SINGAPORE — Southeast Asia saw a surge in the use of digital services like e-commerce, food delivery and online payment due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report from Google, Temasek Holdings and Bain & Company.As many as 40 million people in six countries across the region — Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand — came online for the first time in 2020, the report said. That pushed the total number of internet users in Southeast Asia to 400 million. It added that many of the new users came from non-metropolitan areas in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.Global growth is facing an unprecedented challenge this year due to stringent lockdown measures that have affected businesses and employment across the world.- Advertisement – “When we ask consumers why they chose to use e-commerce, as just one example, during coronavirus, they share with us that yes, it was to avoid potential exposure to coronavirus. But really importantly, near the same percentage of people state it is because it is efficient and they found it to be helpful,” Davis said.Some of the main findings from this year’s report includes:1. Digital financial services are gaining momentum as more small-and-medium-sized businesses have become receptive to accepting online payments. Digital payments are set to grow from $600 billion in 2019 to $620 billion in 2020 as the average number of cash transactions fall and could reach $1.2 trillion by 2025.2. Health technology and education technology sectors received a boost from the pandemic as many people turned to online health consultations while schools shifted to remote learning. Investments into those sectors are growing.3. Online travel and transport sectors were hit the hardest as the pandemic ground international travel to a halt while many people began to work from home. Still, the report predicts online travel to rebound to $60 billion by 2025.4. Regional technology investments rose 17% in the number of deals between the first half of 2019 and first half of 2020 but total deal value fell from $7.7 billion to $6.3 billion. Investors put more money into the financial technology space where deal value rose from $475 million to $835 million in the first half of 2020. Customers and drivers for Grab Holdings Inc.’s GrabFood line up to collect orders at a Pisang Goreng Bu Nanik store in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday, July 15, 2019. Globally, the online food order industry has grown into a hyper-competitive field, which has led to consolidation as companies claw for a bigger slice of more than $300 billion in restaurant deliveries. Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Still, the report predicted Southeast Asia’s internet sectors could witness strong growth and hit $100 billion in 2020, with e-commerce registering a 63% growth while the online travel segment contracted 58%. Overall, the region’s internet sectors remain on track to cross $300 billion by 2025.“We’ve been profoundly impacted by the global coronavirus but it has been heartening and encouraging to see that the resilience still exists in Southeast Asia’s digital economy,” Stephanie Davis, vice president for Southeast Asia at Google, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday before the report was officially released.Davis explained that Covid-19, which has infected more than 50 million people worldwide, drove a lot of the decision-making for consumers across Southeast Asia. She added that there was encouraging evidence that much of that shift to digital consumption is here to stay.- Advertisement –
It’s been a good two weeks for Badger fans.There was that epic defeat of No. 1 Ohio State at home, where the fans flooded the field and among other things, destroyed a $500,000 3-D camera that ESPN owned. There was also last week’s can-you-believe-it win in Iowa City, Bret Bielema’s first road win over a ranked Big Ten team. It was one of those games where you weren’t sure who was going to win until the clock literally hit “0:00,” an instant classic.Now, Wisconsin sits at 7-1, with a real chance to run the table and go 11-1. That record doesn’t guarantee a spot in a BCS bowl though, as OSU could potentially leapfrog UW in the BCS standings and send the Badgers to the Capital One Bowl instead, provided Michigan State wins out. The resulting outrage would be even greater than in 2006, as that UW squad lacked a signature win, while the 2010 Badgers might own two of the best victories in college football this season.Whatever the outcome, Badger Nation will be left asking one question: What if?What if Wisconsin hadn’t laid an egg in East Lansing? Instead of listening to how the Spartans are a dark horse for the National Championship, it could be the Badgers getting the ESPN love. Wisconsin would be 8-0 with a realistic chance to go undefeated and at the very least, earn that coveted Rose Bowl berth.What if?Well, without that loss, the Badgers probably lose one, or both of their games against the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes. “It’s possible. Obviously we didn’t have that situation, so I wouldn’t know,” center Pete Konz said. “You really find out who you are after the adversity; we really buckled down the way we needed to. If [the loss] had to happen, I’m glad the way we responded to that is how we did.”The loss to Michigan State wasn’t just a loss. It was a humbling experience. There is no question Wisconsin looked highly over-ranked following that debacle in the Great Lakes State. The offense had no rhythm, the defense couldn’t stop anybody and there was no clutch last drive or defensive stand. The highly-touted offensive line was nowhere near as good as we thought, while the loss of Chris Borland meant there was no playmaker on the other side of the ball.Simply put, the questions raised in the shaky non-conference portion of the schedule seemed to have been answered: UW simply wasn’t a very good team.Bielema talked after the season-opener how it was good to face adversity early in the season. That same theme was echoed in the following games against San Jose State and Arizona State. Come the Big Ten opener, UW hoped the earlier adversity would have served the team well.The only problem was, the adversity didn’t end until the scoreboard at Spartan Stadium read 34-24. Senior guard John Moffitt wouldn’t come out and say it outright, but admitted he’d thought about it: The MSU loss had an effect on the Badgers.“I think that it did wake certain people up, against Michigan State, which was needed, and maybe that carried through into Ohio State,” Moffitt said. “But as far as the way we approached it, or Coach Bielema approached it, there was no big talk or big thing. I think guys just understood, OK, we need to move forward now and play better football.”The Badgers learned what they needed to improve on. But the loss really made the Ohio State game a must-win. Beat the Buckeyes, save the season.When’s the last time a Badgers team looked as good as Bielema’s squad did Oct. 16? David Gilreath gives UW a big boost with his kick return, the offense clicked and the defense held steady against a national-title caliber team and a Heisman-contending dual-threat quarterback.UW basically did everything it didn’t do at MSU.Against Iowa, the Badgers got a chance to exorcise that road-game demon. It wasn’t a perfect game, but it was good enough. The defense was shoddy on third-downs, but when the Badgers needed a play, J.J. Watt finally came through with his 11-yard sack of Ricky Stanzi.That clutch drive to tie the score in that wasn’t there in East Lansing. It made its appearance against the Hawkeyes, where UW converted twice on third down and twice on fourth down, including that ballsy fake punt run.The Badgers got to see firsthand everything a great team cannot do by losing to the Spartans. It’s one thing to play poorly and get away with it; it’s a completely different matter to pay the price as a result.“It’s really eye-opening, it’s kind of like a speeding ticket,” Konz said of the Michigan State loss. “You speed and you don’t get caught, you’re going to continue speeding, you’re going to continue doing the wrong thing. It’s not until you get caught where you slow down.”It still remains to be seen where the Badgers end up after the clock hits zero in the Northwestern game. Maybe they’re 11-1, maybe they lose one or two of these next four games. Some people still might be asking, “What if we had beaten MSU”?The answer? We wouldn’t be savoring two signature wins, and we would never have found out how good this team can be.Adam is a senior majoring in journalism. Think the MSU game was a wake-up call, or would Bucky have run the table? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at him @adamjsholt.