Mi­crosoft eyes China’s ris­ing cloud

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By FAN FEIFEI in Bei­jing fan­feifei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Mi­crosoft Corp will in­crease in­vest­ment in China’s cloud com­put­ing mar­ket and the scale of its cloud plat­form Mi­crosoft Azure will grow at least ten­fold in China in the next few years, a top ex­ec­u­tive in charge of the com­pany’s cloud ser­vice said on Wed­nes­day.

“China re­gards tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion as a im­por­tant driv­ing source for de­vel­op­ment, which let us see China’s huge mar­ket po­ten­tial for the cloud busi­ness,” said Scott Guthrie, ex­ec­u­tive vi­cepres­i­dent of Mi­crosoft cloud and en­ter­prise group on Wed­nes­day.

The com­pany launched more than 10 new ser­vices and func­tions in­clud­ing im­age recog­ni­tion and in­ter­net of things (IoT) ca­pa­bil­i­ties on Mi­crosoft Azure by team­ing up with Bei­jing-based data in­fra­struc­ture provider 21Vianet Group Inc.

“We will work to­gether with lo­cal part­ners to de­velop cus­tom­ized cloud ser­vices and user-ex­pe­ri­ences in China,” said Sa­muel Shen, chair­man of Mi­crosoft Asia-Pa­cific Tech­nol­ogy Com­pany Ltd.

Mi­crosoft Azure, which cov­ers 34 re­gions around the world, is the fastest grow­ing player in global pub­lic cloud mar­ket. It now serves more than 70,000 cor­po­rate cus­tomers in China. Its us­age amount and rev­enue in China have had triple-digit growth last year.

Fur­ther­more, Mi­crosoft is now car­ry­ing out strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion with China Daily jointly to build up a global me­dia cloud plat­form and in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy lab­o­ra­tory and to pro­mote tech­ni­cal in­no­va­tion and ap­pli­ca­tion of cloud com­put­ing and big data in the me­dia con­ver­gence area.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­search firm Gartner Inc, the global cloud com­put­ing in­dus­try will in­crease nearly 17 per­cent to $204 bil­lion this year and is ex­pected to hit $312 bil­lion in 2019.

Char­lie Dai, prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst at For­rester Re­search Inc, told China Daily: “The cloud ser­vices newly launched by Mi­crosoft in China will ex­tend its global com­pe­tence into the Chi­nese mar­ket, and it will fur­ther help Chi­nese en­ter­prises en­gage cus­tomers and ac­cel­er­ate dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion.”

In­ter­net giants such as Ama­zon.com Inc’s cloud unit Ama­zon Web Ser­vices and Alibaba Group’s cloud com­put­ing sub­sidiary Aliyun have stepped up ef­forts to ex­pand their cloud com­put­ing busi­ness in China.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Wang Hao (cen­ter), deputy ed­i­tor-in-chief of China Daily, cel­e­brates sign­ing an agree­ment with Gary Sun (right), pres­i­dent of Mi­crosoft’s Asia-Pa­cific Tech­nol­ogy sub­sidiary, and Tony Tai, di­rec­tor of strate­gic al­liance and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, PSG, of Mi­crosoft, in Bei­jing on Wed­nes­day. The agree­ment aims to build up a global me­dia cloud plat­form and in­no­va­tive tech­nol­ogy lab to pro­mote in­no­va­tion in cloud com­put­ing and big data.

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