Tencent adding five data centers to target cloud users outside China

A data center in Silicon Valley was opened on Tuesday

Tencent Holdings has opened a data center in Silicon Valley on Tuesday, with four more planned outside China as part of its bid to grow its cloud business outside the country.

The proposed data centers in Frankfurt, Mumbai, Seoul and Moscow are targeted at Chinese companies looking to expand overseas and international companies expanding their businesses in China or other parts of the world, the Chinese internet giant said Tuesday. The centers are expected to go into operation this year.

Rival Alibaba has also set up data centers outside China to expand its cloud business outside the country.

The new investment aims to meet growing demand worldwide for the company's cloud services from online games and finance, video and other internet-related industries.

Tencent Cloud already operates over a dozen data centers across mainland China. It started its expansion outside the country in 2014 with a data center in Hong Kong, followed by centers in Singapore and Toronto. The company plans to expand both the Hong Kong and Silicon Valley data centers this year.

The company, which owns China's large social network WeChat, reported in March that its cloud services revenue more than tripled year-on-year in 2016 as both the number of enterprise accounts and usage of existing accounts increased.

Starting from primarily serving game developers through its cloud services, Tencent has made deep inroads into other markets including online gaming, video broadcasting, internet finance, municipal service and enterprise.

The company believes that it has “a unique advantage” in its solid foundation of technologies in areas such as security, payment, big data analytics, photo processing mini programs and artificial intelligence. “Utilizing these technologies, Tencent cloud provides tailored solutions for various customers and industries,” Martin Lau, company president, said during an earnings call last month.

Tencent has also been making a number of strategic investments worldwide, including its acquisition of a 5 percent stake in car maker Tesla and its investment in Supercell, the Finnish developer of the mobile game Clash of Clans.

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