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Business trends

Asia's digital economy: Shifting alliances in a sea of change

2018 sees heavy hitters bring on the heat while some just get burned

Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are expected to be the biggest contributors to the growth of digital consumer spending in Southeast Asia over the next five years.

SINGAPORE -- Asian companies increased their global clout this year, especially in the technology arena, triggering mergers and acquisitions while attracting investors from around the world. But some faced major headwinds, thwarted by sparring countries, plunging currencies and -- in one notable case -- a jailed executive. Following are the Nikkei Asian Review's picks for the top business stories in 2018, along with what we see in store for the region in 2019.

A visitor from China holds a sign in support of Huawei and its detained Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou outside a courtroom in Vancouver, Canada on Dec.10.   © Reuters

China's two major telecommunications equipment makers, ZTE and Huawei Technologies, are likely glad 2018 is over. Both battled intense pressure from the U.S. over security concerns stemming from their suspected close ties with the Chinese government and People's Liberation Army.

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