Cloud computing in China: prospects, key technologies, major challenges

0 CommentsPrint E-mail, November 8, 2010
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By Ma Huateng

Chairman of the Board and CEO of Tencent

Tencent is China's largest privately owned enterprise oriented toward comprehensive Internet business. Founded 12 years ago, it is a testament to the miraculous development of China's Internet industry. Today, all friends connected with the industry gather together here, giving me a precious opportunity to share with you some of our thoughts on the development and prospects of cloud computing in China, our technological focuses, and the influence of cloud computing on the Internet industry and the entire IT industry.

As China's largest Internet company, Tencent offers high-quality network services to 400 million users across the country. We boast all kinds of Internet businesses, including instant-communication tools, online media, online games, SNS societies, search engines and e-business. Such a wide service range is rare both in China and in the other parts of the world. The advanced cloud computing technology has made it possible for Internet users to enjoy good services more conveniently and opened a spacious room for the development of the Internet industry in the following years.

It only took cloud computing a few years to change from a vague idea to real technology. Chinese Internet companies, including Tencent, caught the trend fortunately. Different companies may have a different understanding on this technology. For Tencent, the key value of cloud computing is that it can utilize the public network structure to make our computing ability, processing ability and logic components as assessable as household tap water and electricity. With the aid of cloud computing, we can help users to acquire any information anytime, anywhere. This is an unprecedented convenience as compared with the PC era and the initial periods of the Internet era. This is our understanding of cloud computing platform.

In recent years, the Chinese government and Chinese enterprises have invested large quantities of funds, devices and personnel to develop cloud computing technologies. For instance, Tencent is building Asia's largest data center to support a cloud platform and developing a cloud computing platform to support distributed storage, parallel computing and intelligent resource management. Other Chinese enterprises are also working on cloud computing hardware and related support. At the same time, the government is working with the industry to set up relative national standards.

Now, I would like to talk about the major technologies and challenges Tencent is focusing on. Since you are all familiar with super data centers, high-speed broadband network and the cloud computing platform that can manage these hardware devices and systems, I will show you three other key technologies and challenges.

First, information security.

Let's make a comparison. If personal computers and company computers are like one's safe, and if information is money, the practice of storing information in a computer is like putting money in his safe, which is, of course, inconvenient and not good for liquidity. Instead, depositing money in a bank is more convenient and safer, on the condition that the bank is secure and credible. In this sense, the key to popularizing cloud computing technology and gaining users' recognition is how safe the Internet is.

In terms of technology, efforts should be made to ensure that users can conveniently use services in the cloud and that the services are safe and that users' privacy is protected. We all know that in the online world, it's difficult to realize convenience and safety at the same time. How to address the issue becomes the key to popularizing cloud computing. In the past decade, Tencent has made continuous efforts to develop technologies on information security. A professional team is working 24 hours a day to protect user information with the best devices and solutions. Generally speaking, we are now able to offer users easy access to our online products and services anytime, anywhere and ensure their information is safe. In this situation, users are willing to use our cloud services and move data from their own terminals to our cloud-based "data bank."

With regard to laws and policies, efforts should be made to prohibit acts that may harm the safety of user information, thus to foster an environment conducive to the development of cloud computing and the entire industry.

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