By Mike Cherney
SYDNEY–Alphabet Inc.’s Google said it will invest 1 billion Australian dollars (US$730 million) over five years into Australian infrastructure, research and partnerships, which would be the company’s single-biggest investment in the country.
Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said the investment will help develop Australia’s digital infrastructure, with a focus on cloud computing. He also said it will include the launch of Google’s first research hub in Australia and a partnership with Australia’s national science agency.
Google said an economic analysis showed that the investment will support more than 6,000 new direct jobs across Australia.
“Australia can help lead the world’s next wave of innovation, harnessing technology to improve lives, create jobs and make progress,” Mr. Pichai said, adding that the investment will bring the benefits of technology to more Australians.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who spoke at an event marking the announcement, said Google’s investment is a vote of confidence in Australia’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. His center-right government earlier this year released a digital-economy strategy that outlined plans to develop Australia into a leading digital economy by 2030.
Google first set up a presence in Australia in 2002 and its popular Google Maps platform was developed in the country. But relations between big U.S. tech companies and the Australian…