Chinese media company Xiking Culture Media is to bring its investment in UK to £10m with a £3m contract for Soho Data Holdings to build a state-of-the-art data centre and rendering farm in Soho for local digital media, advertising, design and creative shops.
The deal, part of a set of trade deals valued at £2.6bn between the UK and China announced on Monday, is expected to create around 50 new jobs in the next year.
Sohonet, which supplies a specialised network that serves Soho-based hot-shops and also has operations in Santa Monica, California and Sydney, Australia, did not respond to requests for comment on the deal.
Soho Data's carrier neutral, 4,000m2 data centre will specialise in video animation, 3D TV and internet TV. It will offer various data centre services including co-location, managed services and computational capacity.
The Beijing-based firm already operates a TV channel in the UK, Propeller TV, according to the Rapid TV News blog. Soho Data Holdings is a sister company to Vision IPTV and Playout247. The deal with Xiking will create the first dedicated broadcast data centre in the heart of London's vibrant media sector, it said.
Heather Baker, director of PR at technology PR specialists TopLine Communications said creative services was one of the UK's major future exports. "The UK has a lot to offer China in terms of creative services and this new Soho-located data centre will be crucial in facilitating this offering," she said.
David Galton-Fenzi, group sales and marketing director at value-added distributor Zycko, said the deal would lead to processing and transferring large quantities of data between Soho and Beijing. "We expect WAN optimisation to be a crucial element of the data centre planning," he said.
Ye Maoxi, president of Xiking Culture Media, said: "This deal establishes a bridge between China and the UK for the development of exciting new business opportunities. Soho Data provides the platform to build a new generation of Chinese-British partnerships within the creative, cultural and media industries."