In the last five years, Southeast Asia has grown to become a big consumer of modern web technologies to create digital products and services. More and more tech companies from the United States are opening offices here, and many with the goal of building engineering and development offices for their regional needs.

Most recently, GrabTaxi announced a US$100 million engineering office in Singapore to develop the tools and services required to feed its global growth plans. And companies such as Apple, Facebook and CloudFlare have started building out engineering teams. They join hundreds of existing multi-nationals and many more startup companies in the hunt for talent in Singapore.

The preferred technology platform for these companies remains the Open Web. Morgan Stanley and comScore confirmed that even on mobile phones, the killer-app remains the browser, boasting twice the audience size in the United States and growing at a faster rate than apps—a trend that is visible in Southeast Asia as well.

Consumers are highly selective about their apps and memory usage, and for the very large amount of use cases that require no commitment, or fulfill immediate or less frequent consumer needs, the Internet is the more light-weight and appropriate solution. On top of that, the web has other advantages:

  • it’s supported on nearly every smart consumer device and does not require week long app-review cycles
  • it's based on open standards such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript that make it the most resilient platform and the one with the largest headcount
  • it's estimated that the amount of 18.5 million web developers in early 2014 worldwide has almost doubled since.

Continue reading %Why Southeast Asia Should Embrace the Open Source Movement%