Mainland firm to expand data centre services in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 January, 2013, 3:55am

GDS, the leading provider of data centre services on the mainland, will expand its operation in Hong Kong this year with a new facility catering to Chinese financial institutions.

William Huang, the founder and chief executive of GDS, is expected to detail the company's expansion plans tomorrow at the opening of its so-called Hong Kong operations centre in Wan Chai.

Based in Beijing, privately held GDS would become the latest Chinese data centre services provider to build key infrastructure in both the mainland and Hong Kong markets.

China Telecom, the nation's largest fixed-line network operator, made the first significant investment by a mainland company in Hong Kong's booming data centre services market when it opened a 27,000-square-foot facility in Chai Wan in 2010.

A data centre is a secure, temperature-controlled facility housing large-capacity server computers and data-storage systems, and equipped with multiple power sources and high-bandwidth links to the internet.

The Hong Kong government has aggressively promoted the city as a hub for enterprise data centre operations in the Asia-Pacific region. Internet giant Google, for example, has invested US$300 million to build a data centre at a 2.7-hectare site in Tseung Kwan O.

A GDS spokeswoman said yesterday that the company is in "active discussions with potential partners" who could help set up its own data centre in the city. She declined to provide the investment amount earmarked for this project or its potential location.

GDS, which was founded in 2000, expects its proposed Hong Kong data centre to principally serve Chinese financial institutions that have boosted their offshore operations in Hong Kong. The company has more than 150 such customers.

On the mainland, GDS provides consulting, managed information technology, data hosting and "cloud computing" services to customers in the banking, securities, energy, manufacturing, logistics and internet industries. It operates 15 data centres in its home market.

According to estimates by JP Morgan, the global data centre services industry generated total revenue of more than US$17 billion last year.