How Distributed Databases Drive the Digital Boom in ASEAN: Insights From OceanBase


As Southeast Asia’s digital economy continues to surge, businesses are seeking robust technological solutions to support their growth. The region is emerging as the world’s most rapidly expanding online market, with a staggering 125,000 new users gain access to the Internet each day.

Projections suggest that the burgeoning ASEAN digital economy will contribute an additional US$1 trillion to the regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the coming decade. This substantial economic boost underscores the transformative power of digital technologies in driving growth and innovation across the ASEAN member states.

At the OceanBase INFINITY tech conference recently hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia, Evan Yang, CEO of OceanBase, shared his insights into the company’s strategies, partnerships, and vision for the region’s digital future.

Under Evan’s leadership, OceanBase is actively pushing the database technologies and products to new heights, developing a next-generation database architecture designed to handle mission-critical workloads.

Moreover, recognising the significant potential in the vast user base and rapidly growing digital economy across Southeast Asia, OceanBase is also developing a technical ecosystem in this market around its database technology.

At the OceanBase INFINITY tech conference recently hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia, Evan Yang, CEO of OceanBase, shared his insights into the company’s strategies, partnerships, and vision for the region’s digital future.

Supporting Digital Transformation

As the regional digital economy flourishes, there has been an unprecedented surge in innovative technologies’ adoption. The proliferation of super apps, diverse fintech solutions, and widespread digital transformation are creating demands on tech infrastructure, with traditional solutions often falling short of meeting the evolving needs of businesses and consumers.

This can present both a challenge and an opportunity for forward-thinking companies to introduce cutting-edge solutions that can effectively support and accelerate the region’s digital growth. As Evan notes,

When companies move from traditional IT architecture to a new one in the era of digital economy, usually basic technical components need to be upgraded. Traditional products see bottlenecks when handling new requirements, especially when they deal with newly-emerged technology trends such as cloud computing, AI and business data analysis.

OceanBase’s solutions are designed to address challenges to traditional technology systems, offering improved performance, scalability, high-availability and cost-effectiveness.

For example, OceanBase’s capabilities in supporting high-volume transactions have been well proven — every year during the annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in China, it helps process millions of transactions every second.

OceanBase brings high performance with lower cost. With OceanBases distributed data storage engine with high data compression ratio, assuming the same storage capacity for a similar business, OceanBase can effectively reduce the storage cost by 70% to 90%, compared to MySQL/Oracle database.

Evan stated.

Helping SEA’s Innovative Companies Scale

In Southeast Asia, the company works closely with local customers and partners to understand specific needs and challenges, allowing for localised solutions that contribute meaningfully to the digital transformation of companies in this region.

OceanBase has already made substantial in-roads in the region in recent years, establishing successful collaborations with digital wallet DANA in Indonesia, popular restaurant chain Haidilao in Singapore, and leading e-wallet GCash in the Philippines. These diverse use cases demonstrate OceanBase’s growing reach across various sectors, with each collaboration highlighting OceanBase’s ability to address unique challenges.

For DANA and GCash, OceanBase helped scale their database needs to meet rapidly growing customer demands as their user bases experienced massive growth. Haidilao, meanwhile leveraged OceanBase to upgrade its digital membership system as it expanded into new markets.

Partnerships with educational institutions, such as the collaboration with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, further demonstrate OceanBase’s commitment to nurturing local talent and driving innovation in the region.

OceanBase is also launching training and certification programmes to facilitate talent development, to get a better grip on localised issues and help potential customers and technical teams learn more on how best to harness OceanBase database strengths.

Expanding Horizons in Southeast Asia

As the company expanding its database solutions in Southeast Asia, Evan detailed OceanBase’s international strategy, which is built on three key pillars. First, the company is continuously investing in R&D to maintain its edge in performance and scalability.

Second, OceanBase is developing what he calls an “L-Shape” technical capability, combining transaction processing advancements and more technical features with compatibility across various hardware infrastructures.

The third pillar involves the development of an integrated database product that combines Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) capabilities, to fulfil customers’ business needs with a unified solution.

The company’s approach involves a strong emphasis on localisation to fit different industry data requirements, with Evan explaining,

We focus more on how to make OceanBase compatible with technical stacks which local customers are familiar with.

This strategy extends to ensuring seamless integration with popular cloud providers like AWS and Google Cloud.

A Vision for Southeast Asia’s Digital Future

Looking ahead, Evan envisions several key trends shaping the database industry in general , including the need for modernised data management architecture capable of handling massive data volumes, supporting AI technologies, and an integrated and
unified database product which is simple to use.

In this case, OceanBase is investing heavily in its technology advancements and positioning itself to meet these future trends.

OceanBase also places higher importance on Southeast Asia, as Evan emphasises the company’s commitment to the region, stating,

We put higher priority to this market, no matter whether its on R&D resources, technical support efforts, or partnership strategies.

As Southeast Asia pursues its digital transformation journey as one of the world’s fastest growing regions, Evan’s vision for OceanBase in Southeast Asia is clear: to be a technical partner of local customers to support their digital transformation, providing robust, scalable, and cost-effective database solutions that businesses need to thrive in the digital age.

According to a report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, Southeast Asia’s internet economy is projected to reach US$300 billion by 2025, tripling in size from 2020. This explosive growth is driven by a young, tech-savvy population, increasing smartphone penetration, and improving internet connectivity across the region.

Moreover, the rise of e-commerce, the gig economy, and remote working needs has accelerated the digital transformation of traditional industries. From healthcare to education, businesses regionwide are reimagining their operations in the digital space — necessitating powerful, flexible, and secure technological infrastructure.

As the digital economies of Southeast Asia continue to grow, OceanBase stands ready to contribute to the technological foundation for this exciting new era of digital innovation and economic growth.