China’s big data center build-out

China is building numerous large data centers to keep up with a growing population and increased business activity.

Apparently, China is building data centers like crazy. In a great article by IDG News service reporters Michael Kan and James Niccolai, it appears the country is building dozens – or even hundreds – of large data centers to support the needs of its people, estimated be nearing 500 million. China also wants to be the place overseas firms look to when they expand in China and elsewhere in the region.

In fact, Google is banking on the Asian region. In September 2011, the company announced it will build three data centers in that region, at a reported investment outlay of $200 million. The trio of new data centers in the Asia-pacific region will represent Google’s first fully-owned facilities in the Asia-pacific region. The data centers will be located in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong on land Google has already acquired (and you can read more about that here, in a blog I wrote earlier this year).

And while Hong Kong is estimated to be the place with the least risk in Asia for setting up data centers (according to the Data Center Risk Index jointly published by consulting firms Cushman & Wakefield and hurleypalmerflatt), China is not.

China is ranked 18th of 20. The Index notes that China is a restrictive market with significant regulatory control that also has energy concerns. It also says that China requires “large-scale infrastructure investment” to support the rapid growth of the data center market there.

The IDG News Service article details some of the concerns around China’s ability to become a hub of data center operations for businesses worldwide. For example, concerns about ownership rights for data and other assets abound, and there are several security risks, including traffic being monitored or interfered with.

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