Tencent announces data centre expansion including first European sites

Chinese Internet firm Tencent has announced expansion plans for its data centres, opening five new facilities across three continents by the end of this year.

The first new data centre in Silicon Valley officially opened its doors earlier this week, with future sites being planned in Frankfurt, Moscow, Mumbai, and Seoul. The company added the facilities will be used to serve ‘online games, online finance, video and other Internet-related industries’.

Tencent aims to take the overall number of its overseas data centres to eight with this expansion. The company already has sites in Hong Kong, Singapore and Toronto, as well as operating more than a dozen data centres in mainland China.

“We want to enhance our overseas cloud capability to meet the rising demand from companies around the world as they look for fast, reliable, secure and cost-effective services during the global expansion and migration to the cloud era,” said Rita Zeng, vice president of Tencent Cloud in a statement. “I am confident that we can meet their needs with our technical capability, global network, as well as experience accumulated in serving the massive user-base in our home market.”

The move is similar in focus to Alibaba, another Chinese vendor with serious cloud aspirations. The eCommerce provider announced in November last year its plans to open new data centres in Germany – also in Frankfurt – the Middle East, Australia, and Japan by the end of the year.  

Last month, Tencent gave another indication as to its focus by announcing its cloud services would be beefed up with GPU accelerators from NVIDIA, with a wider aim to give customers machine learning and natural language processing capabilities by combining a traditional CPU with a graphics processing unit. The vast majority of leading cloud players are NVIDIA customers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, Google, and IBM.

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