This article originally appeared at The WHIR
CloudFlare will open 12 data centers in mainland China over the next six months in preparation for the beta launch of local service in January 2015, according to TechCrunch. China is already the company’s second biggest market by traffic and users, despite CloudFlare having no local marketing, sales, or support.
As international companies generally must do to achieve regulatory compliance and operate in China, CloudFlare has partnered with a local company, though it is keeping the identity of the Chinese partner company confidential for now.
The company expects that adding a Chinese presence to its network will not only improve the performance and security of sites in China, but will also allow the company to mitigate attacks originating from China within the Chinese portion of its network. China is the source of “many of the very bad attacks,” CloudFlare CEO and co-founder Matthew Prince told TechCrunch.
The company has also had recent experience with the touchy relationship between IT and politics in China. It battled huge DDoS attacks as a service provider for democracy site PopVote through its Project Galileo during Hong Kong’s protests this past summer.
Despite the various hurdles, CloudFlare was motivated to expand to China by customer feedback.
“One of the biggest requests from our customers is to be fast in China,” said Prince. “We’ve been working on this problem for three years. It has a number of regulatory and technology challenges, but we finally cracked that problem.”
The local partner company will handle censorship of material designated by the Chinese government, so any such content will be available outside of China while CloudFlare remains in compliance locally. The delicate balance necessary is indicated by the mix of censorship and unusual internet freedom experienced by attendees of last week’s World Internet Conference in Wuzhen.
This article originally appeared at: http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/cloudflare-open-data-centers-china-2015-report