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On second thought, Google nixes Hong Kong data center plan

There will be no Google(s goog) data center in Hong Kong for the foreseeable future and the company will instead expand existing facilities in Singapore and Taiwan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A Google spokesperson attributed the decision to the difficulty and expense of putting such a large facility in that crowded and space-constrained city. But, given U.S. concerns over Chinese censorship, and more recent tensions between China and the U.S. over Edward Snowden’s disclosures of NSA snooping, there might be more than real estate prices at play here.

Google announced plans to put a $300 million data center in Hong Kong two years ago and said it would be operational within 1 to 2 years. It appears that this is the data center that is being scrapped.

Here’s a map of Google’s data centers around the world:

google data center map

4 Responses to “On second thought, Google nixes Hong Kong data center plan”

  1. I don’t think this is merely a matter of the NSA. Google broke ground here 2 years ago and the South China Morning Post reports that the site is still barren. Why didn’t construction take place? My guess is that Google asked for certain things that aren’t allowed under Hong Kong’s sometimes insanely restrictive real estate laws. C.Y. Leung might have gone to bat for Google, given the amount they were going to invest here. But since China hates Google and Leung only cares about keeping Beijing happy, he was probably too scared to get involved. The result is $300 million not being spent with the local construction industry and dozens of jobs lost. That’s Hong Kong style, 2013.