Jabez Tan on Apple building data centre in Guizhou

  • July 20, 2017

Source: South China Morning Post

Apple is looking to double down on its business in mainland China by establishing a data centre in Guizhou province to comply with rigid cybersecurity laws, while supporting Beijing’s efforts to develop one of the country’s poorest areas into a world-class hi-tech hub.

The 41-year-old technology giant, which counts the mainland as its second-biggest market after the United States, said it has partnered with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Co (GCBD), a government-backed data centre developer and operator, to build the facility in that southwestern province.

The data centre project forms part of a US$1-billion investment programme that Apple has drawn up for the province, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday that cited an Apple spokesman.

“Apple’s new data centre in Guizhou could potentially cover an area of up to 1 million square feet (92,903 square metres), or a total capacity of more than 30,000 server cabinets, supported by 150 megawatts of critical load capacity,” Jabez Tan, the research director at Toronto-based Structure Research, told the South China Morning Post.

Tan said the estimates for Guizhou’s most high-profile international investor were based on recent data centre developments in the province by e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group Holding, as well as telecommunications network operators China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.

“The Guizhou provincial government has been offering a set of incentives, including discounts on electricity from the area’s plentiful supply of hydropower, which has resulted in cloud computing and data centre firms establishing test sites and pilot programmes there,” he said.

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