South Korea’s internet giant Naver Corp. has picked 10 candidate locations for its second data center in the country out of nearly 100 locations proposed about six weeks earlier.
The 10 locations are Gumi, Gimcheon and Daegu in North Gyeongsang Province; two sites in Sejong City, two in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province; Eumseong in North Chungcheong Province, and Busan Metropolitan City, according to Naver on Wednesday.
The candidate locations were selected by outside experts in a blind review to keep fairness, transparency, and objectivity. Experts analyzed the locations from various aspects by evaluating municipalities’ proposals, conducting on-site inspection, and taking into consideration regulations and ordinances.
Naver plans to select a preferred bidder by the end of this year after holding discussions with location proposers. The company plans to spend 540 billion won ($447.9 million) in building the second data center.
The company initially planned to build its second data center in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, but it scrapped the plan due to strong opposition from residents in the area. After several months of hiatus, the company reopened the tender on July 23, and total 96 entities, including local government and prices companies, submitted final bids to host the second data center in August, heralding fierce competition.
The location for Naver’s data center needs to meet various conditions such as power, communication network, and water supply. It should also be eligible to host a broadcasting communication facility or be able to change land usage purpose by early 2020.
By building its second data center, Naver plans to meet growing demand for cloud services particularly in public and finance sectors. It is hoping to compete with global cloud operators Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
Local governments are eager to host Naver’s second data center in hopes of creating more jobs and giving a boost to the local economy.
The company’s first data center, GAK, located in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, houses 170 employees including non-resident workers. Annual tax revenue reaches billions of won.
Incomms, based in Chuncheon, was founded in 2010 as a unit under Naver. The company, which operates Naver service, has hired about 500 employees. As of end of 2018, it paid 16.8 billion won in local taxes and gave out 92 billion won payroll.
By Oh Dae-seok and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]