Yahoo users in Singapore were monitoring the frosty relations between China and the US, according to Yahoo’s 2019 Year in Review report. The Year in Review by Yahoo is an annual recap of the top search trends, events and happenings over the year. This was based on the daily searches across its platforms in 2019.
Several had their ears and eyes to news, to understand both China and US' adverse impact on the global economy. The trade war and tariffs, in addition to Chinese tech giant Huawei, which is reeling from a component supply ban imposed by the US government, were also among the top search topics.
In Southeast Asia, all eyes were on the Indonesian general elections.
As 80 million people cast their vote, Yahoo users were keen to find out whether the country would maintain its identity as a secular state amid rising Islamic fundamentalism. The socio-political unrest in Hong Kong had also captured Singapore’s attention. With the world watching, the unprecedented protests led to the withdrawal of the controversial extradition bill as tensions ratcheted up between China and the West, particularly the US, over perceived interference in the Chinese city’s affairs.
Apart from the politics, former Malaysia PM Najib Razak, undergraduate Monica Baey and the Hong Kong protests ranked as the people and developments that riveted internet users in Singapore this year. According to Yahoo, crime and tragedy were all-consuming topics in Singapore this year. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is mired in the scandal involving the 1MDB fund that he founded and chaired, was the subject of intense interest among Yahoo users. Netizens were also interested in reading into the brutal Orchard Towers murder that was allegedly committed by a group of young adults. Natalie Siow, the only female accused in the case, made the list of top searches on Yahoo.
Meanwhile, local actor Aloysius Pang and his tragic death following an accident during his army reservist training led many to search online about ‘training safety’ problems and solutions. Actress Jayley Woo, who made her relationship with Pang public after the accident, also emerged as one of Yahoo’s top searches. Monica Baey, a victim of a "peeping tom" case at the National University of Singapore, was in the spotlight as she sparked a national debate on campus safety and the penalty meted out to sex offenders.
In sports, football again dominated the list of top searches, with people looking for news about the English Premier League (EPL), the UEFA Champions League, and the Asian AFC Champions League. Top English clubs Manchester United and Liverpool were also widely searched prior to the EPL. Singapore’s F1 Grand Prix continues to attract attendees as this year the three-day action-packed event saw close to 270,000 people come together at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The world’s only F1 night race made the list of top searches under 'Sports'.
Recently, Google too revealed its top searches in Singapore this year, and said that Singaporeans were always quick to respond to the latest hype around town. The fervent interest in the opening of Jewel Changi Airport (#2 Singapore News) and Funan Mall (#5 Singapore News) depicts that shopping remains as one of locals’ favourite pastime.
Singaporeans also looked to Search for help with recommendations on where to let their hair down. Hot spots that featured on the list this year include MARQUEE Singapore (#9 Singapore News), which made its debut in Singapore as the largest nightclub. Closely behind is the first Shake Shack in Singapore (#10 Singapore news), as well as events such as the Shilin Night Market Singapore, Singapore Night Festival, and Ed Sheeran’s concert (#1, #2, #3 Singapore events respectively).