Microsoft is reportedly planning to add four new data centers in China by early 2022.

Bloomberg reports the company is opening the facilities as part of a wider effort to expand its service capacity across Asia and wants to “capitalize” on a recent surge in demand for Internet services.

Microsoft Azure
– Sebastian Moss

Microsoft currently has five data center regions in mainland China, operated by local partner 21Vianet. In March the company announced a new Azure region in Hebei. Bloomberg didn’t provide details for where the four new facilities might be located and Microsoft reportedly declined to comment.

March it announced plans to expand its data center network with a greater presence in the northern region around Beijing. The Redmond, Washington-based tech giant already has six data centers in the country, operated by local partner 21Vianet.

Any further expansion Microsoft makes in China will have to be through 21Vianet. Following an acquisition of a facility in Shanghai last year, in March the company announced it had acquired a data center in Beijing featuring around 2,000 racks due to be leased by an unnamed public cloud customer. CEO Samuel Shen said he was looking to expand further through more acquisition targets in 'Tier-1 markets.'

Amazon has also recently announced its own expansion in China. The company announced phase 2 expansion of its Ningxia region - operated by Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology - with an expected additional floorspace ‘1.3 times’ that of phase 1. The company also announced its Beijing region - operated by Sinnet - would be getting a third Availability Zone later in 2021.