Google has announced that it’s opening a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) region in Hong Kong.

Launching sometime in 2018, it will be Google’s sixth Asia-Pacific (APAC) region after Singapore, Sydney, Taiwan, Tokyo, and the recently announced Mumbai region.

Above: Hong Kong: Coming in 2018

Hong Kong represents a notable addition to Google’s global roster of cloud regions. The company has yet to launch its cloud platform in mainland China, despite rivals Microsoft and Amazon’s AWS having offered cloud services there for a number of years, albeit in partnership with local players.

China isn’t exactly embracing foreign cloud companies, however. Regulators have been tightening rules on foreign data and cloud services while also implementing new surveillance measures around cross-border data transfers. Amazon recently announced it was selling off the hardware from its public cloud business to Chinese partner Sinnet to comply with local law.

Google, for its part, has had a fractious relationship with China, with many of the internet giant’s services banned or heavily restricted in the country. The company’s lack of cloud service in China has had a knock-on effect for Google’s clients who may wish to launch in the country. Snapchat is one such example. Its parent company, Snap, opened a Chinese office last year, but in a filing a few months later it conceded that its hands were tied in terms of launching in China. Snap said:

Access to Google, which currently powers our infrastructure, is restricted in China, and we do not know if we will be able to enter the market in a manner acceptable to…

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