Category Archives: Asia

SINGAPOREANS’ TOP PICKS

singapore

Picking a college is something very crucial in preparing one’s future, but picking a company to work in is a whole new level of preparation for the rest of a person’s life. Singapore is one of the most competitive and successful countries in Southeast Asia. When it comes to business, Singaporeans are very well known for their ‘think globally’ attitude. By the same vein, ordinary Singaporean workers are also big fans of observing an international type of approach when dealing with their tasks at work. They are not limited by thinking solely of the money that they could potentially earn from the company of their choice. What they value more is their top pick’s reputation. In so many levels, it makes a lot of sense; for who would ever want to be associated with an incredibly wealthy company with a bad reputation?

According to Job Street’s recent poll, the top five companies Singapore graduates and workers would like to work in are the following: Google, Shell, Singapore Airlines, Exxon Mobil, and Keppel Corp. These companies were not chosen by the poll’s participants just because of the high salaries they offer but mainly because of their excellent reputation.

Google has always been known for being an incredible employer. It is a legend for the extraordinary perks it offers and its high pay. In fact, among all the surveys that have surfaced on the internet over the years, it remains number one. According to one of Google’s employees, Google also has its issues, but the issues are things that are related to the fact that there are too many geniuses and extremely talented workers in Google that it is sometimes hard for an ordinary employee to distinguish himself. In addition, although employees are not required to work all the time, there is a lot of pressure on the shoulders of its employees who would like to contribute something new for the entire company. Ultimately, for several Google employees who have been working in the company for many years, their job at the said company is the job they would like to have as their last occupation for the rest of their lives.

Singapore is widely famous for its 1.9% unemployment rate, and by next year, it is to be expected that Singapore’s workforce development will undergo great transformations in order for several Singaporean companies to reach new heights. Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, with the aid of the Skills Future Council members, aims to develop a more integrated system of education and training in order to improve the career progression in Singapore. The officials involved in the said planning firmly believe that the planned manpower development will affect several sectors’ manpower strategy and the country’s overall economic development in the years to come. In addition to this, internships will also be given much attention by 2015. Hence, better coordination is more likely to take place among interns and companies.

Because of the aforementioned developments that will take place in Singapore by next year, those who find it hard to survive in their own country are considering going to Singapore to work since it allows foreign workers to enjoy the same benefits Singapore citizens do without having the need to attend two years of mandatory service in the army. Moreover, Singapore is an expensive city-state known for having a rich culture which is easily to adjust to – a fact which is highly appealing to people seeking for solid ongoing jobs overseas.

 

 

UNIQLO LAUNCHES FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM FOR JAPANESE STUDENTS

It does not matter what your nationality and ethnic group is, Uniqlo Co. Ltd. is a powerful leader in the fashion industry which can make clothes that surpass all cultural and racial barriers.

Uniqlo which stands for “Unique Clothing” is a store which creates noncomplex and universal designs that its customers can freely blend and combine in order to create their own unique style. Like any other successful retail store, Uniqlo has an array of projects that aims to promote their brand while helping those who are less fortunate, especially those who are in desperate need for financial support.

At present, there are many students who are not given the opportunity to finish their studies mainly because of financial problems. They often get blockaded by their family’s lack of enough funds and resources, making them settle for low quality type of education instead of a world-class one.

This year, Uniqlo Co., Ltd. had established a fellowship program which aims to support graduates who will take up business or design either in Harvard Business School or the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Harvard students who are left unsponsored by corporations are those who will be eligible to apply for Uniqlo’s newly launched fellowship program. According to the announcement, fellowship applicants would have to undergo a selection process which involves a series of interviews. The final stage is a one-on-one interview conducted by Uniqlo’s Chief Executive Officer, Tadashi Yanai. For the initial stages of the selection process, it has been revealed that Hirotaka Takeuchi, a Harvard Business School professor, will be interviewing the candidates from the Harvard Business School while aspiring fellowship recipients from GSD shall be interviewed by Graduate School of Design’s visiting professor, Toyo Ito.

Students who are interested to apply for the program can start sending in their requirements from September 2015 onwards. Every year, two students from each graduate school will be entitled to the benefits Uniqlo’s fellowship program offers. It has been announced that each of the two fellowship awardees who will be chosen at the end of the process will receive an academic grant worth $200,000 from Uniqlo. This program is expected to run for the next three years. In total, six Japanese students will be receiving $1.2M as a form of an academic financial support from the leading retail store. CEO Tadashi Yanai believes that helping students reach their goal of experiencing a world-class level of education shall further enhance their talents and turn them into international professionals that will be capable of becoming assets in either the business or design industry. Moreover, those who will be chosen shall be accepted in Uniqlo Co., Ltd.’s internship program.

With the scholarships Uniqlo generously offers, it is very likely that aspiring designers and businessmen will be given more opportunity to hone their talents, skills, and knowledge on a global level. In addition to this, Uniqlo will be able to get more attention as a fashion store from Harvard students since the fast retailing store plans to unveil a number of Boston stores near the Harvard campus next fall.

 

MALAYSIA DEPORTS INDONESIAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Illegal immigration is a major concern which is often deemed by majority as a fruit of people’s main motivation to seek better quality of life and economic opportunities in other countries that are far more capable of providing what their own home country cannot.

Contrary to popular belief, illegal immigration is not purely problematic for it also has its own upsides. Some of its benefits are the following: First, illegal immigrants who pay sales taxes automatically become part of a country’s tax system, since they contribute a part of what they have earned to pay taxes. Next, a country’s demand for low wage workers is, most often than not, fulfilled because of the illegal immigrants who are willing to work for lower salary rates and zero benefits. Lastly, immigrants who make use of traditional banking services pay dividends to said banks. On the other side of the argument, there is also a list of cons that people need to take note of in order to fully understand the issue. As what many people may already know, illegal immigration gives rise to problems involving ethnic variation, overcrowding, human trafficking, exploitation, judicial issues, overpopulation, and so on. To make things worse, illegal immigration also adds burden on the nation involved.

Malaysia’s Immigration Department has recently decided to deport 494 illegal immigrants by boarding them onto a C-130 military aircraft and flying them back to Indonesia. At present, there are approximately more than 6 million foreign migrants in Malaysia, and most of them went over national borders without legal documents. Most of these individuals are low wage workers that illegally work in factories, restaurants, plantations, construction sites, etc. (Cheng, 2014). This joint immigration correspondence between Indonesia and Malaysia is expected to ensure the deportation of more Indonesian illegal immigrants in the future. As of the moment, hundreds of illegal immigrants are kept in detentions centres in Malaysia, and are waiting to be flown back to Indonesia.

It has been reported that Indonesia will shoulder all the travel costs and document processing of the deportation of the illegal immigrants, while Malaysia imposes a cooling period that will most likely last for three to six months. This cooling period will not allow any illegal immigrant to return to Malaysia after the deportation; however, they can still go back to the said country once the cooling period is over given that they have prepared legal documents to use in order to work again in Malaysia. Because of this joint action of the Indonesian and Malaysian government, Malaysia was able to save money and effort from deporting nearly five hundred illegal immigrants and clamping down illegal labour as the country’s economy starts to slow.

Illegally crossing international political borders, may it be through land, water, or air, is a major issue which will perhaps never become acceptable for most people mainly because it is an act which usually leads to the rise in the rate of criminal activities, trafficking, exploitation, spread of diseases, and unfair competition between illegal immigrants and a country’s native citizens who constantly seek job opportunities. While it cannot be denied that finding a solution for illegal immigration is extremely difficult, it is not impossible to employ efficient methods that can gradually reduce its negative effects.

 

INTERNET FINANCE BOOM IN CHINA

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Last 2013, online wealth management had made its advent in China. Ever since the world’s businesses have gone mobile, China’s investment has also made the same turn. What people need to know about it is that internet finance primarily encapsulates three things: (a) lending, (b) payment services, and (c) financial consultancies (Jingu, 2014).

According to experts, the reason behind the boom in internet finance in China is the list of deficiencies that can be encountered by a customer with traditional financing. Alipay, one of China’s payment services, was recently dubbed as the most popular online payment choice for the reason that it allows people to safely use their credit cards in purchasing products online. Unlike traditional banking, Alipay is so much easier to use since it does not complicate the procedures of shopping payment. Furthermore, it is complete with security guarantees unlike traditional banking. Because of the evident deficiencies in traditional financial products, more people now resort to using online internet financial tools. This, however, had put a lot of pressure on various Chinese banks as people decided to shift their deposits to online-based wealth management financial products.

In order to compete against the booming internet finance in China, a number of traditional joint-stock banks have decided to introduce money market deposit accounts which will allow several banks’ customers to withdraw their savings from automated teller machines (ATMs) and pay their debit cards through a money market account like a typical savings account.

The evident boom in the realm of internet finance in China can be credited to a subdued formal financial system. As what most people are aware of, China’s banking system is highly regulated, meaning interest rates and monopoly state banks are controlled. Because of this, most people are not able to receive favourable and real returns from the bank deposits they have made.

The formal financial system’s flaws are believed to be the chief reasons why shadow banking had managed to rise after the global financial crisis back in the year 2008; however, even though internet finance is obviously changing the landscape of the financial sector in China, this change will not permanent. Soon enough, banks will be able to compete with internet finance.

The Governor of People’s Bank of China, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, aims to liberalize interest rates after 2015 in order to allow banks to compete with the flourishing internet finance. One principal reason why the boom in internet finance will not last very long is China is because Chinese traditional banks plan to adopt internet finance as they restructure their business operation. As a matter of fact, Ping An Insurance Group had already decided to launch its own Peer-to-peer business. Experts say that it is to be expected that others banks will soon follow to this trend and employ the same tactic internet finance private firms usually use. If banks will not adopt the said trend, it is very likely that they will lose higher rates of market share. In many ways, internet finance has proven its worth as an efficient tool in enhancing China’s financial system. It might even be the beginning of financial liberalization.

 

NORTH KOREA’S INTERNET OUTAGE

North Korea’s internet has been restored after almost ten hours of internet outage. Despite the fact that it is no longer down, many netizens are still bothered after having found that North Korea’s internet is still intermittent. What makes this issue more controversial than it should be is that it happened in the wake of the contentious Sony network breach.

As what most people know, the entertainment industry and a number of political institutions, even the White House have been alarmed because of the recent cyber attack initiated by a group of hackers called Guardians of Peace against Sony’s network. The ‘Guardians of Peace’ claimed that they will immediately release more private documents and files that belong to Sony if the studio will release the movie, The Interview, on theatres at the 25th of December.

Many, of course, suspected that North Korea was behind it since it is quite obvious how offended the Pyongyang government had been over Seth Rogen’s upcoming film; and true enough, the FBI found out that North Korea was the country responsible for hacking into Sony’s computer network. The opposing party, however, claimed that they were just framed by the United States for the crime and what ought to be done is to investigate the cybercrime in depth. What is intriguing is that after a few days, North Korea made a statement saying that they have a clear and strong evidence that the United States’ administration is behind the creation of a ‘dishonest reactionary movie’. President Barack Obama made clear on Sunday that the act committed by North Korea was not anything which signifies war but an act of cyber vandalism which is very expensive. He confirmed that U.S. will respond to the security breach at the right time in its own terms.

As to why North Korea had its internet down for several hours can be attributed to many possibilities. The first possibility is that the United States might be involved in the said act. Obviously, this is a conclusion many people will swiftly jump into. Many people claim that North Korea’s internet outage may be a form of revenge by the U.S. against North Korea for the highly disputed Sony breach; however, this is yet to be proven. The next possibility as to why the internet outage occurred in North Korea could be because of the poor maintenance of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s infrastructure. This may be one of the reasons why the internet service has been disrupted all of a sudden. One router could have broken down and it might have caused the entire internet disruption. The third possibility is that China got involved in the drama of the whole thing by taking advantage of its role as North Korea’s internet access manager and gatekeeper. On the other hand, China is North Korea’s major ally, so it would not make much sense if the Sleeping Giant will do such thing. Lastly, it is also possible that North Korea shut down their own internet access to keep the public’s attention away from the controversies involving their country with the widely talked about Sony breach.

Whoever is to be blamed for the internet outage in North Korea remains unknown, but as far as damages go, North Korea’s netizens have not been bothered as much as those who had their files stolen from them by a group of hackers. North Korea’s citizens do not use internet as much as other countries. As a matter of fact, according to CloudFlare’s CEO, Matthew Prince, North Korea is among the countries that are least connected to the world.

Sources:

Feinberg, A. (2014). So Who Shut Down North Korea’s Internet? Retrieved from http://gizmodo.com/so-

who-shut-down-north-koreas-internet-1674589139

Wagstaff, J. (2014). Downing North Korea’s Internet not much of a Scalp.

Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/23/us-northkorea-cyberattack-outage-idUSKBN0K10HN20141223