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Taiwan welcomes data centers on condition they benefit country

2012/02/13 21:27:51

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) Taiwan welcomes local and foreign companies to set up data centers on the condition that the facilities are beneficial to the country as a whole, an official said Monday.

The government sees the establishment of cloud-based data centers as a way to cultivate talent and expand research and development in the information technology industry, said Duh Tyzz-jiun, director-general of the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Industrial Development Bureau.

Asked if data centers might consume excessive amounts of electricity and water, Duh told CNA by telephone that the government would not allow companies to establish such centers before coming up with supporting policies.

"We want to see whether these data centers can make contributions to Taiwan, as they use the resources on the island," he said, adding that "it is the benefits they generate that count."

"In some projects, companies either cooperate with other businesses or use facilities that already exist," he offered as an example.

Acer Inc. Chairman J.T. Wang said on Feb. 10 that he disapproved of the government's policy to encourage businesses to set up such centers in Taiwan.

They usually consume a lot of electricity, have high levels of carbon emissions and do not help promote the development of the local cloud computing industry, he said.

It is more important to develop cloud-based applications that meet people's daily needs, Wang said.

Google Inc. is planning to acquire 15 hectares of land in Changhua County to build a data center that will offer faster access to its services, the company announced in late September 2011.

The world's largest Internet search company said in a statement that it plans to invest over US$100 million (NT$3.04 billion) in the data center, which it expects to be operational in one or two years.

(By James Lee)