Friday, 20 March 2020 09:04

China's cloud firms played big role in fight against COVID-19

China's cloud firms played big role in fight against COVID-19 Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

China's cloud infrastructure services market grew 66.9% in the final quarter of 2019 as total expenditure reached US$3.3 billion, the tech analyst firm Canalys said, adding that the country represented 10.8% of the global total, making it the second largest market. Cloud services were extremely useful in fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

Alibaba Cloud was the top provider, accounting for 46.4% of total spend while Tencent Cloud upped its share to 18.0%, followed by Baidu AI Cloud with 8.8%.

Canalys said all three cloud companies were quick to respond to the coronavirus outbreak in China and provided access to on-demand compute, artificial intelligence and other services to support government departments, businesses, research institutes and students.

"The benefits of cloud computing were demonstrated by the leading cloud service providers in response to the escalating coronavirus crisis," said Yih Khai Wong, senior analyst at Canalys.

"They rapidly deployed continuity measures for organisations and established resource-intensive workloads to analyse vast datasets. Cloud companies opened their platforms, allowing new and existing customers to use more resources free to help maintain operations.

"They provided free access for research institutions to accelerate drug screening for potential vaccines. Students also benefitted by accessing online learning tools setup on the platforms after schools were closed.

"This set the precedent for technology companies around the world that offer cloud-based services in their response to helping organisations affected by coronavirus."

For the full-year 2019, China's cloud infrastructure services spend by 63.7% to exceed US$10.7 billion.

Alibaba Cloud was ranked number one, accounting for 46.1% of the market, Tencent Cloud was second, with a 17.3% share while AWS was third, followed by Baidu AI Cloud.

Wong said the outlook for 2020 was positive, as organisations would assess their business continuity measures when the end of this current situation was reached and look to shift more applications to the cloud.

"The cloud companies that were quick to support existing and new customers over the last three months will stand to gain the most," Wong added.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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