Facebook Invests In Asia With Underwater Internet Cable

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook hopes to grow its social media influence in Asia, as the company recently announced that ir invested in the Asia Pacific Gateway — a 6,214-mile underwater internet cable from Malaysia to Japan, with cables branching off to other countries.

Facebook officials believe that by investing in this cable, which would boost Internet speeds throughout Asia-Pacific countries, they can tap into what is becoming a growing market. The Tech in Asia blog shows that Facebook is growing among Japanese and Korean users. Roughly 17.2 million visits in May came from Japan, an uptick from 8.2 million in May 2011. However, BBC notes that Mixi in Japan and Cyworld in South Korea still hold a bit more influence than Facebook.

A Facebook spokesperson commented about the company’s Asian investment to BBC:

Our investment in this cable will help support our growth in south Asia, making it possible for us to provide a better user experience for a greater number of Facebook users in countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

The spokesperson didn’t tell BBC how much Facebook paid, but noted that altogether, a collection of firms invested $450 million.

An analyst also believes that this cable could improve Internet speed in India and the Phillipines, where people are avid Facebook users.

According to a December press release, the Asia Pacific Gateway network is scheduled to launch by June 2014 with a 54.8-terabit-per-second capability.

Readers: What do you think of Facebook’s move into Asian markets?