AWS arrives in Ningxia to set up second cloud partnership in China

14 December 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Amazon has set up its second cloud computing technology partnership in China, with the backing of the local Communist Party branch.

The latest partner for Amazon Web Services (AWS) is Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology (NWCD), based in the small province of Ningxia. This follows an earlier partnership, in the capital, Beijing, with Sinnet.

“The second AWS region in China is part of AWS’s ongoing commitment to offer best-in-class cloud technologies to Chinese customers,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS. “For years, AWS and our partners have had an enthusiastic base of customers in China, a country with one of the world’s largest and most dynamic cloud ecosystems.”

According to AWS, the government of Ningxia wants to promote large-scale cloud technology projects in its region.

Jassy said: “We’re taking this step jointly with the Ningxia government and our operating partner, NWCD, both of whom worked tirelessly with us to achieve this milestone. Coupled with the AWS China (Beijing) region, operated by Sinnet, the second AWS China region will serve as the foundation for new cloud initiatives in China, especially in western China, helping to transform businesses, increase innovation, and enhance the regional economy.”

Ningxia joins AWS’s six other regions in the Asia-Pacific, including Beijing as well as Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.

AWS was careful to point out that the two China regions “are isolated from all other AWS regions and operated by AWS’s Chinese partners separately from all other AWS regions”.

This is understood to be for Chinese legal reasons. The Reuters news agency pointed out that China launched data privacy laws in June 2017 that require foreign firms to outsource hardware elements to local partners. As a result AWS last month agreed to sell the hardware of the AWS China (Beijing) region to Sinnet for more than $300 million.

AWS pointed out: “Customers using the AWS China regions enter into customer agreements with Sinnet in Beijing and NWCD in Ningxia, rather than with AWS.”

Edward Tian, founder of NWCD, said: “As one of AWS’s strategic partners when it first entered China, we are delighted to witness this moment as an important step in furthering our collaboration. The AWS China (Ningxia) region, operated by NWCD, ensures the delivery of AWS’s leading cloud services, along with flexible and effective local support.”

For perhaps one of the first times in its history, Amazon quoted a Communist Party leader in its announcement. He Jian, secretary of Zhongwei municipal committee of the Communist Party of China, said: “We see an opportunity to develop our cloud industry and to align with the opportunities presented by the national One Belt One Road Initiative.”

He added: “We have already seen a rapid growth in the cloud computing industry and, with the unique resources of Ningxia combined with the mature expertise of AWS Cloud, we will set a great example for economic transformation in the west of China.”