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Google opens Thailand office, to continue to invest in Southeast Asia
|25 августа 2011|
Google Inc. will continue to invest in Southeast Asia, the fastest growing market for the U.S. Internet search and services company, a company executive said Wednesday."Southeast Asia is coming into prominence but not much of content about the region is available on the Internet. With over 120 million people online in the region, we are particularly excited about growth in the region," Julian Persaud, the managing director for Google in Southeast Asia, told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview.
The comments came as Google Wednesday announced the opening of its new office in Bangkok, the second local operation started in the region this year after the Mountain View, Calif.-based company opened an office in Kuala Lumpur in January. The company had set up offices in Singapore and South Korea in 2007.
Persaud said Google sees a "massive" growth opportunity in bringing businesses online in Southeast Asia with the region's economies heavily reliant on exports to drive their growth.
"A lot of this is about education and working with partners, which we are doing. A lot of marketers realize that customers are moving online," he said.
Persaud said the company is also making investments in localized products such as its online translation service and maps. Google's 'Chrome' browser, used to connect to the Internet, is now the number one in Malaysia and the Philippines, he said.
The Internet giant aims to hire 500 people in Asia this year, around a fifth of them in Southeast Asia, he said. The executive declined to give details of the number of staff or planned hiring in its offices in the region, but said that the company employs about 250 people in Singapore and a "handful" in its offices in Malaysia and Thailand.
Persaud said Google has to balance between openness and restrictions on Internet content placed by some nations in the region."We are broadly anti-censorship. However, we comply with local laws."
Southeast Asia, like China, presents significant challenges for technology companies. Several countries including Vietnam and Thailand have sought to limit political debate online in recent years by attempting to block some sites including Facebook or by jailing dissident bloggers. Blackberry maker Research In Motion Ltd.(RIMM) installed filters on its smartphones in Indonesia to comply with a government order to block pornographic material. In China, Google had to reroute its Internet search engine to Hong Kong last year due to censorship concerns.
The company wouldn't come to Malaysia and Thailand if Google couldn't work in those countries, Persaud said.
Asked about plans to launch hardware products following Google's announcement last week that it was buying handset maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. in a US$12.5 billion deal, Persaud said it was too early to talk about what the two companies would do together.
He reiterated that Android will remain an open mobile platform and the Motorola deal will strengthen Google's patent portfolio.
Источник: Total Telecom