Posts tagged Google
Google has plans to expand its operations in Indonesia with a potentially large investment. There is speculation the company will spend anywhere between US$100 million and $1 billion, with Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) optimistic the amount will be larger than Google has invested in other ASEAN nations.
Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt met this week with Indonesian Vice President Boediono and high level government ministers to set out the proposals. Google is eager to begin its Indonesian expansion as soon as possible, but is apparently still seeking clarification over online advertising regulations, security, and government involvement in the country’s obligatory local data centers.
Schmidt was in Bali this week as the keynote speaker at the ASEAN Regional Entrepreneur Summit 2011 and was quoted as being surprised by the amount of independent business activity in Indonesia. He said the country’s business environment was very similar to the USA in terms of interconnectivity, market homogeny and large population.
He also met with members of the Indonesian Association of Young Entrepreneurs, where he reportedly told them a reduction in government intervention would speed up Google’s plans to establish an Indonesian base.
Google this week opened a new office in Kuala Lumpur, saying Malaysia’s “highly skilled workforce, multicultural diversity and business friendly environment” were major factors in deciding to locate its second Southeast Asian office there. Its only other physical presence in the region is in Singapore, which opened together with a South Korean location in 2007.
The move is a sign of confidence in Southeast Asia’s growing internet economy and demand for localized online services, like Google’s AdSense and StreetView. Malaysia currently has 17 million total internet users and 55.6% household broadband penetration.
Google hasn’t said exactly how much it will invest in Malaysia and some have played down the announcement, but the company says the KL office is a first step to exploring further opportunities with its partners in Malaysia, which have included the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. The company wants to focus on consumers and providing more affordable services to small/mid-sized businesses (SMBs), who can use the services to increase access international markets.
Indonesia might be just the market Google is looking for after its recent withdrawal from China, with the company’s announcement of extra Indonesian language and content to its local site. It will also promote its Chrome browser with several extensions designed specifically for Indonesian users, including news services like Detik.com and Kompas.com, lifestyle site Kapanlagi.com, and international Indonesian diaspora forum Kaskus.us.
Indonesia has 45 million internet users and counting, and other online behemoths like Yahoo! are paying attention. Yahoo! hinted last week it would focus on developing mobile services across Asia and Google will definitely be looking for its slice of the pie. As is often the case with foreign corporate moves into Indonesia, Google’s plans are more about future potential than current revenue streams. It shows, though, that more companies are backing up their votes of confidence with actual cash.
source & article: the Jakarta Globe