Originally posted to Data Center POST
Most people are only too aware of the recent emergence of China as the second largest, and soon to be, largest national economy in the world. Based on 2016 figures, the gap between the United States and China is still significant, $18.6 trillion versus $11.2 trillion, according to the World Bank. However, China represents a huge market that cannot be ignored, a 14.9 percent share of the world economy compared to the United States’ 24.7 percent. Growth continued at just under seven percent in 2017 and shows few signs of abating.
Today, nearly 800 million people in China have internet access, and this number is increasing with first-time users of the web numbering more than the adult population of the UK every year. Expectations are that more than one billion of the 1.4 billion people in China will be online within the duration of the next Five Year Plan. It is an enormous market representing more than 20 percent of the world’s online community today. Whilst GDP per capita in China is below Western markets, it is quickly rising, and the spending patterns of consumers across the country are compelling.
However, in terms of accessing the Chinese population for online services, the challenge is wholly different to any other major market in that the national firewall is highly effective, which means businesses wanting to participate in the huge and growing online markets of China must have servers present inside the firewall. This contrasts with any other major economy where servers can be in the U.S. or Europe, and access is enabled across the web.
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