Huawei to invest $100 million in APAC startups

The company hopes to build a sustainable Asia Pacific startup ecosystem over the next three years

A shot of a woman walking in front of a Huawei sign

Huawei is set to invest $100 million (£71.8 million) in its Spark Program to provide support for 1,000 startups in the Asia Pacific region, as it aims to build a sustainable APAC startup ecosystem over the next three years.

The Chinese company has already invested in startup hubs across Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Thailand, and will now expand this to develop an additional four hubs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

The company’s goal is to recruit a total of 1,000 startups into its Spark accelerator programme and shape 100 of them into scaleups, it said at an event on Tuesday.

“Through this programme, we are working with local governments, leading incubators, well-known VC firms, and top universities to build support platforms for startups in many regions. Now 40 startups are participating in our programme,” said Zhang Ping'an, CEO of Huawei's Cloud Business Unit.

Zhang added that the company has also launched its “Cloud-plus-Cloud Collaboration and Joint Innovation Program” through which it will support startups with $40 million worth of resources and support 200 startups in the Huawei Mobile services ecosystem.

The company also launched the Spark Developer Program, where it hopes to nurture a developer ecosystem on the Huawei Cloud, and share its network of channel resources with developers worldwide.

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Additionally, it has also launched the Spark Pitstop Program, designed to onboard and support startups on the Huawei Cloud to accelerate product development, and the Spark Innovation Program, which is focused on facilitating enterprise innovation through the Spark startup ecosystem.

Last month, Microsoft was reportedly considering investing in the Indian hotel startup Oyo, with the company valuing it at around $9 billion. The deal may also involve the Softbank-backed startup shifting to use Microsoft’s cloud services. Over the last few years, Oyo expanded into a number of other markets like Europe and the US although it had to fire 5,000 people from its workforce to try and cut its spending during the pandemic.

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