According to the Chinese Telecommunication Regulation, Cloud services (IaaS and PaaS) providers require value-added telecom permits, which can only be applied by locally-registered companies with foreign investment less than 50%. To comply with this regulation, Azure service in China is operated by 21Vianet, based on the technologies licensed from Microsoft. This results two major differences between Azure Global service and Azure China service: Operation Model and Service Availability.
In mainland China, Microsoft Azure operated by 21Vianet is a physically separated instance of cloud services located in mainland China, independently operated and transacted by Shanghai Blue Cloud Technology Co., Ltd. ("21Vianet"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Beijing 21Vianet Broadband Data Center Co., Ltd. The services are based on the same Azure, Office 365 and Power BI technology that power Microsoft's global cloud service with comparable service levels to customers. Agreements and contracts where applicable are signed between customers and 21Vianet given 21Vianet is the official legal entity for Microsoft Azure.
Azure services rendered in China is a standalone instance, separating from Azure Global, also due to regulation compliance Therefore, the service availability is not identical as global Azure, however this does not change the quality of available services. For detail service availability comparison please refer to “Service Parity of Azure Global and Azure China” section.