Limelight Networks and Tencent Cloud recently announced a major reseller agreement that radically expands access to each company’s services. Limelight will offer its CDN customers in China its service through Tencent Cloud. Reciprocally, Tencent will offer CDN services from Limelight to its customer base in North America and other international markets. In its press statement last week, the companies said, “Together, Limelight and Tencent offer a seamless solution to global customers who want to deliver content around the world.”
“Partnering with Limelight is one example of how Tencent Cloud is expanding its services and capabilities to meet the rapidly growing global demand for high-performance cloud services,” said Carlos Morell, Vice President, Tencent Cloud International. “For global companies that want to operate in China as well as Chinese companies that want to go global, Tencent Cloud makes it easy to enable and enhance operations and extend existing IT infrastructure to a more powerful, reliable and intelligent platform.”
Meanwhile, in a blog on its website, Limelight described the possibility presented by China’s accelerating digital adoption as “a unique opportunity for global businesses to access the Chinese market and for Chinese businesses to have access to global consumers”. Limelight added that by offering its CDN services in China through Tencent Cloud, “This gives our customers another choice for delivery and brings new expertise and capabilities to businesses in China and around the world.”
Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China in 1998. The huge Chinese investment holding conglomerate with many subsidiaries, including social networks, media, entertainment, advertising and more. Tencent is also the fifth largest Internet company globally, last month joining Apple, Facebook, and Amazon to surpass $500 billion dollars in market cap, making it Asia’s first company to do so.
Tencent Cloud is a public cloud service provider, which integrates the larger company’s infrastructure-building capabilities with a huge-user platform and ecosystem.
CNBC recently reported on the way in which, like its rival Alibaba, Tencent is beginning to look beyond China’s 1.4 billion people to expand its reach into the global marketplace. Tencent has already invested in various US tech companies, including Tesla and Snapchat, and others in more far-out industries, including those testing out flying cars and asteroid mining. Traditionally, it has been difficult for Chinese companies to grow beyond its national boarders in a similar way to the challenges posed for Western companies trying to operate within China. However, it recently announced it was rolling out its WeChat payment services in Malaysia after gaining an e-payment license: marking the first time it had gained a license such as this to operate outside of China. If Tencent continues to grow at its current rate, it could take on some of Silicon Valley’s biggest players.
Alibaba actually has the fastest-growing computing cloud worldwide, putting it ahead of Amazon and Google, which operate the largest networks of data centers. In 2016, Alibab’s cloud-computing business grew by 126% to $675m. The president of Alibaba Cloud, Simon Hu, said he wants it to “match or surpass” AWS by 2019. As The Economist notes, that’s unlikely as Amazon Web Services is estimated to have brought in revenue of around $17bn last year. However, the Chinese cloud-computing industry is growing rapidly, as can be seen with both Alibaba and Tencent.