Google to Build Taiwan Center as Demand for Gmail, YouTube Rises

Google Inc. (GOOG), owner of the world’s most-popular search engine, will spend more than $300 million building its largest Asian data center in Taiwan to meet the region’s demand for its Gmail and YouTube services.

A 15-hectare (37-acre) site in Changhua, central Taiwan, will be five times larger than locations already being developed in Singapore and Hong Kong, and bring total spending on facilities in the region to more than $700 million, the Mountain View, California-based company said in a statement today.

The investment will help tap into growing demand for mobile advertising in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for more than half of global revenue for the category, according to Bloomberg Industries. Google is expanding its infrastructure investments in Asia as revenue growth outside the U.S. outpaces that in its home territory.

“What makes Asia unique is the fact that it’s a region of mobile-first,” Daniel Alegre, Google’s president for Asia- Pacific, said in a phone interview today. “YouTube, for instance, is becoming a very large component of mobile usage.”

The Taiwan center will be operational by the second half of next year and have about 25 full-time workers, Alegre said.

Smaller centers in Hong Kong and Singapore were announced in September, marking the company’s first moves to locate its servers closer to the world’s largest region for Internet usage.

The Asia-Pacific market for mobile Internet advertising climbed 18 percent to $2.1 billion last year, accounting for 61 percent of global spending, according to Bloomberg Industries.

Google got 46 percent of its revenue in the U.S. last year, down from 57 percent in 2006, and the country is home to 81 percent of its long-term assets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Culpan in Taipei at tculpan1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net.

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