Yahoo Year in Review: JJ Lin, Kim Chiu and the FIFA World Cup Are Singapore’s Top Searches in 2018


Domestic and regional politics dominate national consciousness in 2018 while sports remain the leading search queries for the nation

SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 13 December 2018 - Filipino celebrity Kim Chiu, the world's biggest sporting spectacle the FIFA World Cup, the historical summit between Trump and Kim and box office smash hit Crazy Rich Asians are the top topics for Singapore this year, according to Yahoo's 2018 Year in Review (YIR). The YIR is Yahoo's annual recap of the top search trends, events and happenings that dominate the thoughts of Singapore's internet users and is developed based on users' daily search habits and what they read, recommended and shared most on Yahoo in 2018.

Sports was the most searched query for Yahoo users this year, with six out of the top ten about professional sports. By far the most searched item in 2018, it comes as no surprise that the FIFA World Cup remains the biggest sporting spectacle in the world. The month-long football extravaganza was a memorable tournament that brought surprises and disappointments. Germany's poor title defence was a disappointment to many, with riveting matches like France's swashbuckling 4-3 win over Argentina, Belgium's fantastic comeback from 0-2 down to beat Japan 3-2, and the final, when France swept past Croatia 4-2 to claim their second World Cup title. This year's event in Russia also saw few violent incidents -- with images of rival fans from every part of the world coming together for selfies and group singalongs dominating social media.

The English Premier League (EPL) was the second most searched query -- showing no signs of decline even though the title race was made predictable by Manchester City as early as January. Though some may argue that the Spanish La Liga is a better league with top star players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the EPL is filled with many well-supported clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal -- all drawing in massive global support and each move covered extensively by the English and global media. Judging by the weekend crowds at Singapore pubs showing live EPL telecasts, EPL's popularity is set to continue unabated.

Rounding up the top three is ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The central figure in both the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition's unprecedented fall from power and the far-reaching 1MDB financial scandal that dominated global headlines, the former Malaysian prime minister is facing 32 charges over missing funds linked to 1MDB, the state fund which he founded and chaired. With the 1MDB investigations still ongoing, the fate of Malaysia's sixth prime minister is set to loom over the country's political landscape in the coming year.


Top News That Riveted the Nation
2018 was filled with major domestic and international milestones from the SingHealth cyberattack to Malaysia's new Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who pulled a stunning upset and shook the political landscape of our neighbour up north.

The top news for 2018 was the historic summit between United States president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. Around 2,500 journalists from around the world attended the event which also saw at least nine South Koreans involved in separate protests here, extensive press coverage that gave many their first glimpse at Singapore, and inspired a widely-criticised dress for Singapore's representative at the Miss Universe contest.

National Service-related matters came to the fore in 2018, from training safety issues to NS liabilities for aspiring sportsmen and those with dual citizenship. Two full-time National Servicemen, Dave Lee and Liu Kai, died following training incidents while aspiring footballer Ben Davis and Thai national Ekawit Tangtrakarn sparked debate about NS obligations and calls for the Ministry of Defence to make its policy on such matters clearer.

One of the most highly anticipated court hearings in years began in October when three senior Workers' Party (WP) MPs and other defendants faced off against the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC). Former WP leader Low Thia Khiang, current chairman Sylvia Lim and chief Pritam Singh have been accused in the lawsuits initiated by AHTC and PRPTC of breaching their fiduciary duties and making improper payments to their then managing agent between 15 July 2011 and 14 July 2015. The verdict of the hearing is expected to be known next year.

Due to the mounting legal costs from the lawsuits, the three MPs made a public appeal for financial help in late October. Within just three days of their appeal, the MPs managed to raise more than $1 million and thanked "the incredible outpouring of support from the public".

Celebrities, Entertainment and News
Reigning supreme in entertainment, Crazy Rich Asians was the top box office hit for Singapore. The first Hollywood box office hit to feature a predominantly Asian cast was extremely well received, leading the pack of blockbusters which also includes Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther among the top ten.

Filipino film star Kim Chiu is the most searched female celebrity in Singapore and perhaps the most successful winner from the Philippines reality show, Pinoy Big Brother. Clinching the title at the age of 16 -- the youngest winner thus far -- Kim has also started in several popular dramas and movies. She trended in February this year following a fall while doing a dance number on ASAP. Though the fall looked serious -- Kim continued the number as planned.

She is joined in the top by homegrown Mando pop star JJ Lin who is Yahoo's most searched male celebrity in 2018. Selling out all four nights of his concert in August -- scalpers were reselling tickets up to 10 times the original price -- showing how lasting the singer-songwriter's charm is in his native Singapore.

Top News / Politics

Top Search Queries

Top Movies/TV Shows

Trump - Kim Summit in Singapore


FIFA World Cup




Crazy Rich Asians



National Service Issues


English Premier League



Avengers: Infinity War



Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) Trial

Najib Razak



Black Panther


Top Celebrities (Singapore)




Kim Chiu





JJ Lin

Meghan Markle



Justin Bieber

Kate Middleton


Andy Lau

For the full list of top ten searches and topics, please visit Yahoo Year in Review 2018.

About the Yahoo Singapore 2018 Year in Review Methodology
To develop the Yahoo Year in Review, our team analyze user's interest patterns based on what they searched for, read, recommended and shared. It takes into account a number of factors including absolute volume and growth from previous periods to see which themes and trends bubble to the surface. Individuals and their preferences remain anonymous.

Disclaimer:* Please note the results are not necessarily a representation of a popularity contest or voting.

About Verizon Media Group/Oath
Verizon Media Group/Oath is a division of Verizon at the intersection of media, advertising and technology building a member-centric ecosystem created to serve billions. Verizon Media Group/Oath is shaping the future as a global leader in digital and mobile. For more information, visit


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