Tag Archives: Google in Asia

A framework for Asia’s digital growth

While governments and communities across the Indo-Pacific continue to grapple with COVID-19 and other challenges, it’s important not to lose sight of the opportunities of the world’s most economically dynamic region. Embracing economic engagement and digital trade — and strengthening the frameworks and capability to do that openly and responsibly — can help ensure recovery in the Indo-Pacific region is more inclusive and sustainable. In this way, we can also build greater trust and confidence for the future.

An inclusive, sustainable and digitally-enabled recovery will not happen automatically. It requires collective action by governments, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders to ensure that digital technologies are widely accessible and that everyone has the skills needed to harness those technologies. New tools, rules and partnerships are needed to foster greater regulatory alignment and interoperability, to ensure the benefits of the digital economy are felt more widely, and in order to address cross-border digital challenges.

That’s why we welcome the announcement in Tokyo today to launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). IPEF promises a new mode of economic cooperation to maximize the opportunities that arise from the global digital economy. We hope that IPEF will advance a strong, affirmative digital trade agenda which will promote:

  • Inclusive trade. 78 million workers across countries in the Asia-Pacific region require digital skills training to keep pace with technological advancements. Google and others have been working to address these gaps — for example, since 2015, Google has trained over 58 million people in Asia in digital skills under our Grow with Google program. But frameworks like IPEF can help ensure coordinated action -— including by sharing best practices, incentivizing public-private partnerships, and developing joint strategies. IPEF should also address barriers that make it uniquely difficult for small businesses to reach foreign markets, like requirements to open a local office as a condition to do business.
  • Openness and non-discrimination. IPEF should look to apply traditional trade principles such as openness and non-discrimination to the digital economy. It should ensure that data can flow freely across borders. It should enable businesses of all sizes to provide digital products and services free of discrimination, while allowing for appropriate guardrails. And it should enable consumers to access and use services and applications of their choice on the internet.
  • Trust and shared values. IPEF should be a model to show that data flows and privacy protection can be mutually reinforcing concepts for building trust in the digital economy and cross-border digital transactions. IPEF participants could also commit to greater collaboration on cybersecurity, and safeguard against the use of censorship as a trade barrier or a means to access private data.
  • Resilient and green digital infrastructure. IPEF should promote adoption of green digital infrastructure — for example, by incentivizing the use of cloud services that meet international standards for energy efficiency. IPEF should also promote a resilient and secure digital infrastructure, including by ensuring sound, non-discriminatory regulation of submarine cables.

IPEF is particularly significant given the region’s size and innovativeness. The Indo-Pacific region represents nearly two-thirds of the global economy, and is second only to the U.S. when it comes to the number of “unicorns” — companies that are valued at $1 billion and above. It is the perfect place to try to ensure that the promise of the digital economy is fully realized and shared.

This is the moment for Indo-Pacific countries to chart a bold, inclusive and sustainable path forward to address common challenges and seize the tremendous opportunities the digital economy can bring.

Enjoy a warm cup of trends for International Tea Day

From bubble tea to tea ceremonies, tea has deep roots and profound cultural significance across Asia[7213a8]. Just ahead of the United Nations’ International Tea Day on Saturday, May 21, we looked at trends on Google Search around the world and found bags of insights into what the world is searching for when it comes to this brew-tea-full beverage.

Worldwide populari-tea

Assam, green or bubble: tea is the world’s most-consumed drink apart from water, so even if Earl Grey isn’t your thing, there's most likely a brew out there that fits you to a T. But which types of tea are the most popular?

  1. Bubble tea
  2. Green tea
  3. Matcha
  4. Black tea
  5. Milk tea
  6. Kombucha
  7. Masala chai
  8. Iced tea
  9. Hibiscus tea
  10. Ginger tea

Worldwide top-searched types of tea, past 12 months. Source: Google Trends.

Green tea used to be the most popular type of tea on Search — until last year, when bubble tea bubbled up to become the most-searched type of tea around the world. The rise has been remarkable, with search interest for bubble tea more than tripling in the last five years, an increase of +220% worldwide. We’ve seen a similar trend with matcha; the beverage is now the world’s third most popular type of tea after search interest went up by +70% in the last five years.

Trends chart showing the rise in searches for bubble tea, green tea, and matcha trends on Google Search, worldwide 2004-present.

Bubble tea, green tea, and matcha trends on Google Search, worldwide 2004-present. Source: Google Trends.

None of this can take away from green tea’s impressive run at the top of the most-searched tea rankings since 2004 (when Google Trends data started). Matcha — the second most searched type of tea worldwide in the past 18 years — is no match(a) for green tea, which has been searched twice as much. In four of the five areas in Asia-Pacific that search for tea the most, green tea was the most-searched type, except in Taiwan, where black tea was most popular, followed by matcha, then green tea.

Versatilit-tea: tea recipes

Perhaps what makes tea so popular is that there are so many different ways to make it. The trend for tea recipes — adding ingredients like honey, lemon or ginger into the pot — is huge in Asia-Pacific, with half of the 10 countries or regions that have searched most for tea recipes over the past 12 months coming from the region.

  1. Vietnam
  2. Taiwan
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Singapore
  5. Latvia
  6. Brazil
  7. Mexico
  8. Honduras
  9. Japan
  10. Panama

Top 10 countries / regions searching for tea recipes, past 12 months. Source: Google Trends.

Trends chart showing tea recipe trends from the past twelve months on Google Search, in Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore.

Tea recipe trends from the past twelve months on Google Search, in Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore. Source: Google Trends.

As a personal side note, as someone born in the U.K., I thought the British were obsessed with tea, but search interest for tea in Vietnam was +20% higher than my home country in the last 12 months, and Taiwan searched 2.3x more for tea than the U.K. (+130%). Hong Kong’s and Thailand’s level of search interest was +80% and +60% higher, too, respectively.

Those were just a few trends we spotted, and you can of course use the free Google Trends tool to find your own. But however you take your tea, or your trends, we hope you take oolong time this International Tea Day to enjoy it.

Fostering inclusive spaces through Disability Alliance

I was 2 when my parents discovered I had polio, which impacted my ability to stand and walk. Growing up in China, I still remember the challenges I faced when I wanted to go to college. Back then, all potential candidates had to pass a physical test, which posed a challenge. Knowing this, my parents, my teachers and even the local government advocated for me. Thanks to their support, I was granted an exception to attend college, where I graduated with a degree in computer science.

When I joined Google in Shanghai in 2011, the real estate team was working to open a new office space. I was part of the planning process to ensure we designed an inclusive workspace, especially for individuals with physical disabilities. When I discovered the desks at the office were too high, or if the meeting space was not designed wide enough for someone in a wheelchair to enter, I worked with the team to solve the problem. I also suggested building wheelchair-accessible restrooms when they were not available on the floor I was working on.

These experiences showed me everyone has the voice to drive change — including myself. I decided to co-lead our Disability Alliance (DA), one of Google’s resource groups in China, with other passionate Googlers. We wanted to create a space to help address challenges Googlers with disabilities face, and build allyship among the wider Google community. We also wanted to create a platform to increase awareness of different forms of disabilities. For example, some people don't think about invisible disabilities, but it's equally important to build awareness of disabilities you might not immediately see. I'm incredibly excited to see how we continue to grow our community in the coming year across China.

Having a disability doesn't limit me, and I've been fortunate to be surrounded by people who value my abilities instead of my disability. Over the years, I've achieved my goals and dreams from leading an incredible team of 50 at Google, taking on physical activities such as skiing and marathons, and driving change for the broader disability community.

Male Googler in a wheelchair posing for the camera with a thumbs up. He is at a running marathon and is wearing his running attire with a race bib. Behind him are three colorful mascots from the marathon organizer.

I was ready to compete in a marathon in China back in 2021

As we commemorate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, I also spoke to Sakiko, a fellow member of our Disability Alliance chapter in Japan, to learn more about what drives her, and why it’s important that we provide equal opportunities for all.

The image shows three Google employees sitting in a conference room facing an audience. One Googler is sharing her personal experiences as a person with a disability in Japan.

Sharing my personal experience at an external event. I’m seated at the extreme right in a gray sweater.

Tell us more about yourself. What keeps you going at Google after more than nine years?

I was born with spina bifida, and I move around with crutches. I’ve always wanted to work in sales, but when I was job hunting, I was turned down by several companies because of my disabilities. I knew I had the ability and knowledge to sell, and I enjoy interacting with people, so I didn’t give up. When I interviewed at Google, the interviewers focused on my potential and abilities, and not my disability. That surprised me, because I’ve never experienced that. I recalled asking one of my interviewers if my disability would impede this opportunity, but he said, “if you have the ability to sell, it shouldn’t stop you from doing that.” It was amazing and encouraging to hear that. I currently work in the Google Ads team and have experienced various roles. When my clients shared how grateful and thankful they are for my dedicated support, that really keeps me going.

What is a memorable experience you’ve had with the Disability Alliance?

I once hosted a workshop where we invited students with disabilities to have hands-on experience coding their own web application, giving them the confidence to pursue their interest in engineering. At the end of the event, several parents shared that they didn’t know their children had the potential to code and create applications all by themselves. I still remember this day vividly, because it demonstrates everyone has the chance to shine when they are given the right opportunities to learn and develop new skills.

Get set, go for the 31st Southeast Asia Games

It’s been a difficult couple of years for Southeast Asia, but the region is starting to get back on its feet and look towards an exciting future. And what better way to bring the region’s 650 million people together than through the uplifting power of sport?

Tomorrow, the 31st Southeast Asia (SEA) Games opens in Hanoi, Vietnam, having been rescheduled from last year. From aquatics to wushu, with 40 sports there’s something for everyone — even people who only tune in to sports every once in a while.

One of the things that makes the 31st SEA Games unique is the inclusion of Esports — a reflection of this youthful region’s diverse gamer and developer talent. Esports at the Games will consist of eight games and ten events. It’s only the second time Esports has been medal event in a multi-sport competition sanctioned by the IOC.

While travel within Southeast Asia is picking up, and a few lucky people will be able to catch the action in person, most people outside of Vietnam will be cheering on their team from a distance. We want to help by providing digital tools to make sure everyone can enjoy the Games. Here are five ways we’ll be doing that over the next two weeks.

1. Stay up to speed and an AR surprise with Google Search

When you search for the SEA Games on Google, you’ll be able to find the latest information on your favorite events, sports and players, and even see where your country ranks in the medal tally. And if you’re searching on your phone, look out for a sighting of the rare Saola — at least a 3D AR version of one anyway.

For fans of sporting trends, check out our dedicated SEA Games Trends page to see fun Search stats on your favorite moments. Pages are available for six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), and there will also be a deeper focus on seven sports: badminton, basketball, chess, football, taekwondo, swimming and esports.

2. Watch all the action live on YouTube

Get all the excitement of the games by catching live events, clips and highlights from official SEA Games broadcasters on their YouTube channels. YouTube can make it even easier for you to cheer on your favorite teams from home with a YouTube SEA Games Playlist that includes live feeds from local broadcasters, including VTV, Mediacorp, Astro, TV5.

3. Ask Google Assistant for updates

Stay up to speed on Games news with help from Google Assistant. Just ask questions you’re curious about (“Hey Google, how many medals does Malaysia have in the SEA Games?”), and whether you’re using your phone, speaker, TV or other enabled device, Google Assistant will have all the important details

4. Explore Vietnam virtually with Google Arts & Culture

Even if you can’t experience the Games in real life, youcan take a virtual tour of the host country with 37 new exhibits in Google Arts and Culture’s Wonders of Vietnam feature. From astonishing craft works to the world’s largest cave and cities packed with history and culture — you can see it all without leaving your chair

5. Take the hassle out of travel

If you are lucky enough to be traveling to Vietnam for the Games, you can make the most of your trip by keeping an eye on prices (just set up a “track prices” function on Google Flights) and find flights with a lower environmental impact using the Emissions filter.

Once you’re on the ground, let Google Lens be your guide. Just hold your phone up to a sign or other printed text, and Google Lens will auto-detect what language the words are written in and then translate them. You can also avoid crowds using Google Maps’ features showing how busy an area or business is, and find out businesses’ opening hours, offerings and other details through Business Profiles on Search and Maps.

Good luck to all the athletes taking part, and let the games begin!

An update on our work to counter extremism in Singapore

For an example of a harmonious, multicultural society, look no further than Singapore, where people of different ethnicities, religious backgrounds, and who speak varying languages live and work together peacefully. It’s a remarkable achievement — one of Singapore’s great strengths as a global hub for trade, travel and technology. It’s also something that all of us in Singapore have to work hard to preserve.

At Google, and YouTube, we’re committed to doing everything we can to promote and celebrate Singapore’s diversity — and to protect it from threats. Today, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, we’re kicking off a series of workshops developed with Ministry of Funny. The aim is to help creators from local interfaith groups and religious organizations start meaningful discussions on issues of online extremism and hate, while fostering awareness, tolerance and empathy.

Participants in the workshops will learn the basics of video production, content strategy, and data analytics, as well as how to sustain an audience on YouTube. Select organizations will receive additional support in the form of grants and mentoring by four YouTube creators: Our Grandfather Story, The Daily Ketchup Podcast, itsclarityco and Overthink.

By amplifying positive voices and constructive dialogue, we believe we can help counter the impact of online extremism — building on the steps we’re already taking.

Taking strong actions against extremism

Over recent years, YouTube has made deep investments in machine learning to enable better detection and faster removal of harmful content that breaches its guidelines. Since 2019, YouTube has removed more than 2.6 million videos for violating its policies around violent extremism — as well as reducing the spread of content that comes close to violating these policies but doesn’t cross the line. YouTube is also holding itself to high standards of accountability, through a dedicated violent extremism section in the YouTube Community Guidelines Enforcement Report.

Across all Google products, we have long standing policies that prohibit harmful content, including incitement to violence and hate speech. We’re working closely with other major technology companies, through coalitions like the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. And we’re focused on developing other technology-based solutions. For example, teams at Jigsaw have developed the Redirect Method, an open-source program which uses targeted ads and videos uploaded by people around the world to confront online radicalization.

We’re looking forward to expanding on these efforts in collaboration with the Singapore Government, Ministry of Funny, and other leaders in the YouTube ecosystem. We see first hand the positive impact creators make all over the world every day, and with the right support, we know they can be powerful voices for tolerance and inclusion in Singapore’s diverse communities.

Southeast Asian travelers are back

Before COVID-19, the countries of Southeast Asia were some of the world’s most popular travel destinations. The pandemic changed that in a matter of months — with devastating repercussions for the region’s $380 billion tourism industry. In early 2022, though, the tide started to turn again. Southeast Asian nations have eased travel restrictions, and the region’s travelers are eager to make up for lost time. They’re committed to traveling more frequently, open to new destinations, and determined to make the most of the opportunities that are now opening up.

To understand these travelers’ preferences and expectations — and the opportunity that resurgent demand creates for the region’s tourism operators — we took a closer look at some recent Google Search trends.

Resurgent demand

In Southeast Asia, inbound travel demand – visits by non-residents to a country – has experienced the fastest upturn in the Philippines and Indonesia, based on search volumes. In March, inbound demand for the Philippines had already surpassed pre-pandemic figures (hitting 104% of pre-pandemic search volumes), while Indonesia is close to a full rebound too (94%). These two countries have also seen the fastest resurgence in outbound travel – visits by their residents to other countries – with search volumes bouncing back to 70% of pre-pandemic levels. Singapore is in third place for both inbound and outbound travel demand.

Chart that demonstrates inbound and outbound travel demand for each Southeast Asian country in March 2022, with Indonesia and the Philippines showing the fastest rebound, followed by Malaysia, Vietnam,

Travelers crave luxury and care about sustainability

While the surge in demand is welcome, it’s important that the industry understands and caters to travelers’ changing needs. Search trends make it clear that the travel environment today is more complex than it was before the pandemic.

  • People are spending more time researching, planning and finding options, seeking peace of mind, and making sure they’re covered for unexpected changes. We saw year-on-year growth of more than 165% in travel insurance-related searches in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
  • Tourists are keen to stay longer when they do travel: interest in vacation rentals among Southeast Asian travelers rose by more than 1010% year-on-year.
  • “Revenge travelers” — those most eager to make up for lost time — are ready to pay for premium travel options. Among travelers from the Philippines, searches for “luxury resorts” and “beach resorts” are up 60% year on year.
  • There's growing consciousness of sustainability across the region — and particularly in Singapore and the Philippines. Searches related to sustainability have grown by 45% since 2019, while searches related to greenhouse gas emissions have increased by more than 163% in Singapore and by more than 156% in the Philippines.

How we’re adapting Google tools to help

We’re committed to helping travelers find the long-awaited travel experience they’re looking for, while navigating the complex environment. On Google Travel, the Flights, Hotels and Things to Do sections now provide more information on COVID — and give travelers the option to search for flexible booking options. The Google Travel Help website makes it easier for people to understand travel policies, restrictions, and special requirements. And for travelers seeking out new experiences, we’ve added more destinations to the Explore tab — including smaller cities and national parks — and options to filter by interests like outdoors, beaches or skiing.

We’re also helping travelers make more sustainable choices when they research and book, including giving hotels the ability to show an eco-certified badge next to their name and share details about their sustainability practices, plus providing carbon emission estimates for flights.

Supporting the industry recovery

In addition to evolving our tools for travelers, we’re doing a lot of work to help our industry partners tap into travel insights and plan for the future. Using Travel Insights with Google, businesses, governments and tourism boards can make decisions based on up-to-date information and move quickly when an opportunity arises.

To help smaller businesses in the travel industry reach potential customers on a large scale, we’ve made it possible for all hotels and travel companies to show free booking links in their profiles — and see how many people clicked on those links by generating reports on Hotel Center.

This is a pivotal time for the industry. People are finally booking trips, having dreamed about it (and saved up for it) for so long. They have higher expectations, including for seamless digital experiences throughout their journey. But they’re ready to spend more money and time on travel than they would have in the past. And the resurgent demand we see in Southeast Asia is just the beginning, with major destinations like China and Japan yet to re-open.

Looking ahead, there’s an enormous opportunity for travel businesses who can understand their customers and give them relevant, personalized experiences. We’ll keep doing everything we can to help, and to contribute to a strong, sustainable travel recovery across the region.

The city using Google tools for environmental education

Since launching Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) in 2018, my team and I have seen how data can help local governments develop relevant climate plans.

EIE is a free tool designed to help measure emission sources and identify strategies to reduce emissions. In Pune City, India, the local government has used data from EIE to better analyze trip emissions. In Australia, Ironbark Sustainability and Beyond Zero Emissions have developed Snapshot Climate, a community climate tool that incorporates EIE transportation and emissions data — and shares it with local councils and other organizations across the country.

So far, over 320 cities worldwide have made their data available for the public to view through the platform — including West Nusa Tenggara, in Indonesia, the first place in Southeast Asia to adopt EIE.

While we have seen how EIE has helped cities shape their efforts to reduce emissions using data, that’s not the only benefit that the tool offers. Cities like Yokohama in Japan are also using it to educate their citizens.

I wanted to learn more about this initiative — so in the lead-up to Earth Day this week, I sat down with Hiroki Miyajima, the Executive Director of the General Affairs Department in the International Affairs Bureau of the City of Yokohama.

Hiroki-san, it’s wonderful to know that Yokohama City uses Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE). What motivated the city to use this tool?

I was introduced to EIE back in 2020 and found it to be an excellent tool with visual capabilities and accessible simulation features for us to understand our city better. As we already had data on greenhouse gas emissions, I saw the tool as a great way to build awareness around sustainability among our citizens.

Households in Yokohama generate about 25% of our current CO2 emissions. With our mayor having announced a goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030, we need to encourage our citizens to change their behavior as we work towards decarbonization. That starts with education, in particular for children and young people: our next generation. We’ve begun incorporating EIE into education programs from junior high school to universities. By exploring EIE, these students can visualize and better understand the impacts of CO2 emissions.

A male student with a mask on, looking at the Environmental Insights Explorer on his computer.

A student using the Environmental Insights Explorer in class.

What impact have you seen since the education programs have rolled out?

I’ve heard several anecdotal stories from teachers. After attending one class, a junior high school student commented that he would make sure to turn off unnecessary electricity if he saw no one using the classroom. Another student said he plans to incorporate energy-saving ideas at home and share what he learns with his parents.

At universities, we see student teams incorporating EIE data into their projects. For instance, one group created a report on promoting the use of electric vehicles and shared their presentation at an international conference held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I’m incredibly encouraged knowing that our younger generation cares about their city and this planet. We can motivate them to take practical action through education, no matter how big or small they are. We look forward to bringing EIE to more institutions.

Why should other cities consider getting on board in using EIE with city planning?

We’ve been collaborating and supporting urban development projects with emerging cities in Southeast Asia. We’ve noticed that many of these cities have not had the chance to calculate the amount of GHG emissions they generate. One reason for this is that calculating emissions can be time-consuming and requires significant funding. However, using EIE, it’s possible to get insightful data efficiently and effectively.

If you’re part of a local government and interested in what EIE can do for your community, fill out this formto get in touch with our team, or visit our website.

Office spotlight: Singapore

From the Shiok cafe in Google’s Singapore office, you can catch a glimpse of the docks along Singapore’s west coast — and beyond that, the Singapore Strait, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. It’s a reminder of Singapore’s long-standing role as a hub for global trade.

We first opened a Singapore office in 2007 — a tiny space in the business district — before moving to a new, purpose-built space in 2016. Today, Singapore is our Asia Pacific headquarters, located at the center of Asia’s vibrant digital economy, and home to more than 2,000 Googlers. Like Singapore itself, the office is a melting pot of cultures, languages, ideas and (importantly) incredible food. It gives us a platform to understand, build for and invest in the entire region. But it’s also deeply anchored in the local community: from the names of the kampongs (village in Malay) and meeting rooms where Googlers work, to the outreach programs we run in support of Singaporean developers, nonprofits and students. Let’s take a closer look…

Shared spaces and a close-knit community

Exploring the office, you may see people sharing ideas for products in the Maker Space, going for a stroll in the rooftop garden or catching up with colleagues over kopi in one of our cafes. Over the past few months, Googlers in Singapore have been gradually (and safely) returning to the office, as local restrictions ease. Right now, only a certain percentage of Googlers are able to be in the office at any one, while others work from home. It’s part of our new, hybrid approach to work — which focuses on flexibility, giving Googlers more options for where and how they work in the future.

Whether at the office or working from home, Googlers often connect through clubs, cultural celebrations and employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs are communities where members support each other in personal and professional development. Googlers also support each other through groups such as the Blue Dot peer support network, which aims to destigmatize mental health conversations. Clubs give Googlers an opportunity to share hobbies, such as the gardening group that grows herbs for our cafes. Google Singapore is home to one of the largest board game groups of any Google office, with more than 600 members and more than 200 games in their collection.

Another big part of life at Google Singapore is volunteering time and space to support the local community.

Singapore Googlers work on many different Google products and in areas like sales, marketing, finance and business operations. Here’s a look at some of the cool stuff Googlers here help build.

Google Pay

Screen captures of Google Pay’s Menu Discovery feature

Google Pay’s Menu Discovery feature in action

This team is working to make payments more simple, helpful and inclusive for users around the world. For example, the idea for Google Pay’s new Menu Discovery feature came about when a few Singapore Googlers noticed how food and beverage shops were facing a drastic drop in business during the pandemic lockdown and brainstormed how to create more opportunities for food merchants to bring their businesses online. The result: a new local feature that helped to bring over 250 merchants and their menus online for free, boosting their online presence during a challenging time. The number has grown to nearly 2,000 food merchants on Google Pay.

Google Cloud

Singapore is the first Cloud region we opened in Southeast Asia and the team here has grown significantly since.

Ruma Balasubramanian, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, Google Cloud on stage addressing an audience of socially-distanced customers.

The Cloud Marketing team hosted their first 2022 in-person customer kick-off event, Singapore Leaders Forum, at the ArtScience Museum in Singapore after COVID-19 lockdowns.

Googlers on our Cloud team help organizations around the world serve their customers and build what’s next for their businesses with Google's cutting-edge, enterprise-grade technology – all on the cleanest cloud in the industry. Want to keep track of what the Cloud team is up to? Follow our SG Cloud Twitter feed.

Data Centers

More new internet users come online every day in Asia than anywhere else in the world. Our Singapore data centers help us to make sure that our users here have the fastest and most reliable access possible to all of Google’s services, and then some. These facilities are also some of the most efficient and environmentally friendly in Asia.

Large data center building illuminated by blue and yellow lights against a dark royal blue sky. In the foreground are palm trees, grass and city streets.

Our Singapore data center lights up the night

YouTube

Members of the YouTube team work together to give everyone the power to share their story, explore what they love and connect with one another in the process. Singapore is the regional hub for YouTube, and the teams here focus on growing the creator environment in the region and creating locally relevant experiences for our users.

Two unoccupied grey chairs with white pillows featuring YouTube logos, either side of a pair of glass-topped tables with plants and YouTube-branded hardware boxes.

YouTube's teams in Singapore support the Asia Pacific's vibrant creator ecoystem

And that’s just some of the work being done at this office! Interested in learning about job opportunities on these or other teams at Google Singapore? Check out our Careers Site to explore open roles.

Stay-at-home mom or fact-checker? She’s both!

Back in 2017, Niken Satyawati’s day was filled with the business of running her household — caring for her three daughters, preparing meals, and the many other tasks any stay-at-home mom would know all too well. But in May of that year, Niken traveled from her hometown of Surakarta to Google’s office in Jakarta, where she attended a training session to learn the skills she needed to become a fact-checker.

“I saw many hoaxes on the internet. It affects real life. Friendships are broken, fighting between families,” Satyawati said. “Someone must do something to reduce them.”

So she decided to take matters into her own hands, joining a group of citizen fact-checkers who were gathering in online forums to fight misinformation. They called themselves Masyarakat Anti Fitnah Indonesia, the Indonesian Anti-Slander Society, or Mafindo for short.

A co-founder of Mafindo — Septiaji Eko Nugroho — was recruiting volunteers to join this verification training in Jakarta. Niken joined a motley crew of programmers, journalists, drivers, doctors and housewives to learn about search operators, reverse image search, video metadata, geolocation and other tools used by professional fact-checkers.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to learn about how to find the truth, thanks to tools I didn’t know existed, by hearing from people who used them all the time,” she said.

Since then, Mafindo has grown — building a professional fact-checking team that, along with the citizen fact-checkers, has debunked more than 8,550 hoaxes. They’ve trained more than 1,200 volunteers like Niken, organized anti-hoax festivals and delivered media literacy programs around the country, reaching nearly 1,000,000 Indonesians. To reach housewives, they created a web series about an anti-hoax family.

“I’m not a professional, full-time fact-checker, but I can do simple fact-checking and have gotten used to educating the general public at the family level,” Niken said.

But her modesty belies her role in Mafindo. She is on Mafindo’s presidium, or leadership committee, and is a leading figure for the organization in Central Java. She coordinated a ‘train the trainers’ program for media literacy program Tular Nalar that has reached 1400 lecturers and 6000 teachers over the past two years, and manages a weekly radio broadcast on anti-hoax issues in Surakarta.

To people interested in joining her and becoming a volunteer fact-checker themselves, her message is simple: “Every fact checker must have commitment. Commitment to integrity, and to making a better life for others by reducing the hoaxes around us. Expertise is certainly required, but can be learned. And don’t forget to share your expertise, so there will be many fact checkers in the world.”

For Indonesians who want to learn more about fact-checking — and become volunteers — Mafindo will be offering many more opportunities as it celebrates its fifth anniversary. Late last year, Google.org supported Mafindo and the MAARIF Institute with an $800,000 grant, so the two organizations can reach another 26,000 lecturers, teachers and students.

As we celebrate International Fact-Checking Day this Saturday, all of us can emulate Niken by learning more about how to identify misinformation online. We’ve compiled a list of five tips to help anyone read the news like a fact-checker — and we look forward to supporting many more people like Niken as they tackle misinformation and protect their communities.

Celebrating 10 years of Google Indonesia

When we opened the Google Indonesia office back in 2012, we had a clear vision: to develop products and programs that were specifically helpful for Indonesians. Looking back, it’s been incredible to see the momentum the team has built over the years — and that original vision remains just as important today.

As we mark the 10th anniversary of Google in Indonesia today, I took the opportunity to explore our archives. Here are our 10 top moments from the past decade.

  1. Building product features for Indonesians

Over the years, many of our products and features have been developed with Indonesians in mind, such as our Google Maps two-wheel feature to help Indonesian motorcyclists. We’ve also localized features to make them helpful to Indonesians. That includes incorporating some of Indonesia’s hundreds of languages into Google Translate, including Javanese — the second-most-spoken language with 83 million native speakers.

An image of a woman's hands holding a mobile phone. From the mobile screen, you can see the Google Maps Two-Wheel feature.

Our Google Maps Two-Wheel feature launched in 2018

2. Training two million Indonesians with digital skills

With internet adoption growing rapidly in Indonesia, it’s a priority for Google to help ensure the next wave of entrepreneurs, businesses, and individuals are well-equipped with digital skills. Even before the opening of our office, we'd already launched several programs with local partners, including Bisnis Lokal Go Online in 2012, to help small and medium-sized businesses with their online presence. We've gone on to launch programs like Gapura Digital and Women Will, which have collectively trained more than 2 million Indonesians, including over 800,000 women entrepreneurs.

A group photo of around 50 female and male attendees from Indonesia in a hotel ballroom, after completing the free digital training workshop.

Attendees from our free Gapura Digital and WomenWill workshops from 2019

3. Supporting over 200,000 Indonesian mobile developers

A fan of tahu bulat (fried tofu balls), Bandung-based developer Own Games ID created a fun game with the same name — it topped the Play Store rankings and has over 10 million downloads to date. Hit games and educational apps coming out of Indonesia have inspired us in our efforts to train over 200,000 developers since 2016. We continue to find ways to mentor startups and nurture the developer community through programs like Google for Startups, contributing to growth of the region's largest digital economy.

An image of three male youths sitting on a couch, laughing and interacting with one another. They are YouTube creator Gogogoy, and two developers from the company, Own Games ID.

The people behind Own Games ID, with YouTube creator Gogogoy

4. Bringing Borobudur to the world through Street View

Seven years ago, our Street View operators strapped on the trekker and set out to capture 360-degree imagery of all 2,500 square meters of the world’s largest and oldest Buddhist temple: Borobudur in Magelang. From the heights of the Borobudur temple to the depths of Raja Ampat, anyone in the world can explore and enjoy Indonesia’s landmarks and natural beauty — all with a simple click, no matter where they are.

An image of a man carrying a street view trekker to capture imagery at Indonesia’s Borobudur temple.

Street View operators capturing imagery at Borobudur

5. Protecting our ocean with technology

Indonesia is home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world, but there’s more work to do to ensure our heritage is protected for future generations. We’ve seen innovative organizations like the Gringgo Foundation, backed by funding support from Google.org, develop tools to address plastic waste pollution. We also worked with the former Minister of Fisheries and Marine Affairs, Susi Pudjiastuti, who used the technology behind Google Earth’s Global Fishing Watch to address illegal fishing in sovereign waters.

An image of Google Earth’s Global Fishing Watch tool. The tool showcases the world map with visualizations of large scale commercial activities happening worldwide

Global Fishing Watch, the first global view of large scale commercial fishing activity over time

6. Celebrating Indonesia’s rich history and culture on our platforms

We launched our first Indonesian Doodle in 2012, celebrating the 67th anniversary of our nation’s independence. Since then, our doodles have spotlighted significant local moments and celebrated historic Indonesian figures like Ki Hajar Dewantara and Roehana Koeddoes. Beyond Doodles, we wanted to introduce Indonesia’s rich culture to the world. My favorite moments were when we shared our batik tradition and Indonesian spices through Google Arts and Culture.

An image of a Google logo, with illustrations of kids competing in sack races and fruits hanging on strings within the Google logo.

Our first Doodle showcasing the traditions during Indonesia’s independence

7. Empowering the next generation

We believe every Indonesian should have access to digital education and training opportunities, and we offer training tailored to people’s skill levels and goals. We introduced Google Career Certificates last year to get more people trained in job-ready skills. We also introduced Bangkit, an intensive six-month training program in partnership with local technology companies and leading universities, to equip more Indonesians with in-demand skills for the tech industry. Now entering its third year, the program has trained almost 2,500 people like Syifa Nur Aini, who became an IT manager after completing the program. We look forward to graduating another 3,000 students later this year.

An Indonesian woman with a face mask is having a video conference call on her laptop. In the background, a fellow Indonesian man with a face mask is observing the call.

After graduating from Bangkit, Syifa Nur Aini started her role as an IT Manager at Trapo Indonesia

8. Supporting journalism and the news industry

We work closely with Indonesian news publishers of all sizes, providing tools, technology and programs to help ensure everyone has access to quality information. We've partnered with publishers to help them build their business models, empower newsrooms through technology, and learn the latest tools and reporting skills. Since 2019, we’ve trained more than 23,000 journalists locally, including in-depth workshops on data journalism and fact-checking, while funding the fact-checking mission of the Cek Fakta network.

An image of a group of journalists attending a local training event led by our Google News Initiative team. The image focuses on three female Indonesian journalists, smiling.

Local reporters attending a workshop run by the GNI Indonesia Training Network

9. Reaching over 100 million people on YouTube monthly

Since YouTube’s launch in Indonesia in 2012, we have seen incredible highs in Indonesia. If there’s one thing that's certain, it’s that Indonesia is full of talented individuals waiting to be discovered. Indonesian creators are redefining what it means to be artists, entertainers, and key opinion leaders. Take Weird Genius, a local band collaborating with well-known musicians worldwide and sharing their music with Indonesia and the world through YouTube. It’s humbling to see the role YouTube plays in Indonesians’ lives. For some viewers, YouTube creators make them feel part of a wider community. For others, it's about allowing them to dive deeper into their passion and brush up on new skills. Today, YouTube is reaching more than 100 million people every month in Indonesia, and the numbers continue to grow.

10. It’s always the people: Dozens of Googlers serving Indonesia today

One of my biggest joys working at Google is the people. I'm proud to see how our office has grown from just four employees to the dozens of Googlers working on impactful projects in Indonesia today.

A group photo of male and female Google employees at the office cafe smiling and dressed up in party gear, celebrating Google’s global 21st anniversary.

Indonesia team during Google’s 21st global birthday celebration in the office

Together with the people, communities and businesses we support, we've accomplished a lot over the past 10 years. I’m looking forward to seeing what more we can contribute to Indonesia’s progress over the decade ahead. Happy anniversary, Google Indonesia!