• Key Excerpts
  • VIE Structure
  • VIE Risks
  • VIE Revenue
  1. Includes 13 subsidiaries and consolidated entities (aside from EDSUZ (HK) Limited, shown above) incorporated in Hong Kong, seven of which hold our PRC-incorporated data center companies, and two additional subsidiaries incorporated in BVI and Macau, but excludes dormant or immaterial entities with no material business. See the chart below for details on the data center holding companies.
  2. Includes nine additional subsidiaries and consolidated entities incorporated in China. See the chart below for details on the data center companies.
  3. Holds equity interests of 99.90% in GDS Shanghai, and of approximately 99.97% in GDS Beijing.
  4. Holds equity interests of 0.10% in GDS Shanghai, and of approximately 0.03% in GDS Beijing.

Key excerpts from filing(s) - related to VIEs

Due to PRC legal restrictions on foreign ownership and investment in VATS, and IDC services in particular, we currently conduct these activities mainly through GDS Suzhou, an operating subsidiary of GDS Beijing that is now authorized by GDS Beijing to provide IDC services. Each of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai holds an IDC license which is required to operate our business. We effectively control GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai through a series of contractual arrangements between these consolidated VIEs, their shareholders and GDS Management Company.
The laws and regulations regarding VATS licenses in the PRC, especially those in relation to IDC services, are relatively new and are still evolving, and their interpretation and enforcement involve significant uncertainties. PRC laws and regulations restrict foreign equity ownership of entities that hold VATS licenses, and such licenses have been denied to entities whose foreign equity ownership exceeds permitted thresholds.
Before 2013, the definition of IDC service did not offer clear guidance as to whether our business at the time fell within its scope. Between 2010 and 2012, in order to comply with then-effective laws and administrative practice, we consulted relevant officials of local branches of the MIIT. Based on such consultations, we understood that we were not required to hold an IDC license in order for us to operate our business lawfully, and we entered into most of our customer contracts through GDS Suzhou, a WFOE, because we believed that restrictions on foreign investment in IDC services did not apply in our case.
Based on the Q&A and our consultation with both the Designated Numbers and MIIT officials in 2014 and 2015, most of our services would be deemed IDC services, and that such services could only be provided by a holder of an IDC license, or a subsidiary of such holder, with the authorization of the holder.
GDS Beijing obtained a cross-regional IDC license in November 2013, the scope of which now includes Shanghai, Suzhou, Beijing, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Guangzhou. In order to adapt to the new regulatory requirements and address pre-existing customer contracts, we converted GDS Suzhou into a domestic company wholly owned by GDS Beijing by way of transferring all of the equity interests in GDS Suzhou from FSL to GDS Beijing in order to enable GDS Suzhou to engage in the provision of IDC services with the authorization of GDS Beijing, and under the auspices of an IDC license held by GDS Beijing.

Risks identified in filing(s) - related to VIEs

If the PRC government deems that the contractual arrangements in relation to our consolidated variable interest entities do not comply with PRC regulatory restrictions on foreign investment in the relevant industries, or if these regulations or the interpretation of existing regulations change in the future, we could be subject to severe penalties or be forced to relinquish our interests in those operations.
Our contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs may result in adverse tax consequences to us.
We rely on contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders for our China operations, which may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing operational control and otherwise have a material adverse effect as to our business.
The shareholders of our consolidated VIEs may have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition.
Our corporate actions are substantially controlled by our principal shareholders, including our founder, chairman and chief executive officer, William Wei Huang, who have the ability to control or exert significant influence over important corporate matters that require approval of shareholders, which may deprive you of an opportunity to receive a premium for your ADSs and materially reduce the value of your investment.
If the custodians or authorized users of our controlling non-tangible assets, including chops and seals, fail to fulfill their responsibilities, or misappropriate or misuse these assets, our business and operations may be materially and adversely affected.
Year Total Revenue VIEs Revenue Contribution of VIEs %
RMB (in millions)
2014 468 9 1.92%
2015 704 30 4.26%
2016 1,056 846 80.11%

Ownership and Voting power details

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