Microsoft’s fifth Azure cloud data center put into use in China
Published: Mar 17, 2022 05:52 PM Updated: Mar 17, 2022 05:44 PM

A Microsoft store Photo: VCG
A Microsoft store Photo: VCG

Microsoft’s public cloud platform Azure has opened a new data center in China, its fifth on the Chinese mainland, as the US software giant looks to capitalize on a surge in demand for internet services, and to respond to tightened regulation on data security. 

The new Azure facility, located in the North China’s Hebei Province, was officially put into operation on Thursday, the company announced via its WeChat account. 

The new data center will gain “unrestricted access” to customers and doubles the capacity of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud portfolio, it said, adding that Microsoft Azure is the first international public cloud service to become widely available in China. 

Including Azure, all of Microsoft’s four cloud platforms, the other three being Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform, have been launched in China. 

Microsoft is moving to consolidate a number of cloud data centers in China as it looks to grasp business opportunities from a surge in market demand for public cloud services in China. 
“We see fast-growing needs for global public services in the China market, both from multinationals thronging to China, man Chinese companies seeking for global presence, and Chinese companies to digitally transform their businesses and processes on clouds,” said Hou Yang, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, according to a recent public statement issued by Microsoft. 

China’s has become the fastest growing public cloud market in the world, and its market share in the global market might increase to more than 10.5 percent by 2024, according to a report released by global market intelligence provider IDC. 

Microsoft is also establishing cloud data centers in China at a time when China’s market regulators moved to tighten data security supervision.

According to a statement Microsoft sent to the Global Times recently, the Azure data center region in the Chinese mainland is physically isolated from Microsoft’s global cloud network, though leveraging similar cloud technologies. 

In recent months, many global tech giants have moved to construct data centers in China. Apple’s first mainland data center began operation in May 2021, while Tesla also completed construction of a data center in Shanghai last October. 

Global Times