Amazon Web Services has made a push to win more business in China with a pledge to offer cloud services hosted inside the country from next year.
A limited preview of AWS services based inside China will be available from early 2014, when services will be offered to a select group of Chinese and multi-national companies.
These services will be based on computing and network infrastructure provided by Chinese datacentre operators and ISPs, including ChinaNetCenter and SINNET.
Until now, Chinese firms that wanted to use AWS services had to rely on infrastructure based outside the country.
AWS said customers had asked it to offer services from within China and that the move will allow domestic organisations to access AWS services at lower latency, as well as catering to companies required to store their data within the country's borders.
Among the thousands of Chinese companies already using AWS, many of which will be offered access to the limited preview of the new regional Chinese services, are smartphone company and mobile ISP Xiaomi, ISP Qihoo 360, TCL and Tiens.
AWS plans to make a wide range of its services available from inside China, including: Elastic Compute Cloud , Elastic Block Store, Simple Storage Service, Relational Database Service, DynamoDB, ElastiCache, Elastic MapReduce, Virtual Private Cloud, CloudWatch, CloudFormation, Storage Gateway, Simple Queue Service, Simple Notification Service, Auto Scaling, Elastic Load Balancing, Glacier, Simple Workflow, AWS Identity and Access Management, AWS Management Console, and AWS Premium Support.
AWS services are served from datacentres spread throughout the world. The move into China means AWS services will be available from four regional hubs in Asia and 10 regions globally.
Basing services out of China has proved to be troublesome for other tech companies, Google has had disputes with the Chinese government over censorship of search results and hacking, and recently scrapped plans to build a datacentre in Hong Kong, which falls under the sovereignty of the Chinese government.
China represents an "important long-term market" for AWS, said AWS senior VP Andy Jassy.
In a ceremony today in Beijing, AWS China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Beijing municipal government and the Government of Ningxia Hui Nationality Autonomous Region.
The MOU reflects the parties’ intent to construct and develop AWS cloud computing services that use facilities and resources in Beijing and Western China, and that will be promoted to customers across China.
AWS China is also working with Shanghai Jiading Industrial Zone on an incubation programme that supports startup businesses, with AWS predicting it would introduce incubation programs in other parts of China.
AWS maintains an affiliate company in Beijing to support organisations, startups and developers using AWS cloud services, as well a local technical support operation.