Google founders visit Singapore

Mr Page (in red shirt) and Mr Brin (at right in picture) at the National Gallery with Mr Tharman. With them is Mr Caesar Sengupta (far left), vice-president of product management at Google.
Mr Page (in red shirt) and Mr Brin (at right in picture) at the National Gallery with Mr Tharman. With them is Mr Caesar Sengupta (far left), vice-president of product management at Google.PHOTO: GOOGLE

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin found their way to Singapore yesterday in their search for answers about the city-state's development.

The creators of the ubiquitous search engine, who were on their maiden visit, met Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the National Gallery, which is housed in the old City Hall and Supreme Court.

Mr Page, 43, and Mr Brin, 42, also visited the Port of Singapore, one of the world's busiest ports, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority's city gallery, which showcases Singapore's physical transformation.

A Google spokesman said they were in town to learn about Singapore's development story, but declined to provide more details about their visit.

The pair had started Google as a search engine when they were doctoral students at Stanford University. The company's products now include online advertising and cloud computing technologies, and the Android operating system.

Mr Page is also the chief executive of Google's parent company Alphabet, while Mr Brin serves as Alphabet's president.

Google opened its Singapore office in 2007, starting out with sales and research and development. In 2013, it opened a US$120 million (S$161 million) data centre in Jurong West, its first in South-east Asia. The Internet giant also acquired local business messaging start-up Pie in February to kick-start plans to locate an engineering team in Singapore.

Pearl Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2016, with the headline 'Google founders visit Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe