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AWS wants a bigger share of Asia following Hong Kong launch

Amazon’s cloud computing unit is making further inroads into Asia after it opened a data center in Hong Kong this week, adding to the seven existing locations where it currently operates across the Asia Pacific and China.
The new entry will likely give the American giant some leg up in its regional battle with Alibaba’s cloud service, which, according to a new Gartner report, was the biggest cloud infrastructure provider in the Asia Pacific last year. But that won’t be the case with all countries, notably China where the cards are often stacked against foreign players.
Amazon Web Services has been operating in China for quite some time, albeit through rough and roundabout routes. A set of cyber laws enacted by Beijing in mid-2017 required foreign companies to store data locally and outsource their hardware parts to Chinese partners. In response, AWS teamed up with two separate local providers based out of Beijing and the hinterland province of Ningxia to run its cloud service while it provides the necessary “technology, guidance and expertise” to the allies. In practice, AWS’s China users are subject to terms and conditions set by its domestic partners.
With two data hubs, AWS managed to carve out a 6 percent share in China’s market for public cloud as an infrastructure service in the first half of 2018, according to research company IDC. Alibaba enjoyed a significant lead with a whopping 43 percent share, exceeding the sum of second to ninth-ranked players.
One main appeal of Alibaba Cloud, as well as many other Chinese offerings, is affordability. “Whether it’s price or service, AWS is at a real disadvantage in China,” Lin Rong, who runs a website called 91Yun that reviews cloud services and runs a forum for cloud computing, told TechCrunch.

AWS isn’t exiting China, but Amazon did sell physical assets to comply with Chinese law
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