Amazon’s cloud computing unit is making further inroads into Asia after it opened a data center in Hong Kong this week, adding to the seven existing locations where it currently operates across the Asia Pacific and China.
The new entry will likely give the American giant some leg up in its regional battle with Alibaba’s cloud service, which, according to a new Gartner report, was the biggest cloud infrastructure provider in the Asia Pacific last year. But that won’t be the case with all countries, notably China where the cards are often stacked against foreign players.
Amazon Web Services has been operating in China for quite some time, albeit through rough and roundabout routes. A set of cyber laws enacted by Beijing in mid-2017 required foreign companies to store data locally and outsource their hardware parts to Chinese partners. In response, AWS teamed up with two separate local providers based out of Beijing and the hinterland province of Ningxia to run its cloud service while it provides the necessary “technology, guidance and expertise” to the allies. In practice, AWS’s China users are subject to terms and conditions set by its domestic partners.