Cambodia’s ‘Buzzfeed’ Attracts Silicon Valley Investment

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA � Khmerload, a Cambodian entertainment news website modeled after the American media giant Buzzfeed, has become the country's first local tech startup to attract the backing of Silicon Valley investors.

A $200,000 investment to be exact.

The money came from 500 Startups, a global venture capital seed fund and startup accelerator founded by PayPal and Google alumni, Dave McClure and Christine Tsai, who took notice of the website, launched five years ago.

The grant pushed the company's value to more than $1 million, according to In Vichet, Khmerload's founder and CEO.

Several sites, and growing

Vichet, also the CEO and founder of Cambodia's popular Little Fashion ecommerce site, said he convinced investors that Khmerload had growth potential, enough for a return on the investment.

We showed them that we are in the top three websites in Cambodia, said Vichet, who did his graduate work in economics at the University of Michigan. We also have traction in Myanmar, where we recently expanded. So they see that we have done a lot while already generating revenue. They saw our potential.

Khailee Ng, the Southeast Asia-based managing partner of 500 Startups, said Khmerload's probable growth extends far beyond Cambodia's borders.

Getting to the top media position behind Facebook and Google's properties with such a lean budget is something not many entrepreneurs across Southeast Asia have done, Ng said.

I've actually never seen anything quite like it. To be profitable, yet have increasing traffic growth rates? This investment decision is easy, he added.

The $1 million may not seem like much compared with the $1.7 billion value of Buzzfeed, until measured against Cambodia's per capita income of $1,070, according to the latest World Bank estimate.

More Cambodians on internet

The 500 Startups grant comes as more and more Cambodians are using the internet and Facebook, according to an Asia Foundation study that found most go online exclusively through their smartphones. This mimics trends for sites like Buzzfeed.

Khmerload has gained more than 17 million page views per month in Cambodia, allowing it to expand into Myanmar last year, opening a sister site, Myanmarload, which already generates about 20 million page views per month.

It has also carried out a successful pilot in Indonesia, said Vichet, and was incorporated in Singapore as Mediaload.

However, Khmerload's Buzzfeed-style approach of viral content and quick clicks has led to criticism.

Content diversifying

Vichet admits that the site originally relied heavily on tabloid and entertainment content or, as he put it, nonpolitical content, an important distinction in a nation where the constitution provides for a free press, but where the state closely monitors the media and � one way or another � controls its content.

But as the site has grown to reach millions, he says, it has diversified to include more informative content, including educational materials and technology news.

And 500 Startups is no doubt aware of Cambodians growing embrace of the online world. In 2000, an estimated 6,000 Cambodians used the internet. Today, the company estimates 5 million active users in Cambodia.

Tech startups are also on the rise. About 120 have sprung up in Cambodia, along with some 10 co-working spaces in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, according to Thul Rithy, founder of Phnom Penh-based co-working spaces SmallWorld and Emerald Hub.

Mediaload's next moves include expansions into Vietnam and Laos, Vichet said. He's also keen to help other Cambodians obtain Silicon Valley investment.

Even with a good idea, it is really hard for Cambodians to get an investment from [Silicon Valley], as there is no precedent of success, Vichet said. I hope I can deliver good returns to them so that in the future they will invest in other Cambodian technology startups.

Source: Voice of America

UN Council Adopts Resolution to Launch Investigation of Rights Abuses in Myanmar

The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday said it will dispatch an independent, international fact-finding mission to investigate alleged recent human rights violations by the Myanmar military and security forces in western Myanmar's Rakhine state.

The mission will be looking into reports of murder, rape, torture, and arson by security forces in Rohingya Muslim communities in the northern part of the state during a four-month crackdown that began last October following deadly attacks on border guard posts blamed on Rohingya militants.

About 1,000 people died during the operations and more than 77,000 Rohingya fled, mostly to neighboring Bangladesh where they are living in refugee camps.

Myanmar disassociated itself from the draft of the European Union-backed resolution, and specifically from the call for the urgent dispatch of a fact-finding mission, according to a statement by the U.N. Human Rights Council (OHCHR).

The country said it was committed to finding a sustainable solution to the situation in Rakhine state, and that based on the findings and recommendations of a national investigation commission and an advisory commission for Myanmar would put in place a long-term peace-building plan for Rakhine state.

Presidential spokesman Zaw Htay told RFA's Myanmar Service that it was not fair for the council to send a separate mission to look into the human rights abuse allegations, given the country's national-level commission led by Vice President Myint Swe and an Rakhine advisory commission headed by former U.N. chief Kofi Annan.

It is totally unfair and counter to international practice that other countries have decided to send a separate mission to investigate violations when we haven't completed our own investigations, he said.

Their action shows a lack of respect to the host country.

He added that the Myanmar government would continue promoting and defending human rights as recommended by the United Nations and is implementing the country's human rights policy.

We'll take action against the perpetrators, he said in a reference to anyone found to have committed human rights abuses during the crackdown in Rakhine.

Zaw Htay said the country has to deal with other factors related to the recent crisis in Rakhine State that began last October along with important issues such as achieving national peace and reconciliation after decades of ethnic separatist civil wars.

At this juncture, this U.N. resolution will not help our efforts to resolve these issues, he said. Therefore, we cannot agree with the resolution, and we have dissociated ourselves from it. We cannot accept this resolution.

Institutional discrimination

The resolution also states that Myanmar should continue to address systematic and institutionalized discrimination against the Rohingya and other ethnic and religious minorities in the country.

Zaw Htay said that Myanmar's Human Rights Commission will issue a report soon and that national leaders will continue to work for a long-lasting solution to the problems in Rakhine state.

The state is home to more than 1.1 million Rohingya who are denied citizenship and access to basic services because Myanmar considers them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Communal violence with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in 2012 left more than 200 people dead and displaced about 140,000 Rohingya who were forced to live in appalling conditions in internally displaced persons camps.

The independent mission, which will be appointed by the council's president, will submit an update on its work during the body's autumn session.

China disassociated itself from the draft resolution, saying that the international community should look at the progress Myanmar has made in human rights and respect the country's sovereignty by creating a favorable environment for the parties to resolve their differences through dialogue.

Rights groups applauded the move, with New York-based Human Rights Watch calling it a step toward preventing future abuses and brining justice for victims in Myanmar.

The Human Rights Council's authorization of an international fact-finding mission is crucial for ensuring that allegations of serious human rights abuses in Burma are thoroughly examined by experts, and to ensure that those responsible will ultimately be held accountable, said John Fisher, HRW's director in Geneva, Switzerland.

Burma's government should cooperate fully with the mission, including by providing unfettered access to all affected areas, he said.

East Asia-based Fortify Rights called the move a landmark resolution and urged the Myanmar government to fully cooperate with it.

We commend the Human Rights Council for this initiative. It's long overdue, said Matthew Smith, the group's chief executive officer. While this mission isn't a silver bullet, it's a welcome and positive move toward prevention and accountability.

Relations with the military

The resolution comes as Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, tries to forge peace in a country wracked by fighting between ethnic armed groups and Myanmar's powerful military, in addition to addressing the problems in Rakhine state.

Aung San Suu Kyi's efforts to improve the government's relationship with the country's military is based on the need for reconciliation, rather than a struggle for power, Win Htein, spokesman of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), told RFA on Friday.

Aung San Suu Kyi's efforts to forge a better relationship with the military, including military commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, is headed towards reconciliation and not meant to gain more power, he said.

He noted that the country's 2008 constitution, written by the army, gives control of the ministries of defense, home affairs, and border affairs to the military whether we like it or not.

Military officials also are appointed to a quarter of the seats in parliament.

Analysts say the military's independence from control by elected politicians helps explain why Aung San Suu Kyi has not been able to respond effectively to widespread and numerous reports of army atrocities in Rakhine. The Nobel Peace laureate has been criticized internationally over the Rakhine bloodshed.

Though Aung San Suu Kyi has indicated that she would like to see the constitution amended to decrease the power of the military in government affairs, she has striven to maintain good relations with Min Aung Hlaing and the generals who head up the three ministries, Win Htein said.

The previous military junta that ruled the country for 50 years kept Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for 15 years when she was head of the NLD, which was then the main opposition party.

As proof of improving ties between Aung San Suu Kyi and Min Aung Hlaing, Win Htein pointed to the general's attendance at Martyrs' Day last July 19, which had been boycotted by the generals in the past.

The military chief also attended an interfaith religious ceremony held at Aug San Suu Kyi's residence in Yangon that day.

These are the fruits of Aung San Suu Kyi's efforts to forge better ties with General Min Aung Hlaing, which are required for national reconciliation in the future, said Win Htein.

It's a very incorrect assumption by local and foreign observers that Aung San Suu Kyi cannot overcome the military's influence, he said.

Copyright (copyright) 1998-2016, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036

‫เชิญชวนเข้าร่วมรายการประกวดสำหรับรางวัลธุรกิจระหว่างประเทศที่ 14

กำหนดเวลาสำหรับการเข้าลงทะเบียนก่อนกำหนดคือวันที่ 12 เมษายน

FAIRFAX, Va., March 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Stevie® Awards ได้ออกเชิญชวนให้เข้าร่วมชิง รางวัลธุรกิจระหว่างประเทศ ประจำปีครั้งที่ 14 ซึ่งเป็นการแข่งขันด้านรางวัลธุรกิจชั้นนำระดับโลก ซึ่งดึงดูดการเสนอชื่อจากองค์กรต่างๆ ในกว่า 60 ประเทศและทุกภูมิภาคในแต่ละปี

ภาพที่มาพร้อมกับการประกาศครั้งนี้สามารถดูได้ที่ http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8540ffb4-6337-429d-9f7c-3574f68f49c3

บุคคลและองค์กรทั่วโลกทั้งภาครัฐและเอกชน ทั้งที่แสวงหาผลกำไรและไม่แสวงผลกำไร ขนาดใหญ่และขนาดเล็ก สามารถเสนอชื่อเข้าชิงรางวัลธุรกิจระหว่างประเทศได้ กำหนดเวลาสำหรับการเข้าลงทะเบียนก่อนกำหนดโดยมีค่าธรรมเนียมการเข้าลดลงคือ 12 เมษายน กำหนดวันสุดท้ายคือวันที่ 10 พฤษภาคม ส่วนรายการที่มาช้าจะได้รับการยอมรับจนถึงวันที่ 14 มิถุนายนโดยต้องชำระค่าธรรมเนียมสำหรับการล่าช้า ดูรายละเอียดได้ที่ www.StevieAwards.com/IBA

คณะกรรมการผู้ตัดสินซึ่งประกอบด้วยกรรมการมากกว่า 150 คนจะเป็นผู้ตัดสินรางวัล Stevie Award ประกาศผลวันที่ 10 สิงหาคม ผู้ชนะรางวัล Stevie Award จะได้รับรางวัลในงานเลี้ยงอาหารค่ำ ณ โรงแรม W Hotel ในเมืองบาร์เซโลนา ประเทศสเปน เมื่อวันที่ 21 ตุลาคม

รางวัลธุรกิจระหว่างประเทศชื่นชมความสำเร็จในทุกแง่มุมของสถานที่ทำงาน หมวดหมู่ต่างๆ ประกอบด้วย

ผู้ที่ได้รับรางวัล Stevie Award ประจำปี 2016 IBAs ได้แก่ ABS-CBN Corporation (Philippines), BSES Yamuna Power Limited (India), Clickky (Ukraine), Dogus Group (Turkey), Dubai Statistics Center (United Arab Emirates), Forter (USA), Foundation Telefónica (Spain), Freelancer.com (Australia), Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A. (Brazil), KEPCO Nuclear Fuel Company (South Korea), Mondelez International (United Kingdom), Ooredoo (Qatar), PJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines (Russia), Polystar (Sweden), PRIZM (Hong Kong), QLess, Inc. (USA), RheinBrücke IT Consulting (Germany), Roshan (Afghanistan), SABC Pension Fund (South Africa), SUNNY SIDE UP, Inc. (Japan), Telkom Indonesia (Indonesia) และ TELUS International (Canada) และอื่นๆ

เกี่ยวกับ Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards ให้รางวัลใน 7 โครงการด้วยกันซึ่งได้แก่ รางวัล Stevie Awards เอเชียแปซิฟิกรางวัล Stevie Awards รางวัลธุรกิจอเมริกัน รางวัลธุรกิจระหว่างประเทศ รางวัล Stevie Awards สำหรับสตรีในด้านธุรกิจ รางวัล Stevie Awards สำหรับการขายและบริการลูกค้า และ รางวัล Stevie Awards สำหรับนายจ้างที่ดี การแข่งขันชิงรางวัล Stevie Awards ได้รับมากกว่า 10,000 รายการในแต่ละปีจากองค์กรในกว่า 60 ประเทศ รางวัล Stevies ยกย่องการแสดงออกที่โดดเด่นในที่ทำงานทั่วโลก เรียนรู้เพิ่มเติมได้ที่ http://www.StevieAwards.com

ติดต่อ:
Maggie Gallagher
+1 (703) 547-8389
[email protected]

Call for Entries Issued for Fourteenth International Business Awards

Early-Bird Entry Deadline Is 12 April

FAIRFAX, Va., March 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Stevie® Awards have issued the call for entries for The 14th Annual International Business Awards, the world’s premier business awards competition, which attracts nominations from organizations in more than 60 nations and territories each year.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8540ffb4-6337-429d-9f7c-3574f68f49c3

All individuals and organizations worldwide — public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small — may submit nominations to The International Business Awards. The early-bird entry deadline, with reduced entry fees, is 12 April. The final entry deadline is 10 May, and late entries will be accepted through 14 June with payment of a late fee. Entry details are available at www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.

An international judging panel of more than 150 executives will determine the Stevie Award winners. Results will be announced 10 August. Stevie Award winners will be presented their awards at a gala banquet at the W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain on 21 October.

The International Business Awards recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. Categories include:

Stevie Award winners in the 2016 IBAs included ABS-CBN Corporation (Philippines), BSES Yamuna Power Limited (India), Clickky (Ukraine), Dogus Group (Turkey), Dubai Statistics Center (United Arab Emirates), Forter (USA), Foundation Telefónica  (Spain), Freelancer.com (Australia), Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A. (Brazil), KEPCO Nuclear Fuel Company (South Korea), Mondelez International (United Kingdom), Ooredoo (Qatar), PJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines  (Russia), Polystar (Sweden), PRIZM (Hong Kong), QLess, Inc. (USA), RheinBrücke IT Consulting (Germany), Roshan (Afghanistan), SABC Pension Fund (South Africa), SUNNY SIDE UP, Inc. (Japan), Telkom Indonesia (Indonesia) and TELUS International (Canada), among many others.

About the Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the Stevie Awards for Great Employers. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. The Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

Contact:
Maggie Gallagher
+1 (703) 547-8389
[email protected]

Call for Entries Issued for Fourteenth International Business Awards

Early-Bird Entry Deadline Is 12 April

FAIRFAX, Va., March 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Stevie® Awards have issued the call for entries for The 14th Annual International Business Awards, the world’s premier business awards competition, which attracts nominations from organizations in more than 60 nations and territories each year.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/8540ffb4-6337-429d-9f7c-3574f68f49c3

All individuals and organizations worldwide — public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small — may submit nominations to The International Business Awards. The early-bird entry deadline, with reduced entry fees, is 12 April. The final entry deadline is 10 May, and late entries will be accepted through 14 June with payment of a late fee. Entry details are available at www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.

An international judging panel of more than 150 executives will determine the Stevie Award winners. Results will be announced 10 August. Stevie Award winners will be presented their awards at a gala banquet at the W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain on 21 October.

The International Business Awards recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. Categories include:

Stevie Award winners in the 2016 IBAs included ABS-CBN Corporation (Philippines), BSES Yamuna Power Limited (India), Clickky (Ukraine), Dogus Group (Turkey), Dubai Statistics Center (United Arab Emirates), Forter (USA), Foundation Telefónica  (Spain), Freelancer.com (Australia), Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A. (Brazil), KEPCO Nuclear Fuel Company (South Korea), Mondelez International (United Kingdom), Ooredoo (Qatar), PJSC Aeroflot – Russian Airlines  (Russia), Polystar (Sweden), PRIZM (Hong Kong), QLess, Inc. (USA), RheinBrücke IT Consulting (Germany), Roshan (Afghanistan), SABC Pension Fund (South Africa), SUNNY SIDE UP, Inc. (Japan), Telkom Indonesia (Indonesia) and TELUS International (Canada), among many others.

About the Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the Stevie Awards for Great Employers. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. The Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

Contact:
Maggie Gallagher
+1 (703) 547-8389
[email protected]