Concretely virtual

It is a fact, or at least a strong trend, that services are going progressively more digital.
Earlier this year, The Economist published a piece advocating that oil is no longer the world’s most valuable resource. Data is.
The publishing industry stands as an early example of how digitization can cause pain, but also opens new venues for innovation.
Although a few sectors of economic activity still have reason to maintain low-key profiles online – the arts, antiques, and high-end luxury markets, to name a few – both the private sector, from small companies to big corporations, and governments, are testing, implementing, and enhancing digital platforms to communicate and interact with customers and subjects.
It is the way of no return and Macau is somewhat lagging behind.
Raising the possibility of penalizing Facebook for ‘allowing’ candidates for the coming Legislative Assembly to campaign on its platform is a retrograde, if not perplexing way of tackling the unavoidable.
It is also a sign that the point is being missed.
Digital language and content management systems are not communication tools of the future. The future is already old in that regard.
While much work is still needed here, several registrations for trademark protection that were filed locally in the last couple of months or so for digital and online products and services, show that fulfilling the trend is just a matter of time.
First, it was Alipay, and then Alibaba Cloud, followed more recently by Baidu, the Chinese search engine. Casino and gaming operator brands – U.S.-based (Caesars, Trump), and those connected to local companies (Tigre de Cristal) – have also applied for the protection of online gaming and services.
Accordingly, the much-awaited e-payment feature that is still lacking on the local WeChat platform, may be integrated within the platform soon.
It is also noticeable that junket operators have been branding online more aggressively, following recent strategies of image re-definition and expansion of service provision.
Although many local companies and groups use Facebook for advertising, their presence on Twitter is limited. Even big corporations, such as casinos and hotels, are not following the latter path. It may be a question of corporate strategy, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise if it were just a lack of awareness about the potential such a tool bears for worldwide branding.
The reality, though, is that we are going virtual in a very concrete way.