In a major technology upgrade, tech giant Microsoft plans to widen its cloud offering by launching an all-new Azure cloud in China. The company in a blog post confirmed that amid the growing demand for cloud service in China, it plans to push the new cloud technology through its Chinese partner company 21Vianet.
According to the white paper China Cloud Industry Development, the cloud market in China is expected to reach 300 billion yuan (approximately $46 billion) in 2023.
According to the company, the launch will not just help the global technology giant to double its intelligent cloud portfolio in China with its wide offerings including Azure, Microsoft Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform operated by 21Vianet.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, about 63% of Chinese companies are leveraging cloud-related innovations to accelerate digitisation in their products, payments, e-commerce, automation, and more.
“This unveils a big opportunity. Microsoft Cloud operated by 21Vianet was the first international public cloud compliantly launched in China through a local operating partner,” Alain Crozier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Greater China Region (GCR), said in a statement.
According to Crozier, the upcoming region will reinforce the capabilities to help further nurture local talents, stimulate local innovation, grow local technology ecosystems, and empower businesses in a wide range of industries to achieve more.
Microsoft in partnership with 21Vianet runs its cloud services in China since 2014 as foreign cloud service providers are prohibited from owning and operating their own data centers in the country.
In accordance with Chinese regulatory requirements, Azure regions operated by 21Vianet in China are physically separated instances from Microsoft’s global cloud but are built on the same cloud technical base as its global peers.
The consistent architecture across China and global markets makes it easy for multinational companies to transplant their IT systems and business applications to China or vice versa.
“Announced in 2012, and officially launched in March 2014 with two initial regions, Microsoft Azure operated by 21Vianet was the first international public cloud service to become generally available in the China market,” Omar Khan, General Manager, Microsoft Azure, wrote in the blog post.