Yahoo! to expand footprint in SE Asia, using S’pore as base

Internet giant Yahoo! is expanding its digital footprint in Southeast Asia.

The firm plans to use Singapore, its Southeast Asian headquarters, to grow all its regional offices this year.

Other than Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam – where Yahoo already has an established presence – the firm has set its sights on Indonesia and the Philippines.

It is opening new offices in Jakarta and Manila in the fourth quarter of this year. Currently, the Yahoo teams there are housed in temporary offices rather than permanent ones.

The company is also eyeing opportunities in Thailand next.

The expansion is a sign of its confidence in the region.

Even though the company has undertaken a restructuring exercise to cut cost, it will not be scrimping on investments.

Yvonne Chang, managing director for Southeast Asia, Yahoo, said: “We are spending money in places that need investments. And definitely, Southeast Asia is the region.

“With the audience potential in this region, we are going to bring millions and millions of users to Yahoo … and corporate HQ is willing to invest.”

As part of the growth, Yahoo will also raise head count for its Singapore office. Staff strength will grow from the current 260 to 350 by the end of this year.

Yahoo has also expanded its office premises in Singapore, which is now three times bigger. The company had moved from its previous location in Suntec City to the 40,000 square feet space in Mapletree Anson in Tanjong Pagar.

Going forward, Yahoo is hoping to go big in the mobile handset space.

Ms Chang said: “We know that mobile Internet is growing much faster here than PC Internet in this region. And that is why we are working on how we mobilise the entire team in Yahoo so that our users can get similar experiences on their mobile devices.”

Yahoo will also beef up its online content production team in the region to customise and cater to different target audiences.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 18 Aug 2010

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