Alibaba Cloud adds third datacenter in Germany

More Euro-presence than any other Chinese company, but still nowhere near Google or AWS


Alibaba has pulled ahead of its Chinese rivals in Europe with the opening of a third datacenter in Germany.

The company said the Frankfurt datacenter serves cloud computing products to Europe and "adheres to the highest security standards and the strict compliance regulations set out in the Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalog (C5) in Germany."

The addition brings Alibaba Cloud to a network of 84 availability zones in 27 regions worldwide. The company's first European cloud center arrived in Frankfurt in 2016.

According to Alibaba, the datacenter features dry coolers that use ambient air instead of mechanical refrigeration, as well as green electricity, thus falling in line with its pursuit of carbon neutrality by 2030.

Germany is a popular spot for European datacenters. According to Statista, Germany houses 453 – five more than the United Kingdom, and almost double the amount of the next top European site, the Netherlands.

AWS has been in Frankfurt since 2014 and now hosts three availability zones there. It also has three in Stockholm, three in Milan, three in Paris, three in Ireland, and three in London. The company plans more in Spain and Switzerland.

Azure has three availability zones in Ireland and three in the Netherlands - which it lists as "European" presences. Microsoft's cloud also operates, or plans to operate, in 13 other European nations, plus the UK. In Germany alone, Azure has three regions.

Google Cloud has availability zones in Finland, Warsaw, Frankfurt, Zurich, Milan, Madrid, Paris, Belgium, London, and the Netherlands.

As for Chinese datacenter companies, though, Alibaba is leading the pack for European cloud computing storage. Tencent has two facilities in Frankfurt, while Huawei and Baidu do not have a European presence.

Last December, Alibaba split itself into two – a domestic Chinese company and an international unit to accelerate growth. Having separate operations makes it less worrisome to regulators over the amount of influence Beijing exerts on the company.

The move came amid increased US-Sino tension and an eagerness from Washington DC to extract itself from any China-made tech and Beijing's eye. ®

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