Google Pledges $740 Million Investment in Australia

After regulatory fights, the search giant pledged to expand its hiring in the country.

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Google will invest $740 million in Australia, including a research hub.

Google said that its plans included working with the Australian authorities to solve problems like protecting the Great Barrier Reef. Credit…Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Nov. 16, 2021, 7:46 a.m. ET

Google announced on Tuesday that it would invest $740 million in Australia over the next five years, promising to build a research hub, increase its cloud computing capacity and team up with government scientists to address challenges like expanding the use of green energy.

The investment — 1 billion Australian dollars — is the technology giant’s biggest commitment in the country since it opened its Sydney office in 2002, and it follows a bruising battle this year over legislation that eventually required the biggest American technology companies to pay for news appearing on their platforms.

Australia’s government continues to show interest in additional tech regulation, but on Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised Google for making such a big bet on his country. He said that the company’s new program, the Digital Future Initiative, would create more than 6,000 jobs, triple what Google currently employs in Australia.

“We have to embrace and encourage and enable those seeking these new digital opportunities,” Mr. Morrison said.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said that Australia — where one of the most successful tech companies is Atlassian, the creators of the business software program Jira — can help lead the world’s next wave of innovation. Google’s plans include a partnership with the Sydney-based Macquarie University on quantum computing and expanded collaboration with Australia’s main government science agency on everything from natural hazard management to protection for the Great Barrier Reef.

“We believe a strong digital future is one where everyone has access to technology and the skills to use it,” Mr. Pichai said. “Where the internet economy fulfills its immense potential.”

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