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Huawei to invest S$5m in Singapore to boost tech ecosystem

Huawei is pumping in S$5m this year to develop joint partner offerings in Singapore with a focus on artificial intelligence

Huawei is planning to invest S$5m in Singapore this year to develop joint offerings with local technology partners in areas such as computing, connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI).

Speaking at Huawei’s ecosystem summit today, Aaron Wang, managing director of Huawei Singapore’s enterprise business group, said the funds will be used to boost the country’s local ICT ecosystem, with a focus on rolling out AI solutions across industries.

“Organisations will need to redesign their services to adapt to the new normal,” said Wang, referring to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic that has accelerated technology adoption. “Digital technology powered by 5G, cloud and AI will be pivotal in this transformation,” he added.

Meanwhile, Huawei has set up a virtual AI academy that will offer over 140 free online courses to upskill ICT professionals, including those working for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in Singapore. Trainees will also gain hands-on experience through its 5G-enabled AI lab.

Since April 2020, Huawei has partnered with local firms to enrol more than 300 ICT professionals as part of a trial run. Some 1,000 ICT engineers in Singapore are expected to be certified by the virtual AI academy by the end of 2021.

Despite mounting challenges in 2019, Huawei had established more than 28,000 partnerships worldwide, with an annual growth rate of over 10% for the eighth consecutive year. As much as 86% of its revenue from its enterprise business group was contributed by partners.

“Covid-19 has illustrated the importance of digital readiness which underscores the need for business continuity,” said Nicholas Ma, CEO of Huawei International. “Singapore, with talent as its critical asset and competitive advantage, will continue to be a core driver of digital transformation in the intelligent era.”

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Ma added: “As a member of Singapore’s society, Huawei has a responsibility to deepen our long-lasting collaboration with local ecosystem partners in these times of crisis. With our 5G-powered AI lab and the new virtual AI academy, we will continue to double our efforts to facilitate upskilling ICT talents as well as work with SMEs on digitisation.”

In November 2019, the Singapore government unveiled its national AI strategy that encompasses skills training and industry partnerships while promoting the responsible use of AI.

To bring the strategy to fruition, the government has identified five national AI projects to address key national challenges, and to deliver social and economic benefits to Singaporeans.

These projects include intelligent freight planning in logistics, smart estates, chronic disease management in healthcare, personalised education and border security.

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