Google Increasing Taiwan Focus With New Consumer Electronics Projects

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Developments and build-outs in Taiwan are increasingly important in Google's plans across a wide span of the technology spectrum covering hardware, according to a recent report from Counterpoint Research. That's highlighted further by plans for a new office located in T-Park in New Taipei City. But the company's uptick in presence in the region can ultimately be traced back to growing supply chain demands in a market that's become more competitive due to worsening tensions between the US and China.

Slow growth made more urgent

The company's start in the region, leading through to plans for a new office for more than 4,000 employees and expected to be finished by the end of 2020, began back in 2012. That's slowly been ramping up over the past several years, with the output from Taiwan being responsible for no less than 15.4-percent of revenue for Google's parent company in the fourth quarter of 2018.

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The largest of Google's moves in the region, its 2017 purchase of assets and employees from still struggling smartphone maker HTC for $1.1 billion, took place near the beginning of the ongoing standoff between China and the US. It also resulted in approximately 2,000 employees being stationed in the region specifically for the Google Pixel handset.

Google's hardware outside of the smartphone arena is already produced in Taiwan covering everything from its Google Home products to those made under the Nest branding. Stemming out from that point, thanks in large part to the country's close proximity to a wealth of technology suppliers as well as favorable taxation and other policies, the search giant's presence in Taiwan has grown rapidly over the past couple of years.

All of that effort culminated in the company being placed front and center in the development of AI via Taiwan's Intelligent Taiwan program in early 2018. Google's partnerships with local and regional partners originating in the AI-focused endeavor now play a key role in its acquisition of new talent and components for everything from data centers to home smart products.

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Rumors and more rampant growth

Google's decision to open up a new office in Taiwan, doubling its workforce and making the region an even more central part of its IoT plans follows months of speculation that the search giant would be moving in that direction. That speculation also pointed to growing ambitions in the hardware industry itself, with a renewed bid to pursue profitability from smartphone sales as well as smartwatches and other hardware.

The insider leaks appear to have been accurate in that regard as the source notes that one of the chief purposes of the office complex will be to expand the company's line-up to include more smartphones, wearables, AR and VR technology, and other gadgets falling into the IoT category.

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Although reports have suggested a slow-down on the tablet and laptop fronts for Google with employees being shuffled to new projects, the search giant recently confirmed that work in those areas is still underway. That's in addition to recent reports suggesting that more Pixel-branded smartphones — possibly part of the Pixel 3 family — will be launching in the not-too-distant future and following Google's early 2019 purchase of smartwatch technology from Fossil.