The Indonesian government and Google have finally resolved its long-running dispute over allegations that the US technology colossus had avoided paying millions of dollars in taxes. Indonesia’s Finance Minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati has confirmed that an agreement has been brokered, but revealed that the figure agree will not be disclosed. The Indonesian Finance Minister said: “We already have an agreement with them based on the 2016 annual tax return form, but we can’t disclose the figure.”
Thailand’s government has threatened to shut down social media colossus Facebook in the country - after it refused demands from authorities to remove posts. Government officials issued a request to Facebook to remove around 131 posts off the popular networking platform claiming the posts were ‘illegal’.
The United States is planning to increase its scrutiny of Chinese investment in Silicon Valley in an effort to protect what it describes as ‘sensitive technologies’ which are seen as vital to US national security. China has shown a particular interest in AI and machine learning and both technologies have received a significant amount of Chinese capital in recent years.
Thailand has announced its ambitious aim of introducing broadband access to every village in the country by 2018. The Thailand government has recognized the power of the digital economy in terms of creating innovation – which can significantly reduce the gap between rich and poor in the region. It has declared its long-term commitment to embracing technology and will attempt to bring connectivity to even the most remote parts of Thailand.
China’s strategic approach to technology investment has been hailed by the CEO of trade group CTA (Consumer Technology Association) at CES Asia, an ICT exhibition which is currently being held in Shanghai. CTA CEO, Gary Shapiro, claimed that China has taken a successful US model and improved on it – highlighting the country’s sharp focus on technology and innovation as the primary reason for its success.
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has disclosed that the agency is currently conducting a forensic and in-depth regulatory review - as it continues its attempts to remove regulations deemed outdated and that in fact only serve to create barriers for business. The comments were made by the head of the FCC, Ajit Pai, who also claimed the regulatory body was keen to adapt certain rules to the digital age in order to increase innovation.
The Indian government has requested that US technology colossus Apple must provide them with a detailed vision for its job creation plans in the country – and its long-term investment strategy for manufacturing iPhones in India – before it will even consider the prospect of granted Apple’s request for tax concessions.
US tech giants Google has announced it will lodge an objection in relation to tax amendments issued by the Australian Taxation Office – in which it alleges that the company owes billions in unpaid taxes. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has tightened its policy over with regards to the amount of tax multinational conglomerates that operate in the country pay.
A professor has urged government authorities in the Pacific Islands to embrace ICT in order to revolutionize and transform the services it provides for its residents by bringing the system into the digital era. Professor, Graham Hassall, believes an education process is required to highlight the potential of ICT and the subsequent benefits that this technology adoption via government services will have for the Islands.
Apple’s request for tax concessions in India has been formally rejected by its Finance Ministry. The request made by the US smartphone giant will now be referred to the council that oversees taxation on goods and services in India. Apple announced earlier this year that it would start manufacturing its iPhones in the country by the end of April. The decision was made to comply with the Prime Minister’s ‘Make it in India’ initiative - which requires smartphone manufacturers to produce 30% of their product’s components on India soil in order to open a retail location in the region.