While Amazon’s HQ2 Faces Pushback, Google Is Quietly Spending $13 Billion in Heartland States

February 13, 2019, 11:09 PM UTC

Even as Amazon’s plans to build a second headquarters facility in New York City is greeted with protests and political pushback, one of its biggest tech rivals has been quietly investing billions in heartland states that Amazon shunned for its HQ2.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post Wednesday that the search giant is investing more than $13 billion this year in data centers and office facilities for “major expansions in 14 states.”

“These new investments will give us the capacity to hire tens of thousands of employees, and enable the creation of more than 10,000 new construction jobs in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia,” Pichai wrote. “With this new investment, Google will now have a home in 24 total states, including data centers in 13 communities. 2019 marks the second year in a row we’ll be growing faster outside of the Bay Area than in it.”

Last year, Google invested $9 billion in expanding its real estate facilities, Pichai said. The company also hired more than 10,000 people in the U.S. in 2018.

Google’s investments have been met with little of the blowback that Amazon has faced since announcing its plan to expand in in New York City three months ago. Some politicians in the city argue that the plan hands over huge financial incentives to one of the biggest companies in the world, while local residents complain about crowded neighborhoods and strained city services.

Beyond grumbling residents, lawmakers in New York who are critical of Amazon’s plans could either slow down or block their approval. One outspoken opponent of the deal was recently named to a state control board with veto power over the transaction. New York mayor Bill DiBlasio, a supporter of bringing Amazon to the city, recently said he believes the project will go through.

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