Cloud computing has emerged as an important ICT (information and communication technology) innovation that could potentially revolutionize the way computing resources are consumed and provided. In emerging economies, such innovation is regarded as the new way to provide information infrastructure that has the potential for further economic upgrading. In this paper, we investigate the initiation and growth process of the cloud computing industry in China, based on an in-depth case study. We discover that the development of China׳s cloud computing industry that emerged from an initial concept involves the co-evolution of technological and institutional infrastructure leading to a preliminary cloud ecosystem. We also find that such a process involves a wide range of different actors, from the government side to the business side, the interaction among which, in pursuing their own interests, drive the development of the cloud computing industry into being. Finally, situated in the institutional context of China, the government–business relationship is witnessed to have changed and evolved along development of such an emerging industry, demonstrating the important and unique roles of both sides in industrial (or even national) wide diffusion of the ICT innovation.
- Cloud computing
- Emerging ICT innovation
- Government–business relationship
- Case study
- Actor Network Theory