Google has set out a vision for Taiwan that will see it elevated to the world stage.
Global media reports state Google will “establish a data centre in Yunlin County, the third such facility in the country as part of its “smart Taiwan” initiative”.
According to Taiwan News, “Google has set out a vision for Taiwan that will see it elevated to the world stage, taking pride in its prowess in intelligent technologies, said Tina Lin (林雅芳), Google Taiwan’s general manager”.
Google originally announced its plan to build one or more data centres in Asia, back in 2007. The plan attracted bids from the governments of Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, plus China and Singapore contending behind the scenes.
The costs of infrastructure, land, water and electricity offered by Taiwan were the lowest, with the added advantage of less political intervention and interference. Thanks to the efforts of all involved, Google chose Changhua Coastal Industrial Park in Changhua County’s Siansi Township for its biggest data center in Asia. It invested US$483.67 million in phase one of the project, which employs more than 200 people.
The centre, which began operations at the end of 2013, has brought many business opportunities to nearby areas. Another factor behind Google’s choice of Changhua was the availability of renewable energy: Taiwan is surrounded by sea, where monsoon winds create excellent conditions for wind farms.
In 2010, NASA, using satellite remote sensing data, found that the average wind power density in the Taiwan Strait off the coast of Changhua was nearly 800 watts per square meter, with average wind speeds of more than 7 meters per second, providing outstanding conditions for wind farms that are rarely found elsewhere in the world.
International consultancy company 4C Offshore said that 17 of the world’s 20 best offshore wind farm locations are in the Taiwan Strait. Changhua’s windy areas are therefore a top choice for green industries, which can tap the inexhaustible supply of wind to supply electric power, while also doing wonders for their corporate image.
In September 2019, Google announced a second data centre to be build it in Tainan. One of its main considerations was the centre needed to be secure, with remote backups should be located elsewhere; another is the changes in the number of local governments after last year’s elections.
In 2018 the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Google together launched the “Intelligent Taiwan” program on March 21st.
Google’s Intelligent Taiwan program aims to expand research and development (R&D( centers, technology talent training, new data centers and other investments and cooperation in Taiwan. It will make Taiwan Google’s largest R&D centre and data centre in the Asia Pacific region. This is Google’s most significant plan in Taiwan in the past 12 years, and Google’s largest plan ever in Taiwan, Chien noted.
Vice President Chen Chien-jen said, “Taiwan is at a critical moment in its transformation into a digital nation; we are very pleased that Google has expanded its commitment to invest in Taiwan’s resources. We hope that Google can drive the intelligent application ecology in Taiwan, and further deepen and expand Taiwan’s digital economy.”
The MOEA has established an investment-friendly environment for large global companies to expand the scale of their talent pools, new hires and technology investment in Taiwan. It is hoped that, by joining hands with Google via the Intelligent Taiwan initiative, we can develop our strengths in soft-power areas such as software development, digital culture and innovation, and artificial intelligence.