Google Cloud today announced that its new Seoul region, its first in Korea, is now open for business. The region, which it first talked about last April, will feature three availability zones and support for virtually all of Google Cloud’s standard service, ranging from Compute Engine to BigQuery, Bigtable and Cloud Spanner.
With this, Google Cloud now has a presence in 16 countries and offers 21 regions with a total of 64 zones. The Seoul region (with the memorable name of asia-northeast3) will complement Google’s other regions in the area, including two in Japan, as well as regions in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but the obvious focus here is on serving Korean companies with low-latency access to its cloud services.
“As South Korea’s largest gaming company, we’re partnering with Google Cloud for game development, infrastructure management, and to infuse our operations with business intelligence,” said Chang-Whan Sul, the CTO of Netmarble. “Google Cloud’s region in Seoul reinforces its commitment to the region and we welcome the opportunities this initiative offers our business.”
Over the course of this year, Google Cloud also plans to open more zones and regions in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Jakarta, Indonesia.
Last Saturday, Taiwanese voters re-elected President Tsai Ing-wen to her second term after an election that split the country among generational and ideological lines. A crucial issue were the differences in how Tsai, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and her main opponent, Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang (KMT), approach Taiwan’s fraught relationship with China.
Despite the highly polarizing run-up to the election, however, both the DPP and KMT have taken measures to foster entrepreneurship in Taiwan. Now that Tsai has won, many investors don’t expect a dramatic impact, but instead are keeping an eye on how policies put in motion by both parties will play out. They are also looking for political allies who understand the startup ecosystem in Taiwan, which is often overshadowed by large hardware OEMs and semiconductor companies.
Joseph Huang, an investment partner at Infinity Ventures, has worked with both the DPP and KMT as limited partners, and says “from our side, they are always asking for how to create more awareness of Taiwan startups, how do we help them with institutions, how do we help them more?”