On Wednesday, Microsoft China announced that 100 Chinese tech startups are about to get lucky. The company is promising RMB 100 million (US$16 million) in cloud services and support to 100 Chinese startups.
Reportedly, Microsoft is also partnering with Northern Light Venture Capital, DCM, and Gobi Partners to offer financial investments in addition to the cloud services and support. The first batch of 100 startups will be hand-picked by Microsoft and its VC partners.
It’s a move that’s aimed at supporting early-stage Chinese startups, but also clearly aimed at bringing more Chinese companies onto Microsoft’s Azure cloud services platform. Previously, Microsoft has also set up an incubator in China that includes free Azure services. Since the platform’s launch in China last March, Azure has reportedly acquired 50,000 domestic clients, including 34 Chinese local government bureaus.
Still, it’s no secret the company is working to get more Chinese startups onto Azure. Microsoft’s cloud platform has grown fast over the past year. But it has some powerful competitors in the region, including Alibaba’s Aliyun, which (perhaps) coincidentally just announced a similar program earlier this week.
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