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A Chinese social and gaming firm has ramped up the expansion of its cloud business in its latest attempts to rein in market leader Alibaba. Tencent which has now established itself as the tenth largest company in the world – officially announced the addition of five new overseas data centers in Frankfurt, Mumbai, Seoul, Moscow and Silicon Valley.

The data centers will primarily serve cross-border customers, including Chinese companies expanding abroad – as well as international companies looking to boost their business in China or other parts of the world.

Vice president of Tencent, Rita Zeng explained the thought process behind their decision to expand its cloud services. She said: “We want to enhance our overseas cloud capability to meet the rising demand from companies around the world as they look for fast, reliable, secure and cost-effective services during the global expansion and migration to the cloud era.”

The company has cited increased demand from customers in areas such as online gaming, live streaming, online finance and video industries as other major factors behind the expansion decision. Its current clients include Aiming, Netmable and Supercell which the Chinese organization acquired last year in a deal of $8.6bn.

In addition to this, Tencent’s cloud services arm also announced its intentions to offer cloud computing services to more traditional clients – such as those in manufacturing and the government. In December, Tencent partnered with Sanyi Group Co. LTD - which is one of China’s largest machinery manufacturers to create a big data-powered platform that can detect malfunctions in real-time.

Domestically, Tencent Cloud operates more than a dozen data centers in mainland China – and has data centers in Singapore, Toronto and Hong Kong, in addition to the announcement of the new data centers in Frankfurt, Mumbai, Seoul, Silicon Valley and Moscow. The company declined to disclose details in relation to how many users it has or the specific revenue numbers, offering only that the latter has tripled year-on-year since 2016.

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