Zoom Video Communications has started a new data center in Singapore, it's first in Southeast Asia, it mentioned on Tuesday. The use of video conferencing services of Zoom has risen as huge numbers all over the world work from home due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 curbs, but the company has also come under fire over privacy and security issues.

The Singapore data center, with the help of which the company's users in Southeast Asia can connect, takes the total to the 18 sites globally.

Zoom Starts New Data Center in Singapore

US video-conferencing platform, Zoom zoom.us

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 centers 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.

(With agency inputs)