SHANGHAI, China, March 27, 2014 — Microsoft China today announced that Microsoft Azure is now generally available for all customers in China, making it the first global public cloud provider to have comprehensive cloud operations in China. Operated by 21Vianet, Microsoft Azure provides fully functional services to cloud customers in China, and is already leading the market with over 3,000 customers, including CNTV, LineKong, GMW.cn, and Coca-Cola China.
Zhiqin Rong, general secretary of Shanghai Municipal Commission Of Economy and Informatization, congratulated the successful launch of Microsoft Azure and the success Microsoft has achieved in the field of cloud computing.
Rong said, “Cloud computing is a strategic, growing industry in Shanghai that is playing a significant leading role in economic transformation and long-term sustainable development. Shanghai has a long-standing relationship with Microsoft, which has resulted in many contributions to local economic development and innovation. We look forward to continuing to accelerating regional development through the intelligent city planning (CityNext), the ‘Ocean of Cloud’ Program, and now with local operations of Microsoft Azure. “
“As a result of the successful relationship with 21Vianet and the positive feedback from our customers, it’s clear that Microsoft Azure has exceeded expectations.” said Ralph Haupter, Corporate Vice President and CEO, Microsoft Greater China. “Microsoft Azure’s enterprise-grade benefits such as flexibility, reliability, scalability, openness, cost efficiency and fast deployment were well received by Chinese customers. With this launch, Microsoft is contributing to the development of the cloud computing market and ecosystem in China.”
Microsoft Azure offers enterprise-level cloud services to China
With over 55 percent of Fortune 500 companies using Microsoft Azure and more than 1,000 new customers signing up every day, the platform offers a wealth of cloud solutions that fast-growing organizations in China need, including infrastructure services, data management, web applications, development and virtual machine testing, storage, backup, and recovery services.
Based on local regulatory requirements, Microsoft is offering Microsoft Azure to customers in China through 21Vianet, a reliable and respected local partner who offers enterprise-level, world-class services in China. 21Vianet has already hired nearly 300 full-time, Microsoft-certified employees to support the company’s Azure and Office 365 operations.
Microsoft Azure operated by 21Vianet delivers a 99.95 percent annual enterprise-level Service Level Agreement (SLA) that enables customers to use public cloud services without worrying about downtime. The geo-redundant hosting feature allows customer data to have up to six backup copies to prevent data loss during a catastrophe, coupled with fast and powerful data recovery that guarantees customer data security.
Josh Chen, CEO of 21Vianet, said, “Microsoft Azure, operated by 21Vianet, is in full compliance with local regulations in China and ensures the independence of data. Together with Microsoft, we are both invested to ensure that our customers in China receive the same top-notch quality as global Azure. The open platform, flexibility and pay-as-you-go system makes Azure an ideal cloud solution for our Chinese customers.”
“We are proud to partner with a world technology leader and be the Chinese provider for Azure in China. By leveraging Microsoft’s strong brand reputation and over 15 years of cloud experience, as well as 21Vianet’s data center expertise, we have built one of China’s premier cloud computing platforms,” he added.
Local customers benefit from Microsoft Azure
A diverse network of customers is already benefiting from Microsoft Azure. The China Network Television (CNTV), for example, is using Microsoft Azure for the online broadcast of this year’s Spring Festival Gala, which is the most-watched TV show on Earth. Compared to purchasing physical servers, the flexible, scalable Microsoft Azure with pay-as-you-go charging system has helped CNTV to save up to 90 percent in technology costs.
Linekong, one of the top 10 mobile game developers and providers, adopted Azure for its popular cross-platform mobile game Sword of Heaven’ s online operations. With the help of Azure, more than 10,000 players can play at the same time.
Coca-Cola China now runs its digital marketing websites on Azure to meet the needs of peak-time traffic.
Building a cloud ecosystem in China
Local partnerships are indispensable for Microsoft Azure’s development in China. More Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and System Integrators (SI) in China are using Microsoft Azure to transform into Cloud Service Vendors (CSV) to satisfy their customers’ evolving business needs.
CSVs are a very important piece of the cloud ecosystem that Microsoft is building in China.
- Yun He Data, based in Henan province, is becoming a leading CSV that offers Microsoft Azure-based cloud solutions to businesses in the region.
- GMW.cn, the online representative for Guang Ming Daily, now acts as a CSV too. The firm has built the first Media Cloud in China, which aims to serve small and medium sized media group for cloud-based technical innovation.
- Together with Teamsun, Microsoft China is partnering with Wuhan Economic & Technological Development Zone, Hubei Province, to build digital infrastructure for the city’s future innovative system.
- In the digital entertainment world, Beijing Rendering Platform, supported by Yun Goal, makes Azure the hero behind Tsui Hark’s hot movie ‘Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon ’, which took 100 million USD last summer in China.
- In addition, a NASDAQ company, Pactera, has developed Azure-based solutions for manufacturing, medical, finance and airline uses in China.
Microsoft extends its cloud footprint in China
Microsoft Azure’s global launch in February 2010 marked Microsoft’s entrance to cloud computing. The China Cloud Innovation Center (CCIC) was founded as a subsidiary of the Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group (ARD) in September of the same year.
CCIC’s focus is to build a cloud ecosystem and localization map for Azure in China. In November 2012 Microsoft, 21Vianet and the Shanghai Government signed a MOU to introduce Azure to China. On May 22, 2013, Microsoft Azure announced that it will land in Shanghai, and the public review began on June 6, 2013.
Recalling Azure’s growth in China, Ya-Qin Zhang, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Chairman of Microsoft ARD said, “The unique advantage of Microsoft lies not only in its advanced technologies but also its vision of the future, as well as its courage to take the first step. From the inception of our cloud strategy, to our bold forecasting of the Chinese market, we have a deep understanding of both cloud computing and the Chinese market. Becoming the first global public cloud provider to operate in China, the success of our ‘Microsoft Venture Accelerator’, and the newly founded Open Tech Shanghai, all show that we are delivering technology, programs and services to accelerate cloud adoption in China.”
Today, Microsoft is releasing another 2000 free trial accounts to provide opportunities for more customers to experience Microsoft Azure operated by 21Vianet.
For more information about Microsoft Azure, contact an Azure sales advisor to get detailed information via the support hotline 400-089-0365.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.