A marker of a developing country is the robustness of its information technology industry and how local companies fully utilise the entrepreneurial potentials of the tech world and push the boundaries even further. The testament to Malaysia’s place in the global IT landscape is the myriad of technology-based corporations that thrive in the country, quickly evolving from small startups or firms into becoming the tech giants that they are known as today. In this issue, Top 10 of Malaysia presents its random list of the top ten internet giants in the country.
Published in Malaysia’s four main languages – English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil – Malaysiakini boasts a monthly unique audience of 5 million people, making it the top news website in the country. One of the nation’s few news sites that have survived a paid subscription model, the homegrown portal celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2014 with the launch of its new headquarters in Petaling Jaya, partly funded by its supporters who bought bricks at the cost of RM1,000 each. In addition to various local accolades, the news site has also won a number of international awards including Hong Kong-based Society of Publishers in Asia’s award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, iProperty Group operates Asia’s number one network of property websites under the iProperty.com umbrella brand. The Group, with the vision ‘Think Property, Think iProperty’, is focused on developing and operating leading real estate portals and delivering the most comprehensive set of related real estate services and project marketing across the region. The go-to entity for property owns portals which are market leaders in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Not one to rest on its laurels, iProperty Group is continuously working to capitalise on its market-leading positions and the rapidly growing online property advertising market throughout the region.
If there is one website that jobseekers in the Southeast Asian region would name instantly, Jobstreet.com might be the one. It was founded in Malaysia in 1997 and in 2008 Forbes declared it the region’s largest online job search company. Constantly expanding, it currently serves about 80,000 corporate customers and 11 million jobseekers, actively matching up potential employers and employees together. Besides matchmaking, the firm also provides other online recruitment products and services such as online recruitment, outsourced human capital service, software as a service (SaaS), e-commerce and e-business and jobseekers’ services. Furthermore, classified advertisement also serves as secondary revenue source for the website.
The country’s leading telecommunications company, Telekom Malaysia has a history dating back to 1946, from its humble beginnings as the national telco for fixed line, radio and television broadcasting services, to becoming the largest broadband services provider. In addition to internet, the company offers data, fixed line, pay television and network services, transforming the way Malaysians connect, communicate and collaborate. One of TM’s most known products is Unifi, Malaysia’s first high-speed broadband service which has a total of 2.23 million subscribers. It is one of the largest government-linked companies in the country with market capitalisation of more than RM25 billion.
iflix is currently Southeast Asia’s leading internet TV service, providing subscription service for Video-on-Demand and boasting more than 1 million members within 6 months of launching its service. It is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Thanks to the partnership with over 60 of the world’s leading studios and content distributors, it boasts the region’s largest library of TV shows and movies viewable on most devices. In 2016, less than a year after its launch, iflix has managed to garner USD45 million investment from media giant Sky PLC founded by mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Specializing in providing web hosting services since 2001, the number one IT company in the country now serves over 75,000 customers, from individuals, students, small and medium size businesses, to government and public listed companies in more than 121 countries. Furthermore, the company also manages over 1,000 servers with 100,000 websites and more than a million email accounts. Exabytes was awarded the MSC Status in 2005 and ISO 9001:2008 Certification in 2011. In 2012, Exabytes’s success story was chronicled in the book “From Zerobyte to Exabytes” and launched at all major bookstores in Malaysia and Singapore.
A ubiquitous acronym when it comes to government services, MyEG builds, operates and owns the electronic channel to deliver services from various government agencies to Malaysian citizens and businesses. Since 2000, MyEG was appointed the concessionaire for driver and vehicle registration, licensing and summons services, utility bill payments and the Ministry of Health’s online information system. It has been one of the top performing tech companies in Bursa Malaysia since 2013 and is looking into expanding into new e-Government services to enhance the quality of interaction between the public and the Government.
Launched in 2006, Mudah.my is an online classified-ads website that caters primarily to the Malaysian market. The site allows anyone to buy and sell a wide variety of goods, products, and services in his or her region. It also provides job and property listing service. As of 2015, Mudah.my claims to have 7 million visitors a month, making it the largest online marketplace in Malaysia. The company is a venture formed by partnership between 701Search from Singapore (itself a joint venture of SPH and Schibsted) and Telenor ASA of Norway.
The country’s pioneer in online auctions, Lelong started operation in 1998 and has been aggressively expanding its services since then. The website functions as a one-stop place where people can buy, bid, learn and sell all kinds of goods and products online. The owner of Lelong is Interbase Resources, a wholly-Malaysian operations which develops, owns and operates interactive internet-based applications. Since its inception at the end of 1998, the firm has quickly established a firm footing in the e-commerce arena and over the years has secured its position with the largest subscriber base for any site of this genre.
Lowyat.net started in the early 2000s as a simple website publishing price lists of computers and gadgets from Low Yat Plaza, Kuala Lumpur but quickly grew to become a giant of its own. Today, the forum has over half a million members and a combined monthly reach of over 6 million unique visitors, deservedly taking the title of Malaysia’s Largest Online Community. Despite its current domination of the country’s internet landscape, and a name which echoes the Plaza, it has no formal connection whatsover to Low Yat Plaza, the well-known IT shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur.