Facebook to build its first data center in Asia worth $1bn

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Facebook said it will invest over $1 billion to build a data center in Singapore, its first in Asia, powered by renewable energy and adapted to the city-state’s tropical climate, according to AFP. This will be the company’s 15th data center worldwide.

The center is expected to be operational around 2022, and will host Facebook servers and centralize its IT operations, Thomas Furlong, Facebook vice president of infrastructure data centers, told reporters.

Furlong said Facebook, which has 2.23 billion monthly active users as of the end of June, chose Singapore because of its robust infrastructure, availability of skilled labor and ease of doing business with the government. Google has also built two data centers in Singapore, and announced this month it was starting work on a third, bringing their investment in the sites to $850 million.

The 170,000 square meters (1.83 million square foot) site will be stacked over 11-storeys, and will come with custom features to cope with the steamy temperatures, which rarely drop below 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit). The company expects it to be run on 100 percent renewable energy, like its other data centers.

Despite its popularity in Asia, Facebook has come under increasing criticism lately, particularly in Myanmar where it has been used as a platform for the army and Buddhist extremists to spread hate speech against the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority.

Image source: Getty Images

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