Google R&D To Set Up Shop In Singapore?

    February 27, 2007

According to recent reports, Google is preparing to invade Singapore (in a friendly, build-a-research-and-development-center kind of way). This center would be the company’s first such establishment in Southeast Asia, although Google has yet to officially confirm the reports.

Real estate agents in Singapore might want to prepare their presentations just the same. As reported by TechWhack’s Manuj, a major Googler told a local paper “that they chose Singapore because of its ‘very vibrant’ info-communications and technology environment.” The quote was attributed to Richard Kimber, Google’s managing director of sales and operations in Southeast Asia.

One of Google’s PR firms – the Hoffman Agency Singapore – has since backed off the statement, perhaps to keep those realtors on their toes. The firm “did not deny the report, but said Kimber’s comments were meant to recognize the city-state’s efforts to foster talent in the industry and did not address the possibility of setting up a research and development center here,” according to the Associated Press.

The Hoffman Agency made it sound as if the search engine giant might still be “shopping around.” “Google’s continually exploring opportunities to further our investment in Singapore and around the world, which includes actively hiring local talent across various positions,” Hoffman claimed, concluding, “We do not have anything to announce at this time.”

Still, the Sydney Morning Herald seemed sure of the deal, praising Singapore as “Southeast Asia’s most advanced economy and one of the most wired countries in Asia.” That’s the sort of place in which Google would most definitely fit in.

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