ByteDance expands US data centre footprint
The Chinese internet technology firm, , has leased 53MW of data centre capacity in Northern Virginia that, according to reports, could accommodate hundreds of thousands of servers for cloud computing and data processing.
ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, is investing heavily in its data centre facilities internationally, with forming just a fraction of the company’s overall expenditure. In 2019, ByteDance revealed plans to build to store data collected from its European users.
Founded in 2012, ByteDance is reportedly worth over $100bn. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in a massive surge in mobile users. In August, TikTok registered more than 600mn daily active users – a rise of 50% from its 400mn daily users in January 2020.
The company’s continued investments in the US are surprising, given the current privacy concerns and an escalating trade war between the US and China.
President Donald Trump pressured ByteDance earlier this year to give U.S. investors a majority share of the company, citing allegations the app could be used to harvest data for the Chinese government. India also recently blocked TikTok along with nearly 120 Chinese tech companies, amidst similar concerns.
In September 2020, an agreement was reached for Oracle and Wal-Mart to take control of the company, but the deal is yet to be finalised. According to a by Sputnik News, on November 4th, Washington, DC district judge Carl Nichols announced uncertainty over whether the ByteDance could issue a new injunction against the Department of Commerce ban on the legal basis of "irreparable harm".
As ByteDance occupies space in several colocation data centres in the US, government restrictions could potentially enter force on November 12. But the continued compliance of the company suggests a solution is imminent.
In one of the biggest office leases signed during the pandemic, ByteDance also signed a lease with the Durst Organisation for 232,000 square feet at One Five One in Times Square. According to a report by , the added capacity is in line with the US government’s directives to store domestic TikTok users’ data in the U.S.
ByteDance’s decision to expand its US data storage capacity in Virginia, therefore, is understandable. Virginia is currently the most popular area for data centre leasing in North America, accounting for close to 70% of the total, across leading markets in the first half of 2020.
Meanwhile, news of ByteDance’s US investments follows on from false claims made earlier this year that the Beijing-based company was seeking to construct a dedicated data centre facility in Singapore. However, do suggest ByteDance has invested heavily in the SEA market, purchasing cloud computing servers in Singapore as a contingency backup for data based in the US.
NKG1 opens BDx Nanjing data centre campus
Big Data Exchange (BDx), a pan-Asian data centre company has launched its Nanjing data centre campus in China with the opening of its first facility, NKG1. The company said they “celebrated” the launch of the campus, located in the Yangtze River Delta, one of the nation's richest regions and its largest import and export base.
Following its certificate of completion from the Urban and Rural Construction Bureau of Jiangning District in Nanjing City, the NKG1 campus is “now serving customers”. Construction on the Nanjing campus began in February last year.
"We worked through the challenges of completing a major construction project during the peak of the pandemic because customers were anticipating this launch to support an unprecedented surge of growth and capacity requirements”, said Bill Gao, EVP & Chief Executive Officer of BDx Greater China.
"The launch of NKG1 enables BDx to have new world-class data centre infrastructure in China. It also lays a solid foundation for BDx to provide OTTs, financial services institutions, and Fortune 500 MNC customers with high reliability, high redundancy, and low latency solutions”, he added.
What does the NKG1 data centre include?
According to BDx, the NKG1 facility is the first data centre in the city to earn the Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Design Documents and offers 4MW of IT power for colocation. NKG1 is powered by two separate 10-kilovolt feeders from two substations that aim to provide the NKG campus with 60MVA of total power sanctioned from the grid.
During COVID-19, BDx says that its design and construction team focused on safety to ensure that the project was completed safely and without incident. This enabled the company to add critical capacity to this region and respond to the accelerated shift to digital environments that caused a surge in demand for data center services. “Research shows that demand hasn't dropped as the economy reopens”, BDx said.
The launch of NKG2
Due to rising demand in China’s data centre market, BDx plans to launch the second phase of its Nanjing campus, NKG2, by the end of this year. “NKG2 is designed to be minimally manned and almost lights-out — a reigning philosophy across BDx's data center cluster. In addition, its highly automated features make for a more sustainable data center environment”, the company said.