Cloud Computing in China

Driven by large-scale government initiatives as well as private investment, cloud computing has become a hot growth area in China. Named a ‘Strategic Emerging Industry’ in the government’s 12th Five Year Plan (2011 – 2015), cloud computing is slated to become a primary force in the Chinese IT industry and overall economy in the next 3–5 years. In fact, according to IDC Asia-Pacific, China spent $286 million on cloud-computing infrastructure last year, and the amount will increase to more than $1 billion in 2016. The Asia Cloud Computing Association reports that total investment in cloud computing projects in China is expected to reach $154 billion over the coming few years.
So with all the internal focus on building a suitable infrastructure and nurturing cloud innovation, what factors will companies need to consider when deploying applications to the cloud in China? Key among the issues will be Chinese data privacy and state secrecy laws. Still nascent in comparison to similar laws in other part of the world, national Chinese data privacy regulations are considered quite vague (although they are currently undergoing broad revisions). And the sweeping state secrecy laws permit national security to be used as the rationale for almost any measure pertaining to data privacy and the Internet/cloud.

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