IBM Corp. is teaming up with Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. to take another crack the Middle Kingdom’s cloud computing market.
The two companies plan to form a joint entity called the Wanda Cloud Co. that will begin offering services from 2018, IBM said at its InterConnect conference Monday. Dalian Wanda is an enormous entity that spun out several of its financial businesses last October to form the Wanda Internet Technology Group. That new company runs various data centers within China, offers payment services among other things, and has a stated goal of becoming a major player in the Internet of Things.
IBM plans to introduce Watson services through the new partnership, starting with Watson Conversation services, before rolling out additional Watson solutions in the future.
IBM says the partnership 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 recognised 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.