China's Bid for Dominance in the Cloud: Cloud Valley - Page 2
And Chinese internet entrepreneur Edward Tian agrees, “Because there isn’t the same degree of trust between companies (in China) as there is in the US," Cloud Valley’s firms are mostly limited to designing cloud computing servers and software; rarely do they run their own data centers.
Not content with satisfying the local Chinese market, Cloud Valley is hungry to outsource services to global IT companies. Tian said, “We are already marketing our services in Hong Kong and South East Asia. Our major advantage is price, but we also have a pool of software talent here."
And where was this talent trained? After working for IT firms and universities in the US and Europe, many engineers returned to China and are working for firms in Cloud Valley. The CEO of the company Supercloud studied computing in California.
Not to be undermined, the U.S. firm Nexenta Systems and Taiwan's Chungwha Telecom intend to do cloud business and bring some of their own talent to China's table. However, it is difficult to set up a cloud computing base in the country when the "Great Firewall" locks out your company; the firewall is China's internet censorship system which is believed to snail's pace internet traffic throughout the country.
But is it possible? Can the "Great Firewall" be coming down? According to Tian, already available as part of Shanghai's "Cloud Sea" cloud computing center, one is able to directly connect to foreign servers, without going through Chinese ISPs. Considering the last twenty-three years, it's a novel arrangement. This attempt at flexibility indicates how much the Beijing government wants in; they are willing to bend. They are allowing selected companies to by-pass the "Great Firewall." It's a money arrangement and business is trumping what once was an iron clad government action that many thought wouldn't break through for decades. According to Wen-Show Yang, Vice President of Chungwha Telecom, "You can apply to the Beijing government for permission to set up a direct internet connection. But you need to pay a bit extra."