Alibaba the biggest, but more clouds on China’s horizon

According to analyst firm Canalys, Alibaba continues to dominate the Chinese cloud market.

In its assessment of China’s cloud services spending released today, Canalys claimed that Alibaba achieved 38.3 percent market share in the third quarter of 2021 and posted 33.3 percent annual revenue growth.

Huawei’s market share fell, but was ahead of Tencent.

Baidu is stagnant in fourth place, while “other” clouds account for about a fifth of the market. Others are also more stable than the top three — all of which have experienced some significant market share declines that Canalys didn’t explain.

There are some impressive annual revenue growth rates hidden within the overall market share. Huawei posted 49.1 percent thanks to the launch of new products, including further interoperability with Huawei Mobile Services. Tencent’s 49.5 percent revenue growth was helped by deals with major e-commerce and financial customers. Baidu’s AI-focused cloud grew 64.7 percent.

Canalys suggests that China’s “other” cloud could be interesting in the coming quarters, as that category includes AWS and Azure, both of which have announced expansions of their Middle Kingdom operations.

“The growing interest in US-based hyperscalers is largely due to the fact that mainland China is the world’s second largest market,” said Canalys analyst Blake Murray. “This is associated with its position as one of the fastest growing markets in the world due to its rapidly digitizing economy. While there are some barriers – such as for non-domestic players to enter the mainland China market – Participation required for – the benefit is greater than the cost.

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