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the Gaia-X project is progressing but remains criticized

Is Gaia-X quite an ambitious project? Can he really be a game-changer? These questions continue to accompany the progress of this business alliance created in 2020 to bring about the emergence of a European ecosystem in the “cloud”, cloud computing. Some particularly regret the place given in the project to market leaders in data hosting and online services, American and Chinese companies.

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The second annual Gaia-X summit, held from November 18 to 19, opened with a small controversy around the presence of Alibaba and Huawei among the sixteen sponsors of the event: of course, the cloud provider and the Chinese telecoms giant are members of the association, but their sponsorship has raised some teeth internally, the site reported. Politico November 17.

« Hijacked objectives »

In the process, on November 18, one of the 22 founding members, Scaleway, announced its withdrawal from Gaia-X due to the presence considered too important of American players such as Microsoft, Google or Amazon, which controls around 70% of the market:  » The objectives of the association, although laudable at the start, are more and more diverted and thwarted ”, explains Yann Lechelle, CEO of this French hosting and cloud software company, a subsidiary of the telecoms operator Iliad (founded by Xavier Niel, individual shareholder of World). For the resigning, Gaia-X  » do not move «  and does that  » strengthen the status quo, ie unbalanced competition ” on the market.

Concretely, Scaleway regrets the strong activity of American companies, with significant resources, in the technical committees of Gaia-X. These criticisms have had some echoes: “As the French and German economy ministers, Bruno Le Maire and Peter Altmaier said, by presenting Gaia-X in June 2020, it is about creating a true European data infrastructure. I fear that could not be the case if Gaia-X does not pay more attention to the truly European cloud players ”, tweeted Quentin Adam, CEO of Clever Cloud, member of the association and co-founder with Scaleway of Euclidia, an initiative of European software publishers in the sector.

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“The GAFAM have won, added on his Linkedin page Alain Garnier, CEO of Jamespot, an editor of an online office software suite, which is not a member of Gaia-X. If we want to be independent, we must be independent, otherwise we will not do European cloud, we will sell American or Chinese cloud in Europe.  » These criticisms are not confined to these French players of modest size: in Germany, the economic newspaper Handelsblatt for example evoked a feeling of « Disillusionment » around Gaia-X, notably linked to the « Heaviness » of the project, which went from 22 to 200 and then 300 members.

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