New Azure region coming to China in 2022
In order to meet China market’s growing needs for global public cloud services, Microsoft is planning to bring a new Azure Region to North China in 2022 through its local operating partner, 21Vianet.
This expansion is expected to effectively double the capacity of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud portfolio in China in the coming years, which includes Azure, Microsoft Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform operated by , to power innovation and digital transformation for developers, partners, and customers in China and around the world.
According to the white paper China Cloud Industry Development1, the cloud market in China is expected to reach 300 Billion RMB (US$46 Billion) in 2023. In response to the pandemic, are leveraging cloud-related innovations to accelerate digitization in their products, payments, e-commerce, automation, and more.
According to Alain Crozier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Greater China Region (GCR), this unveils a big opportunity.
Microsoft Cloud operated by 21Vianet was the first international public cloud compliantly launched in China through a local operating partner.
"Our intelligent, trustworthy, and neutral cloud platform has been empowering hundreds of thousands of developers, partners, and customers from both China and the world to achieve more with technical innovation and business transformation," states Crozier. "The upcoming region will reinforce the capabilities to help further nurture local talents, stimulate local innovation, grow local technology ecosystems, and empower businesses in a wide range of industries to achieve more."
Intelligent, scalable, secure and compliant
The Microsoft Cloud platform delivers intelligent, scalable, secure, compliant, and trustworthy cloud services, which includes Microsoft Azure, an ever-expanding set of cloud services that offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, AI, and IoT services; Microsoft Office 365, the world’s productivity cloud that delivers best-of-breed productivity apps integrated through cloud services, delivered as part of an open platform for business processes; Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, the next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organizations to grow, evolve, and transform to meet the needs of customers.
In China, Microsoft has been collaborating with 21Vianet to run all these essential cloud services since 2014. Announced , and officially launched in with two initial regions, Microsoft Azure operated by 21Vianet was the first international public cloud service to become generally available in the China market. Following Azure, Microsoft Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform operated by 21Vianet successively launched in China in 2014, 2019, and 2020.
With over 90 compliance certifications globally, Microsoft’s cloud platform meets a broad range of industry and regulatory standards in China, Europe, the US, and in many other global markets. In accordance with Chinese regulatory requirements, Azure regions operated by 21Vianet in China are physically separated instances from Microsoft’s global cloud but are built on the same cloud technical base as its global peers. The consistent architecture across China and global markets makes it easy, efficient, and secure for multinational companies to transplant their IT systems and business applications to China or vice versa.
First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector
First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV.
Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’.
A Bit of Background
First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules.
The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about.
How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?
Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’.
After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’.
According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin.