The reason for the withdrawal of the French company Scaleway? The opening up to the Americans and the Chinese of this initiative aimed at federating the cloud and data players in Europe.
The French cloud provider, a subsidiary of Iliad (Free), which claims more than 100,000 customers, is one of the founding members of the association Gaia-X. Its decision comes as the association's second annual summit, which took place in Milan on 18 and 19 November, gave rise to controversy over the sponsorship of the event by Huawei, Alibaba, Microsoft and AWS. All non-European players and dominant market players.
“A project gangrened from within by the GAFAM”
In an interview with the media outlet La Tribune, Yann Lechelle, CEO of Scaleway, stated bluntly: "I have no more time to lose with a project gangrened from within by the GAFAM".
In the same interview, Yann Lechelle criticises the governance and philosophy of the project: "My main criticism is that Gaia-X leaves far too much room for the dominant players in the cloud market, i.e. the Americans and the Chinese, whereas building a European cloud responds to a challenge of digital sovereignty and strategic independence, and should be an opportunity to promote and develop the European players in the sector.”
A blow had already been dealt to the project in July 2021 when 23 European cloud technology companies (including Scaleway) formed the European Cloud Industrial Alliance (EUCLIDIA), which is ultimately nothing but a competitor to Gaia-X.