Head in the Clouds

Every year, more and more people have their head in the clouds . . . that is, cloud infrastructure. For the 4thconsecutive year, revenue in the cloud infrastructure market has grown, according to recent findings released by Synergy Research and Canalys. The market is dominated (61-63% of market share) by three major cloud service providers: Amazon (31-33%), Microsoft (20-22%), and Google (8-10%). Over the last 18 months as companies increasingly pivoted towards the cloud, the cloud infrastructure market saw its largest-ever yearly revenue increase, up $11.7B. Though migration to the cloud was already well underway, the pandemic’s worldwide shift to digital and heightened calls for environmental responsibility accelerated this movement and fuelled the revenue growth we see here.

What's going on with tech in China?

You may have heard quite a bit about China’s recent government crackdowns on tech companies, but this was just the beginning. On 11 August, China’s State Council and the Communist Party’s Central Committee released a 10-point plan to strengthen and tighten its economy over the next five years. The document includes strengthening capacities in science, technological innovation, culture, and education. However, there are also plans to review regulation of anti-trust laws, internet finance, artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing. The document comes at the end of a tough summer for Chinese tech companies, after EdTech, FinTech, InsureTech, gaming, and music were under the microscope for a handful of regulatory reviews. And since February, China’s biggest tech companies have lost a combined $1 trillion market capitalisation. Before the document was released, a number of tech companies halted their public offerings due to volatile trading and uncertain future regulations, include NetEase. The bright side? Regulations and policies are no longer uncertain. On the contrary, we now have a clearer picture of the Chinese government’s intentions with its tech industry. Time to brace for regulatory impacts.

Image Source: Google

Under the Sea

On 16 August, Google announced Apricot, an initiative to bring connectivity to Asia-Pacific with a new subsea cable. Due to come online in 2024, the 7500-mile undersea internet cable will connect Japan, Taiwan, Guam, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore. But Google isn’t doing this alone. Facebook has announced collaboration with Google alongside regional telecom providers. Apricot joins Google’s other subsea initiatives to link the US with South America and Asia-Pacific. Undersea cables are responsible for the majority of international internet traffic movement, and this initiative will help meet rising data demands of increasing 4G, 5G and broadband access.

Image Source: Electronic Arts

Making the Video Game Industry Accessible

Game developer Electronic Arts (EA) just pledged to make its accessibility-centred technology patents freely available for use. The patent pledge was announced the same day as EA was granted a patent for its Ping System that transmits contextually aware audio-visual communications through mappable controller inputs. The other four patents include image processing and rendering as well as audio generation to aid players with visual, hearing, and other disabilities. EA is the first in the industry to announce a patent pledge for accessibility-related technology but hopes other game developers will follow suit to “equip developers with the know-how to advance the state of the art in game development” (Chris Bruzzo, EA Games). IP and patents have typically been heavily protected within the video game industry. But with these accessibility-related innovations, EA is sharing its IP and knowledge to make its products more accessible and inclusive for a greater audience.