Kaiyuan T. was a recent graduate when he began looking for a place to start his career journey in 2014. He had completed an internship at a startup, and longed to work for a larger company that would present opportunities for him to grow his career and make a measurable impact. While another well-known tech company was a major contender in his search, Kaiyuan chose to join Meta in the US.
According to Kaiyuan, who now leads teams that build and grow business messaging commerce in APAC, he hasn’t looked back since. “I spent my first four years at Meta working on a small team within the larger organization, and I really got a chance to help and lead others,” he says, adding that he was one of the group’s two founding members. A few years later, he was offered an opportunity to relocate from the Menlo Park office to Singapore to develop a new team in APAC.
Kaiyuan says Meta culture, which is “centered on learning, exploration, and growth,” has enabled him to pave his own way within the company. “Leaders play a strong support role here, empowering people to fully realize their potential,” he says. Today, Kaiyuan draws inspiration from the same place he has for the last eight years: discovering ways to solve business problems with technical solutions.
Kaiyuan and his team at the Meta Singapore South Beach office, the engineering hub in APAC.
Meet the business messaging commerce team
The business messaging commerce team in APAC is building products and experiences that enable merchants to leverage the power of messaging to build community and drive sales. “Our products empower small to medium-sized businesses to connect with customers and sell their goods,” Kaiyuan explains. “We’ve seen people create entire careers within our ecosystem, and we get to help them harness our platforms to earn a living.”
He continues, “Being based in Singapore makes it possible for us to have first-hand experiences with the products we’re building in APAC, which helps us better understand how people use them in the markets we’re focusing on. We have a diverse team of people who join us from different places, which means that a lot of the people in our lives—including our friends and families—are using the products we create every day.”
The sense of accomplishment Kaiyuan’s team gets from seeing how businesses use Meta technologies, such as Instagram direct messages and Facebook Messenger, to connect with customers and bring strong empathy for the user experience. It’s also why team members are continually inspired to iterate on current technology while thinking about how they can best innovate for the future.
Beyond the code: Seeing the bigger picture
Solving new challenges and introducing ideas to drive impact within a local business community calls for developing a deep understanding of diverse markets. “The past few months have been challenging as we’ve continued to explore how we can build and grow in the business messaging space,” Kaiyuan explains. “This goes beyond just APAC, as we’ve started to see trends take shape in LATAM, as well. Knowing who we serve and what they need is foundational for all of our efforts.
“We need to bring curiosity to everything we do. There is always more than one way to do things.”
Right now, that looks like building out core features that can enable commerce actions, such as structured navigation to improve workflows and ratings and reviews to build consumer trust. Having diverse perspectives across the team inspires creative ideas, which often leads to partnering with cross-functional teams to drive execution forward. “Working with partners outside of our immediate function and team is important for thinking out of the box,” Kaiyuan explains. “As engineers, we also need to think about the bigger picture—which is not just about what businesses need today, but what will be valuable for them and their customers tomorrow. At Meta, we’re all encouraged to help define that direction.”
Growth and opportunity across Asia Pacific
Singapore has emerged as a strong global technology hub, which was part of what drew Kaiyuan back to APAC after spending five years in the Bay Area. He says that while he believed California was the center of innovation at the time, a 2018 trip to China changed his mind. “I found myself in a reverse culture shock,” he says. “I was really surprised to see how things like mobile payments and mini-programs that make up the sharing economy were taking off. Seeing this and experiencing it firsthand inspired me when I began thinking about returning to Asia.”
“Being in APAC can feel like living in the future. The kind of excitement and endless potential we have on the business messaging team motivates me every day.”
Kaiyuan smiles when talking about his team and the work they’re doing today. “We all come from different walks of life and have different experiences, but our love for solving impactful problems and implementing solutions inspires us all to innovate, every day. It’s an exciting time to join our team, and we still have so much work to do.”
Learn more about our engineering teams in Singapore
As the engineering hub for the APAC region, exciting opportunities for engineers to shape their career paths, tackle unique challenges and build new products from the ground up await. Hear from other engineers based in Singapore about their career journeys at Meta: