Google (GOOG) is searching for data center sites in Asia and "leaning toward" a site in Taiwan, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA). Steve Chen, the economics minister of Taiwan, said Friday that Google was mulling a data center on a piece of land the ministry has reserved in the Changpin Industrial Park in Changhwa, western Taiwan. Chen said the government will offer Google incentives including a discount on the land tax, and will "ensure a stable electricity supply."
The CNA said Google has considered 18 locations outside the US for data centers, including Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, but is leaning towards Taiwan.
Both Google and Microsoft are seeking to expand their data center infrastructure in Europe and Asia. This sometimes leads to posturing by local governments before the site selection process is complete. Officials in Irkutsk, Russia announced in November that Microsoft was considering a data center in Siberia. Microsoft later said that "Microsoft Russia is working on potential data centre construction in Russia, we are still far from final site selection."
Google has an existing data center in Groningen in the Netherlands and is reportedly building data center projects in Belgium and in Amsterdam, and scouting locations in Lithuania.