Facebook says it plans to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia and beyond by investing US$1 billion in a new data centre in Singapore – its first in Asia – expected to open in 2022.
Facebook operates multiple data centres in other parts of the world including in the US, Ireland, and Sweden. In 2015, it apparently considered opening a data centre in Taiwan, but ended up not following through.
A Facebook spokesperson told KrASIA in an email, “Deciding where to locate a facility like this is a complicated, multi-year process that involves balancing dozens of different criteria.”
The Singapore centre will span 170,000 sqm with 11 storeys. It will be built on Tanjong Kling, an area already known as ‘Singapore Data Centre Park’ not far from where Google has two such facilities. Google said in August that it’s now working on its third data centre in Singapore, which brings its “long-term investment in Singapore data centers to US$850 million”.
Facebook’s facility will “support hundreds of jobs”, the firm said in a press release. Not only is it already hiring for its ‘Data Centre Operations Team’; it will generate “thousands of construction jobs” and other operational as well as logistical jobs, said Thomas Furlong, Facebook’s VP for Infrastructure Data Centers at a press event, according to Channel NewsAsia.
Establishing a data centre often helps to improve traffic and reliability in a region, said the spokesperson.
— Facebook is popular across Asia, especially when you add users of its mobile messenger WhatsApp and photo and video sharing app Instagram. With 828 million monthly active users in Asia, this region is Facebook’s biggest market by user count, according to Nikkei Asian Review (paywall) in March.
— Singapore is typically the first choice for companies looking to open data centres and offices in Southeast Asia. Executives often cite pro-business policies and good governance as reasons for their decision.
Editor: Nadine Freischlad
UPDATE: (7/9) This article was updated to reflect comments from a Facebook spokesperson.