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The Growth of Personal Clouds in China

In the Chinese IT industry, cloud storage seems to have taken center stage. Read more about their cloud market and the changes they face.

Despite the current economic and political challenges facing China, there is still some optimism in its IT sector. Over the last few years, cloud storage seems to have taken center stage in the Chinese IT industry. What started with pervasive and rapid internet growth has exploded as more people gain access to mobile devices. Personal cloud has sprung up to serve an insatiable need for sufficient storage and data sharing points for mobile users. Behind the boom lies a growing level of attention from both China and the international players.

The size of the cloud market

In 2014, the cloud computing products raised about $4 billion, contributing to approximately 5% of its IT industry, and hence lower than the global spending of about 11%. iiMedia Research group expected the number of active personal cloud users to hit 450 million, from 380 million in 2014. Based on CTA estimation, the Chinese spending on private cloud is expected to hit $2.57 billion in 2017 and enjoy a 30.7% growth in the next five years. While the rates manifest the public willingness to embrace the new storage platform, most popular platforms are yet to reach mainland China.

The key drivers of personal cloud market

While the topic seems to have missed the media headlines, it is driving force behind the Chinese dwindling economy and widening political issues. Private cloud users are keen on some features that come with the platform such as 10 TB storage capacity, fast sharing, high-security measures, and accessibility to all devices. Nonetheless, the service providers are keen to further innovations to win the ever-growing market.

The challenges

By the virtue of its size, every technology vendor hopes to grasp a share of the coveted market. They will have to deal with several hurdles if they are going to make significant progress in the market. For instance, they will have to deal with low internet speeds that stand at about 4MBS compared to the US average of about 11MBPS. In addition, a 14% access to fixed line broadband and 21% mobile broadband means the country is largely unexploited.

Unlike other international players, the Chinese personal cloud services allow users to share information raising concerns among the regulators. In a bid to clean the sector, the national authorities embarked on a drive to purge illegal content from the internet, which saw the exit of six primary services. The absence of a clear business model to drive the firms into prosperity stands the way between companies and profitability.

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