Google antes up $200 million for new data centers in Asia.

The company has plans to build three new facilities in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Google is taking its Asia expansion strategy to the next level. The company has announces it will build three data centers in that region, at a reported investment outlay of $200 million.

The data centers will be located in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong on land Google has already acquired, according to news reports such as this Dow Jones Newswires article that ran online in the Wall Street Journal.

The Hong Kong government issued a statement welcoming Google’s decision, adding that it reaffirms the city's status as the prime location for data centers in the region. Hong Kong’s Government CIO added that the city has significant advantages for developing as a regional data center hub, including a favorable business environment, free flow of information, sound information technology infrastructure and reliable power supply.

The city pointed to the Data Center Risk Index jointly published by consulting firms Cushman & Wakefield and hurleypalmerflatt in June this year, Hong Kong is the place with the least risk in Asia for setting up data centers, and ranks fourth among the 20 economies surveyed.

Interestingly, Singapore is ranked 11th out of 20, but 14th when it comes to energy costs and 15th when it comes to international bandwidth. But it earns the top spot when it comes to ease of doing business, beating out all others including the United States. Taiwan is not part of the rankings.

For what it’s worth, China is ranked 18th of 20. The Index notes that China is a restrictive market with significant regulatory control that also has energy concerns. It also says that China requires “large-scale infrastructure investment” to support the rapid growth of the data center market there.

Google is well known for large-scale infrastructure investment when it comes to its data centers. It’s also known for its secrecy. In this interesting, albeit dated, article on the Data Center Knowledge site, it’s reported that each of the four Google data center projects unveiled in 2007 cost an estimated $600 million. In its earnings reports, Google reported $1.9 billion in spending on data centers in 2006 and $2.4 billion in 2007, the article reported.

The trio of new data centers in the Asia-pacific region will represent Google’s first fully-owned facilities in the Asia-pacific region. Google already owns and operates six data centers in the United States, one in Finland, and one in Belgium, according to the Dow Jones Newswires article. Once construction begins, Google expects the data centers to be operational within one to two years, the article reports. In Singapore, Google has obtained 2.45 hectares of land in Jurong West, while in Taiwan it acquired 15 hectares of land in Changhua county. In Taiwan, the company expects the facility to add five to 20 full-time staff. In Hong Kong, the U.S. firm has acquired 2.7 hectares of land in Kowloon.

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