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21Vianet and Microsoft have extended a partnership to sell Azure-based services in China

21Vianet and Microsoft have extended a partnership to sell Azure-based services in China

Microsoft and 21Vianet have announced the two companies have renewed their partnership to jointly sell Microsoft’s cloud services in China.

The partnership, which now extends until the end of 2018 and will now include Office 365, will see 21Vianet continue to be the exclusive provider of Microsoft’s Azure-based services within China.

“As China’s premier infrastructure provider and cloud enabler, we are extremely excited to extend this important partnership with Microsoft. Since 2012, teams from Microsoft and 21Vianet have worked diligently and seamlessly in the preparation, public preview and commercial launch of both Windows Azure and Office 365 services in China,” said Josh Chen, chairman and chief executive officer of 21Vianet.

“As the growth momentum for cloud services remains exceptionally strong, we believe this partnership extension marks another significant step in solidifying the cooperation between 21Vianet and Microsoft as well as strengthening our leadership role in China’s cloud computing services market,” Chen said.

Microsoft and 21Vianet originally announced their partnership in 2012. Given the stringent data management measures applied to service providers by the Chinese government as well as local business rules, international companies like Microsoft are required to partner with a local service providers if they are to sell their services on the Mainland. 21Vianet also works with AWS and IBM to rollout their cloud services in China.

“We are very pleased to have extended a successful relationship with 21Vianet, following more than 2 years of close collaboration in bringing Microsoft public cloud services to the Chinese market. Both Azure and Office 365 have strong momentum in the market with broad adoption by both local Chinese companies and multinational corporations,” said Ralph Haupter, corporate vice president and chief executive officer of Microsoft Greater China.

“Customers value Azure and Office 365′s enterprise-grade benefits such as security, flexibility, reliability, scalability, openness, cost efficiency and deployment speed. We remain firmly committed to the Chinese cloud market, and we believe this extended partnership with 21Vianet will serve as a strong foundation for both companies to further contribute to the development of the cloud computing ecosystem throughout China.”

According to CCID Consulting, an IT consultancy catering to Chinese businesses, China’s cloud market is on track to reach $6bn by 2017.