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September, 26, 2016

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Microsoft eyes huge potential in China's rising cloud market

Microsoft Corp will increase investment in China's cloud computing market and the scale of its cloud platform Microsoft Azure will grow at least tenfold in China in the next few years, a top executive in charge of the company's cloud service said on Wednesday.

"China regards technological innovation as an important driving source for development, which let us see China's huge market potential for the cloud business," said Scott Guthrie, executive vice-president of Microsoft cloud and enterprise group on Wednesday.

The company launched more than 10 new services and functions including image recognition and internet of things (IoT) capabilities on Microsoft Azure by teaming up with Beijing-based data infrastructure provider 21Vianet Group Inc.

"We will work together with local partners to develop customized cloud services and user-experiences in China," said Samuel Shen, chairman of Microsoft Asia-Pacific Technology Company Ltd.

Microsoft Azure, which covers 34 regions around the world, is the fastest growing player in global public cloud market. It now serves more than 70,000 corporate customers in China. Its usage amount and revenue in China have had triple-digit growth last year.

Furthermore, Microsoft is now carrying out strategic cooperation with China Daily jointly to build up a global media cloud platform and innovative technology laboratory and to promote technical innovation and application of cloud computing and big data in the media convergence area.

According to the research firm Gartner Inc, the global cloud computing industry will increase nearly 17 percent to $204 billion this year and is expected to hit $312 billion in 2019.

Charlie Dai, principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc, told China Daily: "The cloud services newly launched by Microsoft in China will extend its global competence into the Chinese market, and it will further help Chinese enterprises engage customers and accelerate digital transformation."

Internet giants such as Amazon.com Inc's cloud unit Amazon Web Services and Alibaba Group's cloud computing subsidiary Aliyun have stepped up efforts to expand their cloud computing business in China.

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Scott Guthrie, executive vice-president of Microsoft cloud and enterprise group, at a meeting with media on Sept 21,2016 in Beijing.FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY

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