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IBM has announced a partnership with Tencent Cloud, a division of China’s largest Internet company. The two will collaborate on delivering public cloud infrastructure with Software-as-a-Service components, aimed at small-to-medium businesses.

“Tencent has a stable and reliable cloud computing platform, while IBM has abundant industry expertise aimed at the enterprise. We will work together to bring ‘Internet mode’ to more enterprise-level clients through cloud computing,” said Taosang Tong, president of Social Network Group, executive SVP of Tencent.

The agreement was made public at Tencent’s 2014 Annual Global Partner Conference in Hainan, China.

Better together
As of April 2014, Tencent is the fourth largest Internet company in the world, following Google, Amazon and Ebay. Through its subsidiaries, it offers communications, e-commerce, advertising and gaming services, and runs one of the largest social network portals in China –

Tencent Cloud was established to offer customers access to the infrastructure used to run this massive online services business.

Now, the cloud division will work alongside IBM on delivering cloud platforms for mobile, cloud computing and big data projects, particularly in the areas of smart cities and healthcare.

The companies will collaborate on consulting, cloud migration, integration and technical support services. IBM will also deliver some of its industry-specific SaaS products on Tencent Cloud, including software for customer care, digital marketing, enterprise asset management and smart office automation.

“The industry dimension makes this especially appealing for businesses,” said Nancy Thomas, managing partner with IBM’s Business Consulting Services in China. “IBM and Tencent’s shared vision is not only to bring the scale and cost benefits of cloud computing to enterprises in China, but to add differentiating value by serving the particular needs of specific industries. That is the key to unlocking the transformative power of cloud computing.”

IBM has recently announced a similar deal with China Telecom that will see the two companies jointly create and sell cloud services for local SMBs.