Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Singapore turns into hub for Chinese tech amid US tensions

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Image copyright Getty Images Some of China’s largest expertise companies are increasing operations in Singapore as tensions rise between Washington and Beijing. Tencent and Alibaba are rising their presence within the metropolis state whereas TikTok proprietor ByteDance is reported to be investing billions of {dollars}. Considered impartial territory, Singapore has good ties to each the US and China.Relations between Washington and Beijing are rising more and more hostile, significantly over expertise.Tencent introduced this week it was “expanding its business presence in Singapore to support our growing business in South East Asia and beyond”.The new regional workplace is described as a “strategic addition” to its present places of work in South East Asia.Tencent’s WeChat messaging app is dealing with a ban this month within the US, together with TikTok, below the Trump administration’s clampdown on Chinese apps and tech companies.Donald Trump has already imposed bans on Chinese telecoms agency Huawei.”Given the US-China tensions in tech and the heightening risk of decoupling, it makes sense for Chinese tech companies to separate operations in China and outside of China,” mentioned Tommy Wu at Oxford Economics.”Singapore would be an ideal location given the city state’s comparative advantage in tech, its geographic proximity to China and as an innovation hub in South East Asia.”Singapore has at all times been seen as a regional base for Western companies due to its superior monetary and authorized system. Now it is firmly on the radar of Chinese corporations.The political turmoil in Hong Kong and the introduction of China’s controversial nationwide safety legislation has seen many companies search for a extra secure enterprise atmosphere inside Asia.Masking ChinaBut there’s one more reason why Singapore is so engaging to China, based on Nick Redfearn, deputy chief govt at UK-based consultancy Rouse. It may clarify why the town state has attracted a lot overseas direct funding (FDI) in comparison with different South East Asia international locations he mentioned.”This is usually because regional headquarters, operating on behalf of parent companies, act as the foreign investor in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and elsewhere. “This can assist Chinese corporations keep away from the looks of Chinese funding,” he said.South East Asia overtook the EU to become China’s largest regional trading partner in 2020, according to Mr Redfearn.Global footprintRui Ma, a Chinese tech expert and investor, added: “You’ve seen Western corporations (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and lots of extra) make it their Asia Pacific headquarters for some time now, so it is pure Chinese corporations additionally think about it for a similar causes. “I think the recent US-China geopolitical tensions only make it even more attractive, but that’s not the only or primary reason.”She says globalisation is one other driving power. “If Western companies can be global, why can’t we? “Chinese corporations are very a lot keen to take a position for the long run and will not be going to be content material to be left behind on the subject of future alternatives.”

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