Singapore Lures Both US & Chinese Tech Giants Due To Geopolitical Neutrality
SINGAPORE – Market watchers revealed that the city-state is attracting more major tech firms from both China and the United States, which currently have frosty ties, as Singapore is unlikely to implement policies detrimental to their interest, reported The Business Times on Thursday morning (17 December, SGT).
“Given that regulatory concerns have become the predominant issue worldwide affecting global tech – ranging from the brewing tech cold war between the US and China, to privacy and data protection concerns in many jurisdictions – I think Singapore offers regulatory assurance,” remarked Walter Theseira, Associate Professor at the Singapore University of Social Sciences.
“Geopolitically, we stand an advantage because our neutrality is attractive to investors from both sides,” said in agreement by Lawrence Loh, Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School.
On Wednesday, American headquartered Zoom Video Communications announced that it will set up a new research and development (R&D) centre in the city-state, in addition to expanding its co-located data centre.
On Tuesday, China streaming giant iQiyi unveiled its global HQ here with almost 8,000 sq ft office space at 71 Robinson Road.
Zoom and iQiyi’s expansion into Singapore follows similar moves by US and Chinese tech giants earlier this year. In February, Twitter revealed that it will establish its first engineering centre in Asia Pacific here. In May, Alibaba acquired a 50 percent stake in AXA Tower, which will undergo redevelopment.
In September, news reports revealed that Amazon will take over three floors of Citigroup’s office space spanning roughly 90,000 sq ft in Asia Square Tower 1. During the same month, Tencent announced that it will open a regional hub in Singapore. In October, the media reported that ByteDance has leased 60,000 sq ft of office premises in One Raffles Quay.
Apart from Singapore’s business-friendly environment and superb infrastructure, another factor that has further boosted the city-state’s appeal to tech giants was its effective handling of the pandemic.
“Singapore has proven its ability to effectively manage the pandemic. This has given companies from a variety of industries confidence and enticed them to expand in Singapore. Amid the COVID-19 gloom, organisational agility is key,” added Andrew How, Market Leader for Singapore at HR advisory firm Kincentric.