Huawei to invest $100m in Asia-Pacific start-up ecosystem
Published: Aug 03, 2021 08:24 PM
A view of a Huawei store in Central China's Henan Province in November 2020 Photo: cnsphoto

A view of a Huawei store in Central China's Henan Province in November 2020 Photo: cnsphoto

Huawei on Tuesday said it will invest $100 million to support start-up enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region, in an effort to build a "sustainable start-up ecosystem" for the region over the next three years.

The investment will take place through the company's Spark Program, a star-up accelerator with operations already launched in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong.

The remarks were made at the inaugural Huawei Cloud Spark Founders Summit, which took place simultaneously in Singapore and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Tuesday. 

At the summit, Huawei announced that this program would focus on developing four additional start-up hubs - in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam - with the aim of recruiting a total of 1,000 start-ups into the Spark accelerator program and shaping 100 of them into scale-ups.

While investment and businesses saw increasing barriers in the US and Europe, the move is seen as the Chinese telecommunications giant's transfer of focus to Southeast Asia by many industry observers.

"Last year, we launched the Spark Program in Asia-Pacific. Through this program, we are working with local governments, leading incubators, well-known venture capital firms, and top universities to build support platforms for start-ups in many regions. Now, 40 start-ups are participating in our program," Zhang Ping'an, CEO of Huawei's cloud business unit, said at the summit.

Huawei also launched three additional initiatives under the Asia-Pacific Spark Program during the summit, in a move to develop its cloud business and further nurture its own ecosystem in the region amid US supplies ban.

The three initiatives are the Spark Developer Program, which aims to nurture a developer ecosystem powered by Huawei in the Asia-Pacific region; the Spark Pitstop Program, designed to onboard and support start-ups on Huawei Cloud to accelerate product development, and the Spark Innovation Program, focused on facilitating enterprise innovation through the Spark start-up ecosystem.

"In 2021, our plan is to support 200 start-ups in the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) ecosystem, and share our network of channel resources with developers worldwide who together serve 1 billion Huawei device users. In addition, we will open an HMS Developer Innovation Center to support 100,000 HMS cloud-native developers," Zhang said.

Currently, 4.5 million developers from over 170 countries and regions rely on HMS, according to the firm.

Global Times