Microsoft Azure Take On Chinese PPTV With Cloud Platform

Microsoft have announced an agreement with leading Chinese online TV provider PPTV, with the signing of a ‘strategic partnership memorandum’ in Shanghai (China) made with the intentions of key services from either side appearing on the other.

The services in question are cloud computing platform Windows Azure, and the collection of online channels known as PPTV Asia TV Networks (PPTV ATN), with the latter set to appear on Azure as the first provider of its kind from the Asian country.

The partnership was marked by a ceremony (pictured) which was attended by corporate and political dignitaries including ‘Shanghai Pudong New Area District’s deputy district head Zhengyi Liu, Microsoft Corporate vice-president Ya-Qin Zhang, and PPTV’s CEO Chuang Tao, amongst others.

The memorandum signed indicates that PPTV is to take on Windows Azure to serve as their primary infrastructure platform (following on from a move made by Samsung’s series of smart TV sets last month), while Azure will receive PPTV ATN as an internet TV platform to appeal to viewers around the world, in particular the Asian market. The companies also claim that they will work together to try and find further ‘collaboration opportunities’ in the field of online TV, including potential operations as a ‘media service platform’ or ‘content delivery network’ (CDN) to serve Chinese markets.

Chuang Tao said of his company’s involvement in the deal: “PPTV chose Windows Azure platform because of its reliability, scalability, and global availability, which can accelerate PPTV’s international expansion. PPTV ATN creates an innovative user experience, to deliver to global audience with global contents, live and VoD, across screens. PPTV ATN innovates in business model, to create an ecosystem for content providers and service operators through revenue sharing. PPTV ATN is also the first to deliver complete video cloud service on Azure. With Windows Azure, we can offer scale and flexibility not found anywhere else. We can also avoid unpredictable resource and demand fluctuations globally. PPTV ATN can thus pass on these benefits to our partners, and in the end to our global customers. This is a new competitive edge for our business.”

Ya-Qin Zhang, who also operates as the chairman of Microsoft’s Asia-Pacific R&D Group, summarised: “Cloud computing is widely recognized as the nerve center of the next generation of information technology. And cloud-based services for most of the cases are well-connected to local markets. Microsoft is making solid progress of bringing Windows Azure to China through collaboration with local partners. We are very pleased to see that Windows Azure enables PPTV to deliver a global online TV service platform. It’s a great example of how Microsoft supports China internet companies’ innovation, efficiency and sustainable growth in the global market.”

The deal could be seen as a breakthrough of sorts for Chinese online TV providers offering their services to the wider world, but will the first major attempt from PPTV be a success?

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