By Ying Staton, Global Counsel
Jakarta is often called the world’s Twitter capital. Its digital citizens generate more tweets than any other city worldwide. Twitter has prioritised Indonesia as a key growth market and their executives take pride in quoting a McKinsey research paper that shows a 10 per cent increase in the number of internet users in a country leads to a 1 per cent rise in that country’s GDP growth.
But the relationship between social media buzz and economic prosperity is far from linear in Indonesia. The Indonesian digital phenomenon is the result of a several factors including demographics (about half the population is under 29), a robust climate of political debate and a culture in which ‘affiliative’ instincts – the desire to belong to a community rather than stand out from a crowd – are regarded as pronounced. Read more
Only 40 per cent of Indonesians have a bank account, but over 90 per cent have a mobile phone. For both entrepreneurs and multinationals, that represents a big opportunity. The FT’s Ben Bland visits rural West Java to see how mobile commerce is spreading.
As internet penetration and consumer spending grow rapidly in Indonesia, ecommerce in the country is starting to take off.
Indonesia’s unique geography – with 240m people spread over 6,000 islands stretching 3,000 miles east to west – poses big difficulties for online retailers but also big opportunities. Read more
Squeeze your way into the over-crowded Ambassador mall in central Jakarta and you will find countless shops openly selling cheap, pirated software in clear violation of Indonesia’s intellectual property laws. You can even get hundreds of apps downloaded onto your iPad or smartphone for just a few dollars.
But, although 86 per cent of Indonesian software is pirated, attitudes are starting to change, making the country Microsoft’s fastest growing market in Asia, according to Alvaro Celis, the US company’s vice president for the region. Read more