Amazon Sells Cloud Assets in China Due to New Rules

Amazon to sell China cloud services unit in $300 million deal

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is selling some of its cloud business in China to its Chinese partner Beijing Sinnet Technology Co. for approximately 2 billion Yuan (U.S.$301.2 million).

Sinnet said in a regulatory filing on Monday that the purchase, which is still pending, would help it "comply with China's laws to further improve the company's AWS cloud services" in terms of quality and security.

"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. Due to compliance issues, Amazon began operating AWS services in 2016 through its partner Sinnet.

Amazon isn't the only one to make decisions based off a desire to stay in China.

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Amazon said that it will sell few physical assets only and own the intellectual property of Amazon Web services (AWS) worldwide. Companies targeted by the regulations are required to carry out a security self-assessment or obtain approval from the relevant regulator before transferring the controlled data overseas.

Last year Amazon signed a deal with Sinnet so it could operate its services in China, most notably Amazon Web Services. It said instead it was selling hardware to comply with laws that forbid ownership or operation of certain types of cloud technology.

Amazon announced its China AWS region back in December 2013, and noted at the time that, to comply with China's legal and regulatory requirements, it was working with local companies, including Sinnet, who would provide the necessary data centre infrastructure, bandwidth and network capabilities.

China favors domestic firms over foreign ones with paternalistic policies. The rule makes it hard to use data globally, greatly complicating operational strategies for many overseas companies, and countries including the USA have voiced concerns about the legislation's enforcement.

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