I expect Microsoft are happy to contract operations to 21Vianet as the approach has the added advantage that when the government demand direct access to the data, as they inevitably will, MS would have been left in an awkward position. At least this way they can say their service is being run for them by a separate, local, legal entity who have to abide by local laws. Google have cut themselves out of China altogether. morally their position is more laudable, and they deserve credit for it. But financially and strategically it isn't good for them at all.
Microsoft stole a march on its cloudy rivals today by announcing its Azure cloud services are available in China. Redmond revealed as far back as May 2013 that it had signed a deal with local player 21Vianet to provide Azure in the Middle Kingdom, and it has been around in beta for a few months. However, this week will see the …
"MS would have been left in an awkward position"
It wouldn't leave Microsoft in an awkward position at all - Microsoft have had plenty of practice at meeting local legal disclosure requirements - just like every other major cloud vendor. This is probably more that the demand isn't there for Microsoft to build their own vast undertaking - just yet...
"Google have cut themselves out of China altogether"
No - they just moved to Hong Kong - which is still part of China.
"they deserve credit for it"
No, they are still The Borg.
"No - they just moved to Hong Kong - which is still part of China."
Clearly you haven't seen the stats for what has happened to Google usage since they left China. They to all intents and purposes don't exist there now. They are regularly blocked by the government and performance is dreadful.
Hong Kong is a special zone, and has completely different laws to mainland China and a tiny fraction of the population.
"Just like every other cloud vendor" apart from, er, GOOGLE. Why ? Because they were opening themselves up to a huge breach of human rights when the email accounts they were hosting for political dissidents were hacked by the Chinese government.
You do know people still disappear there without trace? It happened to a Chinese engineer working alongside the members of one of my teams. Not often but it does still happen. He vanished, and was seen being ushered into a police car. None of his Chinese colleagues wanted to talk about it and the company could find no record of charges brought against him.
I would be interested to understand why you think Google has left the largest market in the world to Baidu? Guess they just couldn't be arsed with the easily implemented local disclosure requirements.