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Telcos and tech firms are investing in subsea cable to meet surging demand in Asia. (Photo courtesy of NEC)
Business Spotlight

Asia's internet cable projects delayed by South China Sea tensions

Telcos and tech giants look to bypass region as Beijing presses territorial claims

TSUBASA SURUGA, Nikkei staff writer | Singapore

SINGAPORE -- Asia's subsea cables, which carry much of the world's data, are becoming a focal point of geopolitical tensions involving China, as leading telecoms and technology companies face delays stringing lines along the floor of the South China Sea, one of the world's data superhighways.

Cable owners such as Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, Singapore Telecommunications and U.S. tech giants Meta and Google are increasingly trying to bypass the contested sea, which Beijing has claimed almost entirely for itself. This means higher costs to lay and operate cables.

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