Tencent's cloud computing unit has launched a data centre in Silicon Valley and will open another four outside its domestic market, as it looks to expand its portfolio to include cloud and artificial intelligence.
The Chinese internet giant said the following four facilities in Mumbai, Seoul, Frankfurt, and Moscow would be operational this year, adding to its global network of data centres that currently include Singapore, Toronto, and Hong Kong. Tencent also operated at least 12 data centres in mainland China.
The new facilities would support both Chinese businesses looking to expand overseas and foreign companies setting up businesses in China and elsewhere, according to Tencent. Its facilities in Hong Kong and Silicon Valley also would be further expanded this year, it said.
Tencent said the investment was in line with growing global demand for cloud services, in particular, from online games, online finance, and video. Its current cloud clientele included game developers such as Netmable, Aiming, Gamevil, and Supercell.
The new data centres also were part of Tencent's efforts to widen its portfolio to include emerging technology markets, such as cloud, security, big data, and artificial intelligence, the company said.
According to Tencent, its cloud revenue grew three-fold last year fuelled by "substantial" growth in the number of enterprise accounts as well as consumption among existing accounts. It also pointed to investments in 2016 aimed at building out its infrastructure for cloud services and boosting its sales force and channel partners to drive adoption among smaller application developers.
Tencent in 2015 said it would invest 10 billion yuan (US$1.45 billion) over five years in its cloud business, which would include plans for data centres in China, Hong Kong, and North America as well as talent recruitment and marketing efforts.