In line with its aim to bring fast and affordable access to more people around the world, Google has decided to build a new engineering team in Singapore to get closer to the next billion users going online.
Caesar Sengupta, vice president of the next billion users team at Google explained in a blog post, that most of the 300 million people who went online for the first time last year - from places like India, Indonesia and the Philippines - have very different computing experiences than what many of us grew up with.
And, their experience is "not the one that most of Google’s services were originally designed for."
In many cases, the only "computer" these people have access to is a low-cost smartphone. In these places, connectivity is frequently patchy and relatively expensive as compared to their incomes. Additionally, many don't have enough relevant content available in their language.
"These aren’t easy problems to fix, but we’d like to do a better job of addressing them. That’s why we’re building a new engineering team in Singapore – to get closer to the next billion users coming online and to develop products that will work for them," Sengupta wrote.
Google plans to kick start the new team in these ways:
- First, they will be bringing in the team from Pie.co - a Singapore-based startup recently acquired by Google - to help kick start Google's new local engineering team.
- Second, Google is actively hiring engineers - both new grads and experienced engineers - to be based in Singapore.
- Third, the firm will be implementing a 12-week internship programme which will take place in Australia for talented students from Singapore.
- Lastly, Google will be welcoming engineers from across the world who "have deep ties to Singapore, want to come back home, or would like to start calling Singapore their home."
Explaining the reason behind choosing Singapore, Sengupta wrote: "In many ways, Singapore feels like the best place to do this. It is hyper-connected, with some of the fastest Internet speeds in the world.
"And, it sits at the center of a region with half of the world's current Internet users, and more new Internet users coming online every day than anywhere else in the world.
"Through our new engineering team here, coupled with work being done by many Google teams around the world, we hope to continue advancing our mission to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful."