Cloud providers gain impetus, boosted by surging service demand

By Zhang Hongpei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/8 20:08:40

Investors monitor stocks at a trading center in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province in September 2019. Photo: VCG

Chinese public cloud service providers represented by bellwether Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud have witnessed quick growth in their cloud services triggered by surging demand for remote education and working due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and their competitiveness in global markets has ramped up.

The latest scenario for expanding cloud computing services came as a slew of Chinese trading apps are struggling with data delay and intermittent service connection after Chinese investors raced to enter the rallying A-share market this week.

China stocks rose for the seventh day on bullish spirits on Wednesday, the fifth consecutive trading day that transactions in both the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses surpassed 1 trillion yuan ($142.4 billion).

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.74 percent at Wednesday's close, the smaller Shenzhen index was up 1.84 percent, and the NASDAQ-style ChiNext board rallied 2.34 percent.

Alibaba Cloud told the Global Times on Wednesday that it has been alerted to the need for expanded capacity from several key Chinese brokers in order to deal with the current limited capacity.

Delays to the brokerage trading system are caused by spill-over of concurrent orders or market refresh requests placed in a certain area of the brokerage surpassing the design capacity of the trading system, according to engineers at Alibaba Cloud.

If the core system undergoes distributed transformation, a simple expansion of cloud resources can quickly solve such problems, the firm said.

It is not the first time that Alibaba Cloud played a role in quick capacity expansion to smooth users' experience.

In February when the COVID-10 pandemic was severe in China and many people were trapped at home and needed remote learning and work teleconferences, DingTalk, the Alibaba-owned chat, video-conferencing and task management tool saw its user base surge peaking in the month when 200 million employees of about 10 million enterprises worked from home and about 50 million students started online courses. 

To deal with the rising demand, more than 10,000 cloud servers were additionally deployed in two hours, a record for rapid expansion on Alibaba Cloud.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted enterprises in China and worldwide to improve their adaptiveness, and public cloud platforms are powering adaptive enterprises as well as the simplification of operations, Charlie Dai, principal analyst at market research company Forrester Research Inc, told the Global Times Wednesday. 

"Chinese public cloud vendors have grasped the opportunity to expand their business in the country amid the epidemic, mainly triggered by online education and home-based work," Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based internet analyst, told the Global Times Wednesday.

In terms of technology and application scenarios, Chinese cloud computing players have nearly reached the level of their international peers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, according to Liu.

Dai noted that Chinese firms still need to improve their customer experience and service depth, as well as solutions and experience in serving enterprise customers in general. 

"However, leading vendors are catching up very quickly, and may outperform in some emerging tech areas, such as blockchain and 5G," Dai said.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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