IBM to build Asia's largest cloud computing center

The company will build the center with Range Technology in a city near Beijing, China

IBM and the China-based Range Technology will build a cloud computing data center near Beijing that the companies claim will be Asia's largest by floor space.

The 620,000 square meter facility, which is to be owned by Range Technology, is expected to be completed in 2016, the companies announced on Tuesday. The data center aims to mainly serve government departments from China's capital and across the country, but will also be open to banks and private enterprises.

The cloud computing center will be built in Langfang, a city between Beijing and Tianjin, in northern China. The data center is meant to support the development of a new information technology hub being built in the area, said IBM spokeswoman Harriet Ip.

IBM, the vendor for the project, did not disclose the cost of the data center. But the company said Range Technology is spending about $US1.49 billion on the building of the Langfang Range International Information Hub, of which the data center will be a part.

IBM says there has been growing demand for data centers and cloud computing in China. The company's data-center business in China has tripled in the last four years. In 2010, China overtook Japan as IBM's second largest data center market, with the U.S. as the company's number one market.

Range Technology could not be reached for comment. But the company said in a statement, "This initiative plays a critical role in the economic development of China in light of the pressing demand for managed hosting in the areas of cloud computing and mobile devices," according to its chairman Zhou Chaonan.

Range Technology, an Internet data center services provider, was founded in 2009. Earlier this month, the company and IBM formed a strategic partnership on cloud computing and software services.

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