It looks like Microsoft won the race for China’s cloud market, by announcing just the other day that its Azure cloud services are available in China, making them the first global public cloud provider in the country.
Back in May 2013 Microsoft revealed that they had signed a deal with local player 21Vianet to provide Azure to China, and has since been in preview mode, until last week when the service was first formally made available. During the time of the announcement in May it had been reported that Microsoft had trained and certified over 100 21Vianet employees to use the Azure platform. Microsoft has also been offering Office 365 through 21Vianet in China.
The unavoidable aspect of doing business in China as a foreign cloud provider is the loss of control to a local partner, however this small price seems worth it to gain access to a potentially large market. 21Vianet is seen as a trusted and reliable partner that can deliver the quality and satisfaction Microsoft customers need. Actually, 21Vianet has already delivered fully functional cloud services to more than 3,000 customers in China, including GMW.cn, CNTV, and Coca-Cola China.
This venture into Chinese territory is quite a victory for Microsoft as they have moved into a space where others like Amazon and Google have failed to occupy.
Azure’s general availability in China comes just barely a month after its launch in Japan. Last December, Microsoft also revealed plans to add Brazil as its newest Windows Azure Region in early 2014.