Huawei Cloud has opened a Chile region, providing cloud and AI services and acting as a gateway to Latin America for the Chinese company.

The company announced the move at a Summit in Chile last month, where it also spoke of plans to build the first submarine data cable between Asia and Latin America.

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“The Chile region is our first region in Latin America and more regions will be launched this year," said Edward Deng, president of Huawei Cloud Global Market. "We will empower governments and enterprises across Latin America.” The company promised the region would deliver a domestic latency of 20ms, and a latency of 50ms for other Latin American countries.

Rumors of a prospective Huawei data center surfaced in Chilean daily newspaper La Tercera back in February, which would make this a very quick data center delivery, unless the service is being delivered from existing wholesale or retail colocation space. The launch at the Chile Summit was short on details of capacity and location.

Chile itself has been investing heavily in digital infrastructure and inviting foreign cloud companies to locate there. At Huawei's Chile Summit, the company had endorsements from government, universities and industry.

Other global cloud players adopting Chile as a beach-head in Latin America include Google, which, announced a second facility in the country in July 2019, only a year after expanding its first one. A year ago Chile competed with Argentina for a new South American AWS data center, while the cloud giant eventually pitched a specialized facility to mine astronomical data from the country's many telescopes.

Cloud companies moving into Chile are aware that international links will be required as part of the package. Google has built the Curie cable which connects Chile to North America, along the Pacific coast. Huawei is perhaps being more ambitious, proposing to become part of the first submarine cable linking Chile and Asia.

Chile's government has been talking of a cable to Asia since 2017, and opened a tender process in July 2019. Huawei plans to take part when bids are invited, the Huawei CEO for Chile David Dou Yong told Reuters at the Summit. However the company that would be pitching to build the cable, Huawei Marine, is in fact transitioning out of Huawei ownership: it is a joint venture, and Huawei is in the process of selling its 51 percent share in the business to Hengton.

Huawei Cloud and its partners have 23 regions with a total of 44 availability zones round the world.