Tencent is looking to set up its Southeast Asian base in Singapore where it currently is looking to fill dozens of job positions. The move comes amidst China’s worsening relations with the US and India, which have led to Chinese apps being banned in both countries.
In a statement sent to ZDNet and other media outlets, Tencent said it was “expanding its business presence” in Singapore to support the company’s expansion in Southeast Asia. It added that the new Singapore office would be a “strategic addition” to its current offices in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Tencent added that the new outfit would allow the company to tap the rapid pace of digitisation and meet demand for internet-based services in Singapore. It did not provide any investment figures.
A quick check on LinkedIn showed dozens of job openings in the city-state from the Chinese tech giant, including roles in business development, data science, cloud, WeChat product operations, and security.
Its expansion plans in Singapore comes amidst China’s increasingly tensed relationships with the US, where Donald Trump last month issued executive orders banning Chinese apps, specifically, TikTok and WeChat, in his country. The Indian government followed suit early this month, restricting 118 apps it alleged were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting” of user data to servers outside of India. Amongst these were apps from Baidu, WeChat, AliPay, and Sina News.
Tencent in March had launched an international version of its cloud-based video conferencing tool, called Tencent Meeting or VooV Meeting on app stores, in more than 100 markets, including Singapore, India, Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia.
Often dubbed as Asia’s Switzerland for its staunch neutrality, Singapore had said it would not take sides in global disputes and viewed both China and the US as “good friends”. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had noted that US was a major defence security partner, which purchased advanced military equipment from Singapore, including missiles and military aircraft, while Singapore also had economic partnerships with China that included three major city projects between both governments in Suzhou, Tianjin, and Chongqing.
Tiktok’s parent company ByteDance reportedly was looking to set up its Asian hub in Singapore, where it planned to invest several billion dollars. Citing sources familiar with the issue, a Bloomberg report said the Chinese company would hire hundreds over the next three years and had applied for a digital bank license in Singapore.