Google sets up first engineering team in Singapore to reach its next billion users

Google admits its services aren’t fit for the swathes of people coming online for the first time in Asia, and is now building an engineering team in Singapore for the first time to bridge this.

The company announced in a blog post that it has bought, a Singapore-based startup that is similar to work-based messaging services like Slack, and will be hiring developer talent in the area.

Caesar Sengupta, vice president, Next Billion Users Team, said: “the computing experience for most of these first-timers, coming online in places like India, Indonesia and the Philippines, is very different from the one many of us grew up with – and not the one that most of Google’s services were originally designed for. Their main (and in most cases, only) “computer” is a low-cost smartphone. Connectivity is expensive in relation to incomes, and frequently patchy – websites, maps and especially videos can take minutes to load and often time out. And for many, there is just not enough relevant content available in their language.”

According to the post, Singapore was chosen due to its hyper-connectivity and its proximity to the regions that Google wants to better service on a local-level.

“In many ways, Singapore feels like the best place to do this. It is hyper-connected, with some of the fastest Internet speeds in the world. And, it sits at the center of a region with half of the world's current Internet users, and more new Internet users coming online every day than anywhere else in the world,” he added.

The Drum has expanded coverage into Asia, with editorial resource being based out of Singapore.

Search The Drum Jobs

Explore the best jobs in Marketing and Media industries
View all open jobs

Charlotte McEleny

Charlotte McEleny is The Drum's Asia Editor, charged with finding all the interesting industry news and insights from the Asia Pacific region. During her year in Asia, she's covered topics as wide ranging as industry overwork to artificial intelligence, and interviewed top CMOs such as Alibaba's Chris Tung, and world famous creatives such as Rankin.

Based in Singapore, she travels the region regularly, attending and presenting at many top events, such as Spikes, Ad Week Asia and Innovfest.

Prior to her role as Asia Editor, she spent 10 years working across the London marketing trade magazines, even picking up an award for Best Digital Team at the PPA Digital Awards during her spell as digital editor at Marketing.

All by Charlotte