The US tech giant wants to build the new data centres by early 2022 as part of a broader strategy of expanding its capacity in Asia

The coronavirus has created a surge of digitalisation around the world, seeing businesses increasingly migrating to the cloud. In China, this transformation has been particular pronounced, with new data security legislation introduced last year prompting enterprises to shift their data management strategies.
As a result, China represents a rapidly growing market for cloud providers and today reports suggest that Microsoft will seek to capitalise on this environment by building four new data centres in the country.
Microsoft first launched data centres in China back in 2014, doing so in Shanghai and Beijing. Four years later, the US firm doubled the number of centres in these two cities in 2018, bringing their total to four. 
In 2020, Microsoft announced the creation of a data centre in Taiwan, and this year released plans to build one in the northern province of Hebei.
All of Microsoft’s US data centres are operated by its Chinese partner, 21Vianet.
Clearly, this timeline shows Microsoft’s growing interest in delivering service capacity across Asia, but the coronavirus has accelerated the demand in recent months. As a result, sources now suggest that Microsoft is planning to add four new Chinese data centres by early 2022.
The expansion is set to "effectively double" its intelligent cloud capacity in China.
Of course, Microsoft is not alone in expanding its data centre footprint in China. Just two weeks ago, Apple announced the beginning of operations for its first Chinese data centre, with a second already planned for the Inner Mongolia region.
The main competitors, however, will come from the likes of Alibaba and Huawei, who both hold commanding positions in the market when it comes to the cloud.
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