What happened: Amazon Web Services (AWS) has officially launched in Hong Kong, expanding into its eighth market in Asia Pacific as demand for cloud services rises across the region. Amazon’s cloud services arm announced on Thursday that customers can now run applications and store their content in data centers in Hong Kong while connected to the AWS network. The cloud service provider said the decision to ramp up expansion efforts in the Asian market was prompted by rising demand for large-scale cloud technology infrastructure from startups, enterprises, and government entities in the region.
Why it’s important: AWS currently leads the global cloud services market with share of more than 30%. In Hong Kong, AWS still faces competition from Chinese tech giants like Alibaba Cloud and Tencent Cloud, who have been cultivating the market for years. Alibaba Cloud currently leads Asia’s burgeoning cloud market, according to Gartner estimates released earlier this week. Amazon’s expansion into Asia has been challenging, especially in China. The company recently decided to withdraw part of its e-commerce business in the country, and focus its resources on its cloud computing business and cross-border e-commerce.