China Unicom and Akamai have announced a partnership that will see the two companies integrate their cloud services and content delivery network, respectively.
The deal between China Unicom’s cloud division CU Cloud and Akamai will see the former offer the latter’s full portfolio of content delivery, web performance and security offerings, a move CU Cloud said will improve global access to its growing suite of cloud services.
Akamai’s turnkey CDN technology will also underpin global delivery of its cloud services, CU Cloud said.
“China Unicom is a major carrier in China, serving the global internet market,” said Noam Freedman, senior vice president of Akamai’s global networks division. “We’re excited to be partnering with CU cloud to tap into the fast-growing China cloud and CDN market. Akamai sees increased demand for delivering content to Chinese internet users from global customers. With this strategic partnership, we believe Akamai is best positioned to serve this growing need.”
China Unicom has for the past few years targeted cloud services fairly aggressively. In 2013 it was revealed the company was teaming up with a other incumbents including China Mobile and China Telecom on the construction of massive cloud computing datacentres, with total investment from all three operators topping $3bn.
It has also partnered with other local specialists like Huawei and Pacnet on cloud infrastructure and service development.
The latest move may be a sign that China Unicom has set its sights beyond the local market and wants to compete with other increasingly global cloud providers with roots in China – like Alibaba and Pacnet, which have also bolstered global access to their platforms in a bid to cater mainly to large Chinese multinationals.