Xunlei plans to disrupt Amazon Web Service’s grip on the Chinese cloud market by offering a distributed alternative at a steep discount. Xunlei, a brand name little known to those inside the United States, is one of the largest tech companies in the Chinese market.
A device called the OneThing Cloud has been flying off shelves throughout 2017 and into 2018. It utilizes idle processes, bandwidth, and storage and uses it to create a distributed computing system. By connecting devices such as external hard drives and computers to OneThing Cloud, a virtualized cloud emerges.
This is a similar concept to that found in Western Digital’s MyCloud drives. it’s a private cloud system, allowing users to access their information from any device.
OneThing Rewards Program
However, the difference is in the OneThing Rewards Program. This program rewards users for sharing their idle resources to create a larger, distributed cloud with other users.
If enough OneThing Cloud users sign up, they create a massive crowdsourced cloud. Each member’s device(s) become a shared computing node.
Users are then rewarded with blockchain-generated LinkTokens. The more one contributes, the more they receive.
These larger cloud resources can then be sold to corporations in lieu of a more direct cloud service such as AWS. What makes this even more interesting, is that it doesn’t require a larger data center anywhere to operate.
The data center is essentially every computer, hard drive, router, and other devices connected through OneThing Cloud. In China, the mega-cloud currently includes over 1 million nodes.
Customers of this network include video streaming companies, such as XiaoMi, iQIYI, PandaTV, Kuaishou, and others. These names might not be well known to the United States market, but they’re China’s equivalent to sites like YouTube and Vimeo.
Competitive Rates Mean Trouble for Centralized Cloud Providers
Since the OneThing Cloud doesn’t require a data center, or any major centralized infrastructure to maintain, Xunlei can provide cloud services at scale for a fraction of the cost of traditional cloud providers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) in particular.
Amazon AWS has been a major player in China over the past several years.
Last November, Amazon announced that it was selling a large portion of its cloud infrastructure to its partner in the region, Beijing Sinnet Technology. The total sale price was 2 billion Chinese yuan ($301 million).
Beijing Sinnet Technology resells Amazon AWS cloud services as an authorized distributor. In addition, Amazon Web Services continues to drive new business in the region. Last December, it announced a doubling-down of its efforts in China by opening a new cloud region in partnership with Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology Co.
Amazon continues to grow in the Chinese market. Time will tell if it can withstand the rapidly-growing distributed cloud OneThing Cloud is building.