SINGAPORE -- Singapore Telecommunications is targeting a growing pool of online gamers in Southeast Asia with a new partnership with San Francisco-based gaming company Razer by focusing on high-growth areas such as digital payments and esports.
Both companies signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday in Singapore to foster strategic collaboration. Singtel, the largest telecommunication company in Southeast Asia by market capitalization, has been trying to defend its business in the digital age.
"Gaming is a huge opportunity in this part of the world," said Singtel international group CEO Arthur Lang. Gaming is becoming mainstream and gamers are heavy consumers of data communication, he added.
Under their collaboration in mobile payments, Razer will connect its entertainment-focused mobile wallet service that will be launched later this year to Singtel's platform. Hong Kong-listed Razer announced in April it will acquire a Malaysia-based e-payment company MOL Global, one of the largest online payment gateways in Southeast Asia.
"Singtel and Razer are incredibly excited ... for us to create together the largest e-payment network throughout Southeast Asia," Min-Liang Tan, Razer's co-founder and CEO, told reporters.
Singtel already offers a mobile wallet service dubbed "dash" in Singapore, and intends to connect it with other mobile wallets operated by six companies under the group, such as Advanced Info Service in Thailand. Once all the regional mobile wallets become inter-operable, the network will have 50 million users in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Australia. The tie-up with Razer will give Singtel access to the Malaysian market.
Singtel is also launching a region-wide esports league based in Singapore, and Razer is considering collaboration in this segment. Two of Singtel's associates, Globe Telecom of the Philippines and Telekomunikasi Selular in Indonesia, have launched national esports league in their own countries, with others expected to follow suit.
This is not the first time that Singtel has worked with Razer. Singtel became the first telco in Asia to sell Razer's first gaming Android-based smartphone launched in November 2017. The two companies are also exploring opportunities to develop other gaming-related digital media and telecommunication services, according to a press release.
Singtel has made several acquisitions to grow its digital businesses over the past five years, in areas such as advertisement technology and cybersecurity. Recently, however, the telco has shifted its focus to forging external partnerships with tech companies to accelerate its progress in this sector.