Huawei has launched a US$40 million lab in Singapore to encourage mobile app development in Asia-Pacific. It will serve “as an all-encompassing innovation hub” with all the tools developers need to succeed,” said Nicholas Ma, CEO of Huawei International.

The DigiX Lab will provide consultations and support for mobile app developers using AR, VR, AI, HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) Core Kits and other technologies. Its services can be accessed online, allowing developers across the region to make use of the resources virtually.

Here’s an inside look of the DigiX Lab, and how it’ll help boost Asia Pacific’s mobile app ecosystem.

Training local talent

The launch of the Lab in Singapore demonstrates Huawei’s growth and continued investment in the city, the tech giant said.

It partnered several institutes of higher learning last year, such as Republic Polytechnic and the Singapore University of Social Sciences, to host training programmes on android app programming and AI.

This year, Huawei plans to introduce three programmes to train developers of all levels.

First, the Student Developers programme will bring together interested students to learn about new tech topics and skills. Hands-on workshops and hackathons will also be organised, said Sang Wei, head of Huawei Singapore HMS operation

Next, budding developers can join the Huawei Developer Group and connect with other tech enthusiasts to learn from each other and acquire new skills.

Lastly, proficient developers with expertise in Huawei’s mobile services will be recognised as Developer Experts. They will receive an official certificate and have priority access to new Huawei technological capabilities.

Huawei plans to partner SkillsFuture Singapore to provide online training courses and certificates for local tech talents. They will be trained on Android app development and master Huawei’s mobile service capabilities.

The tech giant is also in talks with the Singapore Gaming Association to partner and develop the local mobile gaming industry.

“With Singapore as a flourishing hub in Asia Pacific, Huawei will continue to strengthen our collaboration with local partners and institutions to cultivate and nurture a resilient, evolving pool of tech talents,” said Ma.

Empowering mobile app developers

The DigiX Lab at Changi Business Park “leverages Singapore’s importance as a growing technological hub in Asia Pacific” to boost the region’s mobile ecosystem, Huawei said.

It’s also a space for developers to connect with like-minded individuals, said Sang. Huawei plans to roll out a series of discussions and networking events to inspire developers to “create the next big idea”.

Huawei’s experts will provide technical support and services for developers and organise workshops, talks, and seminars.

The Singapore DigiX Lab is Huawei’s second one in the world, and the tech giant will spend US$40 million on the lab.

“The DigiX Lab provides a platform to cultivate and equip developers with the necessary app development tools to innovate and advance the future of the digital space,” said Shan Xuefeng, Director of Asia Pacific Huawei Consumer Cloud Service.

Growing its app prowess

Huawei plans to work closely with partners to bring more local apps into the Huawei AppGallery. The number of apps available on Huawei mobile phones has grown from 50,000 to 120,000 apps at the end of last year.

Over 90 per cent of Singapore’s top apps are now available in its AppGallery, with Grab being the latest addition. Other apps include Tracetogether, ComfortDelGro, DBS, POSB, UOB, Channel NewsAsia, The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao.

The tech giant said it is working to make SingPass available by the early half of this year.

Huawei will continue its investment in its tech capabilities and provide support to local developers, it said. The DigiX Lab will pave the way for a robust mobile app ecosystem in Singapore and Asia Pacific.