Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Asia 2020: 5 Things to Watch Out for in the Tech Sector Tech in 2020 will be an exciting space to watch, especially as 5G makes its debut

By Aparajita Saxena

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Tech buying by consumers in Asia is expected to grow nearly 5 per cent in 2020, according to market research firm Forrester, and Singapore is poised to lead that growth.

These tech purchases could be geared more towards software and services, the report said, and Singapore could be a forerunner in driving innovation there.

The advent of 5G, where China is expected to take a lead, is expected to revolutionise tech in 2020, thanks to the superior internet performance, and Asia's goal to become a tech-forward region.

Entrepreneur Asia Pacific looks at 5 trends in the Asia tech space that could define 2020, and even change the face of tech in the region.

Health-tech and Telemedicine Will Take Centre-stage

"As technical advances continue and network connectivity issues become less and less, in 2020 we'll see more healthcare clinicians get on board with telehealth technology and start to offer video visits as part of their standard services. This is absolutely critical in not only helping to bridge the healthcare gap between rural vs metro areas, but also in giving busy professionals, or those with mobility issues, the opportunity to access quality healthcare services, as and when they need it," says Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO of Coviu, an Australian health company.


Transport Tech Will Start to Impact Our Lives

"Big data has been the domain of large corporations but it was of little relevance to mere mortals, until now. In 2020 we will start to see the combination of big data and transport tech deliver real benefits in terms of better traffic management, smarter public transport and more intelligent cars that can make commuting faster and easier to organise," says Chris Noone, CEO of car subscription service, Carly.

Technology Will Help Drive Job Hirings and Office Productivity

"While trends like automation will continue to impact companies, by being able to have a data driven view around soft skills, personalities and adaptability, this represents an enormous opportunity to transition impacted workers to more strategic, dollar productive jobs through upskilling, learning and development," says Carl Hartmann, co-founder of Shortlyster, a hiring optimisation platform.


Fintech Will Continue to Grow in Asia

Fintech is expected to continue to play a huge role in Asia as more people who previously did not have access to financial services, start to take advantage of online platforms. Over the next year, artificial intelligence and blockchain are expected to drive growth in the fintech sector, making processes such as documentation, regulatory approvals, payment settlements, loan disbursements, among other things, faster and more efficient.

By 2025, digital payments are expected to cross $1 trillion, and account for nearly one in two dollars spent in the region, according to a joint study by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co.

"We're going to start seeing a lot of services that have been transitioning towards automation. Mainstream acceptance of automation is happening whether that's through credit decisioning or robo-advice. This is driven by both improvements in AI technology but also data sending," says Yanir Yakutiel, CEO of Lumi, a platform that helps small businesses get loans.


Ni Hao, Siri!

"Voice tech such as Alexa and Siri has been emerging for a very long time. The killer selling-point which gets masses to switch to using virtual assistants on a daily basis simply hasn't arrived. My bold prediction for 2020 is that we are close to that inflection point. The technology is continuing to expand, especially around personalising the assistant so it can pick up on things like your mood. This is much more impactful than meets the eye: a smartphone AI assistant that you can trust, and can tell you're getting stressed when driving or can predict needs based on your mood is enormously powerful. Unlike autonomous cars, having an AI personal assistant like Iron Man's "Jarvis' to help you through the day isn't that far away," says Carly's Chris Noone.

Tech companies dedicated to developing voice-assistants that can understand and communicate in Asian languages are also expected to give a boost to voice-tech.

Aparajita Saxena

Former Deputy Associate Editor, Asia Pacific

Aparajita is Former Deputy Associate Editor for Entrepreneur Asia Pacific. She joined Entrepreneur after nearly five years with Reuters, where she chased the Asian and U.S. finance markets.

At Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, she wrote about trends in the Asia Pacific startup ecosystem. She also loves to look for problems startups face in their day-to-day and tries to present ways to deal with those issues via her stories, with inputs from other startups that may have once been in that boat.

Outside of work, she likes spending her time reading books (fiction/non-fiction/back of a shampoo bottle), chasing her two dogs around the house, exploring new wines, solo-travelling, laughing at memes, and losing online multiplayer battle royale games.



Why Entrepreneur Stands Against the PRO Act

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act could do lasting harm to the small-business and franchise community.


Why Women Entrepreneurs Have a Harder Time Finding Funding

Intentional or not, most investors are more likely to give money to males. That needs to change.


What Lawmakers Don't Understand About the PRO Act, According to Franchise Owners

Lawmakers are confused about what franchising is, and are threatening the whole business model with a bad bill, experts say.

Business Models

How to Become an AI-Centric Business (and Why It's Crucial for Long-Term Success)

Learn the essential steps to integrate AI at the core of your operations and stay competitive in an ever-evolving landscape.


Franchise Owners Say PRO Act Threatens Their American Dream

Immigrant and Black Americans say lawmakers should support, not obstruct, the creation of generational wealth