Amazon sells key AWS China assets to local partner, regulatory compliance cited

15 November, 2017, 01:24 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • Amazon to sell China cloud services unit in $300 million deal

Amazon said that it will sell few physical assets only and own the intellectual property of Amazon Web services (AWS) worldwide.

Beijing Sinnet Technology Co Ltd, Amazon's China partner, said in a filing late yesterday that it would buy the United States firm's Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud computing unit in China for up to 2 billion yuan ($301.2 million), according to the report.

"In order to comply with Chinese law, AWS sold certain physical infrastructure assets to Sinnet", a spokesman for the Amazon.com cloud-services unit said on November 14, adding AWS would still own the intellectual property for its services worldwide.

Sinnet, which began operating the Amazon services in August 2016, said in a filing late on Monday the pending purchase would help the unit "comply with local laws and regulations and further improve service quality and security". "As a result, in order to comply with Chinese law, AWS" made the business deal.

The spokesperson added that the company was excited about its business in China and its potential for growth.

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The deal between Amazon and Sinnet is possibly connected with what is called the Great Firewall of China, the government's increasingly vice-like grip over Internet access in the country.

It looks like Amazon is removing itself from the Chinese cloud services industry on account of stringent new data laws that went live in the country earlier this year. AWS runs a separate hardware venture in collaboration with the Ningxia provincial government in China's northwest, according to Reuters.

AWS first launched a China service in 2014, but must operate via local partners to comply with Chinese law, with companies required to store data locally in legislation enacted in June. Foreign firms have repeatedly complained about the biased regulations in China that favor the local companies.

All these tech giants face a tight regulatory environment in China, which could be the primary reason that AWS China is quickly toeing the line before any unpleasantness occurs.

Amazon shares acquired 50 cents to $1,129.67 mid-morning Tuesday.

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