Google Cloud is set to be launch in China, according Bloomberg.com Google wants to get back into China, and is laying the groundwork for a key part of the initiative: bringing its cloud business to the world’s second-largest economy.
The mission is to run Google internet-based services — such as Drive and Docs — via the domestic data centers and servers of Chinese providers, similar to the way other U.S. cloud companies access that market. In most of the rest of the world, Google Cloud rents computing power and storage over the internet, and sells a collection of workplace productivity apps called G Suite that are run on its own data centers. China requires digital information to be stored in the country and Google has no data centers in the mainland, so it needs partnerships with local players.
According to Google Cloud chief Diane Greene said last week that she wants the business to “be a global cloud,” but declined to comment specifically about China. Still, the company is seeking a Shanghai-based business development manager for its cloud business.
You will be aware that Google left China’s search engine market in 2010, since then Google have been looking for a way to enter China fully. Google previously launched a censored search engine in China in 2006, but pulled the service out of the country in 2010, citing Chinese government efforts to limit free speech, block websites, and hack Google’s computer systems. The planned relaunch would represent a stunning reversal of that decision
Bloomberg.com report that with Tencent, Google would have an even more high-profile ally — but would also go up against local competitors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. which operates a major cloud business in China.
China is the second-largest cloud market, but local companies dominate, making it difficult for outsiders like Google, according to Synergy Research Group. “You can never say never, but that is an incredibly tough proposition,” Synergy analyst John Dinsdale said. A June report from Synergy ranked Google fourth in the Asian cloud market, behind Amazon, Alibaba and Microsoft.
In January, Google struck a patent-sharing deal with Tencent. The agreement came with an understanding that the two companies would team up on developing future technologies.
Tencent operates its own cloud service and is building an ecosystem of partners that includes Cisco Systems Inc., Nvidia Corp. and Deloitte, according to Tencent’s website. It already offers a cloud service called the Tencent Kubernetes Engine that’s based on a popular Google technology by the same name. Google could host services, such as Gmail, Drive and Docs, on Tencent’s data centers, and the Chinese company may suggest existing cloud customers try Google offerings.