AGORA

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Google promises more localised content for Malaysian websurfers

By JO TIMBUONG
intech@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian websurfers can look forward to more localised Internet content and services now that popular search engine company Google Inc has cemented its presence in the country.
Google, which just opened an office at the Petronas Twin Towers here, made a commitment to boost local content of its web services such as Google Maps, Google News and Google Translate.
Google Maps is a navigation service while Google News is a news aggregator that features events from all over the world. Google Translate is a translation service where keyed-in words and phrases are translated from one language to another.
“Our key aim in Malaysia is to provide a local experience (in our services) for our users here,” said Julian Persaud, Google managing director for South-East Asia yesterday.
He cited as an example the power of localised content.
“I had to use Google Maps on my smartphone to guide the taxi driver to my destination in Kuala Lumpur the other day,” Persaud said.
Google Malaysia country manager Sajith Sivanandan said it was such localised services that Google wanted to develop further.
“Having a local presence will better enable us to engage with Malaysian users and content producers,” he said.
Persaud said setting up the Malaysian office is a natural progression for Google, which has been active in the country for some time already.
He said the country’s information technology infrastructure and improved broadband penetration were some of the other reasons that prompted Google to open its office here.
He declined to state the amount Google spent on setting up the office here.
“We tend to start humbly and then grow from there; it was the same for us in Singapore. We grow as the market grows,” he said.
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir officiated at the event to open the Kuala Lumpur office.

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