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Asian Nations Battle for Google Data Center 130

Posted by samzenpus
from the most-popular-girl-in-school dept.
1sockchuck writes "Google is pitting foreign governments against one another in a battle for a major new data center in Asia. In the past week, both the prime minister of Malaysia and economic minister of Taiwan have said their countries are leading candidates for the Google project, with Japan, South Korea, India and Vietnam also mentioned as contenders in an 18-nation site selection process. Google typically invests $600 million in each new data center. Tech companies often use multi-site searches as a tool to coax incentives out of local governments, which sweeten their offers to outbid rivals from other regions. Google's Asian initiative appears to be taking this strategy to a new level, coaxing heads of state to invest political capital in their lust for one of Google's mega-datacenters."
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Asian Nations Battle for Google Data Center

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  • by rtb61 (674572) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:26PM (#22241626) Homepage
    Google will be accepting bids from those countries that can show a long term commitment to the acceptability of the invasion of privacy of others and ensuring full legal protection for the use of that private data in any way that the googlite marketdroids choose ie. profits before privacy.

    Those countries that show any signs of implementing strict laws to protect the privacy of their citizens as well a enforcing strict limits upon how personally, psychological targeted marketing will be, will consider themselves right out of the running.

    I would personally hope that Australia is right out of the running and remains so, it would be embarrassing to be considered a suitable data warehouse for proctology inc.

    • Google will be accepting bids from those countries that can show a long term commitment to the acceptability of the invasion of privacy of others and ensuring full legal protection for the use of that private data in any way that the googlite marketdroids choose ie. profits before privacy.

      What makes you think they have to leave the states to do this? We've got people losing laptops with everything from nuclear weapons documents to half a million social security numbers with no encryption on them, and fa

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by panaceaa (205396)
        Users have lower latency, hence loading web pages perceivably faster, if they're talking to servers in the same continent. There's hundreds of millions of people coming online each year in Asia, so it makes sense to grow data centers there to serve those users better.
        • by kylehase (982334)
          True. Search is blazing fast from Japan but other Google services such as Google Apps sometimes lag. I can only assume that those services are served from the states.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Barraketh (630764)
      And just what kind of privacy laws would you like to have in place? Google provides you with a free service under specific terms of service. They also disclose exactly which data is being collected. If you are uncomfortable using their services, you're free not to do so. Where exactly do you see a place for government intervention? Where is this "invasion of privacy"?

      You also mention limits on personally targeted marketing. Why? I think it would be great if every ad that I'm shown on the web was f
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by afaik_ianal (918433)

        The reason that Australia is not in the running is that this datacenter will mostly serve continental Asia, so it makes sense to put it in continental Asia.

        Yep - and the connection between Australia and continental Asia is pathetic. Given a list of mirrors that exclude Australia, Australians will almost always go for the US mirror over any Asian mirror - and rightly so.

        And it makes sense when you think about it. Even though there's a huge amount of trade between Australia and Asia, the cultural barriers t

      • by cc1984_ (1096355)
        I can't believe this is modded lower than its parent (which was pretty obvious flamebait.) How on Earth could you complain about a service that is optional and one that has its terms and conditions laid out in plain view?
        • by rtb61 (674572)
          When Google offered to do email services for ISP's to get those hold outs who refused to surrender their privacy, or when they started looking into providing medical records storage not for the patients but for the doctors, it really did demonstrate how little regard or concern they had for the privacy of individuals. Then of course you have the privacy invasiveness of the google anal-ytics script and google cookies.

          Personally I would like to see the law revised so that companies would have to notify all

        • by xaxa (988988)
          Because we want the service to be better (hold less information), for the good of everyone in the country, not just those who know and understand the privacy issues. Many laws are made for the good of everyone but at the inconvenience of a few or without everyone understanding why -- speed limits, noise regulations, working hours, minimum pay, copyright, health and safety, consumer rights after purchase etc.

          I trust that when I take the train home tonight that the train will not go faster than it is safe to
    • Did you know Google was also responsible for that UFO sighting in Texas?
      • by rtb61 (674572)
        Perhaps you don't read slashdot.

        http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/05/20/2144211

        http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/10/12/0717240

        So privacy invasive much?

  • by chill (34294) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:28PM (#22241642) Journal
    This takes Googlefight to a whole new level.
  • Any one? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Broken scope (973885)
    Am i the only one who thought of battle Royale?
  • Next time you hear a politician bragging about how he/she pulled in "jobs" via tax breaks and the like, check out The Great American Jobs Scam (http://www.amazon.com/Great-American-Jobs-Scam-Corporate/dp/1576753158 ).

    Basically, the job figures are always exaggerated and the whole thing is a ripoff for the taxpayers. If you want an example of a different "save the jobs" schtick, check out the massive half a billion dollar bill for Connecticut [boston.com], or more specifically, for Electric Boat.

    The article talks

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:12PM (#22241944)

      $500M divided by 7600 is roughly equal to 65 million dollars a person.
      Reality check: $500 million divided by 7600 people is about 66 thousand dollars per person.
    • How many jobs at Electric Boat? 7,600. $500M divided by 7600 is roughly equal to 65 million dollars a person.

      Actually, its $65,789.48 per job, or $14.00 per person. Since this will generate 3 years' work for each job, it works out to about $21,000 per year per job. I'd imagine these jobs pay decent wages, and the government IS getting another sub out of the deal (which has to be worth something - so deduct ... I dont know - half?) Is it worth $10k a year to keep 7,600 jobs? Basically, it probably means

    • Someones probabaly already said this, but simple arithmetic errors in an age of cheap computing is unacceptable 500000000/7600=65789
    • by HungWeiLo (250320)
      Boeing did the exact same thing [nwsource.com]

      Looks like the state of Washington got 14,000 jobs as a result of giving them a $3b tax cut. That's almost a quarter-million per job.
      • As opposed to a 100% tax (from Washington's point of view) cut by not having them in the state?
        • I have a feeling we will see corporate taxes fall as more companies threaten to outsource jobs. It is a sweet threat: cut our taxes and get 5% of something, or get 35% of nothing. I'm not sure how much I like that...

          Then again, in industries the country has COMPLETELY lost, why not zero out the taxes, since we aren't earning them anyways. A few come to mind: Textile assembly (where is that shirt/pants/corset you are wearing made?) and shipping. We have maybe 200 ocean-going ships that are US flagged, and mo
    • $500M divided by 7600 is roughly equal to 65 million dollars a person.
      "Lisa, with that $10,000 we'll be millionaires!"
  • Google, Watch Out (Score:3, Insightful)

    by trunkthink (1229288) * on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:47PM (#22241794) Homepage

    Those countries that show any signs of implementing strict laws to protect the privacy of their citizens as well a enforcing strict limits upon how personally, psychological targeted marketing will be, will consider themselves right out of the running.
    The US is riding a fine line with above statement.
  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudsonNO@SPAMbarbara-hudson.com> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:47PM (#22241798) Journal

    They've already decided, and are just using the "process" to extract whatever additional concessions they can.

    Think of it, people - dependable power, lots of fibre, stable social structure ... the decision will be made on the best tech merits, not "whoever throws the most incentives at them." After all:

    1. The incentives are one-time, the recurring costs are ... well, recurring;
    2. Even if one country offered to pay the full price, if they don't have decent infrastructure, forget it - it will cost too much (see point #1)

    So, they've already decided, and they'll use this as a way to both get a few more concessions, and to help avoid bruising other countries egos - they'll find a justification "all things considered, their bid was the best."

    You heard it here first.

    • While I agree with your general line of thinking I think you may be underestimating the amount of "concessions"
      that $600.000.000 can buy you.

      This is not about getting a free ipod. It's more about building a nearby powerplant (dependable power),
      burying some fibre on tax-money (lots of fibre) or, uh, banning violent video games (stable social structure).

    • by KKlaus (1012919)
      Incentives can be recurring. Consider U.S. farm subsidies... It is absolutely within the power for a gov't to offer Goog a permanent tax break (or something else) to try to attract them. That would be recurring. National gov't concessions are not necessarily the pittances you make them out to be.
  • Japan as 1st choice and Taiwan & South Korea would be a toss up for second & third choice. Japan is the cutting edge for new technologies and the Japanese people have the best work ethic of any people on earth...

    P.S. i am not Japanese (I am a Caucasian American)...
    • by Belly (153998)
      Japanese people have the best work ethic of any people on earth... You really believe that? If, by "best work ethic", you mean work long hours accomplishing very little, then yeah, the Japanese have it nailed.
  • So they can censor the datacenter's contents to the Chinese government's satisfaction.
  • by harmonica (29841) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:07PM (#22241918)
    Is there a somewhat up to date list of Google's data center locations on the Web? Everything I can find is outdated.
    • by Rufus211 (221883) <rufus-slashdot@h ... g ['kis' in gap]> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:40PM (#22242146) Homepage
      No. Everything about their data centers is a closely guarded secret. Number and location of data centers, what each one does, how many cpus / ram / storage are in each one, etc. You can obviously piece bits together from news stories like these and various estimates given both by them and other people, but you'll never find hard numbers. They consider their computing power one of their competitive advantages, and treat information about it as such.
      • by davidsyes (765062)
        Ken Starling must be doing WELL! I guess he slipped from Janeway's view...
      • by harmonica (29841)
        You can obviously piece bits together from news stories like these and various estimates given both by them and other people, but you'll never find hard numbers.

        Of course, but there was a time when SEO people and others were trying to maintain lists of crawler and data center IPs, and for some reason nobody seems to be doing that anymore on a larger scale. Or they do, and I can't find them, but that's why I was asking.

        Wikipedia has an article Google platform [wikipedia.org] which mentions some locations. Maybe this is a go
        • Wikipedia has an article Google platform which mentions some locations. Maybe this is a good place to collect verified data centers.

          You'll have to do it from the ground because Google Maps will only show you the ones they want you to see.

    • For information about their prime data center locations, the best reference is here:
      http://www.google.com/jobs/lunar_job.html [google.com]
  • by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:14PM (#22241958) Homepage
    I'm not Filipino, but I've been there a couple times and there are some reasons I can think of which make it a good place to house a data center:

    1) Filipinos speak impecibly good English with little or no accent. I have no issue understanding them.

    2) Philippines is a very westernized place; it would be easy for a western-based company to work or conduct business there.

    3) They love Linux in the Philippines ;-) Of course they love Linux all over asia, but a lot of Philippines businesses are warming up to Linux. Also, they love everything about American culture there so it would be a fun place to work.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:33PM (#22242090)

      I'm not Filipino, but I've been there a couple times and there are some reasons I can think of which make it a good place to house a data center:


      A very good friend of mine is a Filipino, and the first time I talked about RPGs he thought I was referring to rocket-propelled grenades. Seriously. (And he used to live in the safe area.)

      Things are more stable now (especially around Manilla), but there are regions you don't want to go to. A lot of people also drive around in cars with tinted windows: the police are less likely to pull you over because they don't know who's inside and don't want to get in trouble for pulling over the wrong person. Again, better then what was happening in the '80s, but hardly ideal.

      My best guess for the winner would be Japan, especially in a southern region. You don't have to worry about the government going into your data (like China), and most of the other countries are with-in a decent fibre run of Japan. Taiwan you have to worry about hurting China's feelings (and the possibility of an eventual invasion). Quite a few cities in S. Korea are with-in artillery distance of N. Korea (even though relations have improved recently).

      India should probably get its own, separate, data centre, with a bunch of fibre connections perhaps going to the MIddle East (especially to the UAE).

      My $0.02.
      • by FudRucker (866063)
        RE:["but there are regions you don't want to go to."]

        there are places right here in the USA like that...
        • there are places right here in the USA like that...

          Haha, you mean there are areas in the US where Communist guerrilla rules? Or where militant Islamists are fighting for independence from the government with terrorist attacks, killings and kidnappings? I don't think so.

        • I have walked in the worst places in Manila. The things you see there have no parallel in any developed country.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Jack Admiral (145760)

        A very good friend of mine is a Filipino, and the first time I talked about RPGs he thought I was referring to rocket-propelled grenades. Seriously. (And he used to live in the safe area.)

        I'm replying to this post since I noticed it was being modded up. I am a Filipino. If you talk to any computer literate Filipino who plays games, they would know what an RPG is. They would know what FPS stands for. They might even know what RTS means.

        The person you might have been talking may be a military or weapons b

        • by jacquesm (154384)
          I actually think that the most common use of RPG is rocket propelled grenade but I'm aware of the geek alternative. 'Proper' depends on context.
          • I'm aware of the geek alternative. 'Proper' depends on context.


            Well, in fairness, wouldn't the true geek context be RPG/400 [wikipedia.org], the tedious programming language I was forced to learn alongside COBOL and Pascal in college?
        • No, no, you guys are alright. I'm fairly certain that the earlier Token Filipino was deadpanning to an obviously clueless American.

          [Not a Filipino, I just play one in karoake bars. ;-) ]

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I am a filipino. most filipinos do not know what RPG is, regardless if it's Role Playing Game or a grenade.
        Our rebels here dont even have RPGs.

        Probably you asked someone who have watched movies like Black Hawk Down, who played games like CounterStrike, and an airsoft player.

        Don't be too quick to conclude that we are exposed with weapons.

      • by kasperd (592156)

        the first time I talked about RPGs he thought I was referring to rocket-propelled grenades.
        What else could you be referring to? I couldn't think of any other meaning. I'm not from Asia, I happen to have lived most of my life in Denmark. And the only reason I have ever heard that abbreviation is the games we were playing back in high school.
      • by Tillmann (859300)
        Google relies heavily on Email for internal communication, and has a young staff.
        That rules out Korea, regardless of possible artillery damage.
    • They have many terrorism problems in the southern islands and the government is not very stable, having a revolution (peaceful) that overthrough the government just 7 years ago and the current administration "has been beleaguered by charges of election fraud and corruption." NY Times [nytimes.com]

      While they are one of our strongest allies in the region i dont think it is completely stable like other possible choices in South East Asia.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Typhoons, earthquakes, brownouts, rallies, and coups.
    • by Jack Admiral (145760) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @01:01AM (#22243044)
      I haven't posted in years although I still read Slashdot everyday; but since the Philippines was being mentioned, I just had to post a comment on the replies to the parent post. I just hope my post gets modded up, so it can be read, since my posts have never been modded up.

      I am a Filipino. I am an employee of one of the largest multinational OEM computer manufacturers in the world. We have many expats working in our offices and they are comfortable working in our business district and other central areas of commerce, as well as living in our posh areas of residence.

      I would say that the Philippines is far from being the front runner, mainly for the relative lack of broadband capacity in comparison to countries like Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Our government, or even the private sector, haven't invested in our broadband infrastructure to make us competitive with other Asian countries.

      The PERCEPTION of instability is another factor that works against my country. I say perception because the actual threats of military, communist, and Muslim terrorists and rebels, have never hindered the business activities of multinational or foreign companies doing business here, especially, if they are located in our business district or other central areas of commerce.

      Most rebel and terrorist activity are far away from the capital, far enough such that, most Filipinos working in the capital consider it a world away. The problems in the south never enter our minds. We feel safe here, safe enough for many Filipinos to stay and raise their family, even though they would be qualified to work abroad.

      The only reason why Filipinos would want to work abroad is their desire to earn more income. If ever I felt that my family would no longer be safe while we live in Metro Manila, I would have no problem packing our bags and migrating to another country. My brother works in the US as a doctor and he is planning on returning here. If it weren't safe here, I would advise him to stay there just as I advised him to stay there because of the dire financial status of doctors here in the Philippines.

      Microsoft and HP maintain a presence here, and are steadily growing their workforce because of the availability of manpower and the excellent english and technical skills of my people. Many more American, Canadian, and multinational companies are setting up branches here in the country in order to outsource various portions of their business processes.

      A bigger and more important threat to companies thinking of doing business here, has always been the financial instability of the country (mostly brought on by the PERCEIVED political and military threats) and the lack of buying power due to the low wages of most Filipinos. However, it is the low wages, combined with the english and professional skills of my people, that make my country attractive to outside investors.

      What most foreigners don't realize is that we have posh areas and poor areas. You can live and stay in the posh areas without ever seeing the poor areas. It's like you can make believe you're in an industrialized nation. Just like people in industrialized nations are never aware of the poverty in other countries, you can also ignore poverty in our country if you choose to.

      Trust me, it is possible to live in your own safe and perfect little world, here in the Philippines, without ever being affected by the problems in the impoverished and unstable regions of the country. Most of the wealthy people here do exactly that and most foreigners working here are considered wealthy by the living standards here.

      By our living standards, most foreigners from industrialized nations can live like a king off of their savings here. They would be treated like a king or queen. They could have a big house with maids, nannies, a driver, all attending to their needs - which they couldn't get in their own country because they couldn't afford it. In our country they can because real estate and manp
      • by Christoph (17845)

        Trust me, it is possible to live in your own safe and perfect little world, here in the Philippines, without ever being affected by the problems in the impoverished and unstable regions of the country.

        I agree, I lived in Angeles City, Pampanga, for six months, and although I sought out impoverished and rural areas in the Philippines, one could live in Makati, Manila, and never see them.

        The PERCEPTION of instability is another factor that works against my country.

        While I found the risk of terrorism and k

        • the existence of a kidnap-for-ransom trade affecting wealthy foreigners in Manila is a legitimate reason for the Philippines to be perceived as dangerous.

          Wealthy foreigners should never travel without bodyguards. They can be at risk anywhere, even in Central Park, New York, especially if they were walking by themselves. Foreigners would have no problem if they stick to the large malls or the relatively affluent places in Makati, Ortigas, Eastwood City, and Bonifacio Global City. They should always ask a

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by soulfury (1229120)

      I'm not Filipino, but I've been there a couple times and there are some reasons I can think of which make it a good place to house a data center:

      1) Filipinos speak impecibly good English with little or no accent. I have no issue understanding them.

      2) Philippines is a very westernized place; it would be easy for a western-based company to work or conduct business there.

      3) They love Linux in the Philippines ;-) Of course they love Linux all over asia, but a lot of Philippines businesses are warming up to Linux. Also, they love everything about American culture there so it would be a fun place to work.

      Good point, but unfortunately, Google is not trying to build a call center. The Philippines still needs to beef up its infrastructure. Strong winds often knocks out aging power lines in some provinces and causes blackouts that last for days. I still wish that Google would set up its data center here though. This would at least lessen talent poaching by Japan and Singapore.

    • Running a data centre requires well-trained computer technicians, not English speakers. (Although none of the Filipinos I happen to know, which is quite a few, have English anywhere close to impeccable.)

  • I wouldn't be surprised if the great fire wall blocks this for referring to Taiwan as a country. Just a thought.
  • do as you are trained... and kill the malaysian prime minister!
  • After all the hoopla about microsoft this and microsoft that for the last 20 years of my life, when does the google hunt begin? Seriously, these people are building what looks to be a NWO under the guise of a concerned corporation. Maybe my tin foil hat has been on too long, but corporations have long since run the U.S. government. is google trying to achieve world domination but do it with your support and well wishes... Since they aren't microsoft.
  • Everything that touches China gets reserve-engineered in a matter of months. Try getting the government to crack down on such clones and you'll find out how useless it is.

    I would think twice before storing *any* valuable information on China-based servers.
  • by sirwired (27582) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @11:01PM (#22242280)
    I live in North Carolina and all this has come up recently with one they are building here. Basically, these are very poor tools for job creation. Only a very few employees of the data centers are highly paid engineers; most of the employees do relatively low-paying (for the IT industry, anyway) jobs of HW maintenance and site maintenance. Even if the jobs were halfway decent, even those huge data centers just don't need very many people to run them. In a shop like Google's, where the servers consist of rack after rack of the exact same thing, there just isn't much of the high change-ticket volume that drives the work at most corporate data centers.

    Personally, I disagree very strongly with the sweetheart deal that they were handed here in NC. They are getting more-or-less complete freedom from taxes for a great many years on the facility, while sucking fairly large amounts of power out of the local grid, using not-plentiful water for cooling, and creating very few jobs. Little to none of the high-paying jobs will come out of the local labor pool.

    SirWired
    • by Barraketh (630764)
      I don't know if I agree. True, it probably doesn't create a lot of long term jobs. However, in the short term, it's a 600 million dollar infusion into the local economy. And they are paying for both the power and the water they use in the datacenter, so I don't see how these are negative effects. I'm sure that these considerations were taken into account when the deals were offered by the local governments - Google picked the best offer, but I'm sure that the local government is pretty happy with Google
      • by seifried (12921)
        No, no it's not a 600 million infusion to the local economy. They aren't exactly buying all the machines and network gear from some local PC shop.
      • Except for the building itself, which just doesn't cost that particularly much (not that much more than any other industrial building) pretty much none of the money ends up in the local economy. If you build a data center in BFE, none of the infrastructure bits of the data center, such as the cooling, power, cabling, etc., can be locally sourced, as Random Rural County simply does not have vendors to do the work. Local firms can lay the pad, put up the walls, build the floor, provide the mains power, and
    • Yep, all too true. Worse yet, very little of the money invested in creating the data center usually goes into the local economy either. All the hardware comes from a big warehouse elsewhere, and the bulk of the construction goes to specialists and big contractors from out of town.
  • Do no Evil? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gman14msu (993012)
    I`m not necessarily saying that Google's tactics here are evil but damn, strategies and actions like this certainly aren't resounding endorsements of that policy. I also noticed that no one else seems to have brought the policy up. Have we all just given up on the slogan? No one even bothers to call them out on it anymore? I wish I could still believe but it looks like everyone has lost faith in the apparently too idealistic policy.
    • by Gorimek (61128)
      How would a non evil way to decide where to put a data center be different from what Google is doing?

      Unless you keep it secret that you're looking for a place to build it, governments in the area will offer incentives, whether Google asks for them or not.
    • how the hell are their tactics anywhere near approaching evil? It's called competition. economics, anybody?
      • by jo42 (227475)
        Subsidizing all but one of your activities, which they give away for nothing, from the one profiting activity, advertising, is evil.
  • Iraq! (Score:2, Funny)

    by russlar (1122455)
    Seriously, why not Iraq? What better way to give their economy the kick in the ass it needs than to put Google's "All Your Base" datacenter there? A strong economy will stabilize Iraq, allowing us to get our people home, not to mention cementing relations between them and us.
    • I imagine that if you can't get such fancy infrastructure as "power" and "water" working that Iraq would be the source of a lot of trouble tickets. Clearly, the only real alternative is North Korea.
  • Poor Taiwan... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday January 31, 2008 @02:21AM (#22243502)
    It's extremely unfortunate that Taiwan still has this reputation as a backwards nation and demonstrates the ignorance Americans have regarding the nation.

    Unfortunately it's really the fault of the Taiwanese government and it's companies. The government has done a piss poor job of promoting the nation. They have an agency dedicated to promoting Taiwan's industry, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) which I've had the misfortune of dealing with on a few occasions; it's run by inept bureaucrats who lack imagination and commonsense.

    The second problem is that Taiwanese people and companies in particular are exceedingly cheap. It's not so much that they cut corners like the Chinese do, but rather that they're not willing to spend a dollar more than is necessary to produce an acceptable product. This means their identity and branding is utter crap. It may seem insignificant but it basically insures that few people overseas every recognize the quality of their products. Related to that is quality product design which is sorely lacking.

    Taiwan and South Koreans have comparable economies, and in fact, Taiwan has a slight edge in quite a few areas. It just that the Koreans were smart enough to invest in the right areas which has enabled their success internationally. Although, Korean companies did have the benefit of enjoying extensive government support which gave them the capital and flexibility to expand. Taiwanese companies have by and large been left to fend for themselves.

    Another disadvantage Taiwan has is that they're lumped together with China. China produces crap so by default it's expected that Taiwan does too. Of course, it doesn't help that cheap goods were once all manufactured in Taiwan but then that stuff was once made in Japan as well and they've long since gotten over that stigma.

    Taiwan has a strong economy; it doesn't have the growth China has, but it's far more stable and nowhere near as cutthroat an environment. It's got a stable government, the political infighting is no worse than anything seen in the US. There is some corruptions, but not really much worse than the US. It's nowhere near on the level of China or the rest of south east Asia. Again, it's comparable to South Korea.

    The workforce is well-educated and they're hard workers. English has been mandatory in schools for a few years now. Even without the English curriculum many people can speak it. In fact, it's quite easy to get around on English alone, although being able to speak Chinese is always an advantage. Still, you'll encounter far more people speaking English in Taiwan than you'll ever find in Japan. Go into a McDonald's in Tokyo, ask for a Big Mac and they wont know what in the hell you're talking about. It's happened to me. Go into a shop even outside the big cities in Taiwan and it's quite possible to come across someone who speaks English quite well.

    Taipei has an extensive subway system that's clean and punctual. It puts the New York system to shame. They now have a high speed rail line, thanks to Japan. This is especially beneficial considering that the major technology companies base their facilities in big science parks in Western Taiwan a good distance from Taipei.

    Taiwan certainly has a higher cost of living than south east Asia and China, but I think the value afforded given their experience in technology makes it worthwhile. If they lose out on this opportunity I wont be surprised to learn it's because they've failed to market themselves properly. One thing that's always impressed me there is that when they need to get something done they just do it and they do it at a good clip. They don't get mired down in legal crap like we see in the United States and projects don't run excessively late and over-budget either.

    On another note, Taiwan is extremely scenic with panoramas I'd argue are on par with anything found in places like Hawaii, especially in the east and south of Taiwan. If I had the opportunity to move back I'd take it.

    This kind of comes off as a bit of an advertisement but that's because I'm tired seeing Taiwan maligned by people who don't really know what they're talking about.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      It's extremely unfortunate that Taiwan still has this reputation as a backwards nation and demonstrates the ignorance Americans have regarding the nation.

      Ummm...are you responding to anyone in particular? Because I haven't seen anyone actually make that claim in this thread. Nor have I heard that for, say, the last 20 years.

      The second problem is that Taiwanese people and companies in particular are exceedingly cheap. It's not so much that they cut corners like the Chinese do, but rather that they're n

      • by MaWeiTao (908546)
        I posted this response because there were a number of negative comments connected to this very story. However, I made it a separate post because whenever any discussion arises which involves technology and Taiwan inevitably someone has something negative to say about the country.

        And I agree with you about service and their crap manuals. It goes back to how little they're willing to invest in these materials. Unfortunately they see these things as extraneous. As for service, it really depends, but too many p
    • As someone who has been to Taiwan twice, I am 100% in agreement with MaWeiTao's post. If it was my call, I'd put the data center in Taiwan in a heartbeat. The worries about China invading a red herring. The KMT will surely win the upcoming presidential election and they will improve relations with China and the rhetoric will go down accordingly.
      • by MaWeiTao (908546)
        You're right, the so-called Chinese threat is a non-event. I haven't encountered anyone in Taiwan who was concerned about an invasion from China. What they don't want is the status quo being upset because of all the business they're doing in China.

        China may ultimately prove to be an economic threat, but they're so far being Taiwan that won't materialize for quite some time. They do, however, apparently have a better marketing machine.
  • Japan will wipe the floor with the others. They have giant robots, demon warriors, rampaging tentacle sex monsters and Action Bastard. And the little girls of the sniper & assassination teams [gkblogger.com] will thin out the competition before the real battle starts.

    India has that eight armed deity and the elephant headed guy, I suppose, but, nah... Japan in one round.
  • I work for a company in Japan and information is one of our key assets. We have a fairly good relationship with google but what concerns quite a bit right now is the direct use (consolidation) of third party information that's slowly but surely encroaching on every [nytimes.com] single [whereis.com.au] little [weather.com] possible [dictionary.com] market [tabelog.com] they can figure out how to intergrate into their enormous system. We are struggling now to post information on the web as all our information is short and digestable and likely to be swallowed up as a "useful feature
  • Wow, a huge energy drain that employs almost nobody. Where do we sign up?

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