Google opens first data centres in Asia

TAIPEI, TAIWAN: US search engine company Google opened its first data centres in Taiwan and Singapore to cater for demand in Asia and said it would double its planned investment in Taiwan to US$600m.
Changhua County where Google is building its new data centres. Image:
Changhua County where Google is building its new data centres. Image: Google
The company last year announced plans to set up three data centres in Asia -- in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

But it later scrapped its plan for Hong Kong, citing land acquisition problems. Despite the change of heart regarding Hong Kong, Google has decided to commit more resources to Asia where the number of Internet users - mainly using smartphones and tablet computers - has grown more quickly than in other regions.

"While we've been busy building, the growth in Asia's Internet has been amazing," Joe Kava, Google's vice president of data centres, told guests at the inauguration.

"The number of Internet users in India doubled, from 100m to 200m. It took six years to achieve that in the United States," he said.

"Between July and September of this year, more than 600m people in Asia started using mobile Internet for the first time. That's almost double the number of users in Canada," Kava said.

"And this growth probably won't slow for some time, since the majority of people that have yet to come online also happen to live in Asia," he added.

During a rare media visit to Google's facilities, Kava outlined how the complex is efficient and environmentally friendly.

For example, water is cooled at night when temperatures are lower and stored in large insulated tanks before being used to cool servers during the day.

Google officials said expansion of facilities at the Changhua centre, which covers 15 hectares, was already under way.

The company has faced stiff competition in Asia, particularly in the Chinese market where domestic search services such as Baidu are household names to China's 485m Internet population.

Source: AFP via I-Net Bridge


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