Apple recently finalized a location in the New Territories region of Hong Kong near the Shenzhen China border for the data center. We spoke to a bidding contractor employee who, on the condition of anonymity, told us the planned data center's scale is unprecedented for his business: "There is simply nothing to compare it to and therefore it is hard to make estimates on size based on the materials required."
Construction is reportedly set to begin in Q1 2013 and will would take at least a year before operations begin at the data center. The goal is to have it running by 2015 around the time the new Apple Campus is operational.
Apple recently built a $1 billion data center in Maiden, N.C. that is being used to support its iCloud and iTunes services.