in the year 2000.

In Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam 80 million, 67 million and 64 million people respectively have access to internet.

South Korea was second to Japan in the year 2000 with internet availability to 19 million people. The internet has now reached 47 million people by last year end but there was already a strong internet presence in those countries in 2000.

Pakistan has improved considerably from providing access to 0.13 million people a decade ago to 44 million by the end of last year. Malaysia, Nepal and Myanmar have made internet available to 25 million, 18 million and 16 million people respectively by 2017.

By the end of last year 8 million people in Cambodia had access to internet followed by Sri Lanka and Singapore with internet availability to 6 million and 4 million people respectively.  Laos and Mongolia have provided internet availability to 2 million people. The smaller countries like Brunei and Bhutan have made internet available to more than 400 thousand and 300 thousand people.

Even with these impressive numbers, level of connectivity still has to improve considerably especially in South Asia. There are many challenges in terms of infrastructure, affordable devices, data plans and digital literacy that need to be overcome.

18 years of internet growth in Asia | News by The Thaiger



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Southeast Asia

Australian officials urge Thai authorities to release Hakeem AlAraibi

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Australian officials urge Thai authorities to release Hakeem AlAraibi | The Thaiger

“FIFA, world soccer’s ruling body, is also calling on the Thai authorities to allow for the return of AlAraibi to Australia at “the earliest possible moment”.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne is urging Thai authorities to release a footballer who holds a refugee status in Australia and who has been detained in Bangkok for nearly two weeks.

Hakeem AlAraibi, a former member of Bahrain’s national soccer team who has been critical of the country’s government, was arrested in Thailand on November 27 based on an Interpol notice issued at Bahrain’s request.

AlAraibi was convicted of vandalising a police station in Bahrain and sentenced to 10 years in prison in absentia. He has denied any wrongdoing.

“Australia is concerned by the ongoing detention of Mr. Hakeem Ali AlAraibi and calls for his immediate return to Australia,” Payne said in a statement published on the ministry’s website.

“Returning Mr. AlAraibi to Bahrain, from where he fled, would contravene his rights under international human rights law.”

At a court hearing on Friday, AlAraibi was served with a formal arrest warrant, which could pave the way for a possible extradition to Bahrain.

Read more from Channel News Asia HERE.

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Southeast Asia

New Thai 1,000 baht note wins international award

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New Thai 1,000 baht note wins international award | The Thaiger

The first new Thai 1,000 baht banknotes, featuring the image of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn, has won The Best New Banknote Award at the High Security Printing Asia 2018 international conference held in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The banknote was awarded for its unique printing technology using the optically variable magnetic ink (OVMI), the first of its kind for Thai banknotes which creates three-dimensional moving patterns and switching colours when observing from different angles.

It was named the Best New Banknote at the three-day High Security Printing Asia 2018 forum in Hanoi that ended on Wednesday, according to the Bank of Thailand’s announcement on Friday.

New Thai 1,000 baht note wins international award | News by The Thaiger

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Southeast Asia

Asia’s struggle with democracy – Thailand ranks #107 in the world

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Asia’s struggle with democracy – Thailand ranks #107 in the world | The Thaiger

by By DataLEADS

In the wake of the confirmation from the Thai Government about a firm date for the next election, a survey has been released which measures the Asian democracies. Thais go to the polls to elect a new government on February 2019, the first time since they elected Yingluck Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai party in 2011.

The report says that Asia has made strong headway in advancing democracy but still has a long way to go in some countries, compared to other more established democracies in the world.

The Economic Intelligence Unit’s report on Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and politicalculture. Countries are then ranked on a scale of 1-10 and classifies them as ‘full democracy’, ‘flawed democracy’, ‘hybrid regime’ and ‘authoritarian regime’.

Many Asian countries figure in the list of 166 countries, yet none, according to the report, has reached ‘full democracy’.

In Asia South Korea figures at the top. The country is ranked 20th, a jump from 24th position in 2016.  The improvement in score is attributed to a popular movement which led to the impeachment of the then president, Park Geun-hye, who was found guilty of embezzlement.

Japan ranks second in Asia but 23 globally. India is ranked third in Asia and 42 globally. The country saw a steep dip in its ranking from 32nd to 42nd place. The decline in the ranking is owed to the rising right wing force and attack on minorities and dissenting voices.

Philippines is ranks fourth in Asia and 51 globally. According to the report the declaration of martial law in the southern part of the country and Rodrigo Duterte’s continuous infringement of the democratic values has adversely affects the country’s democratic culture. Malaysia is ranked fifth in Asia and 59 globally followed by Mongolia and Sri Lanka globally ranked 60 and 62 respectively.

Indonesia has fallen from 48th position to 68thposition mostly due to stringent blasphemy laws that have been used to curb the freedom of expression regularly.  It is followed by Singapore which is ranked 69 globally but still operates more as a family-run business than a government. Nepal and Bhutan are ranked 94 and 99 respectively. Thailand is ranked 107 globally

Blasphemy laws in Pakistan and media censorship has created hindrances in the functioning of democracy. The country is ranked 110 followed by Myanmar and Cambodia.

Censorship of social media in China and the consolidation of power by Chinese leader has resulted in a stifling regime in the country. Journalists are constinously locked up and freedom of speech is not granted. According to the report the country is classified as authoritarian followed by Vietnam and Laos ranked 140 and 151 respectively.

Asia's struggle with democracy - Thailand ranks #107 in the world | News by The Thaiger

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