Chinese internet giant Tencent is putting a lot of steam behind its cloud services business, Tencent Cloud, this year in the form of a massive global data center expansion.
The company, whose parent dominates the messaging app market in China and is best known internationally for its hit mobile game Honor of Kings, recently completed the first phase of that expansion. It announced Tuesday the launch of new data centers in the US, India, and Hong Kong, aiming at the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and its home-country rival, Alibaba Cloud.
Tencent, the largest publicly traded company in Asia, launched its first US cloud data center in Silicon Valley last year. Now, it has launched a second Silicon Valley site and its first data center in Virginia, providing it with access to the Northern Virginia network interconnection hub, which plays a key role as one of the internet’s most important nerve centers.
With the new data centers in the US and Asia, Tencent Cloud now has 42 availability zones globally. Later this year, the company said, it plans to launch data centers in Thailand, Russia, and Japan.
Tencent’s parent company is a giant, but its share of the cloud services market is small when compared to the five biggest players, who are Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Alibaba (in that order), according to Synergy Research Group.
Tencent is in Synergy’s “Next 10” group of players, which also includes companies like Fujitsu, NTT, Oracle, Rackspace, and Salesforce. Collectively, Next 10 had slightly north of 15 percent of the worldwide market share at the end of last year, the analysts said.
The Chinese company has been spending large on data center infrastructure as it tries to grow its cloud business. Synergy identified it as one of the 10 companies that invested the most in data center expansion in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Tencent’s new Hong Kong data center is its second in the Asian business and network hub. It launched its first Hong Kong facility in 2014. The second is designed specifically to serve the financial sector, the company said.
Its new data center in Mumbai is Tencent’s first in India. Chinese smartphone, ecommerce, gaming, video, and livestreaming companies started exploring and expanding in the Indian market, according to Tencent, which is targeting those companies, as well as Indian clients with the new facility.
Mumbai “will serve as a core hub for Tencent Cloud in Southern Asia,” the company said in a statement.