Singapore has asked Telegram to ban local users from viewing pornography

Police in Singapore have asked chat app Telegram to block local users from viewing accounts that distribute pornography, but have yet to receive a response. Nevertheless, recent progress has been made in communication between the two sides, and the government will continue to work with online platforms such as Telegram to protect Singaporeans from harmful content.

Telegram social group SG Nasi Lemak, which has more than 40,000 members, was found to be spreading pornography in 2019, and several managers were punished for it, but this seems to be unable to prevent more pornographic groups from appearing on the platform. According to previous reports, this year Telegram appeared claiming to have local women’s indecent photos and videos of the group, and “call” members to share the group content to obtain “full access” to watch more obscene content.

Responding to an oral question from Member of Parliament (MP) Nadia Ang Mo Kio GRC, Minister for Home Affairs and Social and Family Development Sun Xueling said in Parliament on Wednesday (Nov 22) that the police take such offences seriously and have taken legal action against offenders. However, she stressed that for effective law enforcement, the relevant online platforms must also fully cooperate.

Sun Xueling did not provide further details on the communication and cooperation with Telegram.

To curb the spread of harmful content Online, Singapore’s Parliament enacted the Online Criminal Harms Act (OCHA) this year, which will be phased in from the first quarter of 2024. The police can then issue “Disabling Direction” to online platforms such as Telegram to prevent users in Singapore from viewing objectionable content on their platforms.

ACRA appointed Deng Huimin as its new director

Deng Huimin has been with the IRD for nearly 36 years and has held senior positions in various departments including tax administration, tax policy, operations and regulation. From 2003 to 2005, she was seconded to the Treasury as Chief tax Policy Officer. She was also the Chief Executive Officer of the Tax Institute of Singapore from 2007 to 2013.

Deng Huimin has promoted Singapore’s interests and expanded its reach in the tax field, leading the real estate tax department in innovative ways to deliver services, such as providing consolidated tax notices to owners of multiple properties. She has also played a key role in supporting businesses to cope with Rental costs, including the implementation of the Rental Support Scheme (RSS) during the pandemic. On the investigation front, Deng Huimin has helped the IRD strengthen its ability and power to fight tax crimes.

Wang Qiaofeng led ACRA’s OneACRA Redefined transformation into a digital and data-driven organization. During his tenure, he made contributions to improving the effectiveness of corporate governance, financial reporting, and auditing regulatory systems, as well as combating money laundering and terrorist financing, through multiple major legislative and business reforms.

Prior to his appointment as the Director of the Bureau of Accounting and Enterprise Administration, Wang Qiaofeng was the Deputy Director (Enterprise and Services) of the Inland Revenue Department. His improvements in IRD’s human resources policies, information technology systems and process restructuring have resulted in better end-to-end service for taxpayers and enhanced Singapore’s tax competitiveness.

The Finance Ministry said in a statement released on Wednesday (Nov 22) that Deng Huimin will replace Wang Qiaofeng,who has been the head of the Accounting and Enterprise Administration since April 2017, and will retire from public service at the end of the current term.

As Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Deng Huimin has represented Singapore in international discussions on base erosion and profit shifting, and chaired the Peer Review panel of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information from 2016 to 2022.

Deng Huimin, currently Deputy Director (International Tax Exchange, Inspection, Indirect Tax) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRAS), will become the new Director of the Accounting and Corporate Control Authority (ACRA) on April 22 next year.

Premier Lee Hsien Loong calls on APEC economies to accelerate their response to climate change

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called on APEC economies to work together to accelerate the pace of tackling climate change in three ways, including investing in new technologies, developing high-integrity carbon markets, and developing new financial models to support the energy transition and decarbonisation.

Lee Hsien Loong is in San Francisco to attend the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting. He spoke at the first informal dialogue on “Sustainability, Climate and a Just Energy Transition” on November 16, San Francisco time.

Lee said it was encouraging that the United States had made sustainable development a key priority of its APEC chairmanship, building on the Bangkok Goals for a Biocircular Green Economy adopted by Thailand’s chairmanship last year. He also said APEC economies can do a lot together to accelerate progress on climate change.

Lee Hsien Loong proposed three suggestions for this, one is to invest in new technologies. He said that low carbon hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies have broad prospects. But new technologies must be deployed on a large scale in order for people to afford them, and no economy can do this alone.

Singapore is developing a national hydrogen strategy to green the power sector. Singapore looks forward to working with like-minded partners to scale up the low hydrocarbon supply chain.

The second proposal is to jointly develop high-integrity carbon markets. ‘We need clearer and more harmonised rules, requirements and standards for carbon credits to build trust and confidence in the market, as well as to encourage investment, create jobs and promote sustainable development, including the conservation of biodiversity,’ he said.

Singapore is particularly concerned about the environmental integrity of carbon credits, which means achieving the same or lower total global emissions through carbon credits traded on carbon markets. We have recently published stringent eligibility criteria for international carbon credits to be accepted under our carbon tax system, including a requirement that these carbon credits comply with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement deals with the operation of the international carbon market and how emissions reductions are transferred between countries.

Singapore welcomes APEC’s “Unconstrained and Just Energy Transition Principles”. Lee said it was important to have a credible, managed coal phase-out plan in place to mitigate the potential impact on unemployed employees and communities.

Kurt Tay accused of spreading female netizens’ sex videos and photos

Involved in spreading sex videos and photos of female netizens in pornographic groups, the singer has been charged and the case went through the court on Thursday morning (Nov 16), with the prosecution saying they may charge him more.

Singaporean singer Kurt Tay (41) once self-funded 20,000 yuan to produce a single “Away from You”; He was also cheated of 3,000 yuan by a friend by a lie that he recruited a boat to make millions in prostitution; He was also the subject of a prank that turned his naked photos into prostitution posters.

He is now suspected of violating the law and was charged with going to court on the 1st of this month for spreading sexual videos and photos of female netizens.

According to the complaint, he allegedly uploaded photos and videos of a woman performing oral sex on the Telegram group “BDSM Party” at 9:02 a.m. on Oct. 27 this year without her consent.

42-year-old Japanese woman found dead in Dakota Crescent apartment

Dakota’s apartment unit spread a foul odor, and a 42 year old Japanese woman was dies and turned into a decaying corpse at home. The police were on the scene for six hours to investigate.

This case occurred at around 12:00 noon on Wednesday (November 15th) at the Waterbank at Dakota Apartment in Dakota Crescent.

The reporter received a notification at 5 PM that there were a number of police cars downstairs in the apartment, and the atmosphere was tense, and he rushed to the scene.

It was observed that five police cars and a crime Scene Investigation (CSI) vehicle were parked in the apartment, and several officers wearing masks and gloves entered and exited the 15th floor unit of one of the apartments on several occasions to conduct investigations and search for evidence inside and on the balcony.

The interviewed residents revealed that there was a Japanese couple living in the unit involved, and they believed that the female deceased was not alone, so they did not understand why the female deceased was found several days after her death. The whereabouts of the male household is also unknown.

The police confirmed the incident when questioned. The spokesman said a case of unnatural death was reported at about 12.25pm. A 42-year-old woman was found motionless inside the unit and pronounced dead at the scene upon arrival by paramedics. Preliminary investigation shows that no criminal acts are involved in the case, and the investigation is still ongoing.

Tata will make iphone in India

The Indian conglomerate Tata Group is to start manufacturing the US Apple iPhone in India. The Tata Group will acquire the Indian arm of Wistron, a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer that manufactures iphones in the country. Tata will emphasize “domestic” and expand sales of Apple products in India.

Wistron announced on October 27 that it would sell its Indian operations to Tata Electronics, a unit of the Tata Group. Wistron said it now estimated the sale at $125 million. According to Indian media reports, Tata will take over Wistron’s factory near Bangalore in southern India, which makes the iPhone.

The Indian government has proposed “Make in India,” a strategy to revive the manufacturing industry, and hopes to nurture the domestic industry through subsidies. In the context of the current confrontation between China and the United States, India is also attracting attention as a production base to replace China.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, posted on X (formerly Twitter) on October 27 that “Tata will start manufacturing iPhone in India for domestic and foreign customers.”

According to Counterpoint, a Hong Kong-based research firm, China’s Xiaomi will take the top spot with 20 percent of India’s smartphone shipments in 2022. Apple’s share is no more than 4%, but as a huge market of 1.4 billion people, India is highly anticipated.

Apple opened India’s first directly operated stores in Mumbai and New Delhi in April. Apple CEO Tim Cook visited India at the opening and held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others.

According to Indian media reports, Cook also held an interview with Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, the group’s main investment holding company, during his visit to India.

The Tata Group is a representative consortium in India. IT not only owns large IT companies such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Tata Motors, but also runs businesses such as home appliance stores.

Will the yen fluctuate wildly this week?

This week (October 30 to November 3), the Japanese financial market is expected to be volatile. In addition to the central banks of Japan and the United States meeting to determine monetary policy, whether the Japanese government and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) carried out exchange rate intervention in October will be disclosed. Without intervention, the yen is likely to weaken further. The situation in the Middle East is rapidly becoming tense, and the variables affecting the yen’s exchange rate are increasing. There is also a growing sense of caution in the stock market.

The yen-dollar exchange rate fell to 150.70-150.79 yen per dollar on October 26, the second half of last week, hitting a one-year low. The exchange rate, which was largely unchanged in the 149.0-149.9 yen range, is returning to volatility. Many believe volatility will increase this week. The reason is that the factors causing market volatility will continue to emerge.

One of the main factors driving the yen’s appreciation has been rising tensions in the Middle East. The yen is likely to be bought as a “low-risk asset.” Israel is intensifying its ground operation in Gaza, the Palestinian autonomous region. If the local battle with the Islamist group Hamas evolves into a situation that involves other Middle Eastern countries, the yen is likely to rise.

At the same time, the forces driving down the yen are also clear. The Bank of Japan will hold a monetary policy meeting on Oct. 30-31 and announce the results of the meeting on Oct. 31. There are some views that predict the modification of the long-term and short-term interest rate operations (yield curve control, YCC). If the YCC is revised three months after July, when the long-term interest rate ceiling was raised by 0.5 percent, the market will realize the normalization of monetary policy.

Until now, the depreciation of the yen has been exacerbated by the widening of the Japan-US interest rate gap. Even if the Bank of Japan revises the YCC, the interest rate spread will not narrow significantly, and the depreciation pressure on the yen will remain. But in the absence of a correction, investors who bought the yen are likely to sell it instead.

In addition, the Japanese Ministry of Finance will publish its report on currency intervention from September 28 to October 27 on September 31, the same day as the Bank of Japan meeting.

The yen hit the Y150 mark on October 3 before briefly appreciating at around Y3. On the 26th, when it hit a one-year low, there was also a rapid appreciation from around 150 yen to around 149 yen.

There is a growing view that the Japanese government is using 150 yen as a line of defense. Masafumi Yamamoto, chief foreign exchange strategist at Mizuho Securities, explained: “There are a lot of foreign investors asking if there is intervention.”

Masato Kanda, the Japanese finance minister overseeing the intervention, said of currency intervention: “The general situation is not to announce it. No benefit at all “and it is not clear whether the intervention was carried out. This is a strategy designed to make speculators hesitant to sell yen by making them suspicious.

Daisaku Ueno, chief currency strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, said: “Caution about intervention is pushing the yen up by around two to three yen.” Magma is gathering to sell the yen. If the “no intervention” scenario is disclosed, the view that the defense line will be lower than 150 yen will come to light, and the yen selling by speculators is likely to intensify.

After the middle of this week, there will be important events on the American side.

The Federal Reserve Board (FRB) will hold a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) before November 1. While a delay in raising rates is considered almost certain, it is hard to imagine the policy of “higher rates for longer” being reversed. This is reinforcing the view that the impact on interest rates and exchange rates will be small.

On the same day, the US Treasury will present specific plans to issue debt over the next three months.

The recent sharp rise in US long-term interest rates (and the fall in US Treasury bond prices) comes against the backdrop of concerns about US finances. Xiaoqingshuizhihe, senior interest rate strategist at Nomura, said that if US Treasuries “see a larger issuance than the market expects, long-term US interest rates could rise again”. In that case, the dollar would appreciate against the yen.

The stock market will remain influenced by the interest rate moves between Japan and the United States. The rise in U.S. interest rates has weakened U.S. technology stocks, and the Japanese stock market has also been affected by semiconductor stocks. The Tokyo Electron, which contributes a lot to the stock index, fell for two consecutive weeks as of Oct. 27, with a total decline of 7.5%.

After the United States, the financial reports of listed companies in Japan will also be fully launched. A weaker yen to the ¥150 range would boost earnings for Japanese exporters such as autos, but there is a view that shares are already pricing in strong results. Since interest rates are the starting point for determining stock prices, as long as interest rates are not stable, the stock market will be volatile situation or continue.

Canton Fair “self-employed” China’s foreign trade is quietly changing

After the visa capacity was improved, Guangzhou regained its “third world capital” essence during the Canton Fair, and the foreigners on the streets became shoulder to shoulder. During the four years of the epidemic, the new form of e-commerce industry represented by live streaming e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce has developed rapidly, so there are also many online shop owners among the buyers of the Canton Fair. They excitedly broadcast live in the huge Pazhou Exhibition Hall, showing audiences around the world that the world’s largest exhibition hall contains a wide range of goods.

If you think about it, China’s trade has changed a lot in recent years. The online shop owners and Internet celebrities taking selfies in front of the Pazhou Pavilion represent a new phase in China’s foreign trade – one in which live-streaming e-commerce and cross-border e-commerce combine to empower China’s powerful supply chain to sell to millions of ordinary self-employed people outside the country. This opens up a unique non-traditional channel for Chinese goods, so that the traditional sense of “low-end production capacity” can avoid being eliminated in a short time.

The discussion needs to start with China’s export structure. According to the composition of shareholders of export customs declaration enterprises, we can divide exports into two categories: domestic exports and foreign exports. In 2014, China exported about $39.4 billion in goods every day – of which foreign exports accounted for about 46% of $18.1 billion. This figure has been falling for a decade – foreign investment accounted for less than a third (29%) of the $18.7 billion of goods that China exported on average every day in the first nine months of 2023. During the decade, the total value of foreign exports increased by only 3.1% (0.3% per year on average), lagging not only the overall 63.5% (5.0% per year), but also far behind the 114.7% (7.9% per year) of domestic exports.

So what does the change in China’s export structure reflect?

Let’s start with the characteristics of foreign and domestic exports. If we further break down the types of foreign capital exports according to the way of trade, we can find that most of the foreign capital exports are still exported in the form of “incoming processing” and “incoming processing”. In other words, these exports are still processed trade in which both the upstream component supply channels and the downstream sales channels are outside.

As a result, foreign exports have traditionally not relied on “Canton Fairs” – they usually have sophisticated design and sales capabilities, and simply use China as one link in their supply chain. For export-oriented foreign-invested enterprises, China is often chosen because of its relatively low production costs – and this production cost is indeed likely to be replaced by policy factors.

The biggest problem with this “processing trade with both ends outside” is that the processing part of China obviously has no bargaining power when the supply chain and sales channels are controlled. This is where the “smile curve” comes from. According to this theory, if China’s labor costs in the so-called “low-end industries” such as clothing are no longer advantageous compared with other countries, then these industries will naturally face the transfer to other countries, and practitioners will naturally face the fate of decline and disappearance.

But the cost of production is only part of the price of a product – if you can cut the cost of other parts, you can still produce in China at competitive prices. Among the “costs of other parts”, circulation and sales costs are the largest part. Many goods that sell for one yuan in China may sell for one dollar in the United States, and the price difference between them is the cost of circulation and sales.

Under the traditional mode of large-scale trade that relies on foreign investors, the so-called “channels” of circulation and sales are actually monopolized. Because the bulk trade needs customs clearance and other procedures, as well as the final consumer-facing channels have a certain knowledge and capital threshold, so there are relatively few people who can do this business, and the cost of circulation naturally rises.

However, as we said in the article “Cross-border e-commerce folding smile Curve”, e-commerce has greatly lowered the knowledge threshold of cross-border trade – cross-border trade has become a very low threshold business under the optimization and “enabling” of large platforms. This has led to an explosion in the number of practitioners who quit their day jobs to start side businesses, or who use their time outside of their day jobs to get involved.

This is similar to the trend of opening stores on eBay and Taobao in the past – but unlike the logistics system was not mature enough to make it difficult to make big stores, logistics is much more mature today. In order to take full advantage of their infrastructure, large e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Walmart have begun to allow small and medium-sized sellers to enter – after listing on the e-commerce platform, small and medium-sized sellers can immediately use the e-commerce platform’s capital collection and logistics capabilities (of course, at the cost of taking money) to achieve rapid delivery of goods.

For these traders and micro business, commodity management and logistics problems have been solved. So there’s only one problem left – the supply chain. Unlike large traders who have enough manpower to investigate the supply chain, individual traders and micro businesses obviously do not have such energy to go country by country. For them, the only option is to follow their intuition – and the ubiquitous “Made in China” of everyday life is the best.

If you search for “Sourcing from China,” you’ll find a wealth of videos and articles (66 million Google results) that guide online shopkeepers on how to source from China. From how to apply for a Chinese visa, buy a Chinese mobile phone card, how to find a shop in a trade city, how to take high-speed rail and online car booking, how to use e-commerce websites to find business opportunities, how to communicate with the shop customization, the content of these videos and articles can be described as everything.

And in these “business online courses”, in addition to the use of e-commerce website online wholesale, the most popular keywords are Yiwu  and Canton Fair- in the field of household goods, gifts and ornaments and other small commodities, there are enough suppliers can choose the Canton Fair, it is their grand stage.

If you look closely at the exhibits of the Canton Fair, you can find that the entire second and third phases are often the traditional “low-end production capacity.” However, with a large number of individual “turnover” to join the market brought about by the decline in channel costs, these “low-end production capacity” in the face of capacity competition in other countries are not timid – after all, even if the input price of goods has risen, the total cost is still relatively stable.

In other words, the traditional “low-end production capacity” of clothing is low-end production capacity because its trade channels are traditionally concentrated in the hands of a few large enterprises with mature channels in foreign countries. These large enterprises, in pursuit of profit, will of course put production in the cheapest place.

However, large companies are profitable because of their control over the channel. This channel control comes from the knowledge threshold introduced by the complexity of import and export trade and logistics in the past – knowledge threshold limits the number of participants and thus affects the competitive landscape in the market.

Therefore, whenever the threshold of knowledge is lowered (as is happening in the e-commerce industry today), whether in China (for example, brands such as SHEIN) or overseas (the “individual micro business” we just discussed), there will be challengers to this traditional distribution system. For the challengers of these traditional systems, the supply chain has always been the biggest challenge. In the face of such challenges, the first choice for new entrants remains China – and the most attractive of them is still the all-inclusive Canton Fair.

The best lesson we can draw from this is that the so-called “low-end industries” are not all bad: if the right model is found to reduce costs elsewhere, the “low-end industries” can still compete.

Zero-tariff clause of the Korea-UK FTA will be extended for another two years

According to Yonhap news agency of Korea, the British government said that South Korea and the United Kingdom have decided to extend the temporary clause in the Korea-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on the identification of EU raw materials as British raw materials by two years to 2025. After Brexit, the Korea-UK FTA came into effect at the beginning of 2021, and the two sides agreed to apply zero tariffs to British products made with EU raw materials within three years. If the provisions are not extended this time, high tariffs will be imposed on British products such as cars, food and drinks made from EU raw materials and exported from Britain to Korea in January next year.

Trade between Korea and the UK is worth 18 billion pounds a year, and Korea is the seventh largest export market for British-made cars, while Korean cars are the third largest import market for British cars. In addition, the two countries will begin negotiations on the revision of the bilateral FTA at the end of this year.

IEA: Hope for a doubling of global renewable energy production capacity

According to the “Les Échos” reported on October 24, the International Energy Agency released the 2023 World Energy Outlook report on the same day, to analyze and forecast the development trend of global clean energy.

The clean energy transition is taking place around the world. At the same time, oil and gas will continue to play an important role in the world economy, and global fossil fuel demand is expected to peak before 2030, and the pace of fossil fuel reduction will need to accelerate. Without further action, the key threshold of limiting temperature increase to 1.5 ° C, as set out in the Paris Agreement, will not be achieved.

The report recommends that to achieve the clean energy transition, global renewable energy capacity should be tripled by 2030, energy efficiency should be doubled, and fossil fuel demand should be reduced by 25%.