Short Video Platform Kuaishou to Set up Major Data Center in Inner Mongolia

Chinese short video app and Douyin rival Kuaishou has recently announced its plan to spend around RMB 10 billion to build an intelligent cloud big data center in Inner Mongolia, as the company seeks to support an increasingly massive user base, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

As the first super large-scale server farm built by Kuaishou’s technical team, the data center will be located in the city of Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia, and is expected to have its first batch of servers operational in 2021. It will cover an area of about 82 acres and house approximately 300,000 servers. Kuaishou’s new data center is one of the largest in China, led only by Tencent and Alibaba, according to Chinese media reports

Kuaishou said it intends to use the data center to support the demand for big data platforms and artificial intelligence technologies. Since the company’s daily active users (DAUs) reached 300 million at the beginning of 2020, the demand for data storage as been growing at a rate of 10 petabytes, or 10 million gigabytes, per day. Once finished, the Ulanqab data center will provide the short video platform with 60 exabytes, or 6 billion gigabytes of storage.

The big data center will also feature energy and resource saving designs such as indirect evaporative cooling technologies, waste heat recovery, as well as utilization of wind and solar energy. The project is expected to use 60% less water and 30% less electricity than conventional data centers, the company said.

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The Chinese government has been stepping up its push for “new infrastructure” and major projects to boost the economy in the post COVID-19 period, which was further underscored in the National People’s Congress session last month. Included in the “new infrastructure” initiative are data centers and 5G networks that aim to rejuvenate and structurally upgrade the economy.

Kuaishou is not the only tech company to make major moves in new infrastructure this year. E-commerce giant Alibaba in April said it would invest RMB 200 billion in its cloud infrastructure in the next three years to speed up the digital transformation of businesses. In May, gaming behemoth Tencent, who owns a sizeable share in Kuaishou, said it would spend RMB 500 billion over the next five years on areas such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence. According to Tencent, its initiative will focus on constructing large data centers containing more than 1 million servers each.