Jul 21, 2020

Naver latest tech company to exit Hong Kong

Data Centres
APAC
Hong Kong
Naver
Harry Menear
2 min
Foreign tech companies have been pausing or terminating their relationships with Hong Kong in the wake of a new security bill
Foreign tech companies have been pausing or terminating their relationships with Hong Kong in the wake of a new security bill...

On Monday, Naver - one of South Korea’s leading tech firms, and the country’s alternative to Google - announced plans to move one of its backup data centres from Hong Kong to Singapore. 

The data centre is responsible for backing up sensitive information and key data that is stored in its primary data centre in Chuncheon, the capital of Gangwon province - which lies to the Northeast of Seoul. Naver reportedly maintains its overseas facilities in the event of Korean infrastructure being compromised, either by an attack from the DPRK or a natural disaster. 

The company, which is Korea’s sole domestic competitor in the country’s cloud market, said that it had decided on the move following the passage of Hong Kong’s new security law, which was passed by the Chinese government earlier in the month. 

“Naver is relocating a data center that backs up an important set of data from Hong Kong into Singapore to better store and manage users’ data in line with an operational direction toward strengthening data protection,” said a Naver representative on the company’s blog, reported by the JoongAng Daily.

Widespread concerns over data security and privacy have prompted Naver’s withdrawal from Hong Kong, as consumers and enterprises have raised complaints about the Chinese government’s ability to access personal information contained within Hong Kong’s borders. 

Despite maintaining that no such leaks of personal information had occurred, Naver “deleted all backup data saved at the center in Hong Kong early this month and completed formatting the server," the company said to representatives of Yonhap News Agency this week. 

Naver is not the only tech giant to distance itself from the troubled Administrative Area. Two weeks ago, social media platform Tik Tok announced that it was pulling out of Hong Kong due to difficulties remaining compliant with the new security measures. Hong Kong - along with Macau and Taiwan - is one of the few places where Chinese citizens have access to Western social media platforms and websites. 

However, major US tech companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Zoom, have all suspended the processing of requests for user data from the Hong Kong authorities while they study the new law, which may have the PRC government the power it needs to bring its satellite territories behind the “great firewall” that has created a completely different internet in mainland China compared to the rest of the world. 

Whether this development marks the beginning of the end for Hong Kong’s identity as a regional tech and IT hub, or whether the country will bounce back, remains to be seen. 

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Jun 15, 2021

LCL acquires ENGIE Solutions data centre in Gembloux

LCL
ENGIESolutions
datacentres
Acquisition
2 min
LCL acquires the ENGIE solutions data centre in Gembloux in Belgium, the new facility being the company’s first in Wallonia

The data centre company LCL has announced today that it has acquired the ENGIE solutions data centre in Gembloux, Belgium through the acquisition of Cofely data solutions. The new facility, called Wallonia One, is the company’s first facility in Wallonia. As part of the agreement, LCL will take over the management of the facility’s employees as well as the data centre itself. The value of the acquisition is undisclosed. 

LCL says that Wallonia One is its fifth data centre in the Belgian market and its second acquisition, after purchasing the Atos data centre in Huizingen in April last year. Laurens van Reijen, CEO of LCL, said: “With this fifth data centre, we are increasing our presence on the market. Gembloux is located in the heart of the Walloon economy. As a result, LCL Wallonia One offers excellent connection possibilities for the business sites and parks throughout Wallonia. 

“Thanks to our other strategic sites located in the four corners of the Brussels and Antwerp peripheries, we can ensure that any company will have close links with other regions in our country”, van Reijen said. 

Four employees under a fixed contract with Cofely Data Solutions will be joining the LCL team for the acquisition. Remaining part of the LCL Wallonia One, the employees will be under the leadership of their current manager, Nicolas Coppée, LCL said. 

“We warmly welcome our four new colleagues and their support will be effectively integrated,” said Laurens van Reijen. “LCL is still strongly driven by service and quality. We intend not only to build synergies between our five data centres but also to introduce some innovations. Our current team of 37 employees is specialised in data centre services. So this is a win-win-win operation: for the customers of data centres, for ENGIE Solutions, and for LCL”. 

Wallonia One’s “solar park”

LCL also says that the Wallonia One data centre features a solar park to provide power for the facility. The park includes 2,000 photovoltaic panels which generate 1MW of electricity, LCL claims. The centre also has a low Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.25, in line with the company’s sustainability and efficiency objectives. 

Committed to making all of its data centres carbon-neutral by 2030, LCL has created the “Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact” across Europe, which consists of 24 companies and 17 associations. 

In addition to Wallonia One, LCL and ENGIE Solutions have also concluded a collaboration agreement, thus enabling ENGIE Solutions to build new data centres for LCL. There are also plans for ENGIE Solutions to advise LCL on energy efficiency, given ENGIE’s experience in such projects.

 

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