IBM invests in UK data centers as tech sector defies Brexit worries

Updated 23 November 2016
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IBM invests in UK data centers as tech sector defies Brexit worries

LONDON: Global IT group IBM will triple the number of its cloud data centers in Britain, it said on Tuesday, joining Facebook and Google in investing in the UK after its vote to leave the European Union.
IBM said it would build four new data centers to meet demand from its corporate and public sector clients who were increasingly storing data and managing their businesses in the cloud.
IBM Europe’s general manger for cloud services, Sebastian Krause, said the investment reflected the strength of the UK economy and the size of the opportunity in cloud computing.
“UK customers truly understand the capabilities of cloud to drive innovation, to be more flexible on their business model, to have better insight for decision making, and to deliver better customer service,” he said in an interview.
IBM had evaluated its cloud capacity in Britain before the June “Brexit” vote, he said, but it saw no reason to change course as a result of the decision.
“Everyone has concluded the UK economy will continue to be very strong and there will be significant opportunities with or without Brexit,” he said.
Tech bosses have been balancing Britain’s enthusiasm for technology and a deep pool of talent, fueled by world class universities, against the uncertainty of the country’s future relationship with the European Union, and in particular the ability to attract workers from across the trading bloc.
Companies including Google and Facebook have decided the advantages outweigh the risks, but they’ve emphasised the importance of being able to attract the best people.
IBM said its footprint in Britain would increase from two data centers to six, serving customers such as travel group Thomson, which is owned by TUI, retailers Boots and Dixons Carphone, and National Grid, as well as the government.
Brexit also creates uncertainty about Britain’s future compliance with European data protection rules, which have recently been overhauled.
Krause, however, said IBM was “well-equipped” for any post-Brexit scenario, and it had 10 data centers in continental Europe that it could also use if Britain did not adhere to any European standards in the future.


Apple’s Cook to China: keep opening for sake of global economy

Updated 23 March 2019
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Apple’s Cook to China: keep opening for sake of global economy

  • Cook’s comments come as Apple weathers sinking sales in China
  • Despite official pledges and repeated assurances that China would continue to open its markets

BEIJING: Apple chief executive Tim Cook nudged China on Saturday to open up and said the future would depend on global collaboration, as the United States and China remained locked in a bitter trade dispute.
“We encourage China to continue to open up, we see that as essential, not only for China to reach its full potential, but for the global economy to thrive,” Cook said at a China Development Forum in Beijing.
Despite official pledges and repeated assurances that China would continue to open its markets, some analysts worry that its reform project has slowed or even stalled under President Xi Jinping, who has sought greater control over the economy and a bigger role for state-owned firms at the expense of the private sector.
Cook’s comments come as Apple weathers sinking sales in China because of a contracting smartphone market, increasing pressure from Chinese rivals, and slowing upgrade cycles. The company reported a revenue drop of 26 percent in the greater China region during the quarter ending in December.
Before those results came out, in a January letter to investors, Cook blamed the company’s poor China performance on trade tension between the United States and China, suggesting that pressure on the economy was hurting sales in China.