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Zoom opens new data center in Singapore

FILE PHOTO: The Zoom Video Communications logo is pictured at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York, New York, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Zoom Video Communications has opened a new data center in Singapore, its first in Southeast Asia, it said on Tuesday.

Use of Zoom’s video conferencing services has surged as huge numbers of people across the world work from home because of coronavirus curbs, but the company has also come under fire over privacy and security issues.

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

The company also plans to hire more Singapore employees, including engineers and sales staff, said Abe Smith, Head of International at Zoom.

Security researchers this year 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.

Singapore briefly suspended the use of Zoom 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.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by David Goodman

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