Google is in talks to lease space in a data center in South Korea, according to a source quoted by local business news publication, The Investor.
The facility, owned by LG Uplus, the country’s third largest mobile carrier, is due to come online later this year.
Knock knock, please let us in
Though the pair is said to have not signed any official agreements yet, talks between the two companies began last year, indicating that negotiations are well underway.
Until now, Google hasn’t been able to offer a large portion of its mapping services in the country, as it has been denied access to detailed maps by the National Geographic Information Institute, having failed to comply with Korean data protection laws.
One such infringement was the company’s refusal to blur military bases on maps which would be visible outside the country. Google, afraid to set a precedent which could lead to other countries requesting similar arrangements, has repeatedly declined to do so.
This has made the use of applications such as Uber and Airbnb impossible from within South Korea, as they rely on Google Maps data to operate.
The mapping service is provided on a cloud platform basis, “which means that the data Google uses have to be stored across multiple data centers around the globe,” a Google software engineer told The Korea Joongang Daily. The company would also need to obtain a data export license in order to run Maps in the country.