updated 01:58 pm EST, Tue November 19, 2013
Vast cloud storage plan offers more than existing free services
Chinese Internet company Tencent will be offering a version of its cloud storage service to international users in the future, according to a company vice president. The free storage, which is said to be around 10TB per user, will be made available in the US sometime next year, with the company also preparing to launch an English version of a photo sharing app in the US in the coming weeks.
Speaking at MIT's China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum, Peter Zheng advised that the storage service will be open to US users in early 2014, reports Pandodaily. Data stored on the service will most likely reside on servers located outside of China, much like those for Tencent's WeChat messaging app, which will potentially limit censorship or spying by the Chinese government.
The storage service itself is already available within China itself. Users are initially provided with 1TB of space, with the amount available extended as it gets used up. The sheer size that the cloud storage can reach stems from a claim by the company that it will offer ten times the storage of rival companies Baidu and Qihoo 360. Established services currently offer far less than Tencent as a free service, with one example being Dropbox and its 2GB of storage. Cloud storage providers may end up having to increase their free offerings in order to compete, or could spend the time before Tencent's launch encouraging existing users to upgrade to a paid service.
The Story Camera app, launching in the US within the next three weeks, lets users take photographs and overlay more details on top of the image, including temperatures and noise levels. The Instagram-style app is said to have an iOS 7-optimized design, which apparently eschews typical UI designs typically seen in Chinese software with a more Westernized approach.