Google Goes to Thailand

Search engine expands Southeast Asia presence

Bangkok just got a new resident, Google. The company announced today that it will boost its Southeast Asia growth with an office in Thailand. The office is the second this year for Southeast Asia, following the opening of a Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, office in January.

The managing director for Google’s Southeast Asia Operation, Julian Persaud, said that the new regional office will act as a home base for more locally driven projects, like mapping and translation. "Southeast Asia is coming into prominence but not much content about the region is available on the Internet," he told Dow Jones Newswires. "With over 120 million people online in the region, we are particularly excited about growth [there]."

With Google’s expansion also comes certain challenges that are not entirely new for the company. Google’s standoff with China first highlighted how technology can also be used in a war of ideology, and countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia all employ censorship on some level. Google will again be tasked with navigating restrictions while still trying to deliver its product to the Southeast Asian market. "We are broadly anti-censorship. However, we comply with local laws," Persaud said.