For the past fifteen years, my professional life has been centered in Asia, with ten of these years as a resident. And throughout this time I have always held strong personal views on the economic potential of the region. However, the current and future growth projections have outpaced my most optimistic predictions and expectations.
Some recent stats from various sources which illustrate the extent of the growth that is occurring, include:
- Of the current 3+ billion global internet users, more than 46% reside within Asia-Pacific. It is estimated that Asia-Pac will represent more than 50% before the end of 2015.
- Global e-commerce transactions are currently estimated to be around ~USD $1.5 trillion. In 2014, Asia-Pacific became the world’s largest e-commerce market. By end of 2017, consumers in APAC will be responsible for more than USD $1 trillion of the estimated $2.3 trillion in global e-commerce sales.
Coupled with these growth trends, the region is also experiencing dramatic change. For example, Asia-Pacific is the fastest mobile device growth region in the world, and already accounts for more than 50% of global mobile phone ownership. In fact, many users from Asia-Pacific will connect to the Internet for the first time via a mobile device, and that will remain as their main Internet access device.
The adoption of mobile technologies is having a direct impact upon B2C commerce, with an estimated 30% of e-commerce transactions now being conducted via a mobile device. Many countries are also leveraging NFC-enabled smartphones to launch consumer mobile payment initiatives and services.
Put succinctly, the market opportunity is extraordinary, and the landscape is undergoing rapid evolution and change.
I have found Asia-Pacific to be vibrant, culturally diverse, with an ever-changing kaleidoscope of disparate experiences and styles. Its diversity forms the backdrop for a business context in which some countries have vastly different levels of technology maturity, adoption and usage. For instance, Asia-Pacific has countries which have among the highest and lowest percentages of internet users, broadband penetration, mobile-only Internet users, and so forth. Similarly, the business and legal environments are often unique for different countries.
For organizations operating within this region, these complexities present enormous challenges. As APAC continues its strong economic growth, the complexity for businesses will continue to intensify. Organizations are increasingly looking for vendor partners to help them address these ongoing complexities and challenges.
Today I am enthusiastic to announce the availability of our CenturyLink Cloud in Asia-Pacific. This is an expansion which follows on from the long-standing history that CenturyLink has of helping our customers meet their business requirements in the complex and diverse APAC region. For existing customers of CenturyLink Cloud, you’ll automatically begin to see our SG1 node available in the Control portal.
The launch of CenturyLink Cloud builds upon the industry analyst recognition for our Asia-Pacific cloud-enabled managed hosting capabilities; and regional investments of more than USD $400 million in data centers, network infrastructure and new product offerings, that we have done since 2008.
The advent of CenturyLink Cloud is an exciting development. Stay tuned for further announcements!