Google to build three datacentres in Asia

The facilities in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, meant to improve delivery of services in Asia, will join others in Finland and Belgium on the list of Google datacentres outside the US

Google has revealed plans to build three datacentres in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, to meet demand for its services in Asia.

The three new datacentres, announced on Wednesday, will take Google's non-US tally up to just five. Despite the reach of the company's services, it currently has six datacentres in the US and only two outside, in Finland and Belgium.

The Silicon Valley-based search and services giant has already bought the land for the facilities, which will provide its Asian customers with faster and more reliable access to its services, Google said.

"More people are coming online every day in Asia than in any other part of the world, so locating datacentres here is an important next stage of Google's investment in the region," it said. "Google already has 15 offices and thousands of employees across the Asia Pacific region, including an office in Hong Kong."

The Hong Kong datacentre may be the most crucial of the three, as Google uses its Hong Kong site to serve uncensored search results to the Chinese populace. It has just under a 20-percent share of the Chinese search market, while rival Baidu has around three-quarters.

The new facilities are expected to be operational within one to two years. The Hong Kong datacentre will be in Kowloon and cover 2.7 hectares, while the Singaporean one in Jurong will take up 2.45 hectares, and the Taiwanese facility in Changhua County, 15 hectares.

According to Google and subsequent reports, the datacentres will cost more than $100m (£64m) each. The Hong Kong and Taiwan facilities will each employ between five and 20 full-time staff.

The new facilities will be "among the most efficient and environmentally friendly in Asia, subject to the same high technical and environmental standards we use worldwide", the company said. According to Google's figures, the datacentres it already has use 0.01 percent of the world's electricity between them.

In its second-quarter earnings report in July, Google said it had spent $917m (£569m) on land and building purchases, which suggested the company is looking to expand its facilities. It has said in the past it envisages setting up another one or two datacentres in Europe.

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