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What were Malaysian consumers searching for in 2019?

Earth Day, superhero film Avengers, and the haze have certainly made an impact on Malaysians this year. According to the list of top Google search trends in Malaysia for 2019, Earth Day Quiz was the most searched term followed by Marvel Comics’ villain Thanos.

Bantuan Sara Hidup (cost of living aid), South American football championship Copa America 2019, and Air Pollutant Index of Malaysia also made the top five. Meanwhile, iPhone and Huawei dominated the search terms under the “Gadgets” category, with the iPhone 11 Huawei P30, and Huawei Nova 3i being listed as popular search topics.

The haze situation in Malaysia grew so unpleasant that event the Indeks Pencemaran Udara (Air Pollution Index) became one of the top news stories on Google. This was followed by Tanjung Piai which saw Barisan Nasional achieving a landslide victory during the by-election in Johor last month. Budget 2020 was also the talk of the town in October, with the Malaysian government allocating RM297 billion which was an increase of RM19.5 billion compared to RM277.5 billion in 2019.

Recently, Google announced that it is adding a 6% digital tax charge beginning 1 January next year. Currently, the tax charge is applicable to its Google G Suite account holders, which includes apps such as Gmail, Docs, Hangouts, Slides, Drive, and Calendar. During the tabling of Budget 2020, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng also reiterated that the Digital Services Tax will be implemented with effect from 1 January 2020, to include services such as, but not limited to downloaded software, music, video or digital advertising.

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