Google Invests in Asian Data Center to Manage Increasing Traffic

Lyla Katz

SINGAPORE — In order to manage the tremendous growth of Internet traffic in the Asia-Pacific region, Google has broken ground on a new data center in Singapore.

"I think it's safe to say this is the fastest-growing region in the world in terms of Internet usage and we have a very strong Google business here," Google's Southeast Asia managing director, Julian Persaud, told AFP.

He added that Google is dedicating resources in the Asia-Pacific region, which is providing the biggest opportunity for the company.

The new data centers will provide regional Google users with faster and more reliable services. It also will enable the company to enhance applications like Gmail without being constrained by capacity issues, company officials said.

The Singapore data center will be the search giant’s first in Southeast Asia and second in Asia after construction began for its Hong Kong facility last week.

According to Google, Asia has the fastest-growing number of Internet users in the world.

But the company still faces challenges, such as competition from China’s own search engines like Baidu and the country’s strict censorship laws, which forced Google to move its Chinese search engine overseas last year.

Google will invest $120 million in the six-acre Singapore facility, with construction expected to be completed by early 2013.

The company is also due to build a third Asian data center in Taiwan on top of its current six facilities in the U.S. and two in Europe.

"Right now a lot of services to Asia are being delivered from, for example, the U.S. because the capacity in Asia is just not enough," said Simon Chang, Google's head of Asia-Pacific hardware operations.