IBM and Wanda Internet Technology Group have agreed to form a new joint venture to bring IBM Cloud services to China.
On Sunday, the two companies announced the plans in Beijing, which includes the formation of Wanda Cloud Company, a JV which will push Wanda into the public cloud business.
Based on IBM’s cloud platform, Wanda’s new offerings will focus on Chinese enterprise customers seeking to utilize IBM’s cloud infrastructure, as well as Big Blue’s platform as a service — IaaS and PaaS — technologies.
The companies say that through the new joint venture, Chinese customers will also have access to advanced technologies including IBM’s Watson supercomputer, blockchain technologies, and support for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
Wanda will deploy enterprise solutions through IBM’s Cloud platform, made possible with data center support across the nation.
IBM plans to introduce Watson services through the new partnership, starting with Watson Conversation services, before rolling out additional Watson solutions in the future.
Details of ownership percentages or financial considerations were not disclosed.
IBM says the joint venture will not only assist Chinese enterprise players in “enhancing efficiency, improve productivity and drive innovation,” but will also support China’s “Internet+” strategy.
China may be best known for the Great Firewall of China and harsh censorship rules, but like any other developed country, there are businesses and entrepreneurs that want to take advantage of new technologies, including cloud computing, mobility, artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT.
Chinese leaders have recognized this demand and the potential economic advantages of supporting these dreams, so in 2015, launched the “ Internet+” initiative. The brainchild of China State Council leader Li Keqiang, the scheme wants to bring mobile Internet, cloud computing, Big Data and IoT together with domestic manufacturers and businesses to assist them in competing on the global stage.
In related news, IBM introduced IBM Blockchain at the IBM InterConnect conference in Las Vegas on Monday. The new blockchain as-a-service enterprise offering is aimed at giving businesses the tools required to build their own blockchain networks and cut down the time and effort required to handle complex financial transactions.