AWS sells China hardware to local cloud partner

Is all that other stuff you are doing really important?. If it's not frankly stop doing it. Image ALotOfPeople Getty Images  iStock

Is all that other stuff you are doing really important?. If it's not frankly stop doing it. Image ALotOfPeople Getty Images iStock

Beijing Sinnet Technology Co Ltd, Amazon's China partner, said in a filing late yesterday that it would buy the United States firm's Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud computing unit in China for up to 2 billion yuan ($301.2 million), according to the report. Moreover, the deal would help to "comply with China's laws to further improve the company's AWS cloud services" based on quality and security.

The 2 billion yuan (US$301.2 million) transaction was arranged in order to comply with national security laws that prevent non-Chinese companies from owning certain critical infrastructure assets, including those involved with the delivery of cloud services.

"AWS continues to own the intellectual property for AWS Services worldwide".

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Amazon is committed to establish in China, and is looking forward for significant business opportunities and growth potential for the next few years. Amazon has not yet provided the reason behind this exit, but it may be due to the tightening rules on foreign data and cloud services by Chinese regulators.

"This move is mostly around regulatory compliance", said Charlie Dai, Beijing-based analyst at Forrester Research.

AWS first launched a China service in 2014, but must operate via local partners to comply with Chinese law, with companies required to store data locally in legislation enacted in June.

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Big name tech companies in the USA often bend over backward to either attempt to penetrate the highly protected Chinese market, or maintain a somewhat established presence. Sinnet urged its customers to avoid using virtual private networks (VPNs), which outsmart China's Great Firewall.

The arrangement between Amazon and Sinnet appeared to mirror a similar set-up between Microsoft and its local partner 21Vianet Group Inc, according to IDC China managing director Kitty Fok.

Amazon controlled over 40 per cent of the global market for public cloud services in 2016, well ahead of Microsoft Corp and Alibaba, according to Gartner estimates.

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Whereas AWS is the public cloud leader globally, it has struggled to crack a Chinese market that has traditionally been served by its own tech firms.

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