Digital Asia

Digital Asia

The latest Perspectives Asia edition covers the prozess of digitalization in Asia with contributions from all across the continent. Our online special presents all the articles with an additional podcast.


Over the last years, Asia has undergone an impressive digital transformation. Large parts of the continent have turned from the world’s factory into a creative industry. Digitalization has become a driving force of social and economic change. This certainly means more opportunities for innovation and growth for many countries. However, on the flipside, if new technologies are in the wrong hands they can also be used as a mean to abuse power.

By Fabian Heppe

Is digitalization a blessing or a curse for our environment? Geographer Michael Reckordt from the German NGO PowerShift talks about the impacts especially for Asia.

Pakistan’s cybercrime law: boon or bane?

While the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act aims to counter rampant online harassment and terrorist content, it drew criticism for severely impacting citizens’ rights to expression and privacy.

By Farieha Aziz

IT giants in China: a tough business

China suffers from draconian internet regulations, but enjoys a prosperous marketplace; it attracts IT giants from the United States and Europe, but it has also expelled some of them.

By Sophie Ping Sun

Open Season for Professional Media?

Journalists sued for espionage in Cambodia, and for using drones or supposedly violating the official secrets act in Myanmar. News outlets faced with financial penalties steep enough to cause them to go under, as it did in Cambodia. Media organizations in the Philippines repeatedly described as ‘fake news’ outlets by government officials chafing at critical reporting.

By Johanna Son

Time for a Pushback in Media Spaces

Digital, online and social-media avenues undoubtedly offer an alternative or complementary channel for news, because of the inherent difficulty in censoring these spaces. Their wide reach and levels of engagement have saved lives during disasters or emergencies.

Now already over 50 years old, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) holds an important role regionally and beyond when it comes to major political and economic developments. However, ASEAN does not live up to this role yet.

Further issues of Perspectives Asia

Perspectives Asia: Politics of Food

Food is a highly political issue. Nowhere is this more true than in Asia. This publication seeks to illustrate some conflicting issues in the field of food and nutrition. The contributions highlight a selection of fields, where political action is needed to ensure that there is enough food on people's plate, which is also healthy and nutritious.