Two tech firms ink deal to build up AI in Asean

Chinese tech giant Huawei's AI Lab in Singapore. Huawei has inked a pact with another tech firm to build up South-east Asia's artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem, starting in Malaysia and Indonesia.
DECEMBER 05, 2019 - 6:06 PM

TWO international tech firms will work together on the artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem in South-east Asia, under a pact announced on Thursday (Dec 5).

Chinese tech giant Huawei’s cloud services unit and the regional arm of San Francisco-based startup Skymind plan to offer strategic and technical expertise on smart city innovations, starting with projects in Indonesia and Malaysia, although they did not specify a timeline or what kinds of urban solutions their joint working group aims to provide.

According to the firms’ announcement, the two companies will tackle regional infrastructure and talent development, such as through AI training schemes for local industry workers.

“The combined expertise and technical capabilities of the two companies will provide a strong foundation to position South-east Asia as an AI innovation hub,” Shawn Tan, chief executive of Skymind AI, said in a statement, while noting that the memorandum of understanding could also support his company’s expansion in the region.

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Lim Chee Siong, vice-president of Huawei Cloud South Pacific Region, added that Huawei’s cloud and AI capabilities could enable local developers and facilitate work with other partners, such as universities - which he said has “the ultimate goal of making AI more inclusive”.

Earlier this year, Huawei had announced the launch of a 5G-ready cloud and AI lab in Singapore, which was officially opened on Nov 22 with a three-pronged approach to developing talent, fostering industry innovation, and connecting tech ecosystems in China and Singapore.