This year has been exceptionally rocky for big tech firms and high-flying startups alike.
These companies have gone from raking in huge profits during the pandemic to making big losses — with seven of the biggest tech companies losing at least US$3 trillion combined in market capitalisation over the past year as of October.
During the pandemic, these companies have flourished due to the shift towards digitalisation, causing them to hire and expand in an unsustainable way.
Now that the dust has settled and the way of life has somewhat returned to pre-pandemic ways, these companies are trying to cut their losses by implementing mass layoffs and hiring freezes. This year has seen 850 tech companies laying off 137,159 employees so far.
Whether you’re affected by the recent tech layoffs or looking for a job change for the new year, here’s a look at some of the tech companies in Singapore that are currently hiring:
Previously known as TransferWise, Wise operates a cross-border payments network for consumers and businesses.
In October, the global payments company announced that it would be bolstering its ambitions in Asia, and planned to double its headcount in Singapore to hit over 400 employees by the end of the year.
Through this expansion, Wise aims to have its Singapore office account for 10 per cent of its global workforce, which has grown to over 4,000 employees across 17 countries.
The company also operates in Australia, the US, UK, Switzerland, the European Economic Area, Japan, and Malaysia.
Currently, the company has over 295 vacant roles worldwide according to its career site, and about 30 of these are based in Singapore. The roles in Singapore comprise developer roles, finance roles and HR roles, among others
The recent buzz around the FTX crash as well as crypto layoffs from the likes of Crypto.com and Coinbase show that these crypto companies are badly impacted by the ongoing ‘crypto winter’.
Despite the challenging landscape, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) remains bullish on the crypto market, as he claims that the industry will bounce back and recover quickly. Hence, the company has been hiring aggressively for the past six months.
The CEO tweeted on Monday that the company will be increasing its headcount of over 7,400 to 8,000 by the end of this year.
The CEO also highlighted his previous tweet earlier in June, which stated that the company looked to increase its headcount by 2,000. The tweet in June came shortly after Coinbase announced that it would be laying off 18 per cent of its workforce in the same month.
Binance currently has 664 job openings listed on its career page, and 73 of these openings are based in Singapore. These include roles in divisions comprising business development, data and research, engineering, finance, and in operations, among others.
3. TikTok and ByteDance
With over 1.5 billion monthly active users in the third quarter of 2022, TikTok has become an integral part of popular culture. In fact, the app is now the go-to search engine for Gen Zs, replacing the ubiquitous Google.
Amidst high-profile tech layoffs, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew reaffirmed that the company is doing well and will still be recruiting despite the economic downturn during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.
“We have always been more cautious in terms of recruitment,” he said at the conference. “At this stage of our growth, I think that our pace, our cadence, of hiring is just right for us.”
TikTok’s career page lists a whopping 4340 vacant roles globally, and 887 of these are based in Singapore. Meanwhile, its parent firm ByteDance is also aggressively hiring, with over 377 vacant roles based in Singapore.
While major e-commerce platforms such as Shopee are massively impacted by the economic downturn, Lazada has no plans for layoffs and is still actively hiring in all of its markets, said CEO James Dong.
According to its career page, Lazada has several job openings in Singapore, and they mostly span across its commercial, data and intelligence, as well as its technology divisions.
Earlier in April, the Southeast Asian online marketplace, owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, opened its 11-storey headquarters in Singapore.
Its headquarters can house teams from Singapore and the region, and employees from various departments – from developers to marketing – are all under one roof. Equipped with wellness and recreation zones, Lazada’s headquarters aims to provide a conducive workspace for all its employees.
In September, Grab’s chief operating officer Alex Hungate told Reuters that Grab was “very careful and judicious about any hiring” as it had been worried about a possible recession earlier this year.
As a result, Grab did not have to resort to “desperate” measures such as implementing a hiring freeze or mass layoffs.
Grab is currently selectively hiring, while reining in its financial service ambitions. Its career page lists 480 available positions, with almost a quarter of these positions based in Singapore.
Grab’s revenue increased by 143 per cent year-over-year (YoY), and its loss for the quarter also narrowed to S$342 million, a 65 per cent improvement YoY.
In addition, its food and grocery delivery business also broke even three quarters ahead of the company’s expectations.
6. Circles. Life
Singaporean digital telco firm Circles Global has been shaking up the telco industry since its launch back in 2016, taking on major players such as Singtel, M1 and StarHub.
As part of its ambition to become the first trillion-dollar global Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company, the company launched its Circles-X Research & Development Centre in Singapore earlier in February which brings together three elements that Circles regards as key for its future plans: cutting-edge made-in Singapore tech, local talents, and market experience from Circles’ operations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Circles-X R&D Centre housed 265 staff when it first launched, and was expected to create 120 jobs in Singapore in the ICT field, specifically in software engineering, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and more.
Besides the launch of its R&D Centre, Circles.Life was also reportedly in early talks to merge with US-listed Bridgetown Holdings, backed by billionaires Peter Thiel and Richard Li back in July.
7. Doctor Anywhere
Homegrown telehealth provider Doctor Anywhere, which first started out as a non-profit side project in 2016, connects its users to an extensive panel of general practitioners, specialists and allied healthcare providers within its app.
Through the app, users can consult a licensed local doctor anytime, anywhere, and get medication delivered to their doorstep within hour.
Earlier in January, the company unveiled its new office space which occupies the entire penthouse unit on the 40th storey of mTower and spans almost 15,000 sq ft.
Alongside the launch of Doctor Anywhere’s new office, the company also announced its plans to expand its team by 50 per cent, adding over 200 roles as it continues to expand its business.
The company has listed a number of jobs based in Singapore on its job board, and some of these include roles in technology and finance.
Last November, Doctor Anywhere had also acquired Thailand’s largest telemedicine platform, Doctor Raksa, for an undisclosed sum.
Featured Image Credit: Wise/ Binance/ Grab/ Nick Barclay@The Verge
As expected, the ROG Phone 6D lived up to the same standards, and on the surface, it really doesn’t appear all that different from the Phone 6.
It’s got the same polished back, giving it a slightly rugged look with intercepting lines and statements in blocky fonts.
Then, of course, there’s the signature illuminated RGB matrix display on the back which can be customised to fit your mood or to reflect notifications/activity on your phone.
The camera housing is the same as well, neatly kept out of the way for comfortable landscape gaming.
The ROG Phone 6D only comes in one colourway, Space Gray.
Below the surface is where this phone begins differing from the ROG Phone 6, as instead of a Snapdragon chipset, it has a MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ 5G chipset.
The two chipmakers are often pitched against one another, with Snapdragon usually said to be better in several aspects.
However, from my experience of using the ROG Phone 6 and ROG Phone 6D for the same purposes, I felt very little difference. More on that later though.
Like the other phones in the ROG Phone 6 series, the ROG Phone 6D has a 6.78-inch, AMOLED HDR10+ display with a 165Hz refresh rate.
The Armoury Crate app functions the same way too, allowing users to adjust their settings for an optimal gaming experience. Swap between X-Mode to boost performance, Dynamic for a balance user experience, or Ultra durable (Eco) to conserve battery life.
This is also where one would control the AirTriggers, mapping up to 14 customisable touch points on the screen simultaneously.
Coming with the ROG Phone 6D review unit we got was also the AeroActive Cooler 6 for testing, though it doesn’t actually come bundled with this model, only the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate.
The built-in GameCool 6 cooling system is able to keep the phone’s temperature down for daily use, but as you game in X-Mode, you’ll begin to feel some heat build-up, which the AeroActive Cooler 6 is meant to combat.
We’ve not tried its predecessors, but from pictures alone, the newest version of the peripheral looks more modern and edgier. It’s a sleek design that matches with the ROG Phone 6 series itself, to no surprise.
The clip-on accessory uses a spring-loaded latching mechanism, allowing the AeroActive Cooler 6 to hug the phone snugly.
It draws power directly from the phone through a USB-C attached to the side-mounted charging port, meaning that there are no finicky wires to get in the way of your gaming.
If your phone begins running out of juice though, the cooler itself has a USB-C port that you can plug a charging wire into, so you can simultaneously charge your phone as it cools.
The AeroActive Cooler 6 has a kickstand for your phone to stand somewhat upright horizontally, and four additional physical buttons for game input.
This brings the aforementioned 14 simultaneous touchpoints to a total of 18 when the AeroActive Cooler 6 is attached.
The four buttons on the cooler are omnidirectional, which means they can be pressed from any direction and in any spot. I found myself using these a lot more than the AirTrigger spots on the phone’s edge since they were more effortless and natural to press.
Controls for the cooler are accessed through the Armoury Crate too, with the option to supplement the fan with thermoelectric cooling through the use of a Peltier cooler.
With the cooling mode turned on, you can switch between Smart, Cool, Frosty, and Frozen (only available when the charging cable is plugged into the AeroActive Cooler 6.
Frosty was able to keep the phone pretty cool to the touch when I played Genshin Impact on overclocked settings for about an hour.
That being said though, even without the cooler attached, I was still able to game in X-Mode rather comfortably without stutters or lag.
When the cooler is connected to the phone, X-Mode also changes to X-Mode+, boosting the phone’s performance.
Coming back to the ROG Phone 6D itself, it gives the user no space to harbour doubts about its gaming capabilities and performance.
With a large 6.000mAh battery and 65W wired charging, running out of juice on this phone shouldn’t really be a concern, unless you’re gaming on X-Mode for half a day straight, probably.
For a gaming phone, its cameras are decently impressive too, meeting flagship daily driver standards easily.
It has a 50MP wide camera, 13MP ultrawide, and 5MP macro on the back, with a 12MP selfie camera.
These are found on the ROG Phone 6 too, which we often use as a backup phone for pictures and videos in our content creation.
Besides the chipset, the ROG Phone 6D really doesn’t differ from the ROG Phone 6. Benchmarks would probably show some differences, but I doubt that my daily usage and gaming tendencies would ever push the phones to such limits anyway.
As for which phone is better than the other, it would likely come down to your own chipset preferences or what you plan to do with the phone.
The ASUS ROG Phone 6D only comes in a 12GB 256GB variant and costs RM3,499, RM100 cheaper than the ROG Phone 6.
|Excellent battery lasting power, with super fast charging speeds||No wireless charging|
|Great 165Hz display for lag-free and responsive gameplay|
|Decent cameras, comparable to a flagship’s|
VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.
Times Higher Education has just published its updated World University Rankings for 2023, including arguably one of the most important list for all graduates — employability.
Unlike other university rankings, which are often criticised for placing too much emphasis on artificial factors (like research output in terms of citations or published papers, which are, let’s be honest, not always the most accurate indicator of the quality of education), the Global Employability University Ranking and Survey (GEURS) is based on a huge survey of global recruiters and managers — i.e. the very people hiring graduates on an annual basis (making it the only such ranking in the world).
A huge number of 98,014 responses were collected from employers around the world, regarding the top 250 universities in 45 countries.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) continues its march upward, jumping another position to eighth this year, from ninth in 2021 and just 17th in 2015 (which was widely celebrated at the time).
It means that NUS has outranked institutions such as Yale (which it collaborated with for a number of years), Princeton, Columbia University, University of California (Berkeley), London School of Economics, Imperial College London and many more — while approaching Oxford, Stanford and University of Tokyo, which are placed just ahead of it.
Soft and digital skills rise to the top
If you’re wondering what else can make you stand out to your employers, GEURS authors also track the six factors that are assigned levels of importance by the respondents, and present how they change over the years.
Academic performance takes the back seat, while graduate skills — i.e. proficiency in soft and digital skills of graduates, regardless of their degree — rose to the top during the pandemic.
It seems logical, given the necessity of working remotely, which limited opportunities for in-person training and placed greater emphasis on being able to jump into work with other people at a distance.
Though it’s not unlikely that priorities are going to evolve in the coming years, as we’re back to living like we used to before 2020.
Featured Image Credit: Mashable
This is a workcation series where we personally visit and review hotels, resorts, and more, to find out how well they cater to digital nomads and hybrid professionals. Our whole team is fully vaccinated, boosted, and have tested negative on the first and last day of our trip.
✓ Motorised black-out and daytime curtains to conveniently create the ideal work or rest environment
✓ Great food options at the in-house dining venues, Makan Kitchen and Tosca Italian Trattoria
✓ A leisure game room with tabletop and card games as well as a foosball table, pool table, and PS4 available
✓ Event halls that are suitable for meetings, weddings, and other social gatherings
Globally recognised hotel chain DoubleTree by Hilton opened its Shah Alam i-City location earlier this year, making it the sixth hotel carrying the name in Malaysia.
Being a new hotel, however, DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam i-City (DoubleTree) has adopted new standards. Although we’re not privy to what exactly those standards are, we were invited for a 3D2N workcation to test them out for ourselves.
As part of DoubleTree’s signature welcome, we were given their cookies upon check-in in the massive lobby. There are plenty of seats here for guests to convene or hang out with some drinks and snacks from the grab-and-go café, The Koffee.
In the far back, there’s also the Axis Longue where guests can unwind with some drinks and food.
But we were there to get some work done, so we set off to our room on the 17th floor, ready to kickstart our trip with our welcome cookies in tow.
Where we’ll call home for the next couple of days
The first thing we noticed when entering our King Deluxe Suite was the aroma. We’ve had experience with overpowering scents before, but this fresh and subtle floral smell was different.
I also immediately noticed the additional welcome refreshments set out on the coffee room table in the living area, which included some chocolate cake pops, macarons, as well as a sparkling lime and hibiscus drink from a homegrown brand, Tapping Tapir.
If you’re not a fan of soda, the minibar is also stocked with capsule coffee and glass bottles of water, alongside all the necessary utensils such as cups and spoons. There’s also a minifridge tucked underneath.
The main living area is kept separate from the bedroom, which features a plush king bed. This separation is great for scenarios where one party would like to work while the other wants to rest or take a private call.
There’s a vanity in there that could double as a smaller work area, but the ottoman beneath it was a bit too short for us to comfortably get work done.
The en suite is spacious, with a deep bathtub and a separate shower, as well as a roomy open wardrobe. Here, we found some bathrobes and an additional pillow and blanket.
Looking out the windows of our bedroom, we were given a bird’s-eye-view of i-City Theme Park, featuring its Ferris wheel and city lights that were sure to become even more dazzling in the evening.
And when you’re done admiring the view, you can simply press a button for the black-out curtains to close on their own.
Overall, our King Deluxe Suite was decked with everything we could need for a comfortable and—true to its name—deluxe stay, but is it up to par for a productive one?
Judging by the workstation fitted into this room, I was tempted to immediately say yes. Set in front of the minibar, the spacious work table comes with a wheeled office chair and is situated next to two plug points, which are definitely workplace essentials.
However, there were two of us on the workcation, but only one chair for the workstation. We could have worked on the sofa, but that’s probably not ideal, ergonomically speaking.
Thankfully, after a phone call to the operator, the hotel staff were able to send up an additional chair for us. Although it wasn’t as plush as the one that came in the room, it was of adequate height for the table.
But a bigger issue we encountered was internet connectivity, something we’ve come to learn is absolutely critical for us to be productive.
After some struggles with connecting to the guest Wi-Fi, we decided to call the operator again, who was kind enough to share the password for a private Wi-Fi for us to use.
Later on, we inquired with another staff on whether free Wi-Fi was available, to which she explained that customers would have to download the Hilton app and become a Hilton Honors member for free to enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi.
However, the hotel’s website says standard in-room and lobby Wi-Fi are RM30, and from my past stays at various DoubleTrees, I know not all its locations offer free Wi-Fi.
Work hard and relax harder
Of course, we weren’t there just to work all day in our rooms, so we requested a tour of the facilities in the hotel.
We were shown around the event halls, something that seems to be a key highlight of this hotel as it houses a total of 1,594 square metres of meeting space, making it a fitting venue for weddings, business meetings, and other social gatherings.
You can contact the hotel directly or via its website to request the pricing of these spaces.
Next to the 24/7 gym is the outdoor infinity pool, which I decided to try at around 9 in the morning.
Unfortunately, it was being cleaned at the time, but I only had to wait for around 20 minutes before it was ready for me.
There’s also a jacuzzi connected to the pool, which was really nice. There isn’t a temperature difference I could discern, but the jets there make it a comfortable spot to relax after a swim.
If you’re looking for a heated experience, though, there’s a sauna on the floor above. There’s also set to be a spa on this floor, but it’s not open yet.
On the same floor as the gym and the pool is a game room that features a bunch of different card and board games, as well as a foosball table and pool table.
There’s also a PS4 that guests can play, but will need to put down a sizable RM600 deposit for.
A gastronomical journey
On our first night, we were served dinner at Tosca Italian Trattoria, DoubleTree by Hilton’s Italian restaurant.
The interior design here is cosy and warm, and according to staff members, the Shah Alam i-City’s Tosca follows the new DoubleTree by Hilton standards, which sees an updated concept and aesthetic, the first to do so in Malaysia.
After ordering our waitress’s recommendations, we were served warm and soft focaccia with a side of homemade tomato sauce, which was a great start to our dinner.
If you’re headed to the hotel anytime soon, definitely order the bruschetta romana, Petto Di Manzo (a beef brisket dish), Aglio Olio Di Gamberi, and Burrata Con Pizza.
After a filling meal, treat yourself to the tiramisu which is prepared in front of diners, making it more of an experience than just a dish.
Most of our meals, though, were held in the aptly named Makan Kitchen, which is known for having three main sections that correspond to Malay, Chinese and Indian food.
The breakfast buffets certainly gave us a lot of options to choose from, including roti bakar and soup noodles, but what was really exciting here was the seafood buffet on the second night.
We were told that it was the second-ever seafood buffet held at the hotel, and it seems like it’s set to be a monthly event. Freshly shucked oysters, scallops, and more, were up for grabs, as well as differently prepared crab, fish, and other seafood.
For those who aren’t big seafood lovers, there are also non-seafood options available such as the chicken and beef satay, pandan chicken, and more.
The last area you can dine in is the Axis Lounge, where we were recommended to work at. We were seated by some plug points, which was great. Here, we enjoyed some fish and chips as well as a popiah dish as we worked. Guests can order select Makan Kitchen dishes here too.
I would say that the Axis Lounge is an ideal spot for business lunches or casual meetings, though it might not be a productive spot for those who enjoy a quieter working environment.
A great workcation spot with no surprises
Having experienced a few workcations in the heart of some central locations in the past, I found DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam i-City to be quite relaxing as it’s further out of KL without being too distant.
I felt like the King Deluxe Suite was definitely an ideal room choice for a workcation as well, as the layout gives a nice sense of not only physical separation, but a mental one too, from working and relaxing.
While the bed was comfortable enough for rest, I found the pillow to be too soft. The extra pillow in the toilet was a little firmer, though.
The dining options here are worth coming back for, but the more premium prices might have me looking for other options. Good thing is, there’s a mall, Central i-City, nearby with more food choices.
|What workcation crowd is DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam i-City suitable for?||Pro tip|
|Solo hybrid workers||Give yourself a change of pace by working at the Axis Lounge or by The Koffee, where you can also have business meetings.|
|Workcationers travelling with family||Visit the pool as well as the game room on the fifth floor to entertain the kids.|
|Expats/longer-term business travellers||Enjoy the various food options offered within the hotel, or visit the nearby malls for a change of pace.|
|Business meetings and corporate events||Book a corporate gathering at the meeting rooms and event spaces offered at the hotel.|
- Read our other reviews of workcations we’ve been to here.
- Learn more about DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam i-City here.
All images credit: Vulcan Post, taken on the Huawei Mate 50 Pro
The Commercial Affairs Department announced yesterday (Nov 23) that it has launched an investigation into crypto platform Hodlnaut and its directors for possible cheating and fraud offences under Sections 417 and 424A of the Penal Code 1871.
Hodlnaut’s co-founders Zhu Juntao and Simon Eric Lee are both directors of the company.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a media statement that the police received multiple reports between August and November, alleging that Hodlnaut and/or its directors had made false representations relating to the company’s exposure to the Terra/Luna digital token ecosystem.
Earlier reports said Hodlnaut’s directors downplayed the extent of the group’s exposure to Terra/Luna both during the period leading up to, and following the Terra/Luna collapse in May 2022.
Besides Hodlnaut, many other crypto firms were affected by the Terra/Luna collapse, including hedge fund Three Arrows Capital, as well as crypto lenders Celsius Network and Voyager Digital.
It was earlier reported that Hodlnaut lost nearly US$190 million in the crypto crash.
Public urged to submit documents
SPF urged those who have deposited digital tokens with Hodlnaut and believe that they have been defrauded through, among others, false representations made by Hodlnaut, to lodge a police report.
It added that any documents relating to the transactions with Hodlnaut — including records of the payments made to and received from Hodlnaut as well as relevant correspondence with the platform — would help the police assist people with the review of their complaints.
On August 8, Hodlnaut announced that it has halted withdrawals, token swaps and deposits, and informed the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to withdraw its licence application. This meant that it will no longer provide regulated digital payment token (DPT) services.
That same month, it applied to the Singapore High Court to be placed under interim judicial management following the Terra-Luna collapse, as part of their business recovery plan.
In an effort to reduce burn rates, Hodlnaut said it would charge all open term interest rates to 0% APR from August 22. It also laid off 80 per cent of its employees (approximately 40 people) to reduce the company’s expenditure.
In end October, a Singapore court report disclosed that Hodlnaut has been hiding some documents from the interim judicial managers (IJMs).
The IJMs accused Hodlnaut founders Zhu Juntao and Simon Lee, and some unnamed employees, of being uncooperative. They are reportedly obstructing judicial managers from accessing and controlling several vital documents and records. Over 1,000 files from Google Workspace were deleted after the IJMs were appointed.
The documents would have helped the IJMs to understand the financial position of Hodlnaut better, and there’s also a problem of improper maintenance of accounting and financial records even before the IJM appointments.
Most recently on November 11, the IJMs confirmed that 25 per cent of Hodlnaut’s assets are held on centralised exchanges. Of that, about 72 per cent of S$18.5 million were parked with FTX.
They attempted to get the assets out from FTX before it suspended withdrawals two weeks ago, but failed to do so.
Featured Image Credit: Hodlnaut