Cloud Services Providers in China

In this article I will give you an overview of the cloud services providers that are available in China. However, I am only going to deep dive into Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud, AWS China, and Azure China. Why I am going to focus on those providers? Because the first two are the most adopted cloud providers in China and the last two are the most adopted cloud providers worldwide.

When entering the Chinese cloud market, one of the first decisions is to choose the cloud service provider. There are several cloud service providers that are functional in China such as Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud, AWS China, Microsft Azure China, Baidu, Huawei Cloud, China Telecom, and others. Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud are the leaders with over 60% of the cloud market share in China. The US cloud service providers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are as well present in the Chinese cloud market. However, both are operated by local service providers. AWS and Azure have collaborations with Chinese companies according to accomplish China’s regulatory and legal requirements.

Overview

As you may probably know, China is the biggest country in the world, in terms of population and internet users. We are talking about 800 million internet users. In China you should not be afraid to fail a business, you should be afraid to succeed. And your organization will definitely need to develop an accordingly cloud strategy for that. One of those critical decisions is which cloud services provider to choose. Each cloud service provider has its pros and cons, and before choosing one you should evaluate all of them. It is also very important to understand that depending on your use case there are providers that suit you better than others.

Based on the IDC China Public Cloud Service Tracker report of 2019 Q3, Alibaba Cloud is the largest cloud service provider in China with a 41,7% market share, followed by Tencent Cloud with a 12,1% market share, then China telecom with 8%, Huawei in the 4th position with 7,1% market share and AWS is the 5th largest cloud service provider with a 7.1% market share. However, these are the top cloud service providers, and they all control around 70% of the market in China.

Source: IDC China Public Cloud Service Tracker, 2019 Q3

Which Chinese cloud service provider to choose?

It is not a question that has a right answer. Each cloud service provider has its pros and cons, and before choosing one you should evaluate all of them. It is also very important to understand that depending on your use case there are providers that suit you better than others. If your organization is already used to work and skilled with AWS or Azure, then it probably makes sense to continue using them in China. However, you should take into account, that these platforms have limited services as I will explain later. On the other hand, the local providers such as Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud, are the best-positioned players in China. 

Roopu Cloud is a partner of Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud, AWS China, and Microsoft Azure. If you need help on this topic, do not hesitate to contact us.

Some key factors to consider when choosing the cloud provider:

  • Infrastructure: How many regions and availability zones are available within China, how is the performance, and which latency
  • Security: How secure is the platform and which security features do they offer
  • Pricing: Which is the pricing model, in which currency, and do they offer special discounts such as free tier accounts
  • SLA: Which are the SLAs defined for the different services and how you will be compensated in case of a failure
  • Support: Which kind of support do they offer and in which language (English/Chinese)
  • Network connectivity: Which network connectivity features do they offer and which bandwidth

Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud, also known as Aliyun, is a Chinese cloud computing company, which was officially launched in 2009. Alibaba Cloud is the subsidiary of Alibaba which is considered to be one of the world’s biggest technological companies, owning one of the largest web portals in the world, alibaba.com, as well as aliexpress.com. Alibaba Cloud is focused on developing cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for accelerating enterprise digital transformation and for building intelligent industries. In 2014, Alibaba Cloud provided cloud computing services overseas, becoming the first Chinese company to provide cloud computing services around the globe.

Alibaba Cloud operates 67 zones spread across 22 regions globally. Additionally, Alibaba Cloud CDN has 2,800+ cache nodes across Mainland China and outside Mainland China in 30+ countries and regions deployed with multiple ISPs, and provides 70+ product capabilities including computing, database, and networking, satisfying all your business needs.

If you are interested on adopting Alibaba Cloud, I wrote a complete guide where you can find all information related to that platform.

Tencent Cloud

Tencent Cloud is the subsidiary of Tencent which is considered to be one of the world’s biggest technological companies, owning one of the largest web portals in the world, QQ.com, and the largest social media worldwide, WeChat. Tencent Cloud is focused on developing cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for accelerating enterprise digital transformation and for building intelligent industries.

Tencent Cloud International operates 58 availability zones spread across 27 regions globally. However, the number of regions for greater node coverage. Additionally, Tencent Cloud CDN has 1,100+ cache nodes across Mainland China deployed with multiple ISPs, as well as 1,000+ cache nodes outside Mainland China in 30+ countries and regions.

If you are interested on adopting Tencent Cloud, I wrote a complete guide where you can find all information related to that platform.

AWS China

AWS China is a completely separate entity from all other AWS regions. Basically, AWS China comprises of two AWS regions, Beijing and Ningxia, with five availability zones in total. Beijing operated by Sinnet and Ningxia operated by NWCD. AWS has collaborations with those Chinese companies according to the law of China’s regulatory and legal requirements. AWS China has completely separated regions from the global regions. After the United States, China is the second country in the world to host more than one region with various availability zones. The most interesting thing is that the infrastructure within China is designed to the same specification and high availability as AWS global. AWS China has its own regulatory framework to operate the cloud environment.

If you are interested on adopting AWS in China, I wrote a complete guide where you can find all information related to that platform.

Microsoft Azure China

In the same way as AWS, Microsoft Azure China is a physically separated instance of cloud services located in China. It’s independently operated and transacted by 21Vianet. Azure China was officially launched in 2014 and was the first international public cloud provider to bring its cloud technology to China. Microsoft Azure services are running in 4 regions in China such as China North, China North 2, China East, and China East 2. China North regions are located in Beijing while on the other hand China East regions are located in Shanghai. China North and China East were released in 2014 and China North 2 and China East 2 in 2018. The 4 regions are available and operated in China with the help of the local partner, 21Vianet.

If you are interested on adopting Microsoft Azure in China, I wrote a complete guide where you can find all information related to that platform.

About Roopu Cloud

If you are planning or about to start your business in China and need help with you cloud infrastructure, do not hesitate to contact us. Roopu Cloud is an Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud, AWS China and Microsoft Azure China partner.

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