BuzzFeed mulls Singapore launch, but tough internet publishing laws ‘could be a barrier’

BuzzFeedBuzzFeed is considering launching in Singapore as part of an international expansion plan, but has admitted that tough rules for high-traffic websites in the city-state could prove to be an obstacle.

The popular social news and entertainment site’s head of international operations announced earlier this month that its first office launches in Asia would be Japan and India. But Singapore is most likely to be next

“We’re curious about Singapore next, as it’s a natural starting point for Southeast Asia,” said Scott Lamb, VP of international for BuzzFeed, told Mumbrella at the Festival of Media Asia last week.

Hong Kong and the Philippines are also considerations for office openings for BuzzFeed, but Singapore is top of the list, he said.

“Realistically, [the next launch in Asia] will be Singapore, as it’s the place I have some working knowledge of. It also has a very friendly business climate,” he said.

However, when asked about Singapore’s strict publishing laws for websites that report on Singapore-related matters, introduced by the Media Development Authority in May last year, Lamb said “That certainly could be a barrier.”

In an interview with Mumbrella, he said: “We’re not a pure platform like twitter or Facebook, and we need the right to write what we want to write, including articles that are critical of governments.”

“We don’t want our business presence to hamper our approach to news reporting,” he said.

BuzzFeed has been investing in investigative reporters as the site known for quizzes and lists of cute animals looks to be taken more seriously as a news gathering operation.

The site, which launched out of New York in 2006, currently has offices in London, Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco, Sydney, Sao Paulo, New York and Paris. Besides, Tokyo and India, the site plans to open offices in Berlin and Mexico City.

There is no date set for the new offices yet.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing