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The world’s most valuable hospitality company owns no hotel rooms. The world’s most valuable transportation company owns zero cars. And the world’s most valuable media company creates none of its own content. Is it possible that some day soon the world’s most valuable cloud services company … might not own any servers? And save the environment, too?  Fifteen years ago a Chinese tech company you’ve never heard of, Xunlei, began by providing a peer-to-peer downloading tool, speeding delivery of files on the still-young and speed-challenged Chinese Internet.  Shutterstock Today, the company ranks number 42 on the list of the top 100 tech companies in China, counts top tech brands like @Xiaomi, @PandaTV, and @iQIYI (China’s YouTube with over 500 million monthly users) as customers, and had the hottest-selling device on the @Alibaba-owned mega-mall @Taobao on the busiest e-commerce day on the planet. (Think the equivalent of Valentine’s Day plus Christmas plus Black Friday plus Cyber Monday…but with $25.3 billion in e-commerce sales in a single 24-hour period.)  That hot-selling consumer device, the #OneThing #Cloud, is the key to @Xunlei s plan to disrupt traditional centralized cloud computing and undercut the pricing of traditional cloud providers like @Amazon, @Google, and @Microsoft. “The demand for computation and storage and bandwidth is growing really fast — in fact exploding — with #webvideo, #AI, #bigdata, #augmentedreality, and 4K video,” Xunlei chief executive @Chen Lei told me at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. “We crowdsource our computing resources from consumers, then offer a cloud solution similar to AWS. But we can do it really cheap, and we’re currently serving the largest internet companies in China.” Essentially, the company is building a massive mesh network. And if you’re big in China, you’re big. A million Chinese households already have the OneThing, and 20 million more have signed up to have it delivered as soon as Xunlei can manufacture more.

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