Huawei is set to develop new startup hubs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam as part of its US $ 100 million plan to invest in supporting startups in the Asia-Pacific region .
The Chinese telecommunications equipment supplier already has a stake in startup hubs in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand.
However, with the new investment pledge, announced at its recent Huawei Cloud Spark Founders’ Summit, the company is pushing its ambitions to engage in APAC startups further, with funding going to its Spark program in the region, which aims to create a sustainable startup ecosystem for the region over the next three years.
The four new startup hubs are part of the initiative, as is the overall goal of recruiting a total of 1,000 startups into the Spark accelerator program and turning 100 into scaleups.
“Startups and SMEs [small- and medium-sized enterprises] are the innovators, disruptors and trailblazers of our time, ”said Catherine Chen, senior vice president and member of the Huawei board of directors. “Thirty-four years ago, Huawei was a startup with only $ 5,000 in registered capital.
“Recently, we’ve been thinking: how can we leverage our experience and resources to help more startups meet their challenges? This would allow them to seize the opportunities offered by digital transformation, achieve business success and develop more innovative products and solutions for the world, ”she added.
The summit, which was held simultaneously in Hong Kong and Singapore, was also used to reveal the launch of Huawei’s Cloud-plus-Cloud collaboration and joint innovation program, designed to strengthen its support for startups around the world. whole.
Under this program, Huawei will devote continued efforts and leverage its comprehensive business portfolio in the cloud collaboration space to foster technological innovation, global and local services and business ecosystems, thereby accelerating growth. startups.
“Since its launch in 2017, Huawei Cloud has been the fastest growing cloud in the world and has driven the growth of countless startups,” said Zhang Ping’an, CEO of Huawei’s Cloud division. “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 [venture capital] leading companies and universities to create support platforms for startups in many regions. Now, 40 startups are participating in our program, ”he added.
According to Zhang, the launch of the Cloud-plus-Cloud collaboration and joint innovation program will see Huawei supporting startups with $ 40 million in resources. Half of this investment comes from Huawei Cloud, the other half from Huawei Mobile Services (HMS).
“In 2021, our plan is to support 200 startups in the HMS ecosystem and share our channel resource network with developers around the world who together serve 1 billion Huawei device users. In addition, we will open an HMS Developer Innovation Center to support 100,000 cloud native HMS developers, ”said Zhang.
The investment comes as Huawei does its best to shake off a period of sustained criticism from several governments in various countries, the loudest of which has been the United States, over concerns about the safety of its infrastructure products because of its perceived links with China. government.
Indeed, several countries around the world have banned Huawei from participating in the deployment of critical telecommunications networks.
Huawei has always denied and rejected these accusations.
In 2019, the company confirmed that it had filed a complaint with the U.S. federal court, arguing that the U.S. government ban on its products violated its own constitution.
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