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The Associated Press April 3, 2012, 10:46AM ET

Google building data center in Taiwan

Google Inc. is building a data center in Taiwan -- its third in Asia after Hong Kong and Singapore -- to meet the rapidly growing online demand across the region, the company said Tuesday.

The three data centers -- with investment totaling $700 million -- will provide users with faster, more reliable access to various Google products, the Internet search giant said as its Taiwan facility broke ground in the western county of Changhua.

Daniel Alegre, Google's Asian-Pacific president, said at a ceremony that the infrastructure investment was meant to help the company meet the great potential of Internet use in Asia.

"More new Internet users are coming online everyday here in Asia than anywhere else in the world," he said. "They are looking for information and entertainment, new business opportunities and better ways to connect with friends and family."

Google's three Asian data centers will join its six in the United States and two in Europe.

Data centers are secure facilities packed with thousands of computers that store and serve vast amounts of information.

Google touts the new data centers as environmentally friendly, partly through the use of a nighttime cooling and thermal energy storage system that cools large quantities of water at night.

"During the day, when Taiwan heats up -- especially in the summers -- and power is more expensive to produce, we'll circulate that cold water throughout the facility to keep it cool," it said in a statement.

The three new centers will be up and running in 2013, the company said.

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