SINGAPORE – Chinese language telephone maker Huawei on Tuesday (Feb 23) launched a US$40 million (S$52.8 million) regional centre right here that lets builders take a look at apps and providers for its cellular gadgets, its first in Asia-Pacific.

The centre, dubbed a DigiX Lab, will present on-line and offline session for builders, and hands-on assist in app growth utilizing augmented and digital actuality, synthetic intelligence, software program to port apps to Huawei gadgets, and different applied sciences.

The launch comes amid a United States ban on Huawei since May 2019 that limits its means to make use of American tech large Google’s providers and apps, just like the Google Play app retailer, for its merchandise. This prompted the Chinese language agency to additional develop its personal model referred to as Huawei Cellular Companies (HMS).

And regardless of the Covid-19 pandemic, Huawei additionally expanded its HMS staff right here by threefold within the final 12 months, which incorporates operations, advertising and marketing and technical employees to assist Singapore app builders.

It declined to provide a determine on the staff’s dimension however mentioned that it has over 650 staff right here, of which greater than 70 per cent are native.

The corporate mentioned the lab in Changi Enterprise Park “leverages Singapore’s significance as a rising technological hub within the Asia-Pacific” to spice up the cellular ecosystem all through the area.

Mr Nicholas Ma, chief govt of Huawei Worldwide, added that the lab is an instance of the corporate “doubling down on future progress in Singapore”.

Mr Shan Xuefeng, director of Asia-Pacific for Huawei Shopper Cloud Service, mentioned that “within the period of 5G, Huawei goals to construct (a related world) with HMS that empowers builders to innovate as they construct their enterprise”.

HMS has been round for years and has its personal app retailer referred to as AppGallery that was launched in China in 2011 and globally in 2018.

The Singapore DigiX Lab is Huawei’s second one on this planet. The primary was launched in Germany and 6 others are within the pipeline, mentioned the corporate.

The Singapore lab serves markets with essentially the most registered Huawei builders in Asia-Pacific, equivalent to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

Huawei will spend US$40 million on the lab over two to 3 years, ranging from 2020. 

The quantity is for hiring technical specialists together with some for the HMS staff, the development and upkeep of the bodily DigiX Lab, a web-based server and developer sources, gadgets, and common occasions held on-line and offline on the centre, equivalent to for coaching workshops and networking.

It  spans 289 sq m, or barely bigger than three four-room Housing Board flats, and has area for 70 individuals. 

Huawei’s specialists staffing it’ll present technical assist and providers for builders going through issues when creating apps for HMS.

Coaching, workshops and networking occasions will even be held within the lab to develop the native developer group.


The lab spans 289 sq m, or barely bigger than three four-room Housing Board flats, and has area for 70 individuals. ST PHOTO: HUAWEI

There have been considerations that being shut out of Google apps and services would imply a lot fewer apps for Huawei telephones. However the firm mentioned it has grown the variety of apps for HMS, with greater than 120,000 apps as on the finish of final 12 months, up from over 50,000 at the start of 2020.

The agency mentioned that in Singapore, there was additionally a 143 per cent progress within the variety of newly registered Huawei builders, with over 90 per cent of the highest Singapore apps now appropriate with HMS.

These embody WhatsApp, Fb, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Telegram, Line and Dropbox.

Native apps embody these for TraceTogether, ComfortDelGro, DBS, UOB, The Straits Occasions and Lianhe Zaobao. The newest addition on the finish of final month was the Seize app. The Authorities’s SingPass app will quickly be out there within the early half of this 12 months.

Whereas they work with Huawei gadgets, some like WhatsApp can solely be downloaded from different websites and never instantly from AppGallery but .

The variety of HMS customers has additionally grown. In March final 12 months, there have been over 400 million month-to-month lively customers. Now, the determine has grown to 580 million customers.

Different methods Huawei is supporting builders past the DigiX Labs embody establishing technical groups in key Asia-Pacific markets from final 12 months to assist app builders involved with prices to port an app for HMS and jitters over its potential market attain.

Moreover technical help, Huawei’s HMS staff has additionally supported app companions by tailoring co-marketing campaigns primarily based on the app’s distinctive promoting factors and native preferences.

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