The Digital Transformation of Business Practices in Southeast Asia

  • English

    course language

  • 6 weeks

    course duration

  • from 3 to 6 hours per week

    needed to educate

  • 3 credit points

    for credit at your university


The objectives of the discipline "The Digital Transformation of Business Practices in Southeast Asia" are to: 

  • Summarize the main trends of economic regionalism in Southeast Asia through the prism of ASEAN's readiness to develop a digital agenda of multilateral cooperation. 
  • Identify the specifics of brand development and successful advertising campaigns in Southeast Asia, taking into account regional best practices and their digital dimension. 
  • Determine the degree of development of digital cooperation infrastructure in the implementation of commercial projects in Southeast Asia.    
  • Assess the key regulatory aspects of the digital transformation of SEA business practices. 
  • Systematize the implications of digital transformation of business practices for the corporate sector, including micro, small and medium enterprises in SEA states. 
  • Compare the readiness of SEA companies to strengthen the digital component of their business operations in terms of competencies, human resources and interpersonal networking. 


The curriculum includes detailed consideration of digital regionalism in Southeast Asia (ASEAN-led initiatives and their implications for business), brand-building and advertising amidst the increasing digitalization, the infrastructure aspects (the broadband penetration, data centers etc.). Selected regulatory aspects like data localization and digital currency, digital strategies and practices implemented by Southeast Asian companies, including micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as skill-training and HR-related components of digitalization are comprehensively explored. 

As the course is digital and remote, there are no formal prerequisites. The knowledge prerequisites for the course include: 

  • General understanding of major developments that shape politics, economy and security of Southeast Asia. 
  • Basic knowledge of specificity of doing business in Southeast Asia (the factor of ethnic Chinese diasporas, influence of Confucianism on business-related processes, etc.).  
  • A good command of English. 

The course is offered by HSE University, a globally renowned center of academic and teaching excellence. In order to develop skills expected from well-trained professionals, as well as synergize the material with practical tasks, the course consists of fragment assignments and end-lecture assignments. As their names suggest, the assignments perform different functions. Fragment assignments aim to evaluate how the course students get hold of the materials presented in lecture fragments and includes three types of questions. In their turn, end-lecture assignments assess the extent to which students understand the big themes of the course by offering its students five types of specially selected questions. For the sake of convenience, the course presents unified types of fragment and end-lecture assignments (although minor exceptions, due to the specificity of selected topics, are possible).   


There are six video lectures with five fragments each. The fragments included are interconnected to make the lecture insightful, comprehensive and logically completed. The lecture and the fragment topics, as well as their duration (from 7 to 15 minutes), are presented below. The course uses immersive assignments and multi-directional evaluation instruments, which places it at the innovative forefront of active learning techniques. The video lectures of all weeks are open access, the rest of the materials will be available after you pay for the course.

Main literature: 

  1. Kanaev E.A. (2022). The digital agenda of ASEAN Economic Community 2025: a response from the Singapore airlines. Юго-Восточная Азия: актуальные проблемы развития. №Т.4, №4 (57). 153-165 p. 
  2. Kanaev E.A., Kratko I.G., Gavrilova D.G. (2022). The ASEAN economic community and trans-border franchising: evidence from Japanese convenience store chains. Юго-Восточная Азия: Актуальные проблемы развития. №Т.2, №2 (55). 50-63 p. 
  3. Kanaev E.A., Shaternikov P.S., Vaseneva E.A. (2020). The ASEAN Economic Community in the Priorities of Japanese Companies: The Role of Singapore as a Point of Market Entry. Юго-Восточная Азия: Актуальные проблемы развития. Т.3, №3 (48). 176-188 p. 
  4. Southeast Asia Going Digital CONNECTING SMEs. OECD URL: https://www.oecd.org/digital/southeast-asia-connecting-SMEs.pdf
  5. Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the digital economy. UNESCAP URL: https://www.unescap.org/sites/default/d8files/event-documents/MSMEs%20and%20the%20Digital%20Economy.pdf

Additional literature:

  1. MSMEs Digital Exports in Southeast Asia. 
  2. Redesigning for the digital economy EY. URL: https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_sg/topics/growth/ey-smes-in-southeast-asia-redesigning-for-the-digital-economy.pdf
  3. López González J. (2019). Fostering participation in digital trade for ASEAN MSMEs. OECD Trade Policy Papers. №230. 27 p. 
  4. Study on MSMEs Participation in the Digital Economy in ASEAN. Connectivity ASEAN URL: https://connectivity.asean.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/ASEAN-MSME-Full-Report-Final.pdf.


  • General understanding of major developments that shape politics, economy and security of Southeast Asia.
  • Basic knowledge of specificity of doing business in Southeast Asia (the factor of ethnic Chinese diasporas, influence of Confucianism on business-related processes, etc.). 
  • A good command of English.

Course program

First week: The ASEAN Economic Community as a Business-Friendly Area.
Second week: Brand-Building, Retail and Consumer Sentiments in Southeast Asia amidst the Ever-Increasing Digitalization.
Third week: The Digitalization of Business Practices in Southeast Asia: the Infrastructure Dimension.
Fourth week: The Digital Transformation of Business Practices in Southeast Asia: Selected Regulatory Aspects.
Fifth week: The Digitalization of Business Practices in SEA: a Company Perspective.

Education results

  • Able to establish cause-and-effect relationships, characterize and evaluate socio-political and socio-economic events and processes, identifying their relationship with economic, social, cultural and civilizational contexts, as well as with objective trends and patterns of complex development at the global, macro-regional, national-state, regional and local levels.
  • Able to critically analyze problematic situations on the basis of a systematic approach, to develop a strategy of action.
  • Able to search for and apply promising information and communication technologies and software tools for complex setting and solving problems of professional activity.
  • Able to develop proposals and recommendations for applied research and consulting. 
  • Able to independently make informed organizational and managerial decisions, assess their operational and organizational efficiency, social significance, ensure their implementation in a complex (including cross-cultural) and dynamic environment.

Formed competencies

  • Systemic and critical thinking (in RUS УК-1).
  • Communication (in RUS УК-4).
  • Intercultural interaction (in RUS УК-5).
  • Application of information and communication technologies (in RUS ОПК-2).
  • Expert evaluation (in RUS ОПК-4).
  • Expert analytical and consulting activities (in RUS ОПК-5).
  • Project activities (in RUS ОПК-8).
  • Application of information and communications technology (in RUS ОПК-10).

Education directions

41.03.05 Международные отношения
41.04.03 Востоковедение и африканистика
41.03.05 International Relations (Bachelor's Degree); 58.04.01 (41.04.03) Oriental Studies and African Studies (Master's degree).


  • Systemic and critical thinking.
  • Communication.
  • Project activity.
  • Application of information and communication technologies.
  • Expert evaluation.
  • Intercultural interaction.
  • Professional communication in foreign languages.
  • Expert-analytical and consulting activities.

Отзывы о курсе

Канаев Евгений Александрович

Доктор исторических наук, Профессор
Position: Заместитель руководителя департамента

course completion certificate


The cost of access to graded assignments and the opportunity to take the exam with proctoring and receive a certificate is 3600 rubles.

The cost of passing the procedures for assessing learning outcomes with personal identification - 3600 Р.

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