China to invest £98 billion in cloud computing

China to invest £98 billion in cloud computing

Superpower hopes to build giant Asian data hub

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China is set to pour £98 billion (US$154 billion) to develop cloud computing hubs, according to Asia's first "Cloud Readiness Index," prepared and published by the Asia Cloud Computing Association.

Although restrictive data protection laws are preventing the building of a global Cloud Computing industry in China, this investment will help the nation improve its index rating in the near future. The Index shows that a large number of cloud service providers are setting up data centres in Hong Kong making it the North Asia data hub.

The South Korean government has also decided to invest US$500m in both public and private sector cloud initiatives, and intends to raise their investment to US$2 billion by 2014.

"Technology has always been a great enabler of opportunity for business, communities and citizens. Cloud technologies offer the potential for lowering technology costs and creating time to market advantages," said Bernie Trudel, chairman of the Asia Cloud Computing Association and Cloud CTO at Cisco APAC. "Additionally, cloud technologies promise to securely democratise data access - and in doing so, create a myriad value-add possibilities across Asia."

Individual challenges in Asian nations

According to Asia's first Cloud Readiness Index, Japan is also posed for significant growth in the future and is ready to maximise the opportunities from cloud computing.

Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and other government agencies understand the significance of the cloud to economic competitiveness but the development of its data protection law will play an important role in realising its regional data hosting ambitions.

India too has to overcome significant challenges to take on a leading role across the region for cloud computing including the quality of its network, broadband and power grid capabilities.

Cloud can drive greater economic value

"I believe Asia's cloud computing potential is poised to grow faster on both sides of the market: as cloud consumers and cloud providers. Because Asia is experiencing such rapid economic growth, it is crucial for all Asian economies to begin to look beyond the opportunities for the cloud for their individual economies and instead begin to analyse how the cloud can help drive greater economic value to the broader region," said John Galligan, vice chairman of the working group and regional director, Internet Policy at Microsoft.

"The knowledge economy will fuel Asia's future and we think that cloud computing is the next great 'leveller' for the region, poised to help accelerate the momentum around trade."

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