What happened: The US will likely gain more access than previously expected to China’s cloud computing market following ongoing trade talks, according to Myron Brilliant, head of international affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce. China previously proposed to allow foreign tech companies to set up their own data centers in one of its free-trade zones. The Chamber of Commerce wants US cloud service providers in China to hold licenses and retain management control over its businesses, and for data to flow freely across national borders, Brilliant said. Although uncertainty still looms over the cloud computing negotiations, he said the US will “continue to make this an issue that has to be addressed ultimately, if not in the negotiations, then shortly after.”
Why it’s important: China’s concession on cloud computing, which has been a highlight in US-China trade talks, would loosen stringent restrictions on foreign service providers. China’s fast-growing cloud market will be the world’s largest in five years, according to IDC estimates. However, growth in market share for cloud providers including Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple have been significantly hampered. Vice-Premier Liu He is scheduled to be in Washington later this week for another round of trade talks.