China’s Tencent chooses Singapore as a platform for expansion into Asia

China's Tencent chooses Singapore as a platform for expansion into Asia
China’s Tencent chooses Singapore as a platform for expansion into Asia

The Chinese company Tencent has selected Singapore as the main site for expansion into the Southeast Asian markets amid tightening activities in India and the United States. Bloomberg reported the news on Tuesday.

The company’s official statement states that “the tasks of the opening office in Singapore will be to support the growing business in Southeast Asia and beyond.” According to agency sources, the city-state will host the regional headquarters. Now the Chinese developer has offices in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

This decision will increasingly help Singapore and Chinese business will boost it significantly. If Western powers want to retain at least some kind of influence in the region they need to match China with investments in the city. All of this means lots and lots of further FDI for Singapore with often no strings attached at all, giving the city a lot of flexibility if it ever wants to diversify into a new industry. Experts are already confirming that these new investment stages are going to strengthen the local currency to a point where services may become unreachable for foreign clients. Furthermore, people who trade Forex in Singapore are already confirming that they’ve seen very unnatural movements from the SGD and that it will be strengthening in the future according to currency metrics.

Trump, Tencent and aggressive measures against Chinese companies

While we are talking about Singapore, which has been chosen as a “hub” by Tencent, we should also talk about the United States and Donald Trump. The latter announced restrictive measures against Tencent as well as a bunch of Chinese companies, considering them as a security threat.

The services collect data that allows the Chinese authorities to use them to blackmail US federal officials, as well as engage in industrial espionage, according to the decrees. In the list, there is TikTok mobile app – video sharing service of the Chinese company ByteDance

US President Donald Trump is stepping up pressure on China’s ByteDance, which owns TikTok, and Tencent, the owner of the WeChat messenger. Trump signed several executive orders on August 6, which will take effect 45 days later. According to these documents, all transactions with ByteDance and Tencent will be prohibited in the United States.

As one of the decrees says, “decisive action” is required for TikTok owners to protect national security. The service collects a large amount of data about users, primarily about their actions on the Internet and geolocation. This allows the Chinese authorities to determine the places visited by employees of the US federal authorities, draw up a dossier for blackmailing them, and also engage in industrial espionage, the document says. Similar accusations are also being made against the WeChat messenger.

Trump also demands to sell TikTok to an American company.

The US Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the US Transportation Security Administration have already banned their employees from using TikTok on their office phones. The US Senate approved a bill that prohibits the installation of office phones and the use of this service for all employees of the federal government, members and employees of the US Congress, as well as government officials. The House of Representatives has not yet considered this bill.

Trump previously threatened to ban the use of TikTok in the US if the service was not sold to a US company by September 15. The American company Microsoft is currently in talks with ByteDance to acquire it. The video service is especially popular among teenagers; it is installed on mobile phones about 175 million times in the United States. In the world, TikTok is used by approximately one billion people.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry criticized Trump’s decision, saying that China will protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese business. However nothing seems to threaten Tencent’s interest in Singapore.

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