Israel and Hamas – Oct. 13
With the Israel-Hamas conflict escalating at an unprecedented rate, concerns over its economic impact are rising in Asia. There are also emerging political challenges as countries change the sides they are supporting, and protests are spreading. Growing instances of fake news and warnings around cyberattacks are putting pressure on companies to manage situations in real time. Influencers in the region who were previously quiet have become more active in sharing content that highlights the human tragedy of the conflict. Brands are also facing challenges on how to respond to the evolving situation.
Key trends observed:
- Countries in Asia are raising concerns about the conflict’s economic impact. It is expected that uncertainty around trade routes, supply chains and delays will translate into increased trading costs from that region. Japan, Indonesia, and Korea are concerned about the rise in energy prices and the impact on oil supplies. India has raised flags that its iron, steel, fertilizers, and organic chemicals sectors will be impacted unless a resolution is achieved.
- Countries that were initially neutral have started aligning themselves. Malaysia and Bangladesh have reaffirmed their solidarity with the Palestinian people. The growing number of protesters in the region, in support of both sides, is sparking concerns that these protests could cause severe disruption.
- As the war escalates, misinformation and fake news are spreading fast. A viral clip passed off as a scene from a Hamas attack is footage from a video game. An image depicting Israeli soldiers captured by Hamas was later revealed to be from a military exercise conducted in Gaza the previous year. This is resulting in regulatory pressure on tech firms, especially on X, Meta, and TikTok, to control false content faster to reduce the spread of disinformation.
- Experts are warning of growing instances of intelligence hacking and grid disruptions. There are concerns among commercial organizations about a global surge in cyber-attacks.
- The volume of content shared by influencers on social media has witnessed a notable increase. The content highlights the adverse impact on people caught in the conflict and expressing hurt or anger in general.
- Similar to when the Ukraine war started, brands are again faced with the challenge of cautiously responding to the complex geopolitical situation. Companies such as Google, Intel and Microsoft have announced support for the safety of their employees in the conflict region. NVIDIA has cancelled its Tel Aviv conference, while cruise operator Royal Caribbean has adjusted scheduled itineraries to avoid Israeli ports.
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