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Google to add Hong Kong to its Asia Pacific Cloud Platform region in 2018

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The technology giant, Google, recently announced opening of its Google Cloud Platform (GCP) in Hong Kong, in 2018.

GCP has 13 regions, 39 zones and a global network with 100,000s miles of fiber optic cable. Mumbai and Sao Paulo were recently added to the regions of GCP.

Once added, Hong Kong will become the sixth GCP region in Asia Pacific after Mumbai, that recently joined Sydney, Singapore, Taiwan and Tokyo regions.

Rick Harshman, Google cloud’s Asia Pacific Managing Director, revealed in his blog post  “Hong Kong is an international commercial hub and is among the world’s leading service-oriented economies. By opening this region, customers in Hong Kong will benefit from low latency and high performance of their cloud-based workloads and data. The region is also designed for high availability, launching with three zones to protect against service disruptions.

He further added “Hong Kong has just begun its digital transformation, and this new GCP region will make it easier for Hong Kong companies to build highly available, performant applications.”

This move of Google comes after seven years (company had left China in 2010), since it stopped serving searches in China as compared to Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, who are providing their cloud- based services in China.

China’s stringent regulatory laws and tightening rules on foreign data and cloud services have presented challenges for cloud providers and shelved potential attempts by Google to re-enter the Chinese market.

However, Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China has welcomed this announcement.

Nicholas W Yang, Secretary for Innovation & Technology, HKSAR Government said, “A solid cloud infrastructure is the foundation for building a smart city and helping businesses succeed in the digital economy. We are glad that Google is launching the Hong Kong cloud region, a recognition of Hong Kong’s edge and strengths as a data hub. This means businesses in Hong Kong, whether big or small, can leverage the latest, well-established technology infrastructure to expand and succeed in the region and globally.”

According to people familiar with the company’s plans, with this launch, the internet giant Google is focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is actively promoting a software that aims to make AI system building easy, namely the Tensor Flow.

Sources cited by Bloomberg report also reveal efforts of Alphabet Inc. subsidiary, trying to boost their business ties with Chinese companies.

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