Microsoft plans massive China expansion in Asia-wide cloud push

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Microsoft Corp. plans to add four new data centers within China by early 2022 in a wider effort to expand its service capacity across Asia, according to people familiar with its strategy who asked not to be named as its details are not public.

Microsoft’s expansion in China is among the fastest for the company on the continent and in March it announced plans to expand its data center network with a greater presence in the northern region around Beijing. The Redmond, Washington-based tech giant already has six data centers in the country, operated by local partner 21Vianet, and now seeks to capitalize on a global surge in demand for internet services during the pandemic.

Microsoft can count on the maturity and ubiquity of its cloud services. Its Azure enterprise offering enables customers to host data and run applications in the cloud while Office 365 delivers internet-based versions of its familiar word processing, spreadsheet and collaboration programs. The company said its planned northern China expansion in 2022 would “effectively double” its intelligent cloud capacity in the country in the coming years.

Photo: EPA-EFE/DAVID CHANG

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