Zoom to set up R&D centre in Singapore, hire hundreds of engineering staff

Zoom will also expand its co-located data centre in Singapore. PHOTOS: ST FILE, AFP

SINGAPORE - Zoom Video Communications, which owns the ubiquitous video-conferencing platform Zoom, is expanding its footprint in Singapore by opening a new research and development (R&D) centre and doubling the size of its data centre here.

The US tech giant will also hire hundreds of staff for the R&D centre in key engineering roles, it said in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 16).

"This commitment represents a growing strategic investment in the country, where Zoom has already had a presence for two years," it said.

A Zoom spokesman told The Straits Times that the firm aims to open the R&D centre by the third quarter of next year "or when it's safe for all our employees to go back into the office".

He declined to say how much Zoom invested in the new facility and expanded data centre.

The firm added that the expansion in Singapore will supplement its existing R&D centres in the United States, India and China, and support Zoom's engineering leadership team, which is based at its headquarters in San Jose, California.

"Zoom selected Singapore for its exceptional engineering talent. The company has already begun recruiting engineers in the area and looks forward to selecting office space as pandemic-related remote work subsides," it said.

Zoom will also double the capacity of its data centre in Singapore, to better serve users in the Asia-Pacific.

Mr Velchamy Sankarlingam, Zoom's president of product and engineering, said the new R&D facility and expanded data centre in Singapore will play a critical role in Zoom's continued international growth.

"Singapore is pro-business, ranks as one of the friendliest countries to set up a company, and continues to be a favourite for regional headquarters as it boasts exceptional talent, strong infrastructure, and is a perfect gateway for engaging the wider Asia-Pacific region," he said.

Mr Chng Kai Fong, managing director of the Economic Development Board, said Zoom has transformed the way people work, learn and socialise.

He added: "In some ways, we are more productive and fulfilled. And this is only the beginning in re-inventing how we work, live and play. So I am thrilled that Zoom will be partnering Singapore to set up an R&D centre to explore possibilities."

Zoom is not the only tech giant that has strengthened its presence in Singapore.

In February, social media platform Twitter said it will set up its first Asia-Pacific engineering centre here and create 65 technical jobs. The centre will be set up at the company's Asia-Pacific headquarters in the CapitaGreen building in Shenton Way.

WeChat owner Tencent Holdings has chosen a co-working space for its first office in Singapore, reported Bloomberg in October.

Chinese tech giant ByteDance, which owns popular video app TikTok, is also moving to a bigger office in the financial district. It reportedly signed an agreement to lease three floors measuring over 60,000 square feet at One Raffles Quay.

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