Mapletree buys $139mn plot to build Hong Kong data centre
The real estate investment group - acting through its subsidiary, Mapletree TM - recently announced the successful land tender to purchase a 4,000 square metre plot in Hong Kong’s Fanling, New Territories district. The group reportedly paid HK$813mn (approximately US$139mn) for the real estate parcel.
Mapletree will use the land as the site of a new data centre development, its first in Hong Kong, which is expected to come online in 2023. The 4,000 square metre land parcel will be home to a multi-storey data centre with an approximate available floor space of 20,140 square metres, capable of delivering up to 50MVA of building power.
Mapletree says it plans to lease the building wholesale to either an “end user or data centre operator” upon completion. Located just six km away from the Chinese mainland district of Luohu, Mapletree also intends for the new facility to deliver connectivity services to Chinese cloud firms based in the tech and industrial city of Shenzhen.
“Long-term macro drivers such as growing cloud computing, e-commerce as well as the impending 5G network, are expected to drive demand for data centres,” commented Mapletree’s Regional Chief Executive Officer for Australia & North Asia, Wong Mun Hoong in a company press release.
“Hong Kong SAR stands out as an attractive location for data centres with its advanced telecommunications infrastructure, reliable power supply at reasonable cost, limited climate risks as well as strong demand from local corporations for cloud services.”
Mapletree already owns several non-data-centre-related developments in Hong Kong, including the Festival Walk retail and office property, held by Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust, and nine logistics properties held by Mapletree Logistics Trust. As at 31 March 2020, Mapletree owned and managed S$60.5bn worth of office, retail, logistics, industrial, data centre, residential, and lodging properties worldwide.
The group owns and oversees a number of data centre facilities in Singapore and the US through its joint venture, Mapletree Redwood Data Centre Trust. The trust operates a portfolio of 14 data centres across the US, including facilities in Atlanta, Charlotte, and San Diego.
Equinix: Digital leaders expect changes to working patterns
A global report released by Equinix has revealed that digital leaders expect long-term changes to the way people work.
As part of the report, the data infrastructure company surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers from several different businesses spanning 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. The study also highlighted the biggest technology trends affecting global businesses and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted digital infrastructure plans.
Talking about companies’ expansion strategies, Claire Macland, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Equinix, said: “Many companies are now investing more in their digital infrastructure to enable them to embrace a hybrid working model and thrive in the new world of work we all find ourselves in.
“Despite headwinds in many sectors, many organizations are continuing to expand physically and virtually into new markets and regions around the world”, she said.
The report drew the following conclusions:
- 64% of the 2,600 digital leaders surveyed believed there will be “long-term changes to both how and where people will work in the future.
- 57% of global companies intend to expand into new regions despite the effects of the pandemic
- 51% of businesses worldwide say they have rearchitected their IT infrastructure so that it can meet the demands of remote and hybrid working. Digital transformation has also been accelerated due to an increase in businesses’ technology budgets.
How might digital transformation be affected post-pandemic?
COVID-19 has demanded that companies make several changes to the way that they operate, including digital transformation. According to the study, 47% of those surveyed reported that they have accelerated their digital transformation plans because of the Coronavirus pandemic. A further 42% of organisations said their budgets have increased to keep up with the growth of digital transformation.
Another change in adapting to the pandemic was to businesses’ IT strategies with six in 10 companies saying that it has been revised in response to the situation. 58% said they are looking to invest in technology to “improve agility’ post-COVID.
When asked about their priorities for their digital strategy, 80% of respondents said that digitising their infrastructure was of utmost importance, while 57% viewed interconnection as a ‘key facilitator’ of digital transformation.
"This increasing focus on digitization and expansion is one of the reasons why Equinix has continued to invest in its own growth. We completed 16 new expansions in 2020—our most active build year ever—and expect to continue to evolve Platform Equinix to support our customers as they continue on their digital transformation journey”, said Claire Macland.
Potential concerns disperse over expansion plans being halted by COVID-19
The study has also revealed that organisations’ previous concerns that the pandemic will negatively affect their business expansion plans have been lessened.
57% of businesses have said that they “still have plans” to expand into new regions and of that percentage, nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to do so virtually instead of investing in physical IT infrastructure.
The full Equinix report can be found here.