China Unicom enters cloud race with Wo-Cloud service

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

The past couple of weeks have seen a variety of updates from players looking to up their cloudy stake in China, including Amazon and IBM.

Now China Unicom has joined the race, offering a service called Wo-Cloud, according to a report from Web Hosting Daily.

According to the firm’s president, Lu Yimin, China Unicom will focus on the IaaS and PaaS area.

“China Unicom will rely on its advantages in network resources, infrastructure, mobile internet technology, scope of customers, and dedicated service,” he said in a statement.

The firm also announced the launch of two data centres, in Hohhot and Langfang, and introduced the gateway.

The service is based on OpenStack, which has also been in the news in recent times following the announcement of Oracle’s sponsorship of the OpenStack Foundation. The technology, developed by Rackspace and NASA, has a dazzling array of sponsors, from HP, IBM and Red Hat as platinum members, to Dell, Huawei and VMware as gold members.

China Unicom expects to service enterprise and government customers, and is hoping for greater expansion and investment as the service progresses.

It’s interesting to see a local provider entering the fray after recent developments elsewhere. China Unicom’s expansion comes amidst Amazon’s announcement of a Chinese product, putting building blocks in place with local providers including ChinaNetCenter and SINNET.

Elsewhere, IBM announced a partnership with 21Vianet Group which will enable its SmartCloud Enterprise+ services in China. This is a particularly interesting update, especially given 21Vianet is also in bed with Microsoft, utilising it to launch Windows Azure public cloud in China.

The Chinese market is a major opportunity, and has certainly come a long way since the November 2012 report from the Asia Cloud Computing Association which put China 10th out of 14 Asia Pacific nations for cloud ‘readiness’.

But who do you think will make the next move?

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