Google announced Wednesday that it has abandoned its cloud project on concerns over political tensions and the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from Bloomberg. Dubbed as “Isolated Region,” the initiative is sought to address the desires of China and other countries to control data within their borders.
As part of the initiative, the cloud service in a region would have been controlled by a third party, such as a local business or government agency. The project was also aimed to provide cloud services to customers and regulatory bodies around the world. Google said the Isolated Region initiative was scrapped because “other approaches we were actively pursuing offered better outcomes.” The company didn’t specify those approaches.
According to Bloomberg, Google reportedly paused the initiative in China last year to focus on the EMEA regions, but the plug was finally pulled in May.
Citing two Google employees, Bloomberg News reported that Google had shelved the project in China and other politically sensitive countries in May, partly due to rising geopolitical tensions and the pandemic. Google Cloud brought in $8.9 billion for Alphabet last year. However, Google cloud platform still lags behind the two market leaders–Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.