China is the next big country to go all in when it comes to cloud. Many analysts say that China, despite a population and technology community that is rapidly growing, has fallen behind on the newest computing trends including the cloud. That presents a big opportunity for cloud giants such as Amazon and IBM. Amazon is looking to expand into China but IBM may have the upper hand in this battle. Cloud computing experts say that Amazon has been winning the cloud war in the Western Hemisphere but IBM looks to be the frontrunner in the Eastern Hemisphere. Why? IBM has been entrenched in Chinese business for a couple decades whereas Amazon has not had the same luxury.
IBM also has a few selling points that the Chinese will appreciate. For example, IBM’s cloud runs on OpenStack whereas Amazon AWS is built on a proprietary platform. Hong Kong will be hosting a summit focusing on OpenStack due to growing demand of the technology in Asia. While IBM and Amazon are expected to excel within the Chinese market, the Google Cloud is expected to be limited. Google’s tenuous relationship with the Chinese government in relations to filtering search engine results and other censorship concerns has made Google hesitant to enter this specific market.
This brings up a larger point. How will the dynamic play out between cloud providers and the Chinese government? As of now, virtualization is just beginning to take hold in the Chinese market and many companies haven’t even considered the cloud or the implications of using the cloud in relation to China’s communist government. In America and other free societies, there is a clear legal process for how governments can request data. In China, the laws and processes are a bit different and more slighted towards favoring the government as opposed to favoring the company in question. It will be interesting to see how the cloud takes off in China.