Category Archives: China

China cloud infrastructure spend hits $9.2bn in Q3 with ‘relentless’ AI focus

Spending on cloud infrastructure services in mainland China hit $9.2 billion USD (£7.29bn) in the third quarter of 2023 accounting for 12% of global cloud spend, according to analyst firm Canalys. The three largest vendors in China – Alibaba, Huawei and Tencent – represent almost three quarters (73%) of the market and customer spending. Alibaba… Read more »

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Alibaba Cloud launches AI image generation model, Tongyi Wanxiang

Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, has unveiled its latest AI image generation model, Tongyi Wanxiang (‘Wanxiang’ means ‘tens of thousands of images’). The cutting-edge generative AI model is now available for enterprise customers in China for beta testing. In addition, the cloud pioneer announced the launch of ModelScopeGPT, a versatile framework designed… Read more »

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Dell targets SMBs in China with launch of new company

Location China. Green pin on the map.Dell has prioritized growing its presence within the Chinese market targeting SMBs and public sector organizations, according to China Daily.

Speaking at the China Big Data Industry Summit in Guiyang, Dell CEO Michael Dell announced the launch of a new company, alongside its local partner, to gain traction within the lucrative market. Guizhou YottaCloud Technology will now act as a means for Dell to access the local market, prioritizing small and medium-sized enterprises and local governments in the first instance.

“China will play an increasingly important role in the big data era and the United States-based tech giant will speed up efforts to develop new products for the market,” said Dell at the conference.

Dell is one of a number of organizations who have prioritized local partnerships in the Chinese market, as locals tend to favour Chinese businesses and technologies over foreign counterparts, quoting security as the main driver. The country itself is a big draw for Dell as a business, representing its second largest market worldwide, only behind the US. The company also highlighted in September it plans to invest $125 billion in the Chinese market over the next five years, with cloud computing being the focal point.

Last year Dell launched it’s ‘In China for China’ strategy, which not only included the above investments, but also a drive from its Venture Capital arm in China to encourage entrepreneurialism, expanding its R&D function in the country, as well as establishing an artificial intelligence and advanced computing joint-lab, with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The AI research will focus on the areas of cognitive function simulation, deep learning and brain computer simulation.

“The Internet is the new engine for China’s future economic growth and has unlimited potential,” said Dell in September. “Being an innovative and efficient technology company, Dell will embrace the principle of ‘In China, for China’ and closely integrate Dell China strategies with national policies in order to support Chinese technological innovation, economic development and industrial transformation.”

AliCloud launches 20 services under brand name Big Data Platform

dataAlibaba Cloud Computing (Alicloud) is to launch 20 new online services to the Chinese market under the brand name Big Data Platform.

The new application service range caters for activities in the data development chain, including processing, analysis, computing, machine learning and big data hosting. Around 1,000 developers are expected to be developing services with AliCloud in the next three years.

The plan is to use all the data-processing capacity and data-security skills that the Alibaba Group has accumulated in ten years of running the world’s biggest ecommerce platform, AliCloud president Simon Hu told reporters at the launch. “That data becomes a resource and a service that we can provide our clients,” said Hu.

Meanwhile, AliCloud is working with US chip specialist Nvidia to develop China’s first GPU-based, high-performance computing cloud platform. Along with offering clients GPU-accelerated computing services AliCloud aims to remove the data bottlenecks that handicap many chinese companies, according to Hu.

The Nvidia GPU-based services could also improve the computing capacity of many of Alibaba’s typical users in China, such as manufacturers and distributors, said Hu. “Right now, AliCloud mainly serves internet companies, but our next step will be to also provide cloud computing services to traditional industries such as manufacturing to remove the computing limitations that these companies may face,” said Hu.

The new launch puts AliCloud in direct contention with big data service supplier Data Mall, a start-up that recently launched an online mall for big data assets. The Data Mall cloud offering helps service providers and independent researchers to trade intelligence and market information. Consulting firm Guan Zheng Hang Seng says the Beijing Datatang owned Data Mall service now has 460,000 users supplying raw data to its platform.

A study by Forrester Research forecast that the enterprise cloud service market in China will be worth $3.8 billion by 2020, more than double its estimated size of $1.8 billion last year. According to Forrester analyst Charlie Dai AliCloud now has the Chinese market’s biggest range of public cloud services and alliances with service providers.

Qualcomm and Guizhou to make new server chipsets in China

qualcomm sales officeSan Diego based chip maker Qualcomm and China’s Guizhou Huaxintong Semi-Conductor company have announced a joint venture to develop new server chip sets designed for the Chinese market.

The news comes only a week after chip maker AMD announced its new Opteron A1100 System-on-Chip (SoC) for ARM-based systems in data centre. Both partnerships reflect how server design for data centres is evolving to suit the cloud industry.

The Qualcomm partnership, announced on its web site, was formalised at China National Convention Center in Beijing as officials from both companies and the People’s Government of Guizhou Province signed a strategic cooperation agreement. The $280 million joint venture will be 55% owned by the Guizhou provincial government’s investment arm, while 45% will belong to Qualcomm subsidiary.

The plan is to develop advanced server chipsets in China, which is now the world’s second largest market for server technology sales.

The action is an important step for Qualcomm as it looks to deepen its level of cooperation and investment in China, said Qualcomm president Derek Aberle. In February 2015 BCN sister publication reported how the chip giant had fallen foul of the Chinese authorities for violating China’s trading laws. It was fined 6 billion yuan (around $1 billion) after its marketing strategy was judged to be against the nation’s anti-monopoly law.

“The strategic cooperation with Guizhou represents a significant increase in our collaboration in China,” said Aberle. Qualcomm is to provide investment capital, license its server technology to the joint venture, help with research and development and provide implementation expertise. “This underscores our commitment as a strategic partner in China,” said Aberle.

Last week, AMD claimed the launch of its new Opteron A1100 SoC will catalyse a much more rapid development process for creating servers suited to hosting cloud computing in data centres.

AMD’s partner in chip development for servers, ARM, is better placed to create processors for the cloud market as it specialises in catering for a wider diversity of needs. Whereas Intel makes its own silicon and can only hope to ship 30 custom versions of its latest Xeon processor to large customers like Ebay or Amazon, ARM can licenses its designs to 300 third-party silicon vendors, each developing their own use case for different clients and variants of server workloads, it claimed.

“The ecosystem for ARM in the data centre is approaching an inflection point and the addition of AMD’s high-performance processor is another strong step forward for customers looking for a data centre-class ARM solution,” said Scott Aylor, AMD’s general manager of Enterprise Solutions.

Mirantis and UCloud in joint bid to tap massive potential of Chinese cloud market

ChinaSoftware and services vendor Mirantis and Chinese cloud operator UCloud have announced a joint venture to speed OpenStack adoption in China’s finance, telecom, state-owned enterprises and large internet businesses.

The venture, dubbed UMCloud, will be led by UCloud CEO and founder Xinhua Ji with head offices in Shanghai, China.

Investment in cloud computing infrastructure in China is estimated by consultancy Bain & Company to be growing faster than overall IT spending and projected to reach $20 billion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 40% to 45%. In 2014, China had more than 640 million internet users – more than the USA, India and Japan combined. In 2013, smartphone use in China exceeded 700 million units and 530 million of these Chinese smartphone users accessed the internet from their mobile device.

Cloud computing is a national strategic policy and the government included it in the nation’s 12th Five-Year Plan. Last December, the Ministry of Industry and Information (MIIT) officially declared its intention to support OpenStack ecosystems and to encourage state-owned enterprises to use OpenStack-based cloud products.

California based software and service vendor Mirantis is described as pure-play OpenStack company with installations at AT&T, Ericsson, Walmart and Wells Fargo. It has been funded by a quarter of a billion dollars in venture capital since 2012 and is the second highest contributor of open source software code to OpenStack. Mirantis’ Chinese clients include telco hardware makers Jiesai, Huawei and ZTE.

UCloud is China’s top independent public cloud service provider with clients using e-commerce, gaming, mobile internet and SaaS services, from data centres in China, Hong Kong and the US. The company announced a $100 million Series C financing round in April, with $160 million raised to date.

“China and the United States are two countries where cloud computing is developing the fastest,” said Alex Freedland, president and co-founder of Mirantis, “we see unlimited potential for OpenStack as a major cloud engine in China.”

Cisco strengthens China operations with Inspur joint venture

Cisco corporateCisco Systems is to form a joint venture with Chinese server maker Inspur, selling networking and cloud computing products in China. Cisco and Inspur will jointly invest $100 million in the project.

The partnership comes in the face of mutual suspicion between the US and Chinese government amid claims and counter claims of state sponsored cyber security threats.

In June Cisco was forced to remove several of its senior executives in China, amid reports of falling sales slide and Chinese government fears about the foreign ownership of networking equipment.

Cisco’s China sales fell 20 per cent on the previous year in the quarter ending on April 25 at a time when its global revenue gained 5.1 per cent. As its share of the Chinese router market fell from 21.2 per cent to 9.4 per cent the lost sales went to local rival Huawei Technologies, according to Bernstein Research.

Direct selling became more challenging, The Wall Street Journal has reported, after US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden said the NSA put surveillance tools in US technology products sold overseas.

US-Chinese technology company partnerships are growing in number and Microsoft announced on Thursday an alliance with Baidu and the Chinese state-owned private investment firm Tsinghua Unigroup on cloud technology. Last week Dell unveiled plans to invest $125 billion over five years in China. Earlier this year, IBM pledged to help develop China’s advanced chip industry with a ‘Made with China’ strategy, while chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm are developing chips with smaller Chinese companies.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrived in Seattle this morning on a state visit to the US.

Chinese officials have said the partnerships will follow the pattern of car manufacturing agreements in the past, with foreign technology firms granted market access in return for shared technology and co-operation with Chinese industry.

Chinese Companies Taking Hybrid Approach to Business Clouds

Taking a hybrid approach that supports traditional and cloud-based IT solutions is key to business cloud adoption in China, according to the Strategy Analytics Business Cloud Strategies (BCS) service report “Chinese Organizations Adopt SaaS and Other Business Clouds.” It describes the extent to which businesses and other organizations in China have embraced a mix of public and private clouds while maintaining traditional on-premise software deployments.

Chinese organizations are moving to cloud computing due to expectations of superior scalability and other benefits. However, the pace of cloud adoption is affected not only by security concerns which represent the top reason for not moving apps to the cloud for every country surveyed but also reliability concerns which is more of a concern in China than in all but one of the other countries surveyed.

“Chinese organizations are investing in moving applications and infrastructure to public and private clouds,” commented Mark Levitt, Director of Business Cloud Strategies research at Strategy Analytics. “However, continued reliance on traditional on-premise solutions for key business workloads due to reliability and security concerns requires cloud service providers and product vendors in China to fully support hybrid cloud and non-cloud environments.”

“Cloud product and service providers that want to be successful in China need to demonstrate how clouds can actually enhance security, reliability and mobility for Chinese organizations,” said Andrew Brown, Director of Enterprise Research at Strategy Analytics.

Cloud Computing Application Market Driven by Small, Medium-sized Financial Institutions in China

With the continuous growth of China’s economy over the recent years, the small- and medium-sized financial institutions have also witnessed rapid development. According to statistics of China Banking Regulatory Commission, the urban commercial banks and rural financial institutions have outplayed the large state-owned commercial banks in terms of total assets growth rate in recent years. By the end of December 2011, the total assets of urban commercial banks registered a year-on-year growth rate of 26.6%, much higher than that of state-owned commercial banks, which was 16.8% year-on-year.

The rapid development of small and medium-sized financial institutions has boosted the development of IT application in the financial industry. As small and medium-sized financial institutions need to reduce investment costs and accelerate their own business development, building the public cloud will undoubtedly be the best choice, which will be a new type of data center outsourcing service. Various application platforms will provide all kinds of settlement services for small and medium-sized banks, saving them from building application systems on their own. In this case, the small and medium-sized financial enterprises no longer have to build data centers and they can throw all technical problems with software and hardware to the cloud computing service providers. Besides, the use-on-demand and pay-per-use delivery model can also significantly cut the construction and operation costs.

According to statistics of CCID Consulting, China’s financial application of cloud computing yielded a revenue of RMB 15.62 in 2011, up 48.2% year-on-year and accounting for 9.5% of overall cloud computing application market. The small and medium-sized financial institutions, contributing 20% of the revenue, are an important force in promoting the rapid development of cloud computing application in the financial industry. For instance, banks in villages and towns of Jiangsu, Henan and other provinces and cities have carried out informatization construction through managed cloud services. Thealliance of urban commercial banks of Shandong Province also actively deployed cloud service platforms for its 14 member banks, providing unified IT system and product development, data operation maintenance, gross settlement and business operation platform services.

i2c, KargoCard Partner for Prepaid, Mobile Payments, Loyalty Solutions in China

i2c, Inc., a payment processing technology company, and KargoCard, a Shanghai-based prepaid service provider, have partnered to deliver prepaid, mobile payment and loyalty solutions to merchants in China. i2c will provide payment processing services to enable KargoCard to offer a robust suite of products within China.

“KargoCard is an established leader in their market with a rapidly growing distribution network, strong management team and an impressive client list,” said Amir Wain, CEO of i2c. “Their drive to revolutionize the Chinese payments industry aligns perfectly with i2c’s commitment to bring innovation to global payments.”

In a recent report by Mercator Advisory Group, China was estimated to be the world’s largest prepaid market in terms of market potential. With several high-profile clients like Beard Papa, Happy Lemon and Cloud Nine, KargoCard is set to grow exponentially in this market. To support KargoCard and i2c’s growing presence in the Asia-Pacific region, i2c is building out a new data center in Shanghai.

“Our tremendous growth and aggressive expansion plans require an established processing platform that offers superior flexibility and scalability. i2c’s platform provides this, as well as a rich feature set that will allow us to better serve our customers,” said KargoCard CEO David Suzuki.