ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, is reportedly planning to invest billions of dollars and recruit hundreds in Singapore as part of its global expansion, according to people familiar with the matter.
However, contrary to reports by Bloomberg, plans by ByteDance to set up a new data center in Singapore is untrue, a source said to Reuters.
The source also said that the Beijing-based firm has ‘stepped up the purchase of cloud computing servers in Singapore to backup data based in the US for contingency in the event of an incident.
The investment by ByteDance is expected to span over the next three years, coming at a time when the Chinese multinational internet technology company is being forced to sell their US operations of the hugely popular social networking service, TikTok.
But it is unlikely they will meet the deadline of September 20 to sell their assets imposed by President Donald Trump, as new Chinese regulations have complicated negotiations with bidders Microsoft and Oracle.
Southeast Asia is a primary target for Zhang Yiming, the founder of ByteDance, as the region has 650 million smartphone-savvy population where competitors Alibaba and Tencent are making significant inroads.
“Singapore is highly attractive to tech firms looking for a hub to address the Southeast Asian markets due to geographic proximity. The workforce is highly educated, tech savvy and multilingual,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vey-Sern Ling.
ByteDance, the world’s most richly valued startup, currently has more than 200 job openings and 400 current employees in Singapore. And a company source reported to Reuters that TikTok had started to move some of its engineers from China to Singapore this year.
In other news, Chindata Group, a carrier-neutral hyperscale data center solution provider in Asia Pacific, confirmed on 9 September 2020 it will publicly file an initial public offering in the United States of America.
In the filing, ByteDance accounted for 68.2% and 81.6% of Chindata’s total revenues in 2019 and for the first six months of June respectively. In 2019, the revenue from ByteDance was at US$82.3 million, and in the first six months of 2020 along, ByteDance accounted for US$93.6 million of Chindata’s revenue.
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