Google plans to hire hundreds of local workers

EXPANSION PLAN::The US company said it needs more workers from the nation’s talent pool to help develop its Chrome ecosystem and mobile applications store

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Mar 12, 2014 - Page 13

Search engine giant Google Inc yesterday said it plans to increase its employee numbers by the hundreds in Taiwan this year, as the company seeks increased growth in ad sales supported by its online services.

“There is actually a huge talent pool in Taiwan,” Google Taiwan general manager Chien Lee-feng (簡立峰) said at a media briefing.

He said the company plans to hire more workers this year because Google has become more serious about Taiwan’s role as “a hub of both software and hardware engineering.”

As a result, Google aims to drastically increase its Taiwan-based headcount this year, he said.

The company had about 200 employees in Taiwan last year, including sales managers based in Taipei and engineers positioned at Google’s data center in Changhua County.

The targeted increase in local headcount comes as more of Taiwan’s original design and equipment manufacturers are joining Google’s Android or Chrome-based product development, Chien said.

A majority of the new openings will be assigned to develop the company’s Web-based Chrome ecosystem and its Android-based mobile applications store, Google Play, he added.

“Other than Chromecast and Chromebox, Google this year will launch more Chrome-based devices for diverse applications,” Chien said.

Chien said Google “is working on it,” when he was asked if Acer Inc (宏碁) would start selling its Chromebook product in Taiwan soon.

In June 2011, Google unveiled two laptop models powered by its Chrome operating system — one made by Acer and the other manufactured by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co.

Since then, other top-tier PC vendors, including Lenovo Group (聯想), Hewlett-Packard Co (HP) and Dell Inc, have jumped on the bandwagon to introduce similar products.

Acer spokesman Henry Wang (汪島雄) said by telephone yesterday that Acer would launch a new Chromebook model this year, without elaborating on a timeline for the product to debut in the market.

However, “Acer is not likely to sell Chromebooks in Taiwan in the near future, as the company currently only targets the US market for sales of the product,” Wang said.

On Feb. 14, Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) told an investors’ conference that the company would start selling at least two Chromebook models from this year.

Asustek spokesman David Chang (張偉明) yesterday declined to confirm if the company would launch its new Chromebook product by the end of this quarter, as scheduled.