Photographer: Ben Torres/Bloomberg

Amazon Building New Data Centers in South Korea for Cloud Unit

  • New AWS region will be Amazon's 12th in the world in 2016
  • Company is planning additional data centers in China and India

Amazon.com Inc. in 2016 will open a new cluster of data centers in South Korea, as the Web retailer pushes deeper into Asia to compete with other cloud-computing providers such as Microsoft Corp. and Google.

The facilities are for the machines that power Amazon Web Services, the business that rents data storage and computing power to other companies, rather than its online retail operations. They are being built in response to requests from customers, including Samsung Electronics Co. and various gaming companies, Seattle-based Amazon announced Wednesday. The data centers will also let Amazon serve new clients, including government agencies and large enterprises that need to keep data exclusively in South Korea.

Some nations mandate that certain data, such as health records, can’t leave their country of origin, prohibiting cloud providers without data centers located in those countries from certain kinds of business. Proximity to customers also decreases response times for those running Internet-based cloud applications.

Amazon’s cloud-computing division serves customers such as Pinterest Inc. and Netflix Inc. South Korea will be the fifth AWS region in Asia, and Amazon has committed to building a second cluster of data centers in China and is also planning one in India. The company will have 12 data regions worldwide when South Korea is built in early 2016.

Amazon didn’t disclose the size of its investment.

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