Amazon Cloud looms over China: Bezos enters Alibaba home ground

As AWS enters in Hong Kong new figures show that Alibaba is streets ahead. Can Bezos wrestle control from China's own Alibaba?

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the largest cloud platform in the world, has brought on line new data centres and infrastructure in Hong Kong as Amazon moves to take on rival Alibaba on its home turf.

Amazon spokesman Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist for AWS, wrote in a blog post announcing the rollout:

"The AWS Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Region is the eighth active AWS Region in Asia Pacific and mainland China along with Beijing, Mumbai, Ningxia, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo.

"With this launch, AWS now spans 64 Availability Zones within 21 geographic regions around the world. We have also announced plans for 12 more Availability Zones and four more AWS Regions in Bahrain, Cape Town, Jakarta and Milan."

Amazon structures its cloud services by location (Availability Zone) into geographic areas (AWS Regions). The announcement states that Amazon has opened three separate data centres within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). The three centres should mean a relatively low likelihood of the entire regional cluster being taken offline by a technical failure, natural disaster or other unfortunate occurrence.

The new kit will allow AWS customers to deliver their cloud resources to users in Hong Kong and the surrounding region with lower latency. Apart from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region itself, organisations interested in delivering cloud resources to other Asia-Pac locations may choose to make use of the new AWS Region, API name ap-east-1. Amazon quotes sub-30-millisecond latency from its new cluster for Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon, Hanoi, Manila, Taipei and the Macau SAR on the other side of the Pearl River estuary. Previously, Hong Kong users of AWS cloud resources were served from other locations, such as Singapore or Tokyo.

Amazon is bigger worldwide, but not in China

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