With a $300 million dollar investment into their first datacenter in Asia, Google looks to improve their footprint beyond the US and Europe. The new datacenter in Hong Kong, a city which is estimated to have almost 5,000,000 Internet users, will be the first datacenter of Google's planned expansion into the Asian market. Additional facilities are in the planning stage for Singapore and Taiwan.
The $300,000,000 investment includes the cost of almost seven acres of land in the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate in Kowloon and the construction effort has just begun, according to reports from Google. The entire facility is slated to be finished in 2013. Like many data center projects, despite the enormous dollar figures being mentioned, the completed facility will employ only 25 full-time staff when in operation.
Google has stated that they selected Hong Kong for their initial foray into Asia because of the geographic location, energy infrastructure, and educated and skilled workforce. One would think that there were also considerations relating to placing their first Asian facility in China, the most populous country and the one with the fastest growing Internet user base.
Given Google's somewhat tempestuous relationship with China's government in the past, it will be interesting to see how this facility factors into future plans and negotiations between Google and the Chinese government should access, search, and information availability issues continue to be points of contention.