Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings has launched its first Internet data centre in Indonesia as it looks to anchor itself in the region’s booming digital economy.
With the data centre, Tencent Cloud’s infrastructure network now spans across 27 regions and 61 availability zones.
Located in the central business district of Jakarta, the latest data centre is in full operation and is aimed at supporting the growing needs of a wide range of industries.
Poshu Yeung, senior vice-president of Tencent Cloud International, said many local companies have realised the importance of going digital after being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The need for South-east Asia’s and Indonesia’s growth online is pretty clear. So it’s great timing for us to start building up our presence in Indonesia,” he told The Business Times.
Companies in Indonesia using Tencent’s cloud services include Bank Neo Commerce, enterprise communications company Aestron and entertainment streaming platform JOOX.
Tencent Cloud started expanding outside of China about three years ago as its rivals, most prominently Alibaba Cloud, aggressively sought out the growing global demand for cloud services amid increasing digitalisation.
The company has around 20 availability zones across 13 regions outside of China. It expects to grow its number of international data centres by 30 to 50 per cent in 2021, Mr Yeung said.
Over the last five months, Tencent Cloud announced the launch of a second data centre in South Korea, and a data centre hub for the Middle East and North Africa in Bahrain, which will go live by end-2021. It plans to launch second data centres in Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and Frankfurt this year. In Indonesia, it will be the company’s first time launching two data centres in the same market in the same year.
Tencent Cloud has two data centres in Singapore and Mr Yeung said the company intends to have at least one more in the future, although land scarcity and regulations remain a challenge.
The international business saw a triple-digit percentage growth last year, with South-east Asia being one of the fastest-growing markets, according to Mr Yeung.
Customers generally go for out-of-box solutions but “in South-east Asia we see a lot of interesting ideas from clients, and that’s why it’s exciting for us because…we can help businesses finetune solutions to meet their requirements”, he said.
Sectors in the region poised for strong growth include fintech, e-commerce, healthcare, education and gaming.
Tencent hired more than 3,000 employees for its cloud division last year as competition in the cloud computing space intensified, a Reuters report said. The company also pledged 500 billion yuan (S$102.7 billion) over five years for investments in technology infrastructure, including cloud computing.
Tencent’s offices in South-east Asia include ones in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, and a recently announced regional hub in Singapore. Mr Yeung said the company will increase headcount for the cloud division.
Last July, Tencent Cloud signed a memorandum of understanding with Asia Digital Bank Corporation in Singapore for cloud-based financial services and joint innovations for a data-driven bank.
The cloud services provider also has South-east Asian e-commerce platform Shopee and gaming company Garena as its clients. Tencent is a major shareholder of New York-listed Sea, the parent of both companies.
In 2020, the average daily viewing time of the Shopee Live live-streaming site, supported by Tencent Cloud, increased 15 times. The live broadcast during the 12.12 sale event garnered 450 million views, and the number of in-app games played hit 2.7 billion.