Southeast Asia welcomes yet another Chinese cloud provider

By hosting its cloud infrastructure at Equinix’s Singapore datacentre, Kingsoft Cloud has become the latest Chinese cloud service provider to set its foot in Southeast Asia. The move is expected to improve the performance of Kingsoft’s services for Southeast Asian customers.

Kingsoft Cloud, which recently raised $300m in Series D funding, is currently the main cloud service provider in China for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, is a substantial shareholder and chairman of Kingsoft.

In fact, Kingsoft Cloud provides a bulk of the cloud storage on Xiaomi’s MIUI operating system that has helped the company serve its rapidly growing customer base within and outside China.

Other Chinese cloud players such as Alibaba and Huawei have also made their foray into Southeast Asia, a growing region with a tech-savvy, young population and a rising middle class.

Kingsoft declined to be interviewed for a story, but going by its performance in its most recent quarter, the company is poised to give rivals a run for their money.

In Q3 2017, Kingsoft reported cloud revenues of RMB358.1 million – an increase of 80% year-over-year and 18% quarter-over-quarter.

The company attributed the strong year-over-year performance to a robust increase in customer usage, especially in sweet spots such as mobile gaming and video streaming, where it has secured key customers in the broadcast and television industry.

Besides media and entertainment, Kingsoft is also making inroads in healthcare, where it is offering cloud services to leading medical institutions and enterprises such as the PKUCare Rehabilitation Hospital, The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital and Peking University People’s Hospital.

Kingsoft’s vertical strategy is a smart one, and differs from the general-purpose approach that most other cloud providers are adopting.

By focusing on specific industries, Kingsoft is in a better position to meet the unique needs of organisations in different industries, especially in Southeast Asia where some organisations may be more demanding than others in terms of security, compliance and performance requirements.