Zoom Video Communications opened a new data center in Singapore

Zoom started a new data center in Singapore, its first in Southeast Asia, it said today.

Use of Zoom’s video conferencing services has increased as large numbers of people worldwide work from home due to coronavirus curbs, but the company has also come under fire over privacy and security issues.

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The Singapore data center, through which the company’s users in Southeast Asia can connect, brings its total to 18 sites worldwide.

The company is planning to hire more employees in Singapore, which will include engineers and sales staff, said Abe Smith, Head of International at Zoom.

Security researchers in 2020 discovered that Zoom rerouted some calls through its servers in China, even if those calls were placed outside China.

The company had said that this took place in “extremely limited circumstances” and it had taken its mainland China data centres off an approved list of back-ups for users outside China.

Zoom’s Smith said there has been a 65-fold increase in users of its free services in Singapore, with a tripling of paying customers, since January. Since March, 400 schools in the city state have been using the platform.

The use of Zoom was briefly suspended in Singapore by teachers in April after “very serious incidents” in the first week of coronavirus lockdown, including an incident that involved obscene images appearing on screens during a geography lesson.

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