Twenty years ago, 0.2 percent of China’s population had access to the Internet, compared with 30 percent in the USA. Today, according to Oliver Jones, CEO of data center development and investment firm Chayora, the number has risen to 800 million people, and is set to pass the billion user mark.
But for foreign cloud, colocation and technology companies alike, the particularities of the Chinese market – starting with the national firewall, which requires all Chinese data to be processed in China, to issues of power, connectivity, licensing, and community integration – making one’s entry can be a complex affair.
And site selection, explained Jones, is key:
“If you haven’t got land that’s going to be supportive in every respect of the data center development on it and you haven’t got the associated infrastructure, it just doesn’t work. There are people that we’ve seen that have not understood site selection in China, where developers have heard data centers are a good thing to be in, so they’ve gone out and they’ve bought a piece of land, and then they’ve tried to go out and get the fiber and the power and the rest, and of course that’s completely the wrong way around.”