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China Unicom to build $387M global center in Hong Kong

Describing it as a "key milestone", the Chinese mobile operator says the new facility is its first and largest facility overseas, as it looks to expand its global business.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

China Unicom has set aside HK$3 billion (US$387.03 million) to build its first and largest facility overseas, in Hong Kong, as it looks to expand into global markets.

The new site will support six key functions, serving as the operator's global network operations center with sub-cable landing station, global network solutions and support center, cloud computing service platform, internet data center, Hong Kong service platform, and product innovation and development center. 

The global center will push the Chinese operator closer toward realizing its goal of building an international business, China Unicom said in a statement Wednesday. It added that the center will create some 200 jobs in Hong Kong. 

China's second-largest mobile operator, the company noted that the Asia-Pacific region is projected to be the world's fastest-growing market for cloud storage, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 29 percent between 2009 and 2018. The new Hong Kong facility was planned to meet this increasing demand for data services, it added.

China Unicom acquired 1.5 hectares of land at Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate for the construction of the new center, which was approved by the Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks in May 2013. The facility is expected to be completed by first-half 2016 and will span 41,000 square meters, offering more than 3,000 racks. 

"The build-out of the global center is a key milestone in China Unicom's global infrastructure as well as business strategy," the Chinese operator said, adding that the new site will boost its competitiveness on the global stage. 

China Unicom Hong Kong is the operator's largest overseas subsidiary and has been offering international wholesale voice and data enterprise, mobile, internet data center, and telecom consulting services it was established in 2000. 

The Chinese operator last year said it was investing 5 billion yuan (US$818.18 million) to build a new cloud computing facility in Guizhou Province, China, which will stretch some 33.3 hectares.

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