While it is still impossible for foreign data centers to setup wholly-owned operations in China, one of China's Internet darlings is expanding around the world.
Aliyun, China-based Alibaba Group's cloud computing arm, announced that its data centers in Europe, the Middle East, Japan, and Australia all started operations this month.
After the launch of service nodes in those four regions, Aliyun will have 14 computing service locations around the world, including three in North China; two in East China; and one in South China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Eastern North America, Western North America, Japan, Europe, Middle East, and Australia, respectively. Those data centers will provide a series of products, covering storage, security, middleware, big data, and artificial intelligence, to users in China and abroad.
By regional market brwakdown, Aliyun will become the first international cloud service provider to establishe a data center in the Middle East. In 2015, Aliyun and Meraas Group set up a joint venture named Yvolve in Dubai, aiming to provide cloud computing and big data services to enterprises and government units in the Middle East and North Africa.
In the Middle East market, Aliyun has reached deals with local technology service enterprises like Detecon, Deskera, and CBH, providing cloud computing and big data services to Chinese enterprises that seeking development overseas as well as regional enterprises in the Middle East. At the same time, some well-known local Internet companies, including Onemt, Mena Mobile, Vsun, Kingsouq, and JollyChic, have become users of Aliyun.
But setting up operations in China for foreign firms who wish to reap benefits in the country is still difficult. Internet Service Provider licenses for companies hoping to own 100% of their operations are only available to Chinese firms, and companies like Amazon or Rackspace must rely on Chinese partners for the security and fiduciary responsibility of their operations in China.