AWS just opened another cloud computing region in China

Chinese law means new cloud region is operated by local partner not AWS, and China regions are isolated from all other AWS areas.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has opened its second Chinese cloud computing zone, its 17th around the world.

AWS said its China (Ningxia) Region, operated by Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology (NWCD), is now up and running and provides customers another option to run applications and store data on AWS in China.

Whereas in most of the world AWS owns and operates its own cloud infrastructure, in China the situation is more complicated. Chinese law forbids non-Chinese companies from owning or operating cloud computing infrastructure.

To comply with China's legal and regulatory requirements, AWS has formed a strategic technology collaboration with NWCD to operate and provide services from the AWS China (Ningxia) Region.

Last month AWS sold some of its other cloud computing infrastructure in China to Sinnet in a deal worth $300m, a move it said was necessary in order to comply with the country's tech regulations. Sinnet is now the operator of the AWS China (Beijing) Region.

AWS said: "Through these relationships, AWS provides its industry-leading technology, guidance, and expertise to NWCD and Sinnet, while NWCD and Sinnet operate and provide AWS cloud services to local customers."


AWS' second Chinese region will be operated by Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology.

Image: iStock

While the cloud services offered in both AWS China regions are the same as those available in other AWS regions, the China regions are isolated from all other AWS regions and operated by AWS's Chinese partners separately from all other AWS regions. Customers using the AWS China regions enter into customer agreements with Sinnet and NWCD, rather than with AWS.

Amazon's cloud computing resources are hosted in multiple locations worldwide: each AWS region is a separate geographic area, which may include a number of physical data centers.

The AWS China (Ningxia) Region will offer two availability zones at launch -- basically, cloud computing data centers that are far enough apart that one single event won't take both offline, but close enough together for business continuity applications that require rapid failover.

Each availability zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security, and is connected to national backbone networks via local telecom carriers' high-speed, fiber-optic networks.

Samsung Electronics is going to be a customer of the new region. Daijun Zhang, CEO of Samsung Electronics China Research Center (Beijing), said: "We have been anticipating the launch of the AWS China (Ningxia) Region for some time. A second AWS Region in China will help Samsung to provide more flexible and resilient applications while reducing our costs."

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