Google Says It Will Invest A$1 Billion in Australia
By Mike Cherney
SYDNEY--Alphabet Inc.'s Google said it will invest 1 billion
Australian dollars (US$730 million) over five years into Australian
infrastructure, research and partnerships, which would be the
company's single-biggest investment in the country.
Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said the
investment will help develop Australia's digital infrastructure,
with a focus on cloud computing. He also said it will include the
launch of Google's first research hub in Australia and a
partnership with Australia's national science agency.
Google said an economic analysis showed that the investment will
support more than 6,000 new direct jobs across Australia.
"Australia can help lead the world's next wave of innovation,
harnessing technology to improve lives, create jobs and make
progress," Mr. Pichai said, adding that the investment will bring
the benefits of technology to more Australians.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who spoke at an event
marking the announcement, said Google's investment is a vote of
confidence in Australia's economic recovery from the coronavirus
pandemic. His center-right government earlier this year released a
digital-economy strategy that outlined plans to develop Australia
into a leading digital economy by 2030.
Google first set up a presence in Australia in 2002 and its
popular Google Maps platform was developed in the country. But
relations between big U.S. tech companies and the Australian
government had been strained recently. Earlier this year,
Australian lawmakers passed a law effectively requiring big tech
companies, including Google and Meta Platforms Inc.'s Facebook, to
pay news publishers for content.
But on Tuesday, Mr. Morrison, who is expected to face an
election next year, said Google had been a productive partner on
various issues, such as online safety, dealing with extremist
content and news-media competition.
"We sat down, we've worked through them and I think we've got
the right result for both the citizens of Australia and for the
technology future that we both want to embrace," Mr. Morrison said.
"The fact that Google has decided to invest in the way that they
have I think seals that partnership."
Ties between the U.S. and Australia have deepened in recent
months, with the U.S. agreeing to help develop nuclear submarine
capacity for Australia as part of a three-way security partnership
for the Indo-Pacific that also includes the United Kingdom.
Mike Goldman, the charge d'affaires for the U.S. embassy in the
Australian capital Canberra, said at Tuesday's event that the
deepening ties involve technology sharing broadly, with a focus not
just on defense but on technology like quantum computing and
artificial intelligence that is also applicable to economic growth
"We're proud to be Australia's partners and we're proud to learn
from Australia," he said. "It's not just a one-way transfer. We're
getting every bit as much out of our partnership with Australia as
Write to Mike Cherney at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 15, 2021 20:03 ET (01:03 GMT)
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