Asia is driving the global digital revolution, both in terms of engagement and innovation, but the speed of change will present challenges for businesses, according to Maya Hari, Twitter’s Vice President for Asia Pacific.
“Asia is leading the digital revolution both as a consumer market as well as technology being built,” she said. “Last year we saw nearly 1.9 billion internet users in Asia, and that continues to grow by 8 per cent year on year.”
Speaking on “the rise of digital society” at Asia House’s major trade dialogue in Singapore, Hari outlined the tech trends emerging in the region.
Half of the world’s millennials will be in Asia by 2020, Hari said – a fact that will have huge implications for businesses in the region.
“The millennial consumer is deeply driven by purpose, by equality and concern for things like the environment,” she said, adding that this poses interesting implications for how commerce will evolve.
“They are pushing businesses to do the right thing. They will vote with their dollars on what to buy. They don’t just buy your goods or services any more, they buy what you stand for as a company.”
In an insightful keynote speech, Hari also touched on the wider implications of Asia’s digital rise, including the influence of social media on upcoming elections in the region, the potential for new technologies to close language barriers, and the risk of internet fragmentation should there be a drift towards data nationalism.
Watch Maya Hari’s keynote speech in full