Hong Kong – Global technology company Huawei has announced that it is pledging to invest around US$100m for the benefit of the startup ecosystem in Asia-Pacific for three years, publicized during its recently-concluded HUAWEI CLOUD Spark Founders Summit held simultaneously in Singapore and Hong Kong.
The company said that the investment would go towards its Spark Program in the Asia Pacific region, which aims to build a sustainable startup ecosystem for the region over the next three years.
Such endeavor reflects the company’s continuous efforts in helping Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand build their respective local startup hubs.
At the summit, Huawei also announced that this program would focus its efforts on developing four additional startup hubs – in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam – with the overarching aim of recruiting a total of 1,000 startups into the Spark accelerator program and shaping 100 of them into scaleups.
Furthermore, Huawei also launched its Cloud-plus-Cloud Collaboration and Joint Innovation Program, to further ramp up its support for startups around the world. Huawei will devote ongoing efforts and leverage its complete business portfolio in the cloud-plus-cloud collaboration space to foster technological innovation, global and local services, and business ecosystems, accelerating the growth of startups.
Catherine Chen, senior vice president and board member at Huawei, opened up the summit by emphasizing how important startups are to social advancement and what Huawei is doing to support startups.
“Startups and SMEs are the innovators, disruptors, and pioneers of our times. 34 years ago, Huawei was a startup with just 5,000 dollars of registered capital. Recently, we have been thinking: How can we leverage our experience and resources to help more startups address their challenges? Doing so would allow them to seize the opportunities posed by digital transformation, achieve business success, and develop more innovative products and solutions for the world,” Chen stated.
Three more additional initiatives under the Asia Pacific Spark Program were launched by Huawei at the event: The Spark Developer Program, which aims to nurture a developer ecosystem powered by HUAWEI CLOUD in the Asia Pacific region; the Spark Pitstop Program, designed to onboard and support startups on HUAWEI CLOUD to accelerate product development; and the Spark Innovation Program (SIP), focused on facilitating enterprise innovation through the Spark startup ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Zhang Ping’an, CEO of Huawei’s Cloud Business Unit, commented that since its launch in 2017, HUAWEI CLOUD has been the world’s fastest-growing cloud, and has driven the growth of countless startups. He also added that as they launched the Spark Program in Asia Pacific last year, they have been working with local governments, leading incubators, well-known VC firms, and top universities to build support platforms for startups in many regions, which has seen 40 startups participating in the program.
“Starting today, we are stepping up our support for startups through four new initiatives, aimed at cloud-plus-cloud collaboration, continuous tech innovation, global and local services, and high-quality business ecosystems. Today, we launched our Cloud-plus-Cloud Collaboration and Joint Innovation Program, through which we will support startups with US$40m worth of resources. Half of that investment is coming from HUAWEI CLOUD, half from Huawei Mobile Services (HMS),” Zhang stated.
He added, “In 2021, our plan is to support 200 startups in the 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.”
Stipulated as well in the event was Huawei’s showcase of the latest data on its innovation research programs with startups. The data shows solid relationships between Huawei and more than 2,000 partners from across the Asia Pacific region, with ongoing initiatives to build support platforms in close partnerships with governments, top VC firms, and leading universities in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Huawei rounded off the series of announcements with a plan to build an HMS Developer Innovation Center. Through this center, Huawei aims to cultivate future talent in cooperation with 210 leading universities across the Asia Pacific region.
“For the past two decades, we have remained committed to being ‘In Asia Pacific, For Asia Pacific’. Leveraging Huawei’s global customer base and full-stack technologies, the Spark Program will invest more than US$100m over the next three years, and provide comprehensive support to the establishment of a sustainable startup ecosystem that creates new value for this dynamic region,” Jeffery Liu, president for Asia-Pacific Region at Huawei stated.
The summit was attended by representatives from many prominent Asian startups, academia, various industries and governments, and the media, as well as more than 50 regional top venture capitalists and over 300 startup founders. Speeches and panels at the event focused on the social value of this startup ecosystem and how startups can promote technological and ecosystem innovation, contribute to local communities and drive socioeconomic development.