Chinese data centre operator GDS sees Singapore as hub for its South-East Asia expansion plans


Data centre administration firm GDS is following within the footsteps of its Chinese tech prospects by increasing operations to South-East Asia, whereas betting on Singapore as a regional data hub, in response to its chairman and CEO.

Founded in 2001, the Nasdaq and Hong Kong-listed GDS is a third-party data centre operator serving shoppers such as Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, as properly as US cloud big Amazon Web Services.

Although GDS’s main services are in China, the corporate has began to develop data centres abroad, notably in South-East Asia, to serve the rising variety of Chinese expertise corporations working there, founder, chairman and CEO William Huang mentioned in an interview with the South China Morning Post this week.

“Singapore has been a (major) hub due to its unique location, and that naturally determines the city’s important role in the future data centre industry,” Huang mentioned. “It will be the base to expand our services and cover the South-East Asian region.”

“Now is the right time to map out a plan in South-East Asia,” Huang mentioned, including that the impetus for the transfer was to comply with prospects who develop within the area and wish “digital warehouses” to retailer data.

Data centres, climate-controlled buildings that home routers and servers, present the crucial digital infrastructure for cloud computing, video streaming, and e-commerce. Southeast Asia, with its booming Internet business and heavy presence of Chinese tech giants, has turn into an funding hotbed for China’s digital infrastructure suppliers.

Last 12 months, GDS launched a number of large-scale data centre tasks within the area. Last November, the corporate mentioned it acquired 10,000 sq. metres of land in Batam, an Indonesian metropolis about 25km from Singapore, the place it plans to assemble two new data centre buildings with a complete energy capability of 28MW.

In April this 12 months, the corporate introduced one other partnership with Malaysian energy producer YTL Power International Berhad, with plans to co-develop 168MW of data centre capability for eight services in Johor Bahru, a metropolis close to the causeway linking the Malay Peninsula with Singapore.

GDS chairman and CEO William Huang seen in this file photo dated January 24, 2013. Photo: SCMP

The proximity of those data centres to Singapore and the data initiatives being undertaken in Asean nations means GDS is “well-placed” to serve these markets and facilitate data networking within the area, Huang mentioned.

GDS’ technique aligns with China’s want to play a job in creating Southeast Asia’s digital infrastructure. In July 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology introduced a three-year plan for the business which referred to as for extra data centres to “go global”.

Meanwhile, a tricky regulatory surroundings at dwelling and escalating geopolitical tensions have prompted China’s tech giants to further expand their reach within the area.

South-East Asia’s Internet financial system is projected to be valued at US$1 trillion (RM4.42 trillion) in 2030, in response to a report by Google, Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and world enterprise consultancy Bain & Company. The continued expansion of China’s Internet corporations in South-East Asian nations, particularly for cloud computing providers, will increase the necessity for data centre services, Huang mentioned.

In June 2021, Chinese ecommerce big Alibaba, which owns the Post, launched a US$1bil (RM4.42bil) project to develop its cloud computing arm in South-East Asia after it was topic to antitrust probes at dwelling. Last August, Huawei Technologies Co earmarked US$100mil (RM442.50mil) to encourage start-ups in the region to use its cloud services in a bid to diversify its income sources after US commerce sanctions crippled its smartphone enterprise.

Huang mentioned GDS will develop its presence in different Asian areas such as Hong Kong and Japan, and that it plans to serve extra multinationals and native corporations.

“China’s Internet industry has developed at a speed that no one has ever seen, and that means we must move fast and provide stable, innovative services to meet their demands,” Huang mentioned. – South China Morning Post

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