Amazon Web Services is looking to keep up its pace of global expansion and the company now plans to open its second cloud computing region in China in conjunction with Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology, a local technology provider.
The AWS China (Ningxia) Region now joins the company's other cloud region dubbed AWS China (Beijing) Region. Amazon now has 17 cloud zones scattered throughout the globe, according to the December 12 announcement.
In other parts of the world, Amazon Web Services Inc. owns and operates its own cloud infrastructures and the data centers that support them. However, China law dictates that foreign companies cannot own cloud computing infrastructures within the country. This is the reason that Amazon has turned to various partners to help its expansion.
While Ningxia Western will help operate the new cloud region, Beijing Sinnet Technology jointly runs the Beijing data center.
Earlier this year, Amazon sold a portion of its China-based business to Sinnet for about $300 million, although the company said it was not pulling out of the country. (See Amazon Selling Part of Its China Cloud Business for $300M.)
"For years, AWS and our partners have had an enthusiastic base of customers in China, a country with one of the world's largest and most dynamic cloud ecosystems," AWS chief Andy Jassy wrote in Tuesday's statement. "Our customers build their businesses on AWS because in addition to being the world’s largest cloud, it has more functionality than any other cloud platform, an extensive partner community, and unmatched maturity, security, and performance."
AWS has already signed up several prominent companies to use the new cloud region in China, including Samsung Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd. (Hong Kong: 992).
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Right now, AWS is considered the largest provider of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) in the world, dwarfing its two nearest competitors, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Azure and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Cloud Platform. (See Microsoft Growing Explosively, but Amazon Retains Huge Cloud Lead.)
In order to continue to grow, AWS is expanding into other regions, and China is considered a top prize for many of the various cloud providers.
At the same time, Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing division of Alibaba Group , is also expanding in its home base of China, as well as other parts of Southeast Asia and India. (See Alibaba Cloud Is Surprise Winner in IaaS Sweepstakes.)
— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.