Microsoft reveals plans for massive cloud expansion in China

The company is planning four new data centres in China to meet surging demand for its services

Microsoft is planning to add four new data centres in China by early 2022, as part of a strategy to expand its service capacity across the region.

The company already has six data centres in the country and is now looking to take advantage of the global surge in demand for internet services during the pandemic, according to sources familiar, speaking to Bloomberg.

The expansion in China is considered to be among the fastest for the company on the continent.

New regulations, such as a new data security decree, are coming into effect in September which is encouraging domestic and foreign companies to shift to local data management and boost IT spending. In March, Microsoft cited a government white paper which highlights that the cloud market in China is set to grow to $46 billion in 2023.

Microsoft is expanding its data capabilities in the country with a local partner, 21Vianet, which is similar to Apple’s strategy. However, it will be competing with domestic cloud infrastructure providers Alibaba and Huawei.

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The company stated in March that its planned northern China expansion in 2022 would “effectively double” its intelligent cloud capacity in the country in the coming years, to power innovation and digital transformation for its customers.

Last May, the tech giant expanded its retail tech presence in China with a deal with Chinese digital retail firm Hanshow. Microsoft’s technology is set to be used by the company to help it expand globally, undergo digital transformation, and produce cloud-based software for its clients around the world. Hanshow also agreed to adopt Microsoft Azure while also prioritising Microsoft technology in its products to retail clients.

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