Tech Behemoths Expanding Into Singapore

Why Are Tech Behemoths Expanding Into Singapore?

SINGAPORE – About 80 of the leading 100 tech firms across the globe have a significant presence in the city-state, reported TODAYonline on Saturday (6 February).

Many of them have already established operations in Singapore for some time, including IBM, Microsoft, and Google. Among the newcomers and those who have increased their investments here in the past few months are PayPal, Twitter, and Zoom.

“If Singapore is not already the Silicon Valley of Asia, then it definitely is very close to being so,” Zoom’s International Head Abe Smith told the news agency.

Other members of the latter group include Alibaba, Tencent, and ByteDance. For instance, the owner of the TikTok app announced in 2020 that it intends to invest billions in Singapore and hire hundreds of workers in the next 3 years. It also plans to move out from the coworking space it is currently occupying here to a larger 60,000 sq ft office in Singapore’s CBD.

Queried on why it decided to set up operations here, a representative from ByteDance said the city-state has a business-friendly environment conducive to innovation.

“It is also geographically well-positioned, making it convenient for outreach to neighbouring markets,” said the representative.

Similarly, it was reported last May that e-commerce platform Lazada’s parent firm Alibaba has agreed to purchase a 50 percent stake in the 50-storey AXA Tower, which is slated to undergo redevelopment.

A spokesperson from Alibaba told the news agency that the move is in line with its strategy to tap consumers in Southeast Asia. Come 2036, it envisions to cater to 2 billion global consumers, help 10 million businesses become profitable, and generate 100 million jobs across the globe.

“Singapore plays a key role in this plan. It serves as the headquarters for Lazada Group, the international headquarters for Alibaba Cloud, and the rest of the Alibaba ecosystem is also well-represented here,” said the firm.

“If anything, the pandemic has proven our commitment to Singapore and the region is meaningful,” added Alibaba spokesperson.

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