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As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 27, 2016

Registration No. 333-213951


SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

AMENDMENT NO. 2
TO
Form F-1
REGISTRATION STATEMENT
UNDER
THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

GDS Holdings Limited
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

Cayman Islands
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
  7370
(Primary Standard Industrial
Classification Code Number)
  Not Applicable
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)

2/F, Tower 2, Youyou Century Place
428 South Yanggao Road
Pudong, Shanghai 200127
People's Republic of China
+86-21-2033-0303

(Address and Telephone Number of Registrant's Principal Executive Offices)

Law Debenture Corporate Services Inc.
400 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10017, United States
+1-212-750-6474

(Name, address and telephone number of agent for service)

Copies to:

Daniel Fertig, Esq.
Chris Lin, Esq.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
35th Floor, ICBC Tower
3 Garden Road
Central, Hong Kong
+852-2514-7600

 

Gordon K. Davidson, Esq.
William L. Hughes, Esq.
Fenwick & West LLP
801 California Street
Mountain View, California 94041
(650) 988-8500

 

Karen Yan, Esq.
Fenwick & West LLP
Unit 908, 9th floor
Kerry Parkside Office
No. 1155 Fang Dian Road
Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201204
People's Republic of China
+86-21-8017-1200

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public:
As soon as practicable after the effective date of this registration statement.

          If any of the securities being registered on this form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act of 1933, check the following box. o

          If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, please check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. o

          If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. o

          If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering. o

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

               
 
Title of each class of
securities to be registered

  Amount to be
registered(1)(3)

  Proposed
maximum
offering price
per share(3)

  Proposed
maximum
aggregate offering
price(2)(3)

  Amount of
registration fee(4)

 

Class A ordinary shares, US$0.00005 par value per share(1)(2)

  177,100,000   US$1.75   US$309,925,000   US$35,921

 

(1)
American depositary shares, or ADSs, issuable upon deposit of the Class A ordinary shares registered hereby will be registered under a separate registration statement on Form F-6 (Registration No. 333-214177). Each ADS represents eight Class A ordinary shares.

(2)
Includes Class A ordinary shares represented by ADSs initially offered and sold outside the United States that may be resold from time to time in the United States either as part of the distribution or within 40 days after the later of the effective date of this registration statement and the date the securities are first bona fide offered to the public.

(3)
Estimated solely for the purpose of computing the amount of the registration fee pursuant to Rule 457(a) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

(4)
Previously paid.

          The Registrant hereby amends this registration statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this registration statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or until the registration statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to such Section 8(a), may determine.

   


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The information in this preliminary prospectus is not complete and may be changed. These securities may not be sold until the registration statement filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This preliminary prospectus is not an offer to sell nor does it seek an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale is not permitted.

            

Subject to Completion. Dated October 27, 2016.

19,250,000 American Depositary Shares

GRAPHIC

GDS Holdings Limited

Representing 154,000,000 Class A Ordinary Shares

         This is an initial public offering of shares of American depositary shares, or ADSs, each representing eight Class A ordinary shares of GDS Holdings Limited, or GDS Holdings.

         GDS Holdings is offering 19,250,000 ADSs to be sold in this offering.

         Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for the ADSs or our shares. It is currently estimated that the initial public offering price per ADS will be between US$12.00 and US$14.00. We have applied to list the ADSs on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol "GDS."

         We are an "emerging growth company" under applicable United States federal securities laws and are eligible for reduced public company reporting requirements.

         See "Risk Factors" on page 19 to read about factors you should consider before buying the ADSs.

         Neither the United States Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

       
 
 
  Per ADS
  Total
 

Initial public offering price

  US$   US$
 

Underwriting discount(1)

  US$   US$
 

Proceeds, before expenses, to GDS Holdings

  US$   US$

 

(1)
We have agreed to reimburse the underwriters for certain expenses in connection with this offering. See "Underwriting."

         Upon the completion of this offering, we will pay a preference dividend in the amount of US$50.8 million to existing holders of our preferred shares, of which US$11.4 million is to be paid in cash using a portion of the proceeds from this offering and US$39.4 million is to be paid in the form of Class A ordinary shares. See "Prospectus Summary—The Offering—Preference Dividend" and "Dividend Policy" for more information.

         To the extent that the underwriters sell more than 19,250,000 ADSs, the underwriters have the option to purchase up to an additional 2,887,500 ADSs from GDS at the initial public offering price less the underwriting discount.

         The underwriters expect to deliver the ADSs against payment in New York, New York on                    , 2016.

         Upon completion of this offering, our outstanding share capital will consist of 677,708,466 Class A ordinary shares and 67,590,336 Class B ordinary shares, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs. Holders of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares have the same rights except for voting rights, director nomination rights and conversion rights. With respect to (i) the election of a simple majority of our directors and (ii) any change to our articles of association that would adversely affect the rights of the holders of Class B ordinary shares, at general meetings of our shareholders, each Class A ordinary share is entitled to one vote, and each Class B ordinary share is entitled to 20 votes. With respect to any other matters at general meetings of our shareholders, each Class A ordinary share is entitled to one vote, and each Class B ordinary share is entitled to one vote. Class B ordinary shares are convertible into Class A ordinary shares. Immediately after the completion of this offering, Mr. William Wei Huang, our founder, chairman and chief executive officer, will beneficially own 100% of the Class B ordinary shares issued and outstanding. For so long as there are Class B ordinary shares outstanding, the holders of Class B ordinary shares will also have the right to nominate one less than a simple majority, or five, of the directors to our board of directors, which directors shall be subject to the voting arrangements described above. In addition, pursuant to our articles of association as we expect them to be amended and become effective upon the completion of this offering, STT GDC, one of our principal shareholders, will have the right to appoint certain directors and the Class B shareholders will have the right to nominate certain directors to our board of directors for so long as each of them holds certain percentages of our issued share capital. See "Description of Share Capital."

(in alphabetical order)


Credit Suisse

 

J.P. Morgan


Citi

 

RBC Capital Markets

 

China Renaissance

Credit Agricole CIB

Prospectus dated                    , 2016.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prospectus Summary

  1

Recent Developments

  17

Risk Factors

  19

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

  68

Use of Proceeds

  69

Dividend Policy

  71

Capitalization

  72

Dilution

  73

Exchange Rate Information

  75

Enforcement of Civil Liabilities

  76

Our History and Corporate Structure

  78

Selected Consolidated Financial and Operating Data

  86

Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

  89

Industry Overview

  122

Business

  128

Regulations

  147

Management

  157

Principal Shareholders

  170

Related Party Transactions

  173

Description of Share Capital

  174

Description of American Depositary Shares

  188

Shares Eligible for Future Sale

  200

Taxation

  203

Underwriting

  210

Expenses Related to this Offering

  217

Legal Matters

  218

Experts

  218

Where You Can Find More Information

  219

Index to Financial Information

  F-1

        No dealer, salesperson or other person is authorized to give any information or to represent as to anything not contained in this prospectus or in any free writing prospectus we may authorize to be delivered or made available to you. You must not rely on any unauthorized information or representations. This prospectus is an offer to sell, and we are seeking offers to buy, only the ADSs offered hereby, and only under circumstances and in jurisdictions where it is lawful to do so. The information contained in this prospectus is current only as of its date, regardless of the time of delivery of this prospectus or any sale of the ADSs.

        Neither we nor the underwriters have done anything that would permit this offering or the possession or distribution of this prospectus or any filed free writing prospectus in any jurisdiction where other action for that purpose is required, other than in the United States. Persons outside the United States who come into possession of this prospectus or any free writing prospectus filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, must inform themselves about, and observe any restrictions relating to, the offering of the ADSs and the distribution of this prospectus or any filed free writing prospectus outside of the United States.

        Until                        , 2016 (the 25th day after the date of this prospectus), all dealers that buy, sell or trade ADSs, whether or not participating in this offering, may be required to deliver a prospectus. This is in addition to the obligation of dealers to deliver a prospectus when acting as underwriters and with respect to their unsold allotments or subscriptions.

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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

        This summary highlights selected information contained in greater detail elsewhere in this prospectus. This summary may not contain all of the information that you should consider before investing in our ADSs. You should carefully read the entire prospectus, including "Risk Factors" and the financial statements, before making an investment decision.

Overview

        We are a leading developer and operator of high-performance data centers in China. Our facilities are strategically located in China's primary economic hubs where demand for high-performance data center services is concentrated. Our data centers have large net floor area, high power capacity, density and efficiency, and multiple redundancy across all critical systems. We are carrier and cloud neutral, which enables our customers to connect to all major PRC telecommunications carriers, and to access a number of the largest PRC cloud service providers, whom we host in our facilities. We offer colocation and managed services, including a unique and innovative managed cloud value proposition. We have a 15-year track record of service delivery, successfully fulfilling the requirements of some of the largest and most demanding customers for outsourced data center services in China. Our base of approximately 370 customers consists predominantly of large Internet companies, financial institutions, telecommunications and IT service providers, and large domestic private sector and multinational corporations. As of September 30, 2016, we had an aggregate net floor area of 48,822 sqm in service, 93.8% of which was committed, and an aggregate net floor area of 37,194 sqm under construction. According to 451 Research, an independent research firm, we are the largest service provider in the high-performance carrier-neutral data center services market in China, with 24.9% market share as measured by area committed as of September 30, 2016.

        The market for high-performance data center services in China is experiencing strong growth. According to 451 Research, the market is expected to increase from US$1.5 billion in 2015 to US$2.4 billion in 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 16.6%. Over the same period, the high-performance carrier-neutral data center services market in China is expected to grow with a higher CAGR of 20.5%. Demand is driven by the confluence of several secular economic and industry trends, including: rapid growth of the Internet, e-commerce and big data; rising adoption of cloud computing and server virtualization, which requires data centers with higher power capacity, density and efficiency; increasing criticality of information technology and data in the enterprise environment which requires data centers with higher reliability; and growing reliance by enterprises on outsourcing as a solution to the increasing complexity and cost of managing mission-critical IT infrastructure. We believe that, as a result of this strong demand and the challenges of sourcing, developing and operating new facilities that meet the required standard, there is a relative scarcity of high-performance data center capacity in China. According to 451 Research, as of December 31, 2015, when comparing the ratio of square meters of colocation area in service to GDP, the U.S. had a ratio of 207 sqm per US$1 billion in GDP, while China only had a ratio of 107.

        Our portfolio of data centers and secured expansion capacity are strategically located to address this growing demand. We operate our data centers to service our customers predominantly in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Chengdu, the primary financial, commercial, industrial and communications hubs in each region of China. According to 451 Research, approximately 90% of the market in terms of revenue for high-performance data center services in China was concentrated in these markets in 2015. We have also established a presence in Hong Kong which we believe is another important market for our customers. Our data centers are located in close proximity to the corporate headquarters and key operation centers of many large enterprises, providing convenient access for our customers. Furthermore, the extensive multi-carrier telecommunications networks in these markets enable our customers to enhance the performance and lower the cost of connectivity to our facilities.

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        Our data centers are large-scale, highly reliable and highly efficient facilities that provide a flexible, modular and secure operating environment in which our customers can house, power and cool the computer systems and networking equipment that support their mission-critical IT infrastructure. We install large power capacity and optimize power usage efficiency, which enables our customers to deploy their IT infrastructure more efficiently and reduce their operating and capital costs. As a result of our advanced data center design, high technical specifications and robust operating procedures, we are able to make service level commitments related to service availability and other key metrics that meet our customers' required standards.

        We currently serve approximately 370 customers, including large Internet companies, a diverse community of approximately 160 financial institutions, telecommunications and IT service providers and large domestic private sector and multinational corporations, many of which are leaders in their respective industries. Within our customer base, we host a number of major cloud service providers, including Aliyun, the cloud computing unit of Alibaba, which is present in several of our data centers. Contracts with our large Internet customers have terms of three to eight years, while contracts with our enterprise customers typically have terms of one to five years. We achieved an average retention rate of over 95% per annum among our Internet and financial institution customers for colocation services in our current data centers over the past two years.

        As of September 30, 2016, we operated eight self-developed data centers with an aggregate net floor area of 39,781 sqm in service. We also operated capacity at approximately ten third-party data centers with an aggregate net floor area of 9,041 sqm in service, which we lease on a wholesale basis and use to provide colocation and managed services to our customers. As of the same date, we had a further five new self-developed data centers and two phases of an existing data center with an aggregate net floor area of 37,194 sqm under construction. In addition, we had an estimated aggregate developable net floor area of approximately 20,000 sqm held for future development and entered into a memorandum of understanding for a lease of three data center shell buildings that we expect to provide us with additional net floor area of approximately 30,000 sqm. Our net revenue and results of operations are largely determined by the degree to which data center space is committed or pre-committed as well as its utilization. We had commitment rates of 76.3%, 87.5% and 93.8% as of December 31, 2014 and 2015 and September 30, 2016, respectively. We had utilization rates of 57.7%, 59.1% and 70.4% as of December 31, 2014 and 2015 and September 30, 2016, respectively. The difference between commitment rate and utilization rate is primarily attributable to customers who have entered into agreements but have not yet started to use revenue generating services.

        Our net revenue grew from RMB468.3 million in 2014 to RMB703.6 million (US$105.9 million) in 2015, representing an increase of 50.2%, and increased from RMB304.8 million in the six months ended June 30, 2015 to RMB447.1 million (US$67.3 million) in the same period in 2016, representing an increase of 46.7%. Our adjusted EBITDA increased from RMB38.0 million in 2014 to RMB164.7 million (US$24.8 million) in 2015, and increased from RMB73.8 million in the six months ended June 30, 2015 to RMB100.6 million (US$15.1 million) in the same period in 2016. Our net loss decreased from RMB130.0 million in 2014 to RMB98.6 million (US$14.8 million) in 2015. Our net loss increased from RMB47.3 million in the six months ended June 30, 2015 to RMB154.2 million (US$23.2 million) in the same period in 2016. As of December 31, 2015 and June 30, 2016, our accumulated deficit was RMB582.3 million (US$87.6 million) and RMB736.5 million (US$110.8 million), respectively.


Our Strengths

        We believe that the following strengths contribute to our success and differentiate us from our competitors:

    large-scale, high-performance data centers strategically located in China's key markets;

    first-mover with a proven track record and reputation for operational excellence;

    well-established and rapidly expanding relationships with large and fast growing customers;

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    large secured expansion capacity and proven ability to source and develop additional data centers;

    unique value proposition in managed cloud services that complements our core colocation services; and

    visionary and experienced management team supported by sophisticated strategic investors.


Our Strategies

        We aim to capitalize on the attractive growth opportunities in the data center services market in China. We intend to achieve our goal through the following strategies:

    expand our unique portfolio of strategically located high-performance data centers;

    pursue balanced sourcing strategy to maintain continuous competitive supply;

    increase market share by attracting new customers and leveraging customer relationships;

    capitalize on rising adoption of cloud computing in China; and

    continue to focus relentlessly on operational excellence and capital efficiency.


Our Challenges

        Our business and successful execution of our strategies are subject to certain challenges, risks and uncertainties including:

    a potential slowdown in the demand for data center resources or managed services;

    our ability to manage the growth of our operations and successfully implement our expansion plan;

    our capacity to generate capital to meet our anticipated capital requirements while managing our existing indebtedness;

    the possibility that we will continue to incur net losses;

    the potential for a significant or prolonged failure in the data center facilities we operate or services we provide;

    our ability to attract new customers and retain existing customers; and

    our ability to compete effectively.

        In addition, we face risks and uncertainties related to our corporate structure and regulatory environment in China, including:

    regulations on foreign investment restriction and value added telecommunications services, according to which we may have been non-compliant in the past;

    risks associated with our control over our consolidated variable interest entities, or VIEs, in China, which is based on contractual arrangements rather than equity ownership; and

    changes in the political and economic policies of the PRC government.

        We also face other risks and uncertainties that may materially affect our business, financial conditions, results of operations and prospects. You should consider the risks discussed in "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in this prospectus before investing in our ADSs.


Our Corporate Structure

        We are an exempted company and were incorporated in the Cayman Islands in 2006. We own 100% of the shares in EDC Holding Limited, or EDC Holding, an exempted company also incorporated in the Cayman Islands, through which we indirectly hold 100% of the equity interests in holding companies in Hong Kong, many of which own our data centers through one or more PRC entities. We refer to these PRC companies as our data center companies. Through EDC Holding we also indirectly hold 100% of the equity interests in Shanghai Free Trade Zone GDS Management Co., Ltd., or GDS Management Company.

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        Due to PRC regulations that limit foreign equity ownership of entities providing value-added telecommunications services, or VATS, to 50%, and the inclusion of Internet data center services, or IDC services, within the scope of VATS, we conduct a substantial part of our operations in China through contractual arrangements among GDS Management Company, our data center companies, and two VIEs that hold licenses required to operate our business, Beijing Wanguo Chang'an Science & Technology Co., Ltd., or GDS Beijing, and Shanghai Shu'an Data Services Co., Ltd., or GDS Shanghai, and their shareholders. As a result of these contractual arrangements, we control GDS Shanghai, GDS Beijing and its subsidiaries, including Shanghai Waigaoqiao EDC Technology Co, Ltd., or EDC Shanghai Waigaoqiao, Global Data Solutions Co., Ltd., or GDS Suzhou, Kunshan Wanyu Data Service Co., Ltd., or Kunshan Wanyu, Guangzhou Weiteng Construction Co., Ltd., or Guangzhou Weiteng and Beijing Wanguo Yixin Science & Technology Co., Ltd., or Beijing Yixin, and have consolidated the financial information of these VIEs in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or U.S. GAAP. We, through GDS Beijing, acquired all of the equity interest in Guangzhou Weiteng in May 2016 from a third party for an aggregate purchase price of RMB129.5 million (US$19.5 million), subject to adjustment, if any, pursuant to the terms of conditions of the equity purchase agreement.

        In 2003, some of our principal shareholders, including our founder, Mr. William Wei Huang, established Global Data Solutions Limited, a Cayman Islands exempted company. In 2001, Further Success Limited, or FSL, a limited liability company established in the British Virgin Islands and currently a direct wholly owned subsidiary of GDS Holdings acquired Global Data Solutions Co., Ltd., or GDS Suzhou, which was established by third parties in 2000. In 2006, GDS Beijing and GDS Holdings were established under the laws of the PRC and Cayman Islands, respectively. In 2009, we underwent restructuring with respect to GDS Beijing, which became a consolidated VIE. In 2010, GDS Suzhou was relocated from Shenzhen to Suzhou. In 2014, GDS Shanghai, which was established in 2011, also became a consolidated VIE.

        Three of our principal shareholders, STT GDC Pte Ltd, or STT GDC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte Ltd, or ST Telemedia), SBCVC Holdings Limited (SBCVC), and Mr. William Wei Huang, our founder, chairman and chief executive officer, currently own or exercise voting and investment control over approximately 45.1%, 18.1% and 13.6% (including ordinary shares (i) underlying share options exercisable within 60 days beneficially owned by Mr. Huang, and (ii) underlying convertible bonds convertible within 60 days beneficially owned by STT GDC), respectively, of our outstanding ordinary shares (assuming the conversion of our preferred shares into ordinary shares), and approximately 40.9% and 15.7% of our outstanding Class A ordinary shares, and 100.0% of our outstanding Class B ordinary shares, respectively, immediately after this offering, assuming no exercise by the underwriters of options to purchase additional ADSs, and accordingly, will exert significant influence and control over important corporate matters that require shareholder approval. See "Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure—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."

        The following diagram illustrates our corporate structure as of the date of this prospectus. It omits certain entities that are immaterial to our results of operations, business and financial condition. Equity interests depicted in this diagram are held as to 100%. The relationships between each of GDS Shanghai and GDS Beijing and GDS Management Company as illustrated in this diagram are governed by contractual arrangements and do not constitute equity ownership.

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GRAPHIC


(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 presented in "Our History and Corporate Structure" for details on the data center holding companies.

(2)
Includes nine additional subsidiaries and consolidated entities incorporated in China. See the chart presented in "Our History and Corporate Structure" 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.

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Our Corporate Information

        Our principal executive offices are located at 2/F Tower 2, Youyou Century Place, 428 South Yanggao Road, Pudong, Shanghai 200127, People's Republic of China. Our telephone number at this address is +86-21-2033-0303. Our registered office in the Cayman Islands is located at the offices of Codan Trust Company (Cayman) Limited, Cricket Square, Hutchins Drive, P.O. Box 2681, Grand Cayman, KY1-1111, Cayman Islands. Our telephone number at this address is +1 (345) 949 1040. We also have four regional offices in Suzhou, Beijing, Chengdu and Shenzhen. Investors should submit any inquiries to the address and telephone number of our principal executive offices set forth above.

        Our main website is www.gds-services.com, and the information contained on this website is not a part of this prospectus. Our agent for service of process in the United States is Law Debenture Corporate Service Inc. located at 400 Madison Avenue, 4th floor, New York, NY 10017.


Implications of Being an Emerging Growth Company

        As a company with less than US$1.0 billion in revenue for the last fiscal year, we qualify as an "emerging growth company" pursuant to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act. An emerging growth company may take advantage of specified reduced reporting and other requirements that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These provisions include exemption from the auditor attestation requirement under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or Section 404, in the assessment of the emerging growth company's internal control over financial reporting. The JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company does not need to comply with any new or revised financial accounting standards until such date that a private company is otherwise required to comply with such new or revised accounting standards. However, we have elected to "opt out" of this provision and, as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards as required when they are adopted for public companies. This decision to opt out of the extended transition period under the JOBS Act is irrevocable.

        We will remain an emerging growth company until the earliest of (a) the last day of our fiscal year during which we have total annual gross revenues of at least US$1.0 billion; (b) the last day of our fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering; (c) the date on which we have, during the previous three year period, issued more than US$1.0 billion in non-convertible debt; or (d) the date on which we are deemed to be a "large accelerated filer" under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, which would occur if the market value of our ADSs that are held by non-affiliates exceeds US$700 million as of the last business day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter. Once we cease to be an emerging growth company, we will not be entitled to the exemptions provided in the JOBS Act discussed above.


Conventions That Apply to This Prospectus

        Unless we indicate otherwise, references in this prospectus to:

    "ADSs" are to our American depositary shares, each of which represents eight Class A ordinary shares, and "ADRs" are to the American depositary receipts that evidence our ADSs;

    "area committed" are to the net floor area of data centers in service for which agreements from customers remain in effect;

    "area held for future development" are to the estimated data center net floor area that we expect to be able to develop on land, at buildings and pursuant to development or lease agreements which we have secured, but which are not under construction;

    "area in service" are to the net floor area of data centers in service for which one or more modules have been equipped and fitted out ready for utilization by customers;

    "area pre-committed" are to the net floor area of data centers under construction for which agreements from customers remain in effect;

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    "area utilized" are to the net floor area of data centers in service that is also revenue generating pursuant to customer agreements in effect;

    "area under construction" are to the net floor area of data centers which are under construction and are not yet ready for service;

    "China" and the "PRC" are to the People's Republic of China, excluding, for the purposes of this prospectus only, Taiwan, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region;

    "commitment rate" are to the ratio of area committed to area in service;

    "ordinary shares" refers to, prior to the completion of this offering, our ordinary shares, par value US$0.00005 per share, and, upon, and after the completion of this offering, collectively, our Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares, par value US$0.00005 per share;

    "pre-commitment rate" are to the ratio of area pre-committed to area under construction;

    "RMB" or "Renminbi" are to the legal currency of China;

    "self-developed data centers" are to data centers that we have either purpose-built, acquired while under construction and completed, or converted from existing buildings to fit our standards;

    "sqm" are to square meters;

    "third-party data centers" are to data center net floor area that we lease on a wholesale basis from other data center providers and use to provide data center services to our customers;

    "total area committed" are to the sum of area committed and area pre-committed;

    "US$," "U.S. dollars," or "dollars" are to the legal currency of the United States;

    "utilization rate" are to the ratio of area utilized to area in service; and

    "we," "us," "our company" and "our" are to GDS Holdings Limited and its subsidiaries and consolidated affiliated entities, as the context requires.

        Unless specifically indicated otherwise or unless the context otherwise requires, all references to our ordinary shares exclude (i) Class A ordinary shares issuable upon the exercise of outstanding options with respect to our ordinary shares under our share incentive plans and (ii) assumes that the underwriters will not exercise their over-allotment option to purchase additional ADSs.

        The translations from Renminbi to U.S. dollars and from U.S. dollars to Renminbi in this prospectus were made at a rate of RMB6.6459 to US$1.00, the exchange rates set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board on June 30, 2016. We make no representation that the Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts referred to in this prospectus could have been or could be converted into U.S. dollars or Renminbi, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all. On October 21, 2016, the noon buying rate for Renminbi was RMB6.7654 to US$1.00.

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THE OFFERING

ADSs Offered by Us

 

19,250,000 ADSs

Price per ADS

 

We estimate that the initial public offering price will be between US$12.00 and US$14.00 per ADS.

ADSs Outstanding Immediately After This Offering          

 

19,250,000 ADSs (or 22,137,500 ADSs if the underwriters exercise in full the over-allotment option).

Ordinary Shares Outstanding Immediately After This Offering          

 

745,298,802 ordinary shares (or 768,398,802 ordinary shares if the underwriters exercise in full the over-allotment option), comprising 677,708,466 Class A ordinary shares and 67,590,336 Class B ordinary shares, excluding ordinary shares issuable upon the exercise of options outstanding under our share incentive plans as of the date of this prospectus.

Over-Allotment Option

 

We have granted to the underwriters an option, exercisable for 30 days from the date of this prospectus, to purchase up to an aggregate of 2,887,500 additional ADSs at the initial public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions, solely for the purpose of covering over-allotments.

The ADSs

 

Each ADS represents eight Class A ordinary shares.

 

The depositary will be the holder of the Class A ordinary shares underlying the ADSs and you will have the rights of an ADR holder as provided in the deposit agreement among us, the depositary and holders and beneficial owners of ADSs from time to time.

 

You may surrender your ADSs to the depositary to withdraw the Class A ordinary shares underlying your ADSs. The depositary will charge you a fee for such an exchange.

 

We may amend or terminate the deposit agreement for any reason without your consent. Any amendment that imposes or increases fees or charges or which materially prejudices any substantial existing right you have as an ADS holder will not become effective as to outstanding ADSs until 30 days after notice of the amendment is given to ADS holders. If an amendment becomes effective, you will be bound by the deposit agreement as amended if you continue to hold your ADSs.

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To better understand the terms of the ADSs, you should carefully read the section in this prospectus entitled "Description of American Depositary Shares." We also encourage you to read the deposit agreement, which is an exhibit to the registration statement that includes this prospectus.

Ordinary Shares

 

Upon completion of this offering, our outstanding share capital will consist of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares. Holders of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares have the same rights except for voting rights, director nomination rights and conversion rights. With respect to (i) the election of a simple majority of our directors and (ii) any change to our articles of association that would adversely affect the rights of the holders of Class B ordinary shares, at general meetings of our shareholders, each Class A ordinary share is entitled to one vote, and each Class B ordinary share is entitled to 20 votes. With respect to any other matters at general meetings of our shareholders, each Class A ordinary share is entitled to one vote, and each Class B ordinary share is entitled to one vote. Class B ordinary shares are convertible into Class A ordinary shares. Class B ordinary shares will automatically convert into Class A ordinary shares under certain circumstances. For a description of Class A ordinary shares and Class B ordinary shares, see "Description of Share Capital."

Nomination and Appointment Rights under Our Amended Articles of Association

 

Our articles of association as we expect them to be amended and become effective upon completion of this offering, or our amended articles of association, provide that, for so long as there are Class B ordinary shares outstanding, the holders of Class B ordinary shares, or Class B shareholders, will be entitled (i) to nominate one less than a simple majority, or five, of our directors, and (ii) to have 20 votes per share with respect to the election and removal of a simple majority, or six, of our directors.

 

Our amended articles of association also provide that for so long as STT GDC beneficially owns: not less than 25% of our issued and outstanding share capital, they may appoint three directors to our board of directors, including our vice-chairman; less than 25%, but not less than 15%, of our share capital, they may appoint two directors to our board of directors, including our vice-chairman; and less than 15%, but not less than 8%, of our share

   

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capital, they may appoint one director to our board of directors, including our vice-chairman, none of which appointments will be subject to a vote by our shareholders. For so long as STT GDC has the right to appoint one or more directors to our board of directors, any change in the total number of directors on our board shall require the approval of the director or directors appointed by STT GDC.

 

The above rights may not be amended without the approval of the Class B shareholders or STT GDC, respectively. See "Management—Nomination, Appointment and Terms of Directors" and "Description of Share Capital."

Use of Proceeds

 

We estimate that we will receive net proceeds of approximately US$226.7 million from this offering, or approximately US$261.6 million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs from us in full, assuming an initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, after deducting estimated underwriter discounts, commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us. We anticipate using the net proceeds of this offering to repay certain portions of our indebtedness, to develop and acquire new data centers, to pay preference dividends to holders of our preferred shares and for general corporate purposes. See "Use of Proceeds" for more information.

Preference Dividend

 

Upon the completion of this offering, we will pay a preference dividend to the holders of our Series A, A*, B, B1, B2, B4, B5 and C preferred shares. The preference dividend to be paid is determined based upon an annual rate of 6.0% from the date of the issuance of the respective preferred shares to the date of this offering plus an additional rate of return on certain preferred shares. The preference dividend will be paid in either cash or Class A ordinary shares at the election of each preferred shareholder. The shareholders of Series A, A*, B, B1, B2 preferred shares have elected to receive the dividend in cash and the shareholders of Series B4, B5 and C preferred shares have elected to receive the dividend in our Class A ordinary shares. Accordingly, we will pay the preference dividend in an aggregate amount of US$50.8 million, US$11.4 million of which will be paid in cash and US$39.4 million of which will be paid by our issuing

   

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an aggregate 24,223,203 Class A ordinary shares to the holders of our preferred shares, respectively, assuming an initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus.

Risk Factors

 

See "Risk Factors" and other information included in this prospectus for a discussion of the risks relating to investing in our ADSs. You should carefully consider these risks before deciding to invest in our ADSs.

Directed ADS Program

 

At our request, the underwriters have reserved up to 5% of the ADSs being offered by this prospectus for sale at the initial public offering price to our directors, officers, employees and business associates. The sales will be made by Piper Jaffray & Co. through a directed share program. We do not know if these persons will choose to purchase all or any portion of these reserved ADSs, but any purchases they do make will reduce the number of ADSs available to the general public. Any reserved ADSs not so purchased will be offered by the underwriters to the general public on the same terms as the other ADSs.

Listing

 

We have applied to list our ADSs on the NASDAQ Global Market. Our Class A ordinary shares will not be listed on any exchange or quoted for trading on any over-the-counter trading system.

Proposed NASDAQ Trading Symbol

 

GDS

Depositary

 

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.

Lock-up

 

We, our officers and directors, existing shareholders, and certain option and convertible bond holders, have agreed, with limited exceptions, with the underwriters not to offer, pledge, issue, sell, contract to sell, sell any option or contract to purchase, purchase any option or contract to sell, grant any option, right or warrant to purchase, or otherwise transfer or dispose of any ADSs, ordinary shares or similar securities for a period of 180 days after the date of this prospectus, subject to certain exceptions. See "Shares Eligible for Future Sale" and "Underwriting."

 

In addition, we will instruct JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as the depositary, not to accept any deposit of any ordinary shares or issue any ADSs for 180 days after the date of this prospectus unless we otherwise instruct the depositary with the prior written consent of the representatives of the underwriters. The foregoing does not affect the right of ADS holders to cancel their ADSs and withdraw the underlying ordinary shares.

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        The number of ordinary shares that will be outstanding immediately after this offering is 745,298,802, comprising 677,708,466 Class A ordinary shares and 67,590,336 Class B ordinary shares, which is based upon (i) 217,987,922 ordinary shares outstanding as of the date of this prospectus; (ii) the automatic conversion of preferred shares into 349,087,677 Class A ordinary shares immediately upon the completion of this offering; (iii) the issuance of 24,223,203 Class A ordinary shares immediately upon the completion of this offering in connection with the preference dividends to be paid to holders of our Series B4, B5 and C preferred shares, assuming an initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus; and (iv) 154,000,000 Class A ordinary shares issued in connection with this offering (assuming the underwriters do not exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs), but excludes:

    29,189,800 ordinary shares issuable upon the exercise of share options outstanding as of the date of this prospectus;

    877,400 vested but not yet issued restricted shares; and

    55,880,360 ordinary shares reserved for future issuance under our share incentive plans.

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SUMMARY CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OPERATING DATA

        The following consolidated statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015 and the summary consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2014 and 2015 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our consolidated financial statements are prepared and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The following summary consolidated statements of operations data for the six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2016 and the summary consolidated balance sheet data as of June 30, 2016 have been derived from our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. The unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as our audited consolidated financial statements and include all adjustments, consisting only of normal and recurring adjustments, that we consider necessary for a fair presentation of our financial position and operating result for the periods presented.

        On June 30, 2014, we acquired EDC Holding from its shareholders whereby we issued shares to EDC Holding's shareholders in exchange for their shares in EDC Holding. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, we issued 199,163,164 shares in exchange for approximately 93% of the shares in EDC Holding which we did not already own. Since the date of the acquisition, EDC Holding has been our wholly-owned subsidiary and has been consolidated with our results of operations. See note 8 of our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.

        Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for any future period. The following summary consolidated financial data for the periods and as of the dates indicated are qualified by reference to, and should be read in conjunction with, our consolidated financial statements and related

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notes and the information under "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," both of which are included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 
  Year Ended December 31,   Six Months Ended June 30,  
 
  2014   2015   2015   2016  
 
  RMB   RMB   US$   RMB   RMB   US$  
 
  (in thousands, except share data and per share data)
 

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

                                     

Net revenue

    468,337     703,636     105,875     304,794     447,135     67,280  

Cost of revenue

    (388,171 )   (514,997 )   (77,491 )   (221,519 )   (332,034 )   (49,961 )

Gross profit

    80,166     188,639     28,384     83,275     115,101     17,319  

Operating expenses

                                     

Selling and marketing expenses

    (40,556 )   (57,588 )   (8,665 )   (23,494 )   (34,563 )   (5,201 )

General and administrative expenses

    (113,711 )   (128,714 )   (19,367 )   (58,837 )   (131,452 )   (19,779 )

Research and development expenses

    (1,597 )   (3,554 )   (535 )   (1,257 )   (4,765 )   (717 )

Loss from operations

    (75,698 )   (1,217 )   (183 )   (313 )   (55,679 )   (8,378 )

Other income (expenses)

                                     

Net interest expense

    (124,973 )   (125,546 )   (18,891 )   (60,440 )   (110,292 )   (16,595 )

Foreign currency exchange (loss) gain, net            

    (875 )   11,107     1,671     4,456     4,101     617  

Government grants

    4,870     3,915     589     1,030     1,030     155  

Gain on remeasurement of equity investment

    62,506                      

Others, net

    (412 )   1,174     177     1,362     179     27  

Loss before income taxes

    (134,582 )   (110,567 )   (16,637 )   (53,905 )   (160,661 )   (24,174 )

Income tax benefits

    4,583     11,983     1,803     6,641     6,464     973  

Net loss

    (129,999 )   (98,584 )   (14,834 )   (47,264 )   (154,197 )   (23,201 )

Extinguishment of redeemable preferred shares

    (106,515 )                    

Change in redemption value of redeemable preferred shares

    (69,116 )   (110,926 )   (16,691 )   (55,462 )   (57,869 )   (8,707 )

Dividends on redeemable preferred shares

    (3,509 )   (7,127 )   (1,072 )   (3,564 )   (3,725 )   (560 )

Net loss available to ordinary shareholders

    (309,139 )   (216,637 )   (32,597 )   (106,290 )   (215,791 )   (32,468 )

Net loss per ordinary share—basic and diluted

    (1.91 )   (0.99 )   (0.15 )   (0.49 )   (0.99 )   (0.15 )

Weighted average number of ordinary shares outstanding—basic and diluted

    162,070,745     217,987,922     217,987,922     217,987,922     217,987,922     217,987,922  

Pro forma net loss per ordinary share—basic and diluted(1)

          (0.17 )   (0.03 )         (0.26 )   (0.04 )

Pro forma weighted average number of ordinary share outstanding—basic and diluted(1)

          587,615,180     587,615,180           587,615,180     587,615,180  

(1)
Pro forma loss per share available to ordinary shareholders is calculated assuming (i) 349,087,677 preferred shares had been converted into the equivalent number of ordinary shares at the beginning of the period and (ii) assuming an initial offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, 20,539,581 ordinary shares were issued to pay the preference dividends at the beginning of the period. The pro forma effect of the number of ordinary shares whose proceeds were necessary to pay the cash portion of the preference dividends was not material. See "Prospectus Summary—The Offering—Preference Dividend" and "Dividend Policy" for more information on the preference dividends that are to be issued upon completion of this offering.

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  As of December 31,   As of June 30,  
 
  2014   2015   2016  
 
  Actual   Actual   Actual   Pro Forma(1)   Pro Forma
as Adjusted(2)
 
 
  RMB   RMB   US$   RMB   US$   RMB   US$   RMB   US$  
 
  (in thousands)
 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

                                                       

Cash

    606,758     924,498     139,108     834,477     125,563     834,477     125,563     2,125,943     319,888  

Accounts receivable, net

    73,366     111,013     16,704     170,149     25,602     170,149     25,602     170,149     25,602  

Total current assets

    745,831     1,186,699     178,561     1,183,231     178,039     1,183,231     178,039     2,474,697     372,364  

Property and equipment, net

    1,694,944     2,512,687     378,081     3,591,456     540,402     3,591,456     540,402     3,591,456     540,402  

Goodwill and intangible assets

    1,350,524     1,341,599     201,869     1,442,125     216,995     1,442,125     216,995     1,442,125     216,995  

Total assets

    3,854,074     5,128,272     771,645     6,334,066     953,079     6,334,066     953,079     7,625,532     1,147,404  

Total current liabilities

    897,630     925,049     139,191     1,478,315     222,440     1,772,578     266,718     1,478,315     222,440  

Total liabilities

    1,706,600     3,073,463     462,460     4,380,909     659,189     4,675,172     703,467     4,241,677     638,239  

Redeemable preferred shares

    2,164,039     2,395,314     360,420     2,499,117     376,039                  

Total shareholders' (deficit) equity(3)

    (16,565 )   (340,505 )   (51,235 )   (545,960 )   (82,149 )   1,658,894     249,612     3,383,855     509,165  

(1)
Reflects (i) the automatic conversion of all our outstanding preferred shares into 349,087,677 Class A ordinary shares immediately upon the completion of this offering, and (ii) the preference dividend as if the preference dividend were declared and payable on June 30, 2016 and as if a qualified IPO, as defined in our shareholder's agreement, had occurred on June 30, 2016.

(2)
Reflects (i) the automatic conversion of all our outstanding preferred shares into 349,087,677 Class A ordinary shares immediately upon the completion of this offering, (ii) the assumed payment of the preference dividend on our preferred shares of US$50.8 million based upon, and settled through, the date of this offering, US$11.4 million of which will be paid in cash and US$39.4 million of which will be paid in 24,223,203 Class A ordinary shares of the Company, assuming an initial offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, (iii) the issuance and sale of the Class A ordinary shares in the form of ADSs offered hereby at an assumed initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated public offering price range shown on the front cover of this prospectus, after deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us and assuming no exercise of the underwriters' over-allotment option, and (iv) the repayment of approximately RMB139.2 million (US$21.0 million) of the outstanding indebtedness of certain of our subsidiaries using a portion of the proceeds to us from this offering.

(3)
A US$1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS would increase (decrease) total shareholders' equity by US$17.9 million.

Key Financial Metrics

        We monitor the following key financial metrics to help us evaluate growth trends, establish budgets, measure the effectiveness of our business strategies and assess operational efficiencies:

 
  Year Ended
December 31,
  Six Months
Ended June 30,
 
 
  2014   2015   2015   2016  

Other Consolidated Financial Data:

                         

Gross margin(1)

    17.1 %   26.8 %   27.3 %   25.7 %

Operating margin(2)

    (16.2 )%   (0.2 )%   (0.1 )%   (12.5 )%

Net margin(3)

    (27.8 )%   (14.0 )%   (15.5 )%   (34.5 )%

(1)
Gross profit as a percentage of net revenue.

(2)
Income (loss) from operations as a percentage of net revenue.

(3)
Net income (loss) as a percentage of net revenue.

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Non-GAAP Measures

        In evaluating our business, we consider and use the following non-GAAP measures as supplemental measures to review and assess our operating performance:

 
  Year Ended December 31,   Six Months Ended June 30,  
 
  2014   2015   2015   2016  
 
  RMB   RMB   US$   RMB   RMB   US$  
 
  (in thousands, except percentages)
 

Other Consolidated Financial Data:

                                     

Adjusted EBITDA(1)

    38,044     164,701     24,782     73,755     100,557     15,131  

Adjusted EBITDA margin(2)

    8.1 %   23.4 %   23.4 %   24.2 %   22.5 %   22.5 %

(1)
Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income or net loss excluding net interest expenses, incomes tax benefits, depreciation and amortization, accretion expenses for asset retirement costs, share-based compensation expenses, and gain on remeasurement of equity investment.

(2)
Adjusted EBITDA margin is defined as adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue.

        Our management and board of directors use adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin, which are non-GAAP financial measures, to evaluate our operating performance, establish budgets and develop operational goals for managing our business. In particular, we believe that the exclusion of the expenses eliminated in calculating adjusted EBITDA can provide a useful measure of our core operating performance.

        We also present these non-GAAP measures because we believe these non-GAAP measures are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties as measures of the financial performance of companies in our industry.

        These non-GAAP financial measures are not defined under U.S. GAAP and are not presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures have limitations as analytical tools, and when assessing our operating performance, cash flows or our liquidity, investors should not consider them in isolation, or as a substitute for net income (loss), cash flows provided by operating activities or other consolidated statements of operation and cash flow data prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

        We mitigate these limitations by reconciling the non-GAAP financial measure to the most comparable U.S. GAAP performance measure, all of which should be considered when evaluating our performance.

        The following table reconciles our adjusted EBITDA in the years presented to the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP, which is net income or net loss:

 
  Year Ended December 31,   Six Months Ended June 30,  
 
  2014   2015   2015   2016  
 
  RMB   RMB   US$   RMB   RMB   US$  
 
  (in thousands)
 

Net loss

    (129,999 )   (98,584 )   (14,834 )   (47,264 )   (154,197 )   (23,201 )

Net interest expenses

    124,973     125,546     18,891     60,440     110,292     16,595  

Income tax benefits

    (4,583 )   (11,983 )   (1,803 )   (6,641 )   (6,464 )   (973 )

Depreciation and amortization

    82,753     145,406     21,879     63,968     93,469     14,064  

Accretion expenses for asset retirement costs

    73     255     38     86     270     41  

Share-based compensation expenses

    27,333     4,061     611     3,166     57,187     8,605  

Gain on remeasurement of equity investment

    (62,506 )                    

Adjusted EBITDA

    38,044     164,701     24,782     73,755     100,557     15,131  

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RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

        The following sets forth our preliminary unaudited interim financial information for the three months ended September 30, 2016:

    Net revenue.  Our net revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2016 was RMB297.2 million (US$44.7 million), as compared to net revenue of RMB189.8 million for the three months ended September 30, 2015.

      Our net revenue for the three months ended September 30, 2016 comprised of service revenue of RMB266.9 million (US$40.2 million) and equipment sale of RMB30.3 million (US$4.5 million), respectively as compared to the corresponding period in 2015 of RMB168.5 million and RMB21.3 million, respectively. The increase in service revenue was primarily driven by (i) an increase in area utilized from 21,083 sqm as of September 30, 2015 to 34,369 sqm as of September 30, 2016 as customers with commitments moved into the data center area, (ii) the signing of new service contracts by customers who commenced utilizing services during the period, (iii) the commencement of operations of a new data center in Shenzhen in the first half year of 2016, and (iv) the addition of a new data center in Guangzhou through the acquisition of Guangzhou Weiteng.

    Net loss.  Our net loss for the three months ended September 30, 2016 was RMB52.6 million (US$7.9 million), as compared to net loss of RMB23.1 million for the three months ended September 30, 2015.

    Adjusted EBITDA.  Our adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended September 30, 2016 was RMB78.0 million (US$11.7 million), as compared to adjusted EBITDA of RMB42.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 2015.

        The preliminary unaudited interim financial information for the three months ended September 30, 2016 is based on our management accounts and has not been reviewed by the independent registered public accounting firm. As a result, our preliminary unaudited interim financial information set forth above may be subject to change. See "Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements."

        The following table reconciles our adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended September 30, 2015 and 2016 to the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP, which is net income or net loss:

 
  For the Three Months Ended September 30,  
 
  2015   2016  
 
  RMB   RMB   US$  
 
  (in millions)
 

Net loss

    (23.1 )   (52.6 )   (7.9 )

Net interest expenses

    29.6     69.4     10.4  

Income tax benefits

    (2.9 )   (1.6 )   (0.2 )

Depreciation and amortization

    38.8     62.6     9.4  

Accretion expenses for asset retirement costs

    0.1     0.2     0.0  

Share-based compensation expenses

    0.2          

Adjusted EBITDA(1)

    42.7     78.0     11.7  

(1)
Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net loss excluding net interest expenses, income tax benefit, depreciation and amortization, accretion expenses for asset retirement costs and share-based compensation expenses.

        For more information regarding our use of non-GAAP measures, including Adjusted EBITDA, see "—Summary Consolidated Financial and Operating Data—Non-GAAP Measures" elsewhere in this prospectus.

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        Our preliminary unaudited interim financial information for the three months ended September 30, 2016 may not be indicative of our financial results for future interim periods or for the full year ending December 31, 2016. See "Risk Factors—Risk Factors Relating to Our Business and Industry—Our operating results may fluctuate, which could make our future results difficult to predict, and may fall below investor or analyst expectations."

        On September 30, 2016, we entered into a memorandum of understanding with a property development company for the lease of three data center shell buildings to be built-to-suit in phases on a site in the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone in close proximity to our existing data centers. Once the built-to-suit lease agreements are finalized, we expect these buildings to provide us with additional data center net floor area of approximately 30,000 sqm.

        On October 14, 2016, the Uptime Institute, an unbiased advisory organization focused on improving the performance, efficiency, and reliability of business critical infrastructure, recognized five of our data centers with their "Management and Operations Approved Site" awards. The award recognizes data center service providers that have maximized service uptime potential, achieved operational efficiency and reduced risk of errors. We believe we are the only data center service provider in China that has obtained the award for multiple data centers.

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RISK FACTORS

        You should consider carefully all of the information in this prospectus, including the risks and uncertainties described below and our consolidated financial statements and related notes, before making an investment in our ADSs. Any of the following risks and uncertainties could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects. The market price of our ADSs could decline significantly as a result of any of these risks and uncertainties, and you may lose all or part of your investment.

Risk Factors Relating to Our Business and Industry

A slowdown in the demand for data center resources or managed services could have a material adverse effect on us.

        Adverse developments in the data center market, in the industries in which our customers operate, or in demand for cloud computing could lead to a decrease in the demand for data center resources or managed services, which could have a material adverse effect on us. We face risks including:

    a decline in the technology industry, such as a decrease in the use of mobile or web-based commerce, business layoffs or downsizing, relocation of businesses, increased costs of complying with existing or new government regulations and other factors;

    a slowdown in the growth of the Internet generally as a medium for commerce and communication and the use of cloud-based platforms and services in particular;

    a downturn in the market for data center space generally, which could be caused by an oversupply of or reduced demand for space, and a downturn in cloud-based data center demand in particular; and

    the rapid development of new technologies or the adoption of new industry standards that render our or our customers' current products and services obsolete or unmarketable and, in the case of our customers, that contribute to a downturn in their businesses, increasing the likelihood of a default under their service agreements or that they become insolvent.

        To the extent that any of these or other adverse conditions occurs, they are likely to impact market demand and pricing for our services.

Any inability to manage the growth of our operations could disrupt our business and reduce our profitability.

        We have experienced significant growth in recent years. Our net revenue grew from RMB468.3 million in 2014 to RMB703.6 million (US$105.9 million) in 2015, and increased from RMB304.8 million in the six months ended June 30, 2015 to RMB447.1 million (US$67.3 million) in the same period in 2016, respectively. We derive net revenue primarily from colocation services and, to a lesser extent, managed services. In addition, we also sell IT equipment either on a stand-alone basis or bundled in a managed service contract arrangement and provide consulting services. Our net revenues for colocation were RMB342.5 million, RMB500.9 million (US$75.4 million) and RMB330.8 million (US$49.8 million) in 2014, 2015 and the six months ended June 30, 2016, representing 73.1%, 71.2% and 74.0% of total net revenue over the same periods, respectively. Our net revenues for managed services and consulting services were RMB108.4 million, RMB152.7 million (US$23.0 million) and RMB105.6 million (US$15.9 million) in 2014, 2015 and the six months ended June 30, 2016, representing 23.2%, 21.7% and 23.6% of total net revenue over the same periods, respectively.

        Our operations have also expanded in recent years through increases in the number and size of the data center facilities we operate, which we expect will continue to grow. Our rapid growth has placed, and will continue to place, significant demands on our management and our administrative, operational and financial systems. Continued expansion increases the challenges we face in:

    obtaining suitable land to build new data centers;

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    establishing new operations at additional data centers and maintaining efficient use of the data center facilities we operate;

    managing a large and growing customer base with increasingly diverse requirements;

    expanding our service portfolio to cover a wider range of services, including managed cloud services;

    creating and capitalizing on economies of scale;

    obtaining additional capital to meet our future capital needs;

    recruiting, training and retaining a sufficient number of skilled technical, sales and management personnel;

    maintaining effective oversight over personnel and multiple data center locations;

    coordinating work among sites and project teams; and

    developing and improving our internal systems, particularly for managing our continually expanding business operations.

        If we fail to manage the growth of our operations effectively, our businesses and prospects may be materially and adversely affected.

If we are not successful in expanding our service offerings, we may not achieve our financial goals and our results of operations may be adversely affected.

        We have been expanding, and plan to continue to expand, the nature and scope of our service offerings, particularly into the area of cloud infrastructure and managed cloud services. The success of our expanded service offerings depends, in part, upon demand for such services by new and existing customers and our ability to meet their demand in a cost-effective manner. We may face a number of challenges expanding our service offerings, including:

    acquiring or developing the necessary expertise in IT;

    maintaining high-quality control and process execution standards;

    maintaining productivity levels and implementing necessary process improvements;

    controlling costs; and

    successfully attracting existing and new customers for new services we develop.

        A failure by us to effectively manage the growth of our service portfolio could damage our reputation, cause us to lose business and adversely affect our results of operations. In addition, because managed cloud services may require significant upfront investment, we expect that continued expansion into these services will reduce our profit margins. In the event that we are unable to successfully grow our service portfolio, we could lose our competitive edge in providing our existing colocation and managed services, since significant time and resources that are devoted to such growth could have been utilized instead to improve and expand our existing colocation and managed services.

We face risks associated with having a long selling and implementation cycle for our services that requires us to make significant capital expenditures and resource commitments prior to recognizing revenue for those services.

        We have a long selling cycle for our services, which typically requires significant investment of capital, human resources and time by both our customers and us. Constructing, developing and operating our data centers require significant capital expenditures. A customer's decision to utilize our colocation services, our managed solutions or our other services typically involves time-consuming contract negotiations regarding the service level commitments and other terms, and substantial due diligence on the part of the customer regarding the adequacy of our infrastructure and attractiveness of our resources and services. Furthermore, we may expend significant time and resources in pursuing a particular sale or customer, and we do not recognize revenue for our services until such time as the services are provided under the terms of the

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applicable contract. Our efforts in pursuing a particular sale or customer may not be successful, and we may not always have sufficient capital on hand to satisfy our working capital needs between the date on which we sign an agreement with a new customer and when we first receive revenue for services delivered to the customer. If our efforts in pursuing sales and customers are unsuccessful, or our cash on hand is insufficient to cover our working capital needs over the course of our long selling cycle, our financial condition could be negatively affected.

The data center business is capital-intensive, and our capacity to generate capital may be insufficient to meet our anticipated capital requirements.

        The costs of constructing, developing and operating data centers are substantial. Further, we may encounter development delays, excess development costs, or delays in developing space for our customers to utilize. We also may not be able to identify suitable land or facilities for new data centers or at a cost on terms acceptable to us. We are required to fund the costs of constructing, developing and operating our data centers with cash retained from operations, as well as from financings from bank and other borrowings. Moreover, the costs of constructing, developing and operating data centers have increased in recent years, and may further increase in the future, which may make it more difficult for us to expand our business and to operate our data centers profitably. There can be no assurance that our future net revenue would be sufficient to offset increases in these costs, or that our business operations will generate capital sufficient to meet our anticipated capital requirements. If we cannot generate sufficient capital to meet our anticipated capital requirements, our financial condition, business expansion and future prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

Our substantial level of indebtedness could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital to fund our operations, expose us to interest rate risk to the extent of our variable rate debt and prevent us from meeting our obligations under our indebtedness.

        We have substantial indebtedness. As of June 30, 2016, we had total consolidated indebtedness of RMB3,464.9 million (US$521.4 million), including borrowings, capital lease obligations and convertible bonds. Our high level of indebtedness could, among other consequences:

    make it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness, exposing us to the risk of default, which, in turn, would negatively affect our ability to operate as a going concern;

    require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flows from operations to interest and principal payments on our indebtedness, reducing the availability of our cash flows for other purposes, such as capital expenditures, acquisitions and working capital;

    limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industries in which we operate;

    increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;

    place us at a disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less debt;

    expose us to fluctuations in the interest rate environment because the interest rates on borrowings under our project financing agreements are variable;

    increase our cost of borrowing;

    limit our ability to borrow additional funds; and

    require us to sell assets to raise funds, if needed, for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or other purposes.

        As a result of covenants and restrictions, we are limited in how we conduct our business, and we may be unable to raise additional debt or equity financing to compete effectively or to take advantage of new business opportunities. Our current or future borrowings could increase the level of financial risk to us and, to the extent that the interest rates are not fixed and rise, or that borrowings are refinanced at higher rates, our available cash flow and results of operations could be adversely affected.

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        We have financing arrangements in place with various lenders to support specific data center construction projects. Certain of these financing arrangements are secured by our accounts receivable, property and equipment and land use rights. The terms of these financing arrangements may impose covenants and obligations on the part of both the borrowing subsidiary of ours and us as guarantor. For example, some of these agreements contain requirements to maintain a specified minimum cash balance at all times or require that the borrower's outstanding loans stay within a "borrowing range." A subsidiary of ours in the past failed to meet the borrowing range requirement and although the subsidiary obtained a waiver letter from the creditor that waived the covenant violations, we cannot provide any assurances that we will always be able to meet any covenant tests under our financing arrangements. For more information regarding covenants arising from our financing arrangements, see "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Contractual Obligations."

        The terms of any future indebtedness we may incur could include more restrictive covenants. A breach of any of these covenants could result in a default with respect to the related indebtedness. If a default occurs, the relevant lenders could elect to declare the indebtedness, together with accrued interest and other fees, to be due and payable immediately. This, in turn, could cause our other debt, to become due and payable as a result of cross-default or acceleration provisions contained in the agreements governing such other debt. In the event that some or all of our debt is accelerated and becomes immediately due and payable, we may not have the funds to repay, or the ability to refinance, such debt.

We may require additional capital to meet our future capital needs, which may adversely affect our financial position and result in additional shareholder dilution.

        To grow our operations, we will be required to commit a substantial amount of operating and financial resources. Our planned capital expenditures, together with our ongoing operating expenses, will cause substantial cash outflows. If we are not able to generate sufficient operating cash flows, our ability to fund our expansion plan may be limited. We may need to raise additional funds through equity or debt financings in the future in order to meet our operating and capital needs. Additional debt or equity financing may not be available when needed or, if available, may not be available on satisfactory terms. Our inability to obtain additional debt and/or equity financing or to generate sufficient cash from operations may require us to prioritize projects or curtail capital expenditures and could adversely affect our results of operations.

        If we raise additional funds through further issuances of equity or equity-linked securities, our existing shareholders could suffer significant dilution in their percentage ownership of our company, and any new equity securities we issue could have rights, preferences and privileges senior to those of holders of our ordinary shares. In addition, any debt financing that we may obtain in the future could have restrictive covenants relating to our capital raising activities and other financial and operational matters, which may make it more difficult for us to obtain additional capital and to pursue business opportunities, including potential acquisitions.

Increased power costs and limited availability of power resources may adversely affect our results of operations.

        We are a large consumer of power and costs of power account for a significant portion of our cost of revenue. We require power supply to provide many services we offer, such as powering and cooling our customers' servers and network equipment and operating critical data center plant and equipment infrastructure. Since we rely on two centralized power utility suppliers, State Grid and Southern Grid, to provide our data centers with power, our data centers could have limited or inadequate access to power.

        The amount of power required by our customers may increase as they adopt new technologies, for example, for virtualization of hardware resources. As a result, the average amount of power utilized per server is increasing, which in turn increases power consumption required to cool the data center facilities. Pursuant to our colocation service contracts, we provide our customers with a committed level of power supply availability. Although we aim to improve the energy efficiency of the data center facilities that we

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operate, there can be no assurance such data center facilities will be able to provide sufficient power to meet the growing needs of our customers. Our customers' demand for power may exceed the power capacity in our older data centers, which may limit our ability to fully utilize the net floor area of these data centers. We may lose customers or our customers may reduce the services purchased from us due to increased power costs, and limited availability of power resources, or we may incur costs for data center space which we cannot utilize, which would reduce our net revenue and have a material and adverse effect on our cost of revenue and results of operations.

        We attempt to manage our power resources and limit exposure to system downtime due to power outages from the electric grid by having redundant power feeds from the grid and by using backup generators and battery power. However, these protections may not limit our exposure to power shortages or outages entirely. Any system downtime resulting from insufficient power resources or power outages could damage our reputation and lead us to lose current and potential customers, which would harm our financial condition and results of operations.

We have a history of net losses and may continue to incur losses in the future.

        We incurred net losses of RMB130.0 million, RMB98.6 million (US$14.8 million) and RMB154.2 million (US$23.2 million) in 2014, 2015 and the six months ended June 30, 2016, respectively, and we may incur losses in the future. We expect our costs and expenses to increase as we expand our operations, primarily including costs and expenses associated with owning and leasing data center space, increasing our headcount and utility expenses. Our ability to achieve and maintain profitability depends on the continued growth and maintenance of our customer base, our ability to control our costs and expenses, the expansion of our service offerings and our ability to provide our services at the level needed to satisfy the stringent demands of our customers. In addition, our ability to achieve profitability is affected by many factors which are beyond our control, such as the overall demand for data center services in China and general economic conditions. If we cannot efficiently manage the data center facilities we operate, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. We may continue to incur losses in the future due to our continued investments in leasing data center space, increased headcount and increased utility expenses.

Any significant or prolonged failure in the data center facilities we operate or services we provide would lead to significant costs and disruptions and would reduce our net revenue, harm our business reputation and have a material adverse effect on our results of operation.

        The data center facilities we operate are subject to failure. Any significant or prolonged failure in any data center facility we operate or services that we provide, including a breakdown in critical plant, equipment or services, such as the cooling equipment, generators, backup batteries, routers, switches, or other equipment, power supplies, or network connectivity, whether or not within our control, could result in service interruptions and data losses for our customers as well as equipment damage, which could significantly disrupt the normal business operations of our customers and harm our reputation and reduce our net revenue. Any failure or downtime in one of the data center facilities that we operate could affect many of our customers. The total destruction or severe impairment of any of the data center facilities we operate could result in significant downtime of our services and catastrophic loss of customer data. Since our ability to attract and retain customers depends on our ability to provide highly reliable service, even minor interruptions in our service could harm our reputation and cause us to incur financial penalties. The services we provide are subject to failures resulting from numerous factors, including:

    power loss;

    equipment failure;

    human error or accidents;

    theft, sabotage and vandalism;

    failure by us or our suppliers to provide adequate service or maintenance to our equipment;

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    network connectivity downtime and fiber cuts;

    security breaches to our infrastructure;

    improper building maintenance by us or the landlords of the buildings in which our leased facilities are located;

    physical, electronic and cyber security breaches;

    fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood and other natural disasters;

    extreme temperatures;

    water damage;

    public health emergencies; and

    terrorism.

        We have in the past experienced, and may in the future experience, interruptions in service due to power outages or other technical failures or for reasons outside of our control, including a service interruption that caused system downtime to certain banking and financial institution customers and other customers. These interruptions in service, regardless of whether they result in breaches of the service level agreements we have with customers, may negatively affect our relationships with customers, including resulting in customers terminating their agreements with us or seeking damages from us or other compensatory actions. Interruptions in service may also have consequences for customers, such as banking and financial institutions, that are under the oversight of industry regulators, including the China Banking Regulatory Commission, or CBRC, and other PRC regulatory agencies. In response to such interruptions in service, industry regulators have taken, and may in the future take, various regulatory actions, including notifications or citations to our customers, over which they have oversight. Such regulatory actions with respect to our customers, including banking and financial institutions, could negatively impact our relationships with such customers, lead to audits of our services, inspections of our facilities, place restrictions or prohibitions upon the ability of such institutions to use our services, and thereby negatively affect our business operations and results of operations. We have taken and continue to take steps to improve our infrastructure to prevent service interruptions, including upgrading our electrical and mechanical infrastructure and sourcing, designing the best facilities possible and implementing rigorous operational procedures to maintenance programs to manage risk. However, we cannot assure you that such interruptions in service will not occur again in the future, or that such incidents will not result in the loss of customers and revenue, our paying compensation to customers, reputational damage to us, penalties or fines against us, and would not have a material and adverse effect on our business and results of operations. See "Regulations—Regulations Related to Information Technology Outsourcing Services Provided to Banking Financial Institutions." Service interruptions continue to be a significant risk for us and could affect our reputation, damage our relationships with customers and materially and adversely affect our business.

Delays in the construction of new data centers or the expansion of existing data centers could involve significant risks to our business.

        In order to meet customer demand and the continued growth of our business, we need to expand existing data centers, lease new facilities or obtain suitable land to build new data centers. Expansion of existing data centers and/or construction of new data centers are currently underway, or being contemplated and such expansion and/or construction require us to carefully select and rely on the experience of one or more designers, general contractors, and subcontractors during the design and construction process. If a designer or contractor experiences financial or other problems during the design or construction process, we could experience significant delays and/or incur increased costs to complete the projects, resulting in negative impacts on our results of operations.

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        In addition, we need to work closely with the local power suppliers, and sometimes local governments, where our proposed data centers are located. Delays in actions that require the assistance of such third-parties, or delays in receiving required permits and approvals from such parties, may also affect the speed with which we complete data center projects or result in their not being completed at all. We have experienced such delays in receiving approvals and permits or in actions to be taken by third parties in the past and may experience them again in the future.

        If we experience significant delays in the supply of power required to support the data center expansion or new construction, either during the design or construction phases, the progress of the data center expansion and/or construction could deviate from our original plans, which could cause material and negative effect to our revenue growth, profitability and results of operations.

The occurrence of a catastrophic event or a prolonged disruption may exceed our insurance coverage by significant amounts.

        Our operations are subject to hazards and risks normally associated with the daily operations of our data center facilities. Currently, we maintain insurance policies in four categories: business interruption for lost profits, property and casualty, public liability, and commercial employee insurance. Our business interruption insurance for lost profits includes coverage for business interruptions, our property and casualty insurance includes coverage for equipment breakdowns and our commercial employee insurance includes employee group insurance and senior management medical insurance. We believe our insurance coverage adequately covers the risks of our daily business operations. However, our current insurance policies may be insufficient in the event of a prolonged or catastrophic event. The occurrence of any such event that is not entirely covered by our insurance policies may result in interruption of our operations and subject us to significant losses or liabilities and damage our reputation as a provider of business continuity services. In addition, any losses or liabilities that are not covered by our current insurance policies may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may be vulnerable to security breaches which could disrupt our operations and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

        A party who is able to compromise the security measures protecting the data center facilities we operate or any of the data stored in such data center facilities could misappropriate our or our customers' proprietary information or cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations. As we provide assurances to our customers that we provide the highest level of security, such a compromise could be particularly harmful to our brand and reputation. We may be required to expend significant capital and resources to protect against such threats or to alleviate problems caused by breaches in security. In addition, as we continue expanding our service offerings in the cloud infrastructure and managed cloud services space, we will face greater risks from potential attacks because the provision of cloud-related services will increase the flow of Internet user data through the data center facilities we operate and create broader public access to our system. As techniques used to breach security change frequently and are often not recognized until launched against a target, we may not be able to implement new security measures in a timely manner or, if and when implemented, we may not be certain whether these measures could be circumvented. Any breaches that may occur could expose us to increased risk of lawsuits, regulatory penalties, loss of existing or potential customers, harm to our reputation and increases in our security costs, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

        Security risks and deficiencies may also be identified in the course of government inspections, which could subject us to fines and other sanctions. During construction of certain of our facilities, government inspectors have cited security risks at our construction sites and subjected us and our legal representative to fines for such risks. We cannot assure you that similar fines and sanctions will not occur in the future, or that such fines and sanctions will not result in damage to our business and reputation, which could have a material and adverse effect on our results of operations.

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        In addition, any assertions of alleged security breaches or systems failure made against us, whether true or not, could harm our reputation, cause us to incur substantial legal fees and have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.

Our ability to provide data center services depends on the major telecommunications carriers in China providing sufficient network services to our customers in the data center facilities that we operate on commercially acceptable terms.

        Our ability to provide data center services depends on the major telecommunications carriers in China, namely China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile, providing sufficient network connectivity and capacity to enable our customers to transfer data to and from equipment that they locate in the data center facilities that we operate. Furthermore, given the limited competition among basic service providers in the telecommunications market in China, we depend on the dominant carrier in each location to provide such services to our customers on commercially acceptable terms. Although we believe we have maintained good relationships with China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile in the past, there can be no assurance that they will continue to provide the network services that our customers require on commercially acceptable terms at each of the data centers where we operate, if at all. In addition, if China Telecom, China Unicom or China Mobile increases the price of their network services, it would have a negative impact on the overall cost-effectiveness of data center services in China, which could cause our customers' demand for our services to decline and would materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Our leases for self-developed data centers or our agreements for third-party data centers could be terminated early and we may not be able to renew our existing leases and agreements on commercially acceptable terms or our rent or payment under the agreements could increase substantially in the future, which could materially and adversely affect our operations.

        Most of our data center operations are located in properties that we have entered into long-term operating leases. Such leases generally have ten to twenty year terms. In some instances, we may negotiate an option to purchase the leased premises and facilities according to the terms and conditions under the relevant lease agreements. However, upon the expiration of such leases, we may not be able to renew these leases on commercially reasonable terms, if at all. Under certain lease agreements, the lessor may terminate the agreement by giving prior notice and paying default penalties to us. However, such default penalties may not be sufficient to cover our losses. Even though the lessors for most of our data centers generally do not have the right of unilateral early termination unless they provide the required notice, the lease may nonetheless be terminated early if we are in material breach of the lease agreements. We may assert claims for compensation against the landlords if they elect to terminate a lease agreement early and without due cause. If the leases for our data centers were terminated early prior to their expiration date, notwithstanding any compensation we may receive for early termination of such leases, or if we are not able to renew such leases, we may have to incur significant cost related to relocation. In addition, we have entered into two lease agreements with parties who have not produced evidence of proper legal title of the premises, and although we may seek damages from such parties, such leases may be void and we may be forced to relocate. Two of our data centers are located in properties that are already mortgaged to third parties before the commencement of the lease. If such third parties claim their rights on the mortgaged properties in case of default or breach under the principal debt by the lessors or other relevant parties, we may not be able to protect our leasehold interest and may be ordered to vacate the affected premises. Any relocation could also affect our ability to provide continuous uninterrupted services to our customers and harm our reputation. As a result, our business and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

        Furthermore, certain portions of our data center operations are located in third-party data centers that we lease from wholesale data center providers. Our agreements with third parties are typically three years

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but may also be up to ten years. Under some of such agreements, we have the right of first refusal to renew the agreements subject to mutual agreement with the third parties. Some of such agreements allow the third parties to terminate the agreements early, subject to a notification period requirement and the payment of a pre-determined termination fee, which in some cases may not be sufficient to cover any direct and indirect losses we might incur as a result. Although historically we have successfully renewed all agreements we wanted to renew, and we do not believe that any of our agreements will be terminated early in the future, there can be no assurance that the counterparties will not terminate any of our agreements prior to its expiration date. We plan to renew our existing agreements with third parties upon expiration or migrate our operations to the data centers leased or owned by our company. However, we may not be able to renew these agreements on commercially acceptable terms, if at all, or the space in data centers that we lease or own may not be adequate for us to relocate such operations, and we may experience an increase in our payments under such agreements. Any adverse change to our ability to exert operational control over any of the data center facilities we operate could have a material adverse effect on our ability to operate these data center facilities at the standards required for us to meet our service level commitments to our customers.

We generate significant revenue from data centers located in only a few locations and a significant disruption to any location could materially and adversely affect our operations

        We generate significant revenue from data centers located in only a few locations and a significant disruption to any single location could materially and adversely affect our operations. As of the date of this prospectus, the majority of our self-built data centers were located in close proximity to the central business districts of Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Chengdu. The occurrence of a catastrophic event, or a prolonged disruption in any of these regions, could materially and adversely affect our operations.

Our net revenue is highly dependent on a limited number of customers, and the loss of, or any significant decrease in business from, any one or more of our major customers could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

        We consider our customer to be the end user of our data center services. We may enter into contracts directly with our end user customer or through an intermediate contracting party. See "Business—Our Customers." We have in the past derived, and believe that we will continue to derive, a significant portion of our net revenue from a limited number of customers. We had one end user customer that generated 26.8% of our total net revenue in 2014 and two end user customers that generated 20.1% and 10.3% of our total net revenue, respectively, in 2015, and 17.1% and 15.7% of our total net revenue in the six months ended June 30, 2016, respectively. No other end user customer accounted for 10% or more of our total net revenue during those periods. We expect our net revenue will continue to be highly dependent on a limited number of end user customers who account for a large percentage of our total area committed. As of September 30, 2016, we had two end user customers who accounted for 26.1% and 20.8%, respectively, of our total area committed. No other end user customer accounted for 10% or more of total area committed. Moreover, for several of our data centers, a limited number of end user customers accounted for substantial majority of area committed or area utilized. If there are delays in the move in where the net floor area they are committed to are not utilized as expected, or there is contract termination in relation to these customers, then our net revenue and results of operations would be materially and adversely affected.

        There are a number of factors that could cause us to lose major customers. Because many of our contracts involve services that are mission-critical to our customers, any failure by us to meet a customer's expectations could result in cancellation or non-renewal of the contract. Our service agreements usually allow our customers to terminate their agreements with us before the end of the contract period under certain specified circumstances, including our failure to deliver services as required under such agreements,

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and in some cases without cause as long as sufficient notice is given. In addition, our customers may decide to reduce spending on our services due to a challenging economic environment or other factors, both internal and external, relating to their business such as corporate restructuring or changing their outsourcing strategy by moving more facilities in-house or outsourcing to other service providers. Furthermore, our customers, some of who have experienced rapid changes in their business, substantial price competition and pressures on their profitability, may demand price reductions or reduce the scope of services to be provided by us, any of which could reduce our profitability. In addition, our reliance on any individual customer for a significant portion of our net revenue may give that customer a degree of pricing leverage against us when negotiating contracts and terms of services with us.

        The loss of any of our major customers, or a significant decrease in the extent of the services that they outsource to us or the price at which we sell our services to them, could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

If we are unable to meet our service level commitments, our reputation and results of operation could suffer.

        Most of our customer contracts provide that we maintain certain service level commitments to our customers. If we fail to meet our service level commitments, we may be contractually obligated to pay the affected customer a financial penalty, which varies by contract, and the customer may in some cases be able to terminate its contract. Although we have not had to pay any material financial penalties for failing to meet our service level commitments in the past, there is no assurance that we will be able to meet all of our service level commitments in the future and that no material financial penalties may be imposed. In addition, if such a failure were to occur, there can be no assurance that our customers will not seek other legal remedies that may be available to them, including:

    requiring us to provide free services;

    seeking damages for losses incurred; and

    cancelling or electing not to renew their contracts.

        Any of these events could materially increase our expenses or reduce our net revenue, which would have a material adverse effect on our reputation and results of operations. Our failure to meet our commitments could also result in substantial customer dissatisfaction or loss. As a result of such customer loss and other potential liabilities, our net revenue and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

Our customer base may decline if our customers or potential customers develop their own data centers or expand their own existing data centers.

        Some of our customers may develop their own data center facilities. Other customers with their own existing data centers may choose to expand their data center operations in the future. In the event that any of our key customers were to develop or expand their data centers, we may lose business or face pressure as to the pricing of our services. Although we believe that the trend is for companies in China to outsource their data center facilities and operations to colocation data center service providers, there can be no assurance that this trend will continue. In addition, if we fail to offer services that are cost-competitive and operationally advantageous as compared with services provided in-house by our customers, we may lose customers or fail to attract new customers. If we lose a customer, there is no assurance that we would be able to replace that customer at the same or a higher rate, or at all, and our business and results of operations would suffer.

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We may be unable to achieve high contract renewal rates.

        We seek to renew customer contracts when those contracts are due for renewal. We endeavor to provide high levels of customer service, support, and satisfaction to maintain long-term customer relationships and to secure high rates of contract renewals for our services. Nevertheless, we cannot assure you that we will be able to renew service contracts with our existing customers or re-commit space relating to expired service contracts to new customers if our current customers do not renew their contracts. In the event of a customer's termination or non-renewal of expired contracts, our ability to enter into services contracts so that new or other existing customers utilize the expired existing space in a timely manner will impact our results of operations. Our quarterly churn rate, which we define as the ratio of quarterly service revenue from contracts which terminated or expired without renewal during the quarter to the total quarterly service revenue for the preceding quarter, averaged 1.4%, 1.0% and 1.6% in 2014, 2015 and the nine months ended September 30, 2016, respectively. Between September 30, 2016 and December 31, 2016 and during 2017, data center service agreements with our customers with respect to 5.8% and 13.5%, respectively of our total area committed as at September 30, 2016 will become due for renewal.

If we do not succeed in attracting new customers for our services and/or growing revenue from existing customers, we may not achieve our revenue growth goals.

        We have been expanding our customer base to cover a range of industry verticals, particularly cloud service providers. Our ability to attract new customers, as well as our ability to grow revenue from our existing customers, depends on a number of factors, including our ability to offer high-quality services at competitive prices, the strength of our competitors and the capabilities of our marketing and sales teams to attract new customers. If we fail to attract new customers, we may not be able to grow our net revenue as quickly as we anticipate or at all.

        As our customer base grows and diversifies into other industries, we may be unable to provide customers with services that meet the specific demand of such customers or their industries, or with quality customer support, which could result in customer dissatisfaction, decreased overall demand for our services and loss of expected revenue. In addition, our inability to meet customer service expectations may damage our reputation and could consequently limit our ability to retain existing customers and attract new customers, which would adversely affect our ability to generate revenue and negatively impact our results of operations.

Customers who rely on us for the colocation of their servers, the infrastructure of their cloud systems, and management of their IT and cloud operations could potentially sue us for their lost profits or damages if there are disruptions in our services, which could impair our financial condition.

        As our services are critical to many of our customers' business operations, any significant disruption in our services could result in lost profits or other indirect or consequential damages to our customers. Although our customer contracts typically contain provisions attempting to limit our liability for breach of the agreement, including failing to meet our service level commitments, there can be no assurance that a court would enforce any contractual limitations on our liability in the event that one of our customers brings a lawsuit against us as the result of a service interruption that they may ascribe to us. The outcome of any such lawsuit would depend on the specific facts of the case and any legal and policy considerations that we may not be able to mitigate. In such cases, we could be liable for substantial damage awards. Since we do not carry liability insurance coverage, such damage awards could seriously impair our financial condition.

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Our customers operate in a limited number of industries, particularly in the Internet and financial services industries. Factors that adversely affect these industries or information technology spending in these industries may adversely affect our business.

        Our customers operate in a limited number of industries, particularly in the Internet and financial services industries. As of September 30, 2016, end user customers from the Internet and financial services industries accounted for 70.8% and 15.1% of our total area committed, respectively. Our business and growth depends on continued demand for our services from our current and potential customers in the Internet and financial services industries. Demand for our services, and technology services in general, in any particular industry could be affected by multiple factors outside of our control, including a decrease in growth or growth prospects of the industry, a slowdown or reversal of the trend to outsource information technology operations, or consolidation in the industry. In addition, serving a major customer within a particular industry may effectively preclude us from seeking or obtaining engagements with direct competitors of that customer if there is a perceived conflict of interest. Any significant decrease in demand for our services by customers in these industries, or other industries from which we derive significant net revenue in the future, may reduce the demand for our services.

We enter into fixed-price contracts with many customers, and our failure to accurately estimate the resources and time required for the fulfillment of our obligations under these contracts could negatively affect our results of operations.

        Our data center services are generally provided on a fixed-price basis that requires us to undertake significant projections and planning related to resource utilization and costs. Although our past project experience helps to reduce the risks associated with estimating, planning and performing fixed-price contracts, we bear the risk of failing to accurately estimate our projected costs, including power costs as we may not accurately predict our customer's ultimate power usage once the contract is implemented, and failing to efficiently utilize our resources to deliver our services, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to reduce the risk of estimating, planning and performing our contracts. Any failure to accurately estimate the resources and time required for a project, or any other factors that may impact our costs, could adversely affect our profitability and results of operations.

Our customer contract commitments are subject to reduction and potential cancellation.

        Many of our customer contracts allow for early termination, subject to payment of specified costs and penalties, which are usually less than the revenues we would expect to receive under such contracts. Our customer contract commitments could significantly decrease if any of the customer contracts is terminated either pursuant to, or in violation of, the terms of such contract. In addition, our customer contract commitments during a particular future period may be reduced for reasons outside of our customers' control, such as general current economic conditions. If our customer contract commitments are significantly reduced, our results of operations and the price of our ADSs could be materially and adversely affected.

        Even if our current and future customers have entered into a binding contract with us, they may choose to terminate such contract prior to the expiration of its terms. Any penalty for early termination may not adequately compensate us for the time and resources we have expended in connection with such contract, or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and cash flows.

We may not be able to compete effectively against our current and future competitors.

        We offer a broad range of data center services and, as a result, we may compete with a wide range of data center service providers for some or all of the services we offer.

        We face competition from the state-owned telecommunications carriers, namely China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile, as well as other domestic and international carrier-neutral data center service

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providers. Our current and future competitors may vary by size and service offerings and geographic presence. See "Business—Competition."

        Competition is primarily centered on reputation and track record, quality and availability of data center space, quality of service, technical expertise, security, reliability, functionality, breadth and depth of services offered, geographic coverage, financial strength and price. Some of our current and future competitors may have greater brand recognition, marketing, technical and financial resources than we do. As a result, some of our competitors may be able to:

    bundle colocation services with other services or equipment they provide at reduced prices;

    develop superior products or services, gain greater market acceptance, and expand their service offerings more efficiently or rapidly;

    adapt to new or emerging technologies and changes in customer requirements more quickly;

    take advantage of acquisition and other opportunities more readily; and

    adopt more aggressive pricing policies and devote greater resources to the promotion, marketing and sales of their services.

        We operate in a competitive market, and we face pricing pressure for our services. Prices for our services are affected by a variety of factors, including supply and demand conditions and pricing pressures from our competitors. Although we offer a broad range of data center services, our competitors that specialize in only one of our services offerings may have competitive advantages in that offering. With respect to all of our colocation services, our competitors may offer such services at rates below current market rates or below the rates we currently charge our customers. With respect to both our colocation and managed services offerings, our competitors may offer services in a greater variety that are more sophisticated or that are more competitively priced than the services we offer. We may be required to lower our prices to remain competitive, which may decrease our margins and adversely affect our business prospects, financial condition and results of operations.

An oversupply of data center capacity could have a material adverse effect on us.

        A buildup of new data centers or reduced demand for data center services could result in an oversupply of data center space in China's large commercial centers. Excess data center capacity could lower the value of data center services and limit the number of economically attractive markets that are available to us for expansion, which could negatively impact our business and results of operations.

Our failure to comply with regulations applicable to our leased data centers may materially and adversely affect our ability to use such data centers.

        Among the data centers that we lease, including those under construction, a majority of the lease agreements have not been registered or filed with relevant authorities in accordance with the applicable PRC laws and regulations. The enforcement of this legal requirement varies depending on local practices. In case of failure to register or file a lease, the parties to the unregistered lease may be ordered to make rectifications (which would involve registering such leases with the relevant authority) before being subject to penalties. The penalty ranges from RMB1,000 to RMB10,000 for each unregistered lease, at the discretion of the relevant authority. The law is not clear as to which of the parties, the lessor or the lessee, is liable for the failure to register the lease, and the lease agreements of several of our data centers provide that the lessor is responsible for processing the registration and must compensate us for losses caused by any breach of the obligation. Although we have proactively requested that the applicable lessors complete or cooperate with us to complete the registration in a timely manner, we are unable to control whether and when such lessors will do so. In the event that a fine is imposed on both the lessor and lessee, and if we are unable to recover from the lessor any fine paid by us in accordance with the terms of

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the lease agreement, such fine will be borne by us. In respect to one data center in Beijing, a portion of the property has been constructed without obtaining the building ownership certificate, and the part of the lease in relation to such portion may be deemed invalid if the construction has not been duly approved by the government, in which event we would not be able to use that portion of property. In respect of some data centers, the usage of leased properties for data center purposes may be deemed to be inconsistent with the designated usage as stated under the building ownership certificates. If the owners fail to obtain the necessary consents and/or to comply with the applicable legal requirements for the change of usage of these premises, and the relevant authority or the court orders us to use the relevant leased properties for the designated usage only, we may not be able to continue to use these properties for data center purposes and we may need relocate our operation there to other suitable premises. We may also be subject to administrative penalties for lack of fire safety approvals for renovation of the leased premises, and we may be ordered to suspend operations at applicable premises if we fail to timely cure any such defect. Renovation of certain other of our data centers was carried out without obtaining construction related permits, and certain leased premises were put into use without fulfillment of construction inspection and acceptance procedures, which may cause administrative penalties to be incurred, and may cause the use of the leased premises to be deemed illegal, and we may be forced to suspend our operations as a result. See also "—Risks Related to Doing Business in the People's Republic of China—Our business operations are extensively impacted by the policies and regulations of the PRC Government. Any policy or regulatory change may cause us to incur significant compliance costs."

        We cannot assure you that we will be able to relocate such operations to suitable alternative premises, and any such relocation may result in disruption to our business operations and thereby result in loss of earnings. We may also need to incur additional costs for the relocation of our operation. There is also no assurance that we will be able to effectively mitigate the possible adverse effects that may be caused by such disruption, loss or costs. Any of such disruption, loss or costs could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Our failure to maintain our relationships with various cloud service providers may adversely affect our cloud-related services, and as a result, our business, operating results and financial condition.

        Our cloud managed services involve providing services to the customers of cloud service providers. If we do not maintain good relationships with cloud service providers, our business could be negatively affected. If these cloud service providers fail to perform as required under our agreements for any reason or suffer service level interruptions or other performance issues, or if our customers are less satisfied than expected with the services provided or results obtained, we may not realize the anticipated benefits of these relationships.

        Since our agreements with key cloud service providers in China are non-exclusive, these companies may decide in the future to partner with more of our competitors or they may decide to terminate their agreements with us, any of which could adversely and materially affect our business expansion plan and expected growth.

Our data center infrastructure may become obsolete or unmarketable and we may not be able to upgrade our power, cooling, security or connectivity systems cost-effectively or at all.

        The markets for the data centers we own and operate, as well as certain of the industries in which our customers operate, are characterized by rapidly changing technology, evolving industry standards, frequent new service introductions, shifting distribution channels and changing customer demands. As a result, the infrastructure at our data centers may become obsolete or unmarketable due to demand for new processes and/or technologies, including, without limitation: (i) new processes to deliver power to, or eliminate heat from, computer systems; (ii) customer demand for additional redundancy capacity; (iii) new technology that permits higher levels of critical load and heat removal than our data centers are currently designed to provide; and (iv) an inability of the power supply to support new, updated or upgraded

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technology. In addition, the systems that connect our self-developed data centers, and in particular, our third-party data centers, to the Internet and other external networks may become outdated, including with respect to latency, reliability and diversity of connectivity. When customers demand new processes or technologies, we may not be able to upgrade our data centers on a cost-effective basis, or at all, due to, among other things, increased expenses to us that cannot be passed on to customers or insufficient revenue to fund the necessary capital expenditures. The obsolescence of our power and cooling systems and/or our inability to upgrade our data centers, including associated connectivity, could reduce revenue at our data centers and could have a material adverse effect on us. Furthermore, potential future regulations that apply to industries we serve may require customers in those industries to seek specific requirements from their data centers that we are unable to provide. If such regulations were adopted, we could lose customers or be unable to attract new customers in certain industries, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

If we are unable to adapt to evolving technologies and customer demands in a timely and cost-effective manner, our ability to sustain and grow our business may suffer.

        To be successful, we must adapt to our rapidly changing market by continually improving the performance, features and reliability of our services and modifying our business strategies accordingly, which could cause us to incur substantial costs. We may not be able to adapt to changing technologies in a timely and cost-effective manner, if at all, which would adversely impact our ability to sustain and grow our business.

        In addition, new technologies have the potential to replace or provide lower cost alternatives to our services. The adoption of such new technologies could render some or all of our services obsolete or unmarketable. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to identify the emergence of all of these new service alternatives successfully, modify our services accordingly, or develop and bring new services to market in a timely and cost-effective manner to address these changes. If and when we do identify the emergence of new service alternatives and introduce new services to market, those new services may need to be made available at lower profit margins than our then-current services. Failure to provide services to compete with new technologies or the obsolescence of our services could lead us to lose current and potential customers or could cause us to incur substantial costs, which would harm our operating results and financial condition. Our introduction of new alternative services that have lower price points than our current offerings may also result in our existing customers switching to the lower cost products, which could reduce our net revenue and have a material adverse effect on our results of operation.

We have limited ability to protect our intellectual property rights, and unauthorized parties may infringe upon or misappropriate our intellectual property.

        Our success depends in part upon our proprietary intellectual property rights, including certain methodologies, practices, tools and technical expertise we utilize in designing, developing, implementing and maintaining applications and processes used in providing our services. We rely on a combination of copyright, trademark, trade secrets and other intellectual property laws, non-disclosure agreements with our employees, customers and other relevant persons and other measures to protect our intellectual property, including our brand identity. Nevertheless, it may be possible for third parties to obtain and use our intellectual property without authorization. The unauthorized use of intellectual property is common in China and enforcement of intellectual property rights by PRC regulatory agencies is inconsistent. As a result, litigation may be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights. Litigation could result in substantial costs and diversion of our management's attention and resources, and could disrupt our business, as well as have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Given the relative unpredictability of China's legal system and potential difficulties in enforcing a court judgment in China, there is no guarantee that we would be able to halt any unauthorized use of our intellectual property in China through litigation.

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We may be subject to third-party claims of intellectual property infringement.

        We derive most our revenues in China and use GRAPHIC , our figure trademark, in a majority of our services. We have registered or are in the process of registering the figure trademark in China in several categories that cover our services areas. A third party has also registered the pure text of "GDS" as a trademark in certain IT-related services. As the services for which the third party trademark is registered are also IT-related and could be construed as similar to ours in some respects, infringement claims may be asserted against us, and we cannot assure you that a government authority or a court will hold the view that such similarity will not cause confusion in the market. In this case, if we use the pure text of GDS (which we have not registered as a trademark with respect to all services we provide) as our trademark, we may be required to explore the possibility of acquiring this trademark, or entering into an exclusive licensing agreement with the third party, which will cause us to incur additional costs. In addition, we may be unaware of intellectual property registrations or applications that purport to relate to our services, which could give rise to potential infringement claims against us. Parties making infringement claims may be able to obtain an injunction to prevent us from delivering our services or using trademark or technology containing the allegedly intellectual property. If we become liable to third parties for infringing upon their intellectual property rights, we could be required to pay a substantial damage award. We may also be subject to injunctions that require us to alter our processes or methodologies so as not to infringe upon a third party's intellectual property, which may not be technically or commercially feasible and may cause us to expend significant resources. Any claims or litigation in this area, whether we ultimately win or lose, could be time-consuming and costly, could cause the diversion of management's attention and resources away from the operations of our business and could damage our reputation.

If our customers' proprietary intellectual property or confidential information is misappropriated or disclosed by us or our employees in violation of applicable laws and contractual agreements, we could be exposed to protracted and costly legal proceedings and lose clients.

        We and our employees are in some cases provided with access to our customers' proprietary intellectual property and confidential information, including technology, software products, business policies and plans, trade secrets and personal data. Many of our customer contracts require that we do not engage in the unauthorized use or disclosure of such intellectual property or information and that we will be required to indemnify our customers for any loss they may suffer as a result. We use security technologies and other methods to prevent employees from making unauthorized copies, or engaging in unauthorized use or unauthorized disclosure, of such intellectual property and confidential information. We also require our employees to enter into non-disclosure arrangements to limit access to and distribution of our customers' intellectual property and other confidential information as well as our own. However, the steps taken by us in this regard may not be adequate to safeguard our customers' intellectual property and confidential information. Moreover, most of our customer contracts do not include any limitation on our liability with respect to breaches of our obligation to keep the intellectual property or confidential information we receive from them confidential. In addition, we may not always be aware of intellectual property registrations or applications relating to source codes, software products or other intellectual property belonging to our customers. As a result, if our customers' proprietary rights are misappropriated by us or our employees, our customers may consider us liable for such act and seek damages and compensation from us.

        Assertions of infringement of intellectual property or misappropriation of confidential information against us, if successful, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Protracted litigation could also result in existing or potential customers deferring or limiting their purchase or use of our services until resolution of such litigation. Even if such assertions against us are unsuccessful, they may cause us to lose existing and future business and incur reputational harm and substantial legal fees.

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We rely on third-party suppliers for key elements of our network infrastructure and software.

        We contract with third parties for the supply of hardware, such as servers and other equipment, that we use in the provision of our services to our customers and that we sell to our customers in some cases. The loss of a significant supplier could delay expansion of the data center facilities that we operate, impact our ability to sell our services and hardware and increase our costs. If we are unable to purchase the hardware or obtain a license for the software that our services depend on, our business could be significantly and adversely affected. In addition, if our suppliers are unable to provide products that meet evolving industry standards or that are unable to effectively interoperate with other products or services that we use, then we may be unable to meet all or a portion of our customer service commitments, which could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

We engage third-party contractors to carry out various services relating to our data center facilities, including security services.

        We engage third-party contractors to carry out various services relating to our data center facilities, including security services. We endeavor to engage third-party companies with a strong reputation and proven track record, high-performance reliability and adequate financial resources. However, any such third-party contractor may still fail to provide satisfactory security services at the level of quality required by us, resulting in inappropriate access to our facilities.

Any difficulties in identifying and consummating future acquisitions may expose us to potential risks and have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations or financial condition.

        We may seek to make strategic acquisitions and enter into alliances to further expand our business. If we are presented with appropriate opportunities, we may acquire additional businesses, services, resources, or assets, including data centers, that are complementary to our core business. Our integration of the acquired entities or assets into our business may not be successful and may not enable us to expand into new services, customer segments or operating locations as well as we expect. This would significantly affect the expected benefits of these acquisitions. Moreover, the integration of any acquired entities or assets into our operations could require significant attention from our management. The diversion of our management's attention and any difficulties encountered in any integration process could have an adverse effect on our ability to manage our business. In addition, we may face challenges trying to integrate new operations, services and personnel with our existing operations. Our possible future acquisitions may also expose us to other potential risks, including risks associated with unforeseen or hidden liabilities, the diversion of resources from our existing businesses and technologies, our inability to generate sufficient revenue to offset the costs, expenses of acquisitions and potential loss of, or harm to, relationships with employees and customers as a result of our integration of new businesses. The occurrence of any of these events could have a material and adverse effect on our ability to manage our business, our financial condition and our results of operations.

The uncertain economic environment may have an adverse impact on our business and financial condition.

        The uncertain economic environment could have an adverse effect on our liquidity. While we believe we have a strong customer base, if the current market conditions were to worsen, some of our customers may have difficulty paying us and we may experience increased churn in our customer base and reductions in their commitments to us. We may also be required to make allowances for doubtful accounts and our results would be negatively impacted. Our sales cycle could also be lengthened if customers reduce spending on, or delay decision-making with respect to, our services, which could adversely affect our revenue growth and our ability to recognize net revenue. We could also experience pricing pressure as a result of economic conditions if our competitors lower prices and attempt to lure away our customers with lower cost solutions. Finally, our ability to access the capital markets may be severely restricted at a time

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when we would like, or need, to do so, which could have an impact on our flexibility to pursue additional expansion opportunities and maintain our desired level of revenue growth in the future.

Our success depends to a substantial degree upon our senior management, including Mr. William Wei Huang, and key personnel, and our business operations may be negatively affected if we fail to attract and retain highly competent senior management.

        We depend to a significant degree on the continuous service of Mr. William Wei Huang, our founder, chairman and chief executive officer, and our experienced senior management team and other key personnel such as project managers and other middle management. If one or more members of our senior management team or key personnel resigns, it could disrupt our business operations and create uncertainty as we search for and integrate a replacement. If any member of our senior management leaves us to join a competitor or to form a competing company, any resulting loss of existing or potential clients to any such competitor could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, there could be unauthorized disclosure or use of our technical knowledge, practices or procedures by such personnel. We have entered into employment agreements with our senior management and key personnel. We have also entered into confidentiality agreements with our personnel which contain nondisclosure covenants that survive indefinitely as to our trade secrets. Additionally, pursuant to these confidentiality agreements, any inventions and creations of our employees relating to the company's business that are completed within twelve months after termination of employment shall be transferred to the company without payment of consideration, and the employees shall assist the company in applying for corresponding patents or other rights. However, these employment agreements do not ensure the continued service of these senior management and key personnel, and we may not be able to enforce the confidentiality agreements we have with our personnel. In addition, we do not maintain key man life insurance for any of the senior members of our management team or our key personnel.

Competition for employees is intense, and we may not be able to attract and retain the qualified and skilled employees needed to support our business.

        We believe our success depends on the efforts and talent of our employees, including data center design, construction management, operations, engineering, IT, risk management, and sales and marketing personnel. Our future success depends on our continued ability to attract, develop, motivate and retain qualified and skilled employees. Competition for highly skilled personnel is extremely intense. We may not be able to hire and retain these personnel at compensation levels consistent with our existing compensation and salary structure. Some of the companies with which we compete for experienced employees have greater resources than we have and may be able to offer more attractive terms of employment.

        In addition, we invest significant time and expenses in training our employees, which increases their value to competitors who may seek to recruit them. If we fail to retain our employees, we could incur significant expenses in hiring and training their replacements, and the quality of our services and our ability to serve our customers could diminish, resulting in a material adverse effect to our business.

Our operating results may fluctuate, which could make our future results difficult to predict, and may fall below investor or analyst expectations.

        Our operating results may fluctuate due to a variety of factors, including many of the risks described in this section, which are outside of our control. You should not rely on our operating results for any prior periods as an indication of our future operating performance. Fluctuations in our net revenue can lead to even greater fluctuations in our operating results. Our budgeted expense levels depend in part on our expectations of long-term future net revenue. Given relatively large fixed cost of revenue for services, other than utility costs, any substantial adjustment to our costs to account for lower than expected levels of net revenue will be difficult. Consequently, if our net revenue does not meet projected levels, our operating

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performance will be negatively affected. If our net revenue or operating results do not meet or exceed the expectations of investors or securities analysts, the price of our ADSs may decline.

Declining fixed asset valuations could result in impairment charges, the determination of which involves a significant amount of judgment on our part. Any impairment charge could have a material adverse effect on us.

        We review our fixed assets for impairment on an annual basis and whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable. Indicators of impairment include, but are not limited to, a sustained significant decrease in the market price of or the cash flows expected to be derived from a property. A significant amount of judgment is involved in determining the presence of an indicator of impairment. If the total of the expected undiscounted future cash flows is less than the carrying amount of a property on our balance sheet, a loss is recognized for the difference between the fair value and carrying value of the asset. The evaluation of anticipated cash flows requires a significant amount of judgment regarding assumptions that could differ materially from actual results in future periods, including assumptions regarding future occupancy, contract rates and estimated costs to service the contracts. Any impairment charge could have a material adverse effect on us.

Failure to commence or resume development of land that we have been granted right to use within the required timeframe may subject us to default liabilities under land use right grant contracts and cause us to lose such land use rights.

        We have two parcels of land, one in Chengdu and one in Kunshan, over which we have obtained land use rights, but which may be treated as "idle land" by the respective local government authorities. According to the relevant PRC regulations, the PRC government may impose an "idle land fee" equal to 20% of the land premium on land user if the relevant construction land has been identified as "idle land". The construction land may be identified as "idle land" under any of the following circumstances: (i) where development of and construction on the land fail to commence for more than one year from the construction commencement date prescribed in the land grant contract; or (ii) the development and construction on the land have commenced but have been suspended when the area of the developed land is less than one-third of the total area to be developed or the invested amount is less than 25% of the total amount of investment, and the suspension of development attains one year. Furthermore, the PRC government has the authority to confiscate any land without compensation if the construction does not commence within two years after the construction commencement date specified in the land grant contract, unless the delay is caused by force majeure, governmental action or preliminary work necessary for the commencement of construction.

        As of the date of this prospectus, (i) we have not commenced development of one parcel of the land in Kunshan, which was to commence in December 2012; and (ii) we suspended the development of one parcel of the land in Chengdu after completion of the construction of the existing buildings thereon in November 2010 and have not resumed development of such parcel of land, and upon such suspension, the area of the developed land was less than one-third of the total land area. Therefore, the PRC government may treat such two parcels of land as idle lands, in which case we may be required to pay idle land fees or penalties, change the planned use of the land, find another parcel of land, or even be required to forfeit the land to PRC government. We may further be subject to penalties for breach of relevant land use right grant contracts and be required to pay damages.

        We have not been subject to any penalties or required to forfeit any land as a result of failing to commence or resume development pursuant to the relevant land grant contract. However, we cannot assure you that we will not be subject to penalties as a result of any failure to commence development in accordance with the relevant land grant contract. If this occurs, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.

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We may experience impairment of goodwill in connection with our acquisition of entities or other assets.

        We are required to perform an annual goodwill impairment test. For example, in connection with acquiring EDC Holding in June 2014, we recorded a substantial amount of goodwill in our consolidated financial statements. As of June 30, 2016, we carried RMB1,341.1 million (US$201.8 million) of goodwill on our balance sheet. However, goodwill can become impaired. We test goodwill for impairment annually or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate possible impairment, but the fair value estimates involved require a significant amount of difficult judgment and assumptions. Our actual results may differ materially from our projections, which may result in the need to recognize impairment of some or all of the goodwill we recorded.

We are subject to China's anti-corruption laws and upon the completion of this offering, will be subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Our failure to comply with these laws could result in penalties, which could harm our reputation and have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

        We operate our business in China and are thus subject to PRC laws and regulations related to anti-corruption, which prohibit bribery to government agencies, state or government owned or controlled enterprises or entities, to government officials or officials that work for state or government owned enterprises or entities, as well as bribery to non-government entities or individuals. Upon the completion of this offering, we will also be subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or the FCPA, which generally prohibits companies and any individuals or entities acting on their behalf from offering or making improper payments or providing benefits to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business, along with various other anti-corruption laws. Our existing policies prohibit any such conduct and we are in the process of implementing additional policies and procedures designed, and providing training, to ensure that we, our employees, business partners and other third parties comply with PRC anti-corruption laws and regulations, the FCPA and other anti-corruption laws to which we are subject. There is, however, no assurance that such policies or procedures will work effectively all the time or protect us against liability under the FCPA or other anti-corruption laws. There is no assurance that our employees, business partners and other third parties would always obey our policies and procedures. Further, there is discretion and interpretation in connection with the implementation of PRC anti-corruption laws. We could be held liable for actions taken by our employees, business partners and other third parties with respect to our business or any businesses that we may acquire. We operate in the data center services industry in China and generally purchase our colocation facilities and telecommunications resources from state or government-owned enterprises and sell our services domestically to customers that include state or government-owned enterprises or government ministries, departments and agencies. This puts us in frequent contact with persons who may be considered "foreign officials" under the FCPA, resulting in an elevated risk of potential FCPA violations. If we are found not to be in compliance with PRC anti-corruption laws, the FCPA and other applicable anti-corruption laws governing the conduct of business with government entities, officials or other business counterparties, we may be subject to criminal, administrative, and civil penalties and other remedial measures, which could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Any investigation of any potential violations of the FCPA or other anti-corruption laws by U.S. or foreign authorities, including Chinese authorities, could adversely impact our reputation, cause us to lose customer sales and access to colocation facilities and telecommunications resources, and lead to other adverse impacts on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We face risks related to natural disasters, health epidemics and other outbreaks, which could significantly disrupt our operations.

        On May 12, 2008 and April 14, 2010, severe earthquakes hit part of Sichuan province in southeastern China and part of Qinghai province in western China, respectively, resulting in significant casualties and property damage. While we did not suffer any loss or experience any significant increase in cost resulting from these earthquakes, if a similar disaster were to occur in the future that affected Shanghai, Beijing,

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Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu or another city where we have data centers or are in the process of developing data centers, our operations could be materially and adversely affected due to loss of personnel and damages to property. In addition, a similar disaster affecting a larger, more developed area could also cause an increase in our costs resulting from the efforts to resurvey the affected area. Even if we are not directly affected, such a disaster could affect the operations or financial condition of our customers and suppliers, which could harm our results of operations.

        In addition, our business could be materially and adversely affected by natural disasters or public health emergencies, such as the outbreak of avian influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, Zika virus, Ebola virus, or another epidemic. If any of our employees is suspected of having contracted any contagious disease, we may under certain circumstances be required to quarantine such employees and the affected areas of our premises. Therefore, we may have to temporarily suspend part of or all of our operations. Furthermore, any future outbreak may restrict economic activities in affected regions, resulting in temporary closure of our offices or prevent us and our customers from traveling. Such closures could severely disrupt our business operations and adversely affect our results of operations.

If we fail to maintain proper and effective internal controls, our ability to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis could be impaired.

        We will be subject to the reporting requirements of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the rules and regulations of the NASDAQ after the completion of this offering. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective disclosure controls and procedures and internal controls over financial reporting. Commencing with our fiscal year ending December 31, 2017, we must perform system and process evaluation and testing of our internal controls over financial reporting to allow management to report on the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting in our Form 20-F filing for that year, as required by Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In addition, once we cease to be an "emerging growth company" as the term is defined in the JOBS Act, our independent registered public accounting firm must attest to and report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Our management may conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective. Moreover, even if our management concludes that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, our independent registered public accounting firm, after conducting its own independent testing, may issue a report that is qualified if it is not satisfied with our internal controls or the level at which our controls are documented, designed, operated or reviewed, or if it interprets the relevant requirements differently from us. This will require that we incur substantial additional professional fees and internal costs to expand our accounting and finance functions and that we expend significant management efforts. Prior to this offering, we were never required to test our internal controls within a specified period, and, as a result, we may experience difficulty in meeting these reporting requirements in a timely manner. Prior to this offering, we were a private company with limited accounting personnel and other resources with which to address our internal controls and procedures. Our management has not completed an assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and our independent registered public accounting firm has not conducted an audit of our internal control over financial reporting.

        In addition, our internal control over financial reporting will not prevent or detect all errors and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well designed and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the control system's objectives will be met. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that misstatements due to error or fraud will not occur or that all control issues and instances of fraud will be detected.

        If we are not able to comply with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in a timely manner, or if we are unable to maintain proper and effective internal controls, we may not be able to produce timely and accurate financial statements. If that were to happen, the market price of our ADSs could decline and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the NASDAQ, SEC or other regulatory authorities.

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Compliance with rules and requirements applicable to public companies may cause us to incur increased costs, which may negatively affect our results of operations.

        As a public company, we will incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as rules subsequently implemented by the SEC and the NASDAQ, have required changes in corporate governance practices of public companies. We expect these rules and regulations to increase our legal, accounting and financial compliance costs and to make certain corporate activities more time-consuming and costly. Complying with these rules and requirements may be especially difficult and costly for us because we may have difficulty locating sufficient personnel in China with experience and expertise relating to U.S. GAAP and U.S. public company reporting requirements, and such personnel may command higher salaries relative to what similarly experienced personnel would command in the United States. If we cannot employ sufficient personnel to ensure compliance with these rules and regulations, we may need to rely more on outside legal, accounting and financial experts, which may be expensive. In addition, we will incur additional costs associated with our public company reporting requirements. We are evaluating and monitoring developments with respect to these new rules, and we cannot predict or estimate the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs.

Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure

If the PRC government deems that the contractual arrangements in relation to GDS Shanghai or GDS Beijing 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.

        The PRC government regulates telecommunications-related businesses through strict business licensing requirements and other government regulations. These laws and regulations also include limitations on foreign ownership of PRC companies that engage in telecommunications-related businesses. Specifically, foreign investors are not allowed to own more than a 50% equity interest in any PRC company engaging in value-added telecommunications businesses, with certain exceptions relating to e-commerce which does not apply to us. Any such foreign investor must also have experience and a good track record in providing value-added telecommunications services overseas.

        Because we are a Cayman Islands company, we are classified as a foreign enterprise under PRC laws and regulations, and our wholly owned PRC subsidiaries, GDS Management Company, Shenzhen Yungang EDC Technology Co., Ltd., Beijing Wanguo Shu'an Science & Technology Development Co., Ltd., Beijing Hengpu'an Data Technology Development Co., Ltd., Guojin Technology (Kunshan) Co., Ltd., Shanghai Yungang EDC Technology Co., Ltd., Shenzhen Pingshan New Area Global Data Science & Technology Development Co., Ltd., EDC Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., EDC (Chengdu) Industry Co., Ltd. and EDC Technology (Kunshan) Co., Ltd., are foreign-invested enterprises, or FIEs. To comply with PRC laws and regulations, we conduct our business in China through contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders. These contractual arrangements provide us with effective control over our consolidated VIEs and enable us to receive substantially all of the economic benefits of our consolidated VIEs in consideration for the services provided by our wholly-owned PRC subsidiaries, and have an exclusive option to purchase all of the equity interest in our consolidated VIEs when permissible under PRC laws. For a description of these contractual arrangements, see "Our History and Corporate Structure—Variable Interest Entity Contractual Arrangements."

        We believe that our corporate structure and contractual arrangements comply with the current applicable PRC laws and regulations. Our PRC legal counsel, based on its understanding of the relevant laws and regulations, is of the opinion that each of the contracts among our wholly-owned PRC subsidiaries, our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders is valid, binding and enforceable in accordance with its terms. However, as there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of PRC laws and regulations, including the Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rules, the telecommunications circular described above and the Telecommunications

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Regulations and the relevant regulatory measures concerning the telecommunications industry, there can be no assurance that the PRC government, such as MOFCOM or MIIT or other authorities that regulates providers of data center service and other participants in the telecommunications industry would agree that our corporate structure or any of the above contractual arrangements comply with PRC licensing, registration or other regulatory requirements, with existing policies or with requirements or policies that may be adopted in the future. PRC laws and regulations governing the validity of these contractual arrangements are uncertain and the relevant government authorities have broad discretion in interpreting these laws and regulations.

        If our corporate and contractual structure is deemed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, or the MIIT, or the Ministry of Commerce, or the MOFCOM, or other regulators having competent authority, to be illegal, either in whole or in part, we may lose control of our consolidated VIEs and have to modify such structure to comply with regulatory requirements. However, there can be no assurance that we can achieve this without material disruption to our business. Further, if our corporate and contractual structure is found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, the relevant regulatory authorities would have broad discretion in dealing with such violations, including:

    revoking our business and operating licenses;

    levying fines on us;

    confiscating any of our income that they deem to be obtained through illegal operations;

    shutting down a portion or all of our networks and servers;

    discontinuing or restricting our operations in China;

    imposing conditions or requirements with which we may not be able to comply;

    requiring us to restructure our corporate and contractual structure;

    restricting or prohibiting our use of the proceeds from overseas offering to finance our PRC consolidated VIEs' business and operations; and

    taking other regulatory or enforcement actions that could be harmful to our business.

        Furthermore, new PRC laws, rules and regulations may be introduced to impose additional requirements that may be applicable to our corporate structure and contractual arrangements. See "—Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the enactment timetable, interpretation and implementation of the draft PRC Foreign Investment Law, and its enactment may materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition." Occurrence of any of these events could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if the imposition of any of these penalties or requirement to restructure our corporate structure causes us to lose the rights to direct the activities of our consolidated VIEs or our right to receive their economic benefits, we would no longer be able to consolidate in our consolidated financial statements such VIEs. However, we do not believe that such actions would result in the liquidation or dissolution of our company, our wholly-owned subsidiaries in China or our consolidated VIEs or their subsidiaries. For the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015, our consolidated VIEs contributed 2.0% and 4.3% of our total net revenue. In the six months ended June 30, 2016, 49.8% of our total net revenue was attributed to our consolidated VIEs. Following our restructuring, we expect that, going forward, substantially all of our net revenue will be generated from our consolidated VIEs as we shift the revenue-generating aspects of our business to our consolidated VIEs in connection with the restructuring described in this prospectus. See "Our History and Corporate Structure."

Our contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs may result in adverse tax consequences to us.

        We could face material and adverse tax consequences if the PRC tax authorities determine that our contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs were not made on an arm's length basis and adjust our income and expenses for PRC tax purposes by requiring a transfer pricing adjustment. A transfer pricing adjustment could adversely affect us by (i) increasing the tax liabilities of our consolidated VIEs without

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reducing the tax liability of our subsidiaries, which could further result in late payment fees and other penalties to our consolidated VIEs for underpaid taxes; or (ii) limiting the ability of our consolidated VIEs to obtain or maintain preferential tax treatments and other financial incentives.

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.

        We rely on contractual arrangements with our consolidated VIEs and their shareholders to operate our business in China. For a description of these contractual arrangements, see "Our History and Corporate Structure—Variable Interest Entity Contractual Arrangements." In 2014 and 2015, 2.0% and 4.3% of our total net revenue, respectively, were attributed to our consolidated VIEs. In the six months ended June 30, 2016, 49.8% of our total net revenue was attributed to our consolidated VIEs. We expect this proportion to increase going forward as we shift the revenue-generating aspects of our business to our consolidated VIEs in connection with the restructuring described in this prospectus. See "Our History and Corporate Structure." These contractual arrangements may not be as effective as direct ownership in providing us with control over our consolidated VIEs. If our consolidated VIEs or their shareholders fail to perform their respective obligations under these contractual arrangements, our recourse to the assets held by our consolidated VIEs is indirect and we may have to incur substantial costs and expend significant resources to enforce such arrangements in reliance on legal remedies under PRC law. These remedies may not always be effective, particularly in light of uncertainties in the PRC legal system. Furthermore, in connection with litigation, arbitration or other judicial or dispute resolution proceedings, assets under the name of any of record holder of equity interest in our consolidated VIEs, including such equity interest, may be put under court custody. As a consequence, we cannot be certain that the equity interest will be disposed pursuant to the contractual arrangement or ownership by the record holder of the equity interest.

        All of these contractual arrangements are governed by PRC law and provide for the resolution of disputes through arbitration in the PRC. Accordingly, these contracts would be interpreted in accordance with PRC laws and any disputes would be resolved in accordance with PRC legal procedures. The legal environment in the PRC is not as developed as in other jurisdictions, such as the United States. As a result, uncertainties in the PRC legal system could limit our ability to enforce these contractual arrangements. In the event that we are unable to enforce these contractual arrangements, or if we suffer significant time delays or other obstacles in the process of enforcing these contractual arrangements, it would be very difficult to exert effective control over our consolidated VIEs, and our ability to conduct our business and our financial conditions and results of operation may be materially and adversely affected. See "—Risks Related to Doing Business in the People's Republic of China—There are uncertainties regarding the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations."

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.

        In connection with our operations in China, we rely on the shareholders of our consolidated VIEs to abide by the obligations under such contractual arrangements. In particular, GDS Shanghai is 99.90% owned by William Wei Huang, our chairman and chief executive officer, and 0.10% owned by Qiuping Huang, and GDS Beijing is approximately 99.97% owned by William Wei Huang, and approximately 0.03% owned by Qiuping Huang. The interests of William Wei Huang and Qiuping Huang in their individual capacities as the shareholders of GDS Shanghai and GDS Beijing may differ from the interests of our company as a whole, as what is in the best interests of GDS Shanghai and GDS Beijing, including matters such as whether to distribute dividends or to make other distributions to fund our offshore requirement, may not be in the best interests of our company. There can be no assurance that when conflicts of interest arise, any or all of these individuals will act in the best interests of our company or that conflicts of interest will be resolved in our favor. In addition, these individuals may breach or cause our consolidated VIEs and their subsidiaries to breach or refuse to renew the existing contractual arrangements with us.

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        Currently, we do not have arrangements to address potential conflicts of interest the shareholders of GDS Shanghai and GDS Beijing may encounter, on one hand, and as a beneficial owner of our company, on the other hand; provided that we could, at all times, exercise our option under the exclusive call option agreements to cause them to transfer all of their equity ownership in GDS Shanghai and GDS Beijing to a PRC entity or individual designated by us as permitted by the then applicable PRC laws. In addition, if such conflicts of interest arise, we could also, in the capacity of attorney-in-fact of the then existing shareholders of GDS Shanghai and GDS Beijing as provided under the shareholder voting rights proxy agreements, directly appoint new directors of GDS Shanghai and GDS Beijing. We rely on the shareholders of our consolidated VIEs to comply with PRC laws and regulations, which protect contracts and provide that directors and executive officers owe a duty of loyalty to our company and require them to avoid conflicts of interest and not to take advantage of their positions for personal gains, and the laws of the Cayman Islands, which provide that directors have a duty of care and a duty of loyalty to act honestly in good faith with a view to our best interests. However, the legal frameworks of China and Cayman Islands do not provide guidance on resolving conflicts in the event of a conflict with another corporate governance regime. If we cannot resolve any conflicts of interest or disputes between us and the shareholders of our consolidated VIEs, we would have to rely on legal proceedings, which could result in disruption of our business and subject us to substantial uncertainty as to the outcome of any such legal proceedings.

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.

        Our amended articles of association provide that Class B ordinary shares are entitled to 20 votes per share at general meetings of our shareholders with respect to the election of a simple majority of our directors. Immediately after the completion of this offering, Mr. William Wei Huang will beneficially own 100% of the Class B ordinary shares issued and outstanding, and any additional Class A ordinary shares which are acquired by the Class B shareholders will be converted into Class B ordinary shares. In addition, for so long as there are Class B ordinary shares outstanding, the Class B shareholders will be entitled (i) to nominate one less than a simple majority, or five, of our directors, and (ii) to have 20 votes per share with respect to the election and removal of a simple majority, or six, of our directors. In addition, our amended articles of association provide that STT GDC will have the right to appoint up to three directors to our board of directors for so long as they beneficially own certain percentages of our issued share capital. Such appointments will not be subject to a vote by our shareholders. See "Management—Appointment and Terms of Directors" and "Description of Share Capital."

        Furthermore, three of our principal shareholders—STT GDC, SBCVC Holdings Limited (SBCVC), and William Wei Huang, our founder, chairman and chief executive officer—currently own or exercise voting and investment control over approximately 45.1%, 18.1% and 13.6% (including ordinary shares (i) underlying share options exercisable within 60 days beneficially owned by Mr. Huang, and (ii) underlying convertible bonds convertible within 60 days beneficially owned by STT GDC), respectively, of our outstanding ordinary shares (assuming the conversion of our preferred shares into Class A ordinary shares), and approximately 40.9% and 15.7% of our outstanding Class A ordinary shares, and 100% of our outstanding Class B ordinary shares, respectively, immediately after this offering, assuming no exercise by the underwriters of options to purchase additional ADSs.

        As a result of these appointment rights, nomination rights, dual-class ordinary share structure and ownership concentration, these shareholders have the ability to control or exert significant influence over important corporate matters, investors may be prevented from affecting important corporate matters involving our company that require approval of shareholders, including:

    the composition of our board of directors and, through it, any determinations with respect to our operations, business direction and policies, including the appointment and removal of officers;

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    any determinations with respect to mergers or other business combinations;

    our disposition of substantially all of our assets; and

    any change in control.

        These actions may be taken even if they are opposed by our other shareholders, including the holders of the ADSs.

        Furthermore, this concentration of ownership may also discourage, delay or prevent a change in control of our company, which could have the dual effect of depriving our shareholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their shares as part of a sale of our company and reducing the price of the ADSs. As a result of the foregoing, the value of your investment could be materially reduced.

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.

        Under PRC law, legal documents for corporate transactions, including agreements and contracts such as the leases and sales contracts that our business relies on, are executed using the chop or seal of the signing entity or with the signature of a legal representative whose designation is registered and filed with the relevant local branch of the SAIC. We generally execute legal documents by affixing chops or seals, rather than having the designated legal representatives sign the documents.

        We have three major types of chops—corporate chops, contract chops and finance chops. We use corporate chops generally for documents to be submitted to government agencies, such as applications for changing business scope, directors or company name, and for legal letters. We use contract chops for executing leases and commercial, contracts. We use finance chops generally for making and collecting payments, including, but not limited to issuing invoices. Use of corporate chops and contract chops must be approved by our legal department and administrative department, and use of finance chops must be approved by our finance department. The chops of our subsidiaries and consolidated VIEs are generally held by the relevant entities so that documents can be executed locally. Although we usually utilize chops to execute contracts, the registered legal representatives of our subsidiaries and consolidated VIEs have the apparent authority to enter into contracts on behalf of such entities without chops, unless such contracts set forth otherwise.

        In order to maintain the physical security of our chops, we generally have them stored in secured locations accessible only to the designated key employees of our legal, administrative or finance departments. Our designated legal representatives generally do not have access to the chops. Although we have approval procedures in place and monitor our key employees, including the designated legal representatives of our subsidiaries and consolidated VIEs, the procedures may not be sufficient to prevent all instances of abuse or negligence. There is a risk that our key employees or designated legal representatives could abuse their authority, for example, by binding our subsidiaries and consolidated VIEs with contracts against our interests, as we would be obligated to honor these contracts if the other contracting party acts in good faith in reliance on the apparent authority of our chops or signatures of our legal representatives. If any designated legal representative obtains control of the chop in an effort to obtain control over the relevant entity, we would need to have a shareholder or board resolution to designate a new legal representative and to take legal action to seek the return of the chop, apply for a new chop with the relevant authorities, or otherwise seek legal remedies for the legal representative's misconduct. If any of the designated legal representatives obtains and misuses or misappropriates our chops and seals or other controlling intangible assets for whatever reason, we could experience disruption to our normal business operations. We may have to take corporate or legal action, which could involve significant time and resources to resolve while distracting management from our operations, and our business and operations may be materially and adversely affected.

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Substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the enactment timetable, interpretation and implementation of the draft PRC Foreign Investment Law, and its enactment may materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition.

        The MOFCOM published a discussion draft of the proposed Foreign Investment Law in January 2015 aiming to, upon its enactment, replace the major existing laws and regulations governing foreign investment in China. While the MOFCOM solicited comments on this draft, substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the enactment timetable, interpretation and implementation of the proposed legislation and the extent of revision to the currently proposed draft. The draft Foreign Investment Law, if enacted as proposed, may materially impact the entire legal framework regulating foreign investments in China.

        Among other things, the draft Foreign Investment Law purports to introduce the principle of "actual control" in determining whether a company is considered a foreign invested enterprise, or an FIE. The draft Foreign Investment Law specifically provides that entities established in China but "controlled" by foreign investors will be treated as FIEs, whereas an entity organized in a foreign jurisdiction, but cleared by the MOFCOM as "controlled" by PRC entities and/or citizens, would nonetheless be treated as a PRC domestic entity for investment in the "restriction category" or similar category that could appear on any such "negative list." In this connection, "control" is broadly defined in the draft law to cover any of the following summarized categories:

    holding 50% or more of the voting rights or similar rights and interests of the subject entity;

    holding less than 50% of the voting rights or similar rights and interests of the subject entity but having the power to directly or indirectly appoint or otherwise secure at least 50% of the seats on the board or other equivalent decision making bodies, or having the voting power to materially influence the board, the shareholders' meeting or other equivalent decision making bodies; or

    having the power to exert decisive influence, via contractual or trust arrangements, over the subject entity's operations, financial, staffing and technology matters.

        Once an entity is determined to be an FIE, and its investment amount exceeds certain thresholds or its business operation falls within a "negative list" purported to be separately issued by the State Council in the future, market entry clearance by the MOFCOM or its local counterparts would be required.

        The "variable interest entity" structure, or VIE structure, has been adopted by many PRC-based companies, including us, to obtain necessary licenses and permits in the industries that are currently subject to foreign investment restrictions in China. Under the draft Foreign Investment Law, VIEs that are controlled via contractual arrangements would also be deemed as FIEs, if they are ultimately "controlled" by foreign investors. For any companies with a VIE structure in an industry category that is in the "restriction category" or similar category that could appear on any such "negative list," the existing VIE structure may be deemed legitimate only if the ultimate controlling person(s) is/are of PRC nationality (either PRC state owned enterprises or agencies, or PRC citizens). Conversely, if the actual controlling person(s) is/are of foreign nationalities, then the VIEs will be treated as FIE, in which case, the existing VIE structures will likely to be scrutinized and subject to foreign investment restrictions and approval from the MOFCOM and other supervising authorities such as MIIT. Any operation in the industry category on the "negative list" without market entry clearance may be considered as illegal.

        However, there are significant uncertainties as to how the control status of our company, our consolidated VIEs would be determined under the enacted version of the Foreign Investment Law. In addition, it is uncertain whether any of the businesses that we currently operate or plan to operate in the future through our consolidated VIEs and the businesses operated by our equity investees with a VIE structure would be on the to-be-issued "negative list" and therefore be subject to any foreign investment restrictions or prohibitions. We also face uncertainties as to whether the enacted version of the Foreign Investment Law and the final "negative list" would mandate further actions, such as MOFCOM market entry clearance, to be completed by companies with existing VIE structure and whether such clearance can be timely obtained, or at all. If we or our equity investees with a VIE structure were not considered as

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ultimately controlled by PRC domestic investors under the enacted version of the Foreign Investment Law, further actions required to be taken by us or such equity investees under the enacted Foreign Investment Law may materially and adversely affect our business and financial condition.

        In addition, our corporate governance practice may be materially impacted and our compliance costs could increase if we were not considered as ultimately controlled by PRC domestic investors under the Foreign Investment Law, if enacted as currently proposed. For instance, the draft Foreign Investment Law as proposed purports to impose stringent ad hoc and periodic information reporting requirements on foreign investors and the applicable FIEs. Aside from investment implementation report and investment amendment report that would be required for each investment and alteration of investment specifics, an annual report would be mandatory, and large foreign investors meeting certain criteria would be required to report on a quarterly basis. Any company found to be non-compliant with these information reporting obligations could potentially be subject to fines and/or administrative or criminal liabilities, and the persons directly responsible could be subject to criminal liabilities.

Risks Related to Doing Business in the People's Republic of China

We may be regarded as being non-compliant with the regulations on VATS due to the lack of IDC licenses for which penalties may be assessed that may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, growth strategies and prospects and may require us to obtain regulatory approval for this offering.

        The laws and regulations regarding VATS licenses in the PRC are relatively new and are still evolving, and their interpretation and enforcement involve significant uncertainties. Investment activities in the PRC by foreign investors are principally governed by the Industry Catalog Relating to Foreign Investment, or the Catalog. The Catalog divides industries into three categories: encouraged, restricted and prohibited. Industries not include in the Catalog are permitted industries. Industries such as VATS, including IDC services, restrict foreign investment. Specifically, the Administrative Regulations on Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Enterprises restrict the ultimate capital contribution percentage held by foreign investor(s) in a foreign-invested VATS enterprise to 50% or less. See "Regulations—Regulation on Foreign Investment Restrictions" for additional details. Under the Telecommunications Regulations of the People's Republic of China, or the Telecom Regulations, telecommunications service providers are required to procure operating licenses prior to their commencement of operations.

        Before 2013, the definition of the IDC services was subject to interpretation as to whether our services would fall within its scope. In addition, authorities in different localities had different interpretations. According to the Telecom Catalogue publicized in February 2003 by the Ministry of Information Industry, or MII, the predecessor of the MIIT, which took effect in April 2003, and our consultations with the MIIT, IDC services should be rendered through the connection with the Internet or other public telecommunications networks.

        On May 6, 2013, the "Q&A on the Application of IDC/ISP Business", the Q&A, was published on the website of China Academy of Telecom Research, an affiliate of the MIIT. The Q&A was issued together with the draft revised Telecom Catalogue of the 2013 version, which although not an official law or regulation, reflected the evolving attitude of the MIIT towards the legal requirements as to applications for IDC licenses. A national consulting body and certain telephone numbers, the Designated Numbers, are provided in the Q&A to answer any questions arising from the application of IDC licenses. Since then, even though the definition of IDC services under the Q&A is identical to that under the Telecom Catalogue, whether a business model should be deemed to be IDC services is subject to the unified clarifications under the Q&A and replies obtained from such Designated Numbers, rather than different replies which may be obtained from different officials from MIIT or its local branches. The draft revised Telecom Catalogue did not come into effect until March 2016, when it was further revised to adapt to developments in the telecommunications industry. During such period, we closely followed legislative developments and conducted feasibility studies for restructuring our business. Based on the Q&A and our consultation with

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both the Designated Numbers and MIIT officials in 2014 and 2015, IDC services which did not utilize public telecommunication networks would also require an IDC license and that IDC 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 acquiring all of the equity interests in GDS Suzhou from FSL, in order to enable GDS Suzhou to provide IDC services with the authorization of GDS Beijing, and under the auspices of an IDC license held by GDS Beijing. MIIT has approved GDS Beijing's application to expand its IDC license coverage to include GDS Suzhou and Kunshan Wanyu so that they are now authorized to provide IDC services. See "Our History and Corporate Structure—2016 Variable Interest Entity Restructuring." As part of the VIE restructuring, we have converted and changed the shareholding of EDC Shanghai Waigaoqiao in the same way as GDS Suzhou, and we will apply for the expansion of GDS Beijing's IDC license so that EDC Shanghai Waigaoqiao can also be authorized to provide IDC services. Guangzhou Weiteng has now obtained its own IDC license. In addition, with regard to the other WFOEs that have not contributed substantial revenue, we are deliberating different measures to ensure that any business activity that may have to be conducted by IDC license holders will be conducted by our IDC license holders, which are our consolidated VIEs. See "Regulations—Regulations Related to Value-Added Telecommunications Business" for additional details.

        However, there can be no assurance that we can complete VIE restructuring in a timely manner or that our contracts signed before the completion of the VIE restructuring with any of our WFOEs as the service provider will not be deemed as historical non-compliance. If the MIIT regards us as existing in a state of non-compliance, penalties could potentially be assessed against us. It is possible that the amount of any such penalties may be several times more than the net revenue generated from these services. Our business, financial condition, expected growth and prospects would be materially and adversely affected if such penalties were to be assessed upon us. It is also possible that the PRC government may prohibit a non-compliant entity from continuing to carry on its business, which would materially and adversely affect our results of operations, expected growth and prospects.

GDS Shanghai may be regarded as being non-compliant with the regulations on VATS, due to operating beyond the permitted geographic scope of its IDC license.

        One of our consolidated VIEs, GDS Shanghai, obtained a regional IDC license for the Shanghai area in January 2012. Nevertheless, GDS Shanghai provided IDC services in cities outside of Shanghai, which were beyond the scope of its then-effective IDC license. GDS Shanghai upgraded its IDC license to a cross-regional license in April 2016, according to which GDS Shanghai is allowed to provide IDC services in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu. However, if the MIIT regards GDS Shanghai as being historically non-compliant, penalties which could be several times more than the net revenue generated from these services, could potentially be assessed against us, and as a result, our business, financial condition, expected growth and prospects would be materially and adversely affected. It is also possible that the PRC government may prohibit a historically non-compliant entity from continuing to carry on its business, which would materially and adversely affect our results of operations, expected growth and prospects.

One of our subsidiaries, GDS (HK) Limited, has entered into IDC service agreements with customers outside China, which may be regarded as non-compliance with the regulations on foreign investment restriction and value added telecommunications services, by providing IDC service without qualification.

        During the period from 2015 to the first half of 2016, GDS (HK) Limited, or GDS HK, which is one of our Hong Kong—incorporated subsidiaries, entered into IDC service agreements with a few customers outside China, while the actual service provider was intended to be GDS Beijing or EDC Shanghai

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Waigaoqiao. These IDC service agreements may be regarded as non-compliant, because the law prohibits foreign entities providing IDC services in the PRC.

        We are in the process of amending the IDC service agreements so that GDS Beijing or its subsidiary is the contracted service provider. However, we cannot assure you that our agreements as they were in effect prior to such amendment will not be found to have been non-compliant. If the MIIT regards such agreements as non-compliant, penalties could potentially be assessed against us, and as a result, our business, financial condition, expected growth and prospects would be materially and adversely affected.

We may fail to obtain, maintain and update licenses and permits necessary to conduct our operations in the PRC, and our business may be materially and adversely affected as a result of any changes in the laws and regulations governing the VATS industry in the PRC.

        There can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain our existing licenses or permits necessary to provide our current IDC services in the PRC, renew any of them when their current term expires, or update existing licenses or obtain additional licenses necessary for our future business expansion. The failure to obtain, retain, renew or update any license or permit generally, and our IDC licenses in particular, could materially and adversely disrupt our business and future expansion plans.

        For example, the revised Telecom Catalogue came into effect in March 2016 in which the definition of the IDC business also covers the Internet resources collaboration services business to reflect the developments in the telecommunications industry in China and covers cloud-based services. We will apply for the expansion of the scope in their IDC licenses to meet legislation development. However, since this is a comparatively new requirement, it is uncertain when the MIIT will commence granting companies IDC licenses with such expanded service scope. If the MIIT regards any of our companies in China as being non-compliant, penalties could be assessed against us, and our business, financial condition, expected growth and prospects would be materially and adversely affected.

        In addition, if future PRC laws or regulations governing the VATS industry require that we obtain additional licenses or permits or update existing licenses in order to continue to provide our IDC services, there can be no assurance that we would be able to obtain such licenses or permits or update existing licenses in a timely fashion, or at all. If any of these situations occur, our business, financial condition and prospects would be materially and adversely affected.

Third-party data center providers from whom we lease data center space on a wholesale basis may fail to maintain licenses and permits necessary to conduct their operations in the PRC, and our business may be materially and adversely affected.

        As of September 30, 2016, we operated an aggregate net floor area of 9,041 sqm that we lease on a wholesale basis from other data center providers, and which we refer to as our third-party data centers. There can be no assurance, that the wholesale data center providers from whom we lease will be able to maintain their existing licenses or permits necessary to provide our current IDC services in the PRC or renew any of them when their current term expires. Their failure to obtain, retain or renew any license or permit generally, and their IDC licenses in particular, could materially and adversely disrupt our business.

        In addition, if future PRC laws or regulations governing the VATS industry require that the wholesale data center providers from whom we lease obtain additional licenses or permits in order to continue to provide their IDC services, there can be no assurance that they would be able to obtain such licenses or permits in a timely fashion, or at all. If any of these situations occur, our business, financial condition and prospects could be materially and adversely affected.

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Changes in the political and economic policies of the PRC government may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and may result in our inability to sustain our growth and expansion strategies.

        Substantially all of our operations are conducted in the PRC and a substantial majority of our net revenue is sourced from the PRC. Accordingly, our financial condition and results of operations are affected to a significant extent by economic, political and legal developments in the PRC.

        The PRC economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the extent of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, and control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. Although the PRC government has implemented measures emphasizing the utilization of market forces for economic reform, the reduction of state ownership of productive assets, and the establishment of improved corporate governance in business enterprises, a substantial portion of productive assets in China is still owned by the government. In addition, the PRC government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. The PRC government also exercises significant control over China's economic growth by allocating resources, controlling payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy, regulating financial services and institutions and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies.

        While the PRC economy has experienced significant growth in the past three decades, growth has been uneven, both geographically and among various sectors of the economy. The PRC government has implemented various measures to encourage economic growth and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures may benefit the overall PRC economy, but may also have a negative effect on us. Our financial condition and results of operation could be materially and adversely affected by government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations that are applicable to us. In addition, the PRC government has implemented in the past certain measures to control the pace of economic growth. These measures may cause decreased economic activity, which in turn could lead to a reduction in demand for our services and consequently have a material adverse effect on our businesses, financial condition and results of operations.

There are uncertainties regarding the interpretation and enforcement of PRC laws, rules and regulations.

        Substantially all of our operations are conducted in the PRC, and are governed by PRC laws, rules and regulations. Our PRC subsidiaries and consolidated VIEs are subject to laws, rules and regulations applicable to foreign investment in China. The PRC legal system is a civil law system based on written statutes. Unlike the common law system, prior court decisions may be cited for reference but have limited precedential value.

        In 1979, the PRC government began to promulgate a comprehensive system of laws, rules and regulations governing economic matters in general. The overall effect of legislation over the past three decades has significantly enhanced the protections afforded to various forms of foreign investment in China. However, China has not developed a fully integrated legal system, and recently enacted laws, rules and regulations may not sufficiently cover all aspects of economic activities in China or may be subject to significant degrees of interpretation by PRC regulatory agencies. In particular, because these laws, rules and regulations are relatively new, and because of the limited number of published decisions and the nonbinding nature of such decisions, and because the laws, rules and regulations often give the relevant regulator significant discretion in how to enforce them, the interpretation and enforcement of these laws, rules and regulations involve uncertainties and can be inconsistent and unpredictable. In addition, the PRC legal system is based in part on government policies and internal rules, some of which are not published on a timely basis or at all, and which may have a retroactive effect. As a result, we may not be aware of our violation of these policies and rules until after the occurrence of the violation.

        Any administrative and court proceedings in China may be protracted, resulting in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention. Since PRC administrative and court authorities have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory and contractual terms, it may be more

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difficult to evaluate the outcome of administrative and court proceedings and the level of legal protection we enjoy than in more developed legal systems. These uncertainties may impede our ability to enforce the contracts we have entered into and could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business operations are extensively impacted by the policies and regulations of the PRC Government. Any policy or regulatory change may cause us to incur significant compliance costs.

        We are subject to extensive national, provincial and local governmental regulations, policies and controls. Central governmental authorities and provincial and local authorities and agencies regulate many aspects of Chinese industries, including, among others and in addition to specific industry-related regulations, the following aspects:

    construction or development of new data centers or rebuilding or expansion of existing data centers;

    banking regulations, as a result of the colocation services we provide to banks and financial institutions, including regulations governing the use of subcontractors in the management and maintenance of facilities;

    environment laws and regulations;

    security laws and regulations;

    establishment of or changes in shareholder of foreign investment enterprises;

    foreign exchange;

    taxes, duties and fees;

    customs; and

    land planning and land use rights.

        The liabilities, costs, obligations and requirements associated with these laws and regulations may be material, may delay the commencement of operations at our new data centers or cause interruptions to our operations. Failure to comply with the relevant laws and regulations in our operations may result in various penalties, including, among others the suspension of our operations and thus adversely and materially affect our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, there can be no assurance that the relevant government agencies will not change such laws or regulations or impose additional or more stringent laws or regulations. For example, see "Regulations—Regulations Related to Information Technology Outsourcing Services Provided to Banking Financial Institutions" for information regarding regulations of banking and financial institutions that outsource their data center services to us, and "—Regulations Related to Land Use Rights" for information regarding restrictions on the new construction or expansion of data centers within the boundaries of the Beijing municipality. Compliance with such laws or regulations may require us to incur material capital expenditures or other obligations or liabilities.

The approval of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or the CSRC, may be required in connection with this offering under a PRC regulation. The regulation also establishes more complex procedures for acquisitions conducted by foreign investors that could make it more difficult for us to grow through acquisitions.

        On August 8, 2006, six PRC regulatory agencies, including the MOFCOM, the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, or the SASAC, the State Administration of Taxation, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, or the SAIC, the CSRC, and the SAFE, jointly adopted the Regulations on Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rules, which came into effect on September 8, 2006 and were amended on June 22, 2009. The M&A Rules include, among other things, provisions that purport to require that an offshore special purpose vehicle formed for the purpose of an overseas listing of securities in a PRC company obtain the approval of the

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CSRC prior to the listing and trading of such special purpose vehicle's securities on an overseas stock exchange. On September 21, 2006, the CSRC published on its official website procedures regarding its approval of overseas listings by special purpose vehicles. However, substantial uncertainty remains regarding the scope and applicability of the M&A Rules to offshore special purpose vehicles.

        While the application of the M&A Rules remains unclear, we believe, based on the advice of our PRC counsel, King & Wood Mallesons, that the CSRC approval is not required in the context of this offering because we did not acquire any equity interests or assets of a PRC company owned by its controlling shareholders or beneficial owners who are PRC companies or individuals, as such terms are defined under the M&A Rules. There can be no assurance that the relevant PRC government agencies, including the CSRC, would reach the same conclusion as our PRC counsel. If the CSRC or other PRC regulatory body subsequently determines that we need to obtain the CSRC's approval for this offering or if the CSRC or any other PRC government authorities promulgates any interpretation or implements rules before our listing that would require us to obtain CSRC or other governmental approvals for this offering, we may face adverse actions or sanctions by the CSRC or other PRC regulatory agencies. In any such event, these regulatory agencies may impose fines and penalties on our operations in China, limit our operating privileges in China, delay or restrict the repatriation of the proceeds from this offering into the PRC or take other actions that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, reputation and prospects, as well as our ability to complete this offering. The CSRC or other PRC regulatory agencies may also take actions requiring us, or making it advisable for us, to halt this offering before settlement and delivery of the ADSs offered by this prospectus. Consequently, if you engage in market trading or other activities in anticipation of and prior to settlement and delivery, you do so at the risk that such settlement and delivery may not occur.

        The new regulations also established additional procedures and requirements that are expected to make merger and acquisition activities in China by foreign investors more time-consuming and complex, including requirements in some instances that the MOFCOM be notified in advance of any change-of-control transaction in which a foreign investor takes control of a PRC domestic enterprise, or that the approval from the MOFCOM be obtained in circumstances where overseas companies established or controlled by PRC enterprises or residents acquire affiliated domestic companies. We may grow our business in part by acquiring other companies operating in our industry. Complying with the requirements of the new regulations to complete such transactions could be time-consuming, and any required approval processes, including approval from the MOFCOM, may delay or inhibit our ability to complete such transactions, which could affect our ability to expand our business or maintain our market share. See "Regulation—Regulations Related to M&A and Overseas Listings."

PRC regulations relating to investments in offshore companies by PRC residents may subject our PRC-resident beneficial owners or our PRC subsidiaries to liability or penalties, limit our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries or limit our PRC subsidiaries' ability to increase their registered capital or distribute profits.

        SAFE promulgated the Circular on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Control on Domestic Residents' Offshore Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment through Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 37, on July 4, 2014, which replaced the former circular commonly known as "SAFE Circular 75" promulgated by SAFE on October 21, 2005. SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC residents to register with local branches of SAFE in connection with their direct establishment or indirect control of an offshore entity, for the purpose of overseas investment and financing, with such PRC residents' legally owned assets or equity interests in domestic enterprises or offshore assets or interests, referred to in SAFE Circular 37 as a "special purpose vehicle." SAFE Circular 37 further requires amendment to the registration in the event of any significant changes with respect to the special purpose vehicle, such as increase or decrease of capital contributed by PRC individuals, share transfer or exchange, merger, division or other material event. In the event that a PRC shareholder holding interests in a special purpose vehicle fails to fulfill the required SAFE registration, the PRC subsidiaries of that special purpose vehicle may be prohibited from making profit

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distributions to the offshore parent and from carrying out subsequent cross-border foreign exchange activities, and the special purpose vehicle may be restricted in its ability to contribute additional capital into its PRC subsidiary. Moreover, failure to comply with the various SAFE registration requirements described above could result in liability under PRC law for evasion of foreign exchange controls. According to the Notice on Further Simplifying and Improving Policies for the Foreign Exchange Administration of Direct Investment released on February 13, 2015 by SAFE, local banks will examine and handle foreign exchange registration for overseas direct investment, including the initial foreign exchange registration and amendment registration, under SAFE Circular 37 from June 1, 2015.

        Mr. William Wei Huang has completed the initial SAFE registration pursuant to SAFE Circular 75 in 2012, and is in the process of applying for amendment of such registration. We have notified substantial beneficial owners of ordinary shares who we know are PRC residents of their filing obligation. Nevertheless, we may not be aware of the identities of all of our beneficial owners who are PRC residents. We do not have control over our beneficial owners and there can be no assurance that all of our PRC-resident beneficial owners will comply with SAFE Circular 37 and subsequent implementation rules, and there is no assurance that the registration under SAFE Circular 37 and any amendment will be completed in a timely manner, or will be completed at all. The failure of our beneficial owners who are PRC residents to register or amend their foreign exchange registrations in a timely manner pursuant to SAFE Circular 37 and subsequent implementation rules, or the failure of future beneficial owners of our company who are PRC residents to comply with the registration procedures set forth in SAFE Circular 37 and subsequent implementation rules, may subject such beneficial owners or our PRC subsidiaries to fines and legal sanctions. Failure to register or comply with relevant requirements may also limit our ability to contribute additional capital to our PRC subsidiaries and limit our PRC subsidiaries' ability to distribute dividends to our company. These risks may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Any failure to comply with PRC regulations regarding our employee share incentive plans may subject the PRC plan participants or us to fines and other legal or administrative sanctions.

        Pursuant to SAFE Circular 37, PRC residents who participate in share incentive plans in overseas non-publicly-listed companies due to their position as director, senior management or employees of the PRC subsidiaries of the overseas companies may submit applications to SAFE or its local branches for the foreign exchange registration with respect to offshore special purpose companies. Our directors, executive officers and other employees who are PRC residents and who have been granted options may follow SAFE Circular 37 to apply for the foreign exchange registration before our company becomes an overseas listed company. After our company becomes an overseas listed company upon completion of this offering, we and our directors, executive officers and other employees who are PRC residents and who have been granted options will be subject to the Notice on Issues Concerning the Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Stock Incentive Plan of Overseas Publicly Listed Company, issued by SAFE in February 2012, according to which, employees, directors, supervisors and other management members participating in any stock incentive plan of an overseas publicly listed company who are PRC residents are required to register with SAFE through a domestic qualified agent, which could be a PRC subsidiary of such overseas listed company, and complete certain other procedures. We will make efforts to comply with these requirements upon completion of our initial public offering. However, there can be no assurance that they can successfully register with SAFE in full compliance with the rules. Failure to complete the SAFE registrations may subject them to fines and legal sanctions and may also limit the ability to make payment under our share incentive plans or receive dividends or sales proceeds related thereto, or our ability to contribute additional capital into our wholly-foreign owned enterprises in China and limit our wholly-foreign owned enterprises' ability to distribute dividends to us. We also face regulatory uncertainties that could restrict our ability to adopt additional share incentive plans for our directors and employees under PRC law.

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The enforcement of the Labor Contract Law of the People's Republic of China, or the PRC Labor Contract Law, and other labor-related regulations in the PRC may increase our labor costs, impose limitations on our labor practices and adversely affect our business and our results of operations.

        On June 29, 2007, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China enacted the PRC Labor Contract Law, which became effective on January 1, 2008 and was amended on December 28, 2012. The PRC Labor Contract Law introduces specific provisions related to fixed-term employment contracts, part-time employment, probation, consultation with labor unions and employee assemblies, employment without a written contract, dismissal of employees, severance, and collective bargaining, which together represent enhanced enforcement of labor laws and regulations. According to the PRC Labor Contract Law, an employer is obliged to sign an unfixed-term labor contract with any employee who has worked for the employer for 10 consecutive years. Further, if an employee requests or agrees to renew a fixed-term labor contract that has already been entered into twice consecutively, the resulting contract must have an unfixed term, with certain exceptions. The employer must pay economic compensation to an employee where a labor contract is terminated or expires in accordance with the PRC Labor Contract Law, except for certain situations which are specifically regulated. In addition, the government has issued various labor-related regulations to further protect the rights of employees. According to such laws and regulations, employees are entitled to annual leave ranging from five to 15 days and are able to be compensated for any untaken annual leave days in the amount of three times their daily salary, subject to certain exceptions. In the event that we decide to change our employment or labor practices, the PRC Labor Contract Law and its implementation rules may also limit our ability to effect those changes in a manner that we believe to be cost-effective. In addition, as the interpretation and implementation of these new regulations are still evolving, our employment practices may not be at all times deemed in compliance with the new regulations. If we are subject to severe penalties or incur significant liabilities in connection with labor disputes or investigations, our business and financial conditions may be adversely affected.

We rely to a significant extent on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our principal operating subsidiaries to fund offshore cash and financing requirements.

        We are a holding company and rely to a significant extent on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our principal operating subsidiaries and on remittances from the consolidated VIEs, for our offshore cash and financing requirements, including the funds necessary to pay dividends and other cash distributions to our shareholders, fund inter-company loans, service any debt we may incur outside of China and pay our expenses. When our principal operating subsidiaries or the consolidated VIEs incur additional debt, the instruments governing the debt may restrict their ability to pay dividends or make other distributions or remittances to us. Furthermore, the laws, rules and regulations applicable to our PRC subsidiaries and certain other subsidiaries permit payments of dividends only out of their retained earnings, if any, determined in accordance with applicable accounting standards and regulations.

        Under PRC laws, rules and regulations, each of our subsidiaries incorporated in China is required to set aside at least 10% of its net income each year to fund certain statutory reserves until the cumulative amount of such reserves reaches 50% of its registered capital. These reserves, together with the registered capital, are not distributable as cash dividends. As a result of these laws, rules and regulations, our subsidiaries incorporated in China are restricted in their ability to transfer a portion of their respective net assets to their shareholders as dividends, loans or advances. As of December 31, 2015, the restricted assets was RMB1,323.1 million (US$199.1 million), all of which consisted of registered capital. Our subsidiaries did not have any retained earnings available for distribution in the form of dividends as of December 31, 2015. In addition, registered share capital and capital reserve accounts are also restricted from withdrawal in the PRC, up to the amount of net assets held in each operating subsidiary.

        Limitations on the ability of VIEs to make remittance to the wholly-foreign owned enterprise and on the ability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends to us could limit our ability to access cash generated by the operations of those entities, including to make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to our businesses, pay dividends to our shareholders or otherwise fund and conduct our business.

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We may be treated as a resident enterprise for PRC tax purposes under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, and we may therefore be subject to PRC income tax on our global income.

        Under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementing rules, enterprises established under the laws of jurisdictions outside of China with "de facto management bodies" located in China may be considered PRC tax resident enterprises for tax purposes and may be subject to the PRC enterprise income tax at the rate of 25% on their global income. "De facto management body" refers to a managing body that exercises substantive and overall management and control over the production and business, personnel, accounting books and assets of an enterprise. The State Administration of Taxation issued the Notice Regarding the Determination of Chinese-Controlled Offshore-Incorporated Enterprises as PRC Tax Resident Enterprises on the Basis of De Facto Management Bodies, or Circular 82, on April 22, 2009. Circular 82 provides certain specific criteria for determining whether the "de facto management body" of a Chinese-controlled offshore-incorporated enterprise is located in China. Although Circular 82 only applies to offshore enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises, not those controlled by foreign enterprises or individuals, the determining criteria set forth in Circular 82 may reflect the State Administration of Taxation's general position on how the "de facto management body" test should be applied in determining the tax resident status of offshore enterprises, regardless of whether they are controlled by PRC enterprises. If we were to be considered a PRC resident enterprise, we would be subject to PRC enterprise income tax at the rate of 25% on our global income. In such case, our profitability and cash flow may be materially reduced as a result of our global income being taxed under the Enterprise Income Tax Law. We believe that none of our entities outside of China is a PRC resident enterprise for PRC tax purposes. However, the tax resident status of an enterprise is subject to determination by the PRC tax authorities and uncertainties remain with respect to the interpretation of the term "de facto management body."

We may not be able to obtain certain benefits under the relevant tax treaty on dividends paid by our PRC subsidiary to us through our Hong Kong subsidiary.

        We are a holding company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands and as such rely on dividends and other distributions on equity from our PRC subsidiary to satisfy part of our liquidity requirements. Pursuant to the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, a withholding tax rate of 10% currently applies to dividends paid by a PRC "resident enterprise" to a foreign enterprise investor, unless any such foreign investor's jurisdiction of incorporation has a tax treaty with China that provides for preferential tax treatment. Pursuant to the Arrangement between Mainland China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income, or the Double Tax Avoidance Arrangement, such withholding tax rate may be lowered to 5% if a Hong Kong resident enterprise owns no less than 25% of a PRC enterprise. However, the 5% withholding tax rate does not automatically apply and certain requirements must be satisfied, including without limitation that (a) the Hong Kong enterprise must be the beneficial owner of the relevant dividends; and (b) the Hong Kong enterprise must directly hold no less than 25% share ownership in the PRC enterprise during the 12 consecutive months preceding its receipt of the dividends.

Dividends payable to our foreign investors and gains on the sale of our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares by our foreign investors may become subject to PRC tax.

        Under the Enterprise Income Tax Law and its implementation regulations issued by the State Council, a 10% PRC withholding tax is applicable to dividends payable to investors that are non-resident enterprises, which do not have an establishment or place of business in the PRC or which have such establishment or place of business but the dividends are not effectively connected with such establishment or place of business, to the extent such dividends are derived from sources within the PRC. Similarly, any gain realized on the transfer of ADSs or Class A ordinary shares by such investors is also subject to PRC tax at a current rate of 10%, subject to any reduction or exemption set forth in applicable tax treaties or under applicable tax arrangements between jurisdictions, if such gain is regarded as income derived from sources within the PRC. If we are deemed a PRC resident enterprise, dividends paid on our Class A ordinary shares or ADSs,

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and any gain realized from the transfer of our Class A ordinary shares or ADSs, would be treated as income derived from sources within the PRC and would as a result be subject to PRC taxation. Furthermore, if we are deemed a PRC resident enterprise, dividends payable to individual investors who are non-PRC residents and any gain realized on the transfer of ADSs or Class A ordinary shares by such investors may be subject to PRC tax at a current rate of 20%, subject to any reduction or exemption set forth in applicable tax treaties or under applicable tax arrangements between jurisdictions. If we or any of our subsidiaries established outside China are considered a PRC resident enterprise, it is unclear whether holders of our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares would be able to claim the benefit of income tax treaties or agreements entered into between China and other countries or areas. If dividends payable to our non-PRC investors, or gains from the transfer of our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares by such investors, are deemed as income derived from sources within the PRC and thus are subject to PRC tax, the value of your investment in our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares may decline significantly.

We and our shareholders face uncertainties with respect to indirect transfers of equity interests in PRC resident enterprises or other assets attributed to a Chinese establishment of a non-Chinese company, or immovable properties located in China owned by non-Chinese companies.

        On February 3, 2015, the State Administration of Taxation issued the Bulletin on Issues of Enterprise Income Tax on Indirect Transfers of Assets by Non-PRC Resident Enterprises, or Bulletin 7, which replaced or supplemented previous rules under the Notice on Strengthening Administration of Enterprise Income Tax for Share Transfers by Non-PRC Resident Enterprises, or Circular 698, issued by the State Administration of Taxation, on December 10, 2009. Pursuant to this Bulletin, an "indirect transfer" of assets, including equity interests in a PRC resident enterprise, by non-PRC resident enterprises may be recharacterized and treated as a direct transfer of PRC taxable assets, if such arrangement does not have a reasonable commercial purpose and was established for the purpose of avoiding payment of PRC enterprise income tax. As a result, gains derived from such indirect transfer may be subject to PRC enterprise income tax. According to Bulletin 7, "PRC taxable assets" include assets attributed to an establishment in China, immoveable properties located in China, and equity investments in PRC resident enterprises, in respect of which gains from their transfer by a direct holder, being a non-PRC resident enterprise, would be subject to PRC enterprise income taxes. When determining whether there is a "reasonable commercial purpose" of the transaction arrangement, features to be taken into consideration include: whether the main value of the equity interest of the relevant offshore enterprise derives from PRC taxable assets; whether the assets of the relevant offshore enterprise mainly consists of direct or indirect investment in China or if its income mainly derives from China; whether the offshore enterprise and its subsidiaries directly or indirectly holding PRC taxable assets have real commercial nature which is evidenced by their actual function and risk exposure; the duration of existence of the business model and organizational structure; the replicability of the transaction by direct transfer of PRC taxable assets; and the tax situation of such indirect transfer and applicable tax treaties or similar arrangements. In respect of an indirect offshore transfer of assets of a PRC establishment, the resulting gain is to be included with the enterprise income tax filing of the PRC establishment or place of business being transferred, and would consequently be subject to PRC enterprise income tax at a rate of 25%. Where the underlying transfer relates to the immoveable properties located in China or to equity investments in a PRC resident enterprise, which is not related to a PRC establishment or place of business of a non-resident enterprise, a PRC enterprise income tax of 10% would apply, subject to available preferential tax treatment under applicable tax treaties or similar arrangements, and the party who is obligated to make the transfer payments has the withholding obligation. Where the payor fails to withhold any or sufficient tax, the transferor shall declare and pay such tax to the tax authority by itself within the statutory time limit. Late payment of applicable tax will subject the transferor to default interest. Bulletin 7 does not apply to transactions of sale of shares by investors through a public stock exchange where such shares were acquired from a transaction through a public stock exchange.

        There is uncertainty as to the application of Bulletin 7, or previous rules under Circular 698. Especially as Bulletin 7 is lately promulgated, it is not clear how it will be implemented. Bulletin 7 may be determined

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by the tax authorities to be applicable to our offshore restructuring transactions or sale of our shares or those of our offshore subsidiaries where non-resident enterprises, being the transferors, were involved. For example, in the past, we acquired EDC Holding by issuing shares of GDS Holdings to its shareholders in exchange for all of the outstanding shares of EDC Holding that were not held by us then. In addition, certain of our direct and indirect shareholders transferred some or all of their equity interest in us through indirect transfers conducted by their respective overseas holding companies which held shares in us. As a result, the transferors and transferees in these transactions, including us may be subject to the tax filing and withholding or tax payment obligation, while our PRC subsidiaries may be requested to assist in the filing. Furthermore, we, our non-resident enterprises and PRC subsidiaries may be required to spend valuable resources to comply with Bulletin 7 or to establish that we and our non-resident enterprises should not be taxed under Bulletin 7, for our previous and future restructuring or disposal of shares of our offshore subsidiaries, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

Restrictions on currency exchange may limit our ability to utilize our net revenue effectively.

        Substantially all of our net revenue is denominated in Renminbi. The Renminbi is currently convertible under the "current account," which includes dividends, trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, but not under the "capital account," which includes foreign direct investment and loans, including loans we may secure from our onshore subsidiaries or consolidated VIEs. Currently, certain of our PRC subsidiaries, may purchase foreign currency for settlement of "current account transactions," including payment of dividends to us, without the approval of SAFE by complying with certain procedural requirements. However, the relevant PRC governmental authorities may limit or eliminate our ability to purchase foreign currencies in the future for current account transactions. Foreign exchange transactions under the capital account remain subject to limitations and require approvals from, or registration with, SAFE and other relevant PRC governmental authorities. Since a significant amount of our future net revenue will be denominated in Renminbi, any existing and future restrictions on currency exchange may limit our ability to utilize net revenue generated in Renminbi to fund our business activities outside of the PRC or pay dividends in foreign currencies to our shareholders, including holders of our ADSs, and may limit our ability to obtain foreign currency through debt or equity financing for our subsidiaries and consolidated VIEs.

Fluctuations in exchange rates could result in foreign currency exchange losses and could materially reduce the value of your investment.

        The value of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar and other currencies may fluctuate and is affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions and the foreign exchange policy adopted by the PRC government. On July 21, 2005, the PRC government changed its policy of pegging the value of the Renminbi to the U.S. dollar. Following the removal of the U.S. dollar peg, the Renminbi appreciated more than 20% against the U.S. dollar over the following three years. Between July 2008 and June 2010, this appreciation halted and the exchange rate between the RMB and the U.S. dollar remained within a narrow band. Since June 2010, the RMB has started to appreciate slowly against the U.S. dollar, though there have been periods when the U.S. dollar has appreciated against the RMB. On August 11, 2015, the People's Bank of China, or the PBOC, allowed the RMB to depreciate by approximately 2% against the U.S. dollar. It is difficult to predict how long such depreciation of RMB against the U.S. dollar may last and when and how the relationship between the RMB and the U.S. dollar may change again.

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        Substantially all of our net revenue and costs are denominated in Renminbi. We are a holding company and we rely on dividends paid by our operating subsidiaries in China for our cash needs. Any significant revaluation of the Renminbi may materially reduce any dividends payable on, our ADSs in U.S. dollars. To the extent that we need to convert U.S. dollars we receive from this offering into Renminbi for our operations, appreciation of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar would have an adverse effect on the Renminbi amount we would receive. Conversely, if we decide to convert our Renminbi into U.S. dollars for the purpose of making payments for dividends on our Class A ordinary shares or ADSs or for other business purposes, appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the Renminbi would have a negative effect on the U.S. dollar amount.

The audit report included in this prospectus is prepared by an auditor who is not inspected by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and, as such, our investors are deprived of the benefits of such inspection.

        Our independent registered public accounting firm that issues the audit report included in our prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and a firm registered with the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or the PCAOB, is required by the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by the PCAOB to assess its compliance with the laws of the United States and professional standards. Because our auditors are located in the Peoples' Republic of China, a jurisdiction where the PCAOB is currently unable to conduct inspections without the approval of the Chinese authorities, our auditors are not currently inspected by the PCAOB.

        Inspections of other firms that the PCAOB has conducted outside China have identified deficiencies in those firms' audit procedures and quality control procedures, which may be addressed as part of the inspection process to improve future audit quality. This lack of PCAOB inspections in China prevents the PCAOB from regularly evaluating our auditor's audits and its quality control procedures. As a result, investors may be deprived of the benefits of PCAOB inspections.

        The inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections of auditors in China makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of our auditor's audit procedures or quality control procedures as compared to auditors outside of China that are subject to PCAOB inspections. Investors may lose confidence in our reported financial information and procedures and the quality of our financial statements.

If additional remedial measures are imposed on the "big four" PRC-based accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm, in administrative proceedings brought by the SEC alleging such firms' failure to meet specific criteria set by the SEC with respect to requests for the production of documents, we could be unable to timely file future financial statements in compliance with the requirements of the Exchange Act.

        Starting in 2011 the Chinese affiliates of the "big four" accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm, were affected by a conflict between U.S. and Chinese law. Specifically, for certain U.S. listed companies operating and audited in mainland China, the SEC and the PCAOB sought to obtain from the Chinese accounting firms access to their audit work papers and related documents. The firms were, however, advised and directed that under Chinese law they could not respond directly to the U.S. regulators on those requests, and that requests by foreign regulators for access to such papers in China had to be channeled through the CSRC.

        In late 2012 this impasse led the SEC to commence administrative proceedings under Rule 102(e) of its Rules of Practice and also under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 against the Chinese accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm. In January 2014, the administrative law judge reached an initial decision to impose penalties on the firms including a temporary suspension of their right to practice before the SEC. The accounting firms filed a petition for review of the initial decision. On

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February 6, 2015, before a review by the commissioners of the SEC had taken place, the firms reached a settlement with the SEC. Under the settlement, the SEC accepts that future requests by the SEC for the production of documents will normally be made to the CSRC. The firms will receive matching Section 106 requests, and are required to abide by a detailed set of procedures with respect to such requests, which in substance require them to facilitate production via the CSRC. If they fail to meet specified criteria, the SEC retains authority to impose a variety of additional remedial measures on the firms depending on the nature of the failure. Remedies for any future noncompliance could include, as appropriate, an automatic six-month bar on a single firm's performance of certain audit work, commencement of a new proceeding against a firm, or in extreme cases the resumption of the current proceeding against all four firms.

        In the event that the SEC restarts the administrative proceedings, depending upon the final outcome, listed companies in the United States with major PRC operations may find it difficult or impossible to retain auditors in respect of their operations in the PRC, which could result in financial statements being determined to not be in compliance with the requirements of the Exchange Act, including possible delisting. Moreover, any negative news about any such future proceedings against these audit firms may cause investor uncertainty regarding China-based, United States-listed companies and the market price of our ADSs may be adversely affected.

        If our independent registered public accounting firm were denied, even temporarily, the ability to practice before the SEC and we were unable to timely find another registered public accounting firm to audit and issue an opinion on our financial statements, our financial statements could be determined not to be in compliance with the requirements of the Exchange Act. Such a determination could ultimately lead to the delay or abandonment of this offering, delisting of our Class A ordinary shares from the NASDAQ or deregistration from the SEC, or both, which would substantially reduce or effectively terminate the trading of our ADSs in the United States.

Risks Related to This Offering

There has been no public market for our shares or ADSs prior to this offering, and you may not be able to resell our ADSs at or above the price you paid, or at all.

        Prior to this offering, there has been no public market for our shares or ADSs. We have applied to list our ADSs on the NASDAQ Global Market. Our shares will not be listed on any exchange or quoted for trading on any over-the-counter trading system. If an active trading market for our ADSs does not develop after this offering, the market price and liquidity of our ADSs will be materially and adversely affected.

        Negotiations with the underwriters determined the initial public offering price for our ADSs which may bear no relationship to their market price after the initial public offering. There can be no assurance that an active trading market for our ADSs will develop or that the market price of our ADSs will not decline below the initial public offering price.

The trading price of our ADSs may be volatile, which could result in substantial losses to you.

        The trading prices of our ADSs are likely to be volatile and could fluctuate widely due to factors beyond our control. This may happen because of broad market and industry factors, like the performance and fluctuation in the market prices or the underperformance or deteriorating financial results of other listed companies based in China. The securities of some of these companies have experienced significant volatility since their initial public offerings, including, in some cases, substantial price declines in the trading prices of their securities. The trading performances of other Chinese companies' securities after their offerings, including Internet and e-commerce companies, may affect the attitudes of investors toward Chinese companies listed in the United States, which consequently may impact the trading performance of our ADSs, regardless of our actual operating performance. In addition, any negative news or perceptions about inadequate corporate governance practices or fraudulent accounting, corporate structure or matters of other Chinese companies may also negatively affect the attitudes of investors towards Chinese

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companies in general, including us, regardless of whether we have conducted any inappropriate activities. In addition, securities markets may from time to time experience significant price and volume fluctuations that are not related to our operating performance, such as the large decline in share prices in the United States, China and other jurisdictions in late 2008, early 2009, the second half of 2011 and in 2015, which may have a material and adverse effect on the trading price of our ADSs.

        In addition to the above factors, the price and trading volume of our ADSs may be highly volatile due to multiple factors, including the following:

    regulatory developments affecting us or our industry, customers or suppliers;

    announcements of studies and reports relating to the quality of our service offerings or those of our competitors;

    changes in the economic performance or market valuations of other data center services companies;

    actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly results of operations and changes or revisions of our expected results;

    changes in financial estimates by securities research analysts;

    conditions in the market for data center services;

    announcements by us or our competitors of new product and service offerings, acquisitions, strategic relationships, joint ventures, capital raisings or capital commitments;

    additions to or departures of our senior management;

    fluctuations of exchange rates between the RMB and the U.S. dollar;

    release or expiry of lock-up or other transfer restrictions on our outstanding shares or ADSs; and

    sales or perceived potential sales of additional Class A ordinary shares or ADSs.

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the market price for our ADSs and trading volume could decline.

        The trading market for our ADSs will depend in part on the research and reports that securities or industry analysts publish about us or our business. If research analysts do not establish and maintain adequate research coverage or if one or more of the analysts who covers us downgrades our ADSs or publishes inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, the market price for our ADSs would likely decline. If one or more of these analysts cease coverage of our company or fail to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which, in turn, could cause the market price or trading volume for our ADSs to decline.

Techniques employed by short sellers may drive down the market price of our ADSs.

        Short selling is the practice of selling securities that the seller does not own but rather has borrowed from a third party with the intention of buying identical securities back at a later date to return to the lender. The short seller hopes to profit from a decline in the value of the securities between the sale of the borrowed securities and the purchase of the replacement shares, as the short seller expects to pay less in that purchase than it received in the sale. As it is in the short seller's best interests for the price of the stock to decline, many short sellers publish, or arrange for the publication of, negative opinions regarding the relevant issuer and its business prospects in order to create negative market momentum and generate profits for themselves after selling a stock short. These short attacks have, in the past, led to selling of shares in the market.

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        Public companies that have substantially all of their operations in China have been the subject of short selling. Much of the scrutiny and negative publicity has centered on allegations of a lack of effective internal control over financial reporting resulting in financial and accounting irregularities and mistakes, inadequate corporate governance policies or a lack of adherence thereto and, in many cases, allegations of fraud. As a result, many of these companies are now conducting internal and external investigations into the allegations and, in the interim, are subject to shareholder lawsuits and/or SEC enforcement actions.

        It is not clear what effect such negative publicity could have on us. If we were to become the subject of any unfavorable allegations, whether such allegations are proven to be true or untrue, we could have to expend a significant amount of resources to investigate such allegations and/or defend ourselves. While we would strongly defend against any such short seller attacks, we may be constrained in the manner in which it can proceed against the relevant short seller by principles of freedom of speech, applicable state law or issues of commercial confidentiality. Such a situation could be costly and time-consuming, and could distract our management from growing our business. Even if such allegations are ultimately proven to be groundless, allegations against us could severely impact its business operations and stockholders equity, and any investment in our ADSs could be greatly reduced or rendered worthless.

As our initial public offering price is substantially higher than our net tangible book value per share, you will experience immediate and substantial dilution.

        If you purchase ADSs in this offering, you will pay more for your ADSs than the amount paid by existing shareholders for their ordinary shares on a per ADS basis. As a result, you will experience immediate and substantial dilution of approximately US$9.8639 per ADS (assuming no exercise of outstanding options to acquire Class A ordinary shares and no exercise of the underwriters' option to purchase additional ADSs), representing the difference between our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per ADS of US$3.1361, as of June 30, 2016, after giving effect to this offering, and the assumed public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus. In addition, you will experience further dilution to the extent that our ordinary shares are issued upon the exercise of share options. All of the ordinary shares issuable upon the exercise of currently outstanding share options will be issued at a purchase price on a per ADS basis that is less than the public offering price per ADS in this offering. See "Dilution" for a more complete description of how the value of your investment in our ADSs will be diluted upon completion of this offering.

Because we do not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future after this offering, you must rely on price appreciation of our ADSs for return on your investment.

        We currently intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings after this offering to fund the development and growth of our business. As a result, other than the preference dividends to be paid to holders of our preferred shares, we do not expect to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future. See "Dividend Policy." Therefore, you should not rely on an investment in our ADSs as a source for any future dividend income.

        Our board of directors has complete discretion as to whether to distribute dividends. Even if our board of directors decides to declare and pay dividends, the timing, amount and form of future dividends, if any, will depend on, among other things, our future results of operations and cash flow, our capital requirements and surplus, the amount of distributions, if any, received by us from our subsidiaries, our financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors deemed relevant by our board of directors. Accordingly, the return on your investment in our ADSs will likely depend entirely upon any future price appreciation of our ADSs. There is no guarantee that our ADSs will appreciate in value after this offering or even maintain the price at which you purchased the ADSs. You may not realize a return on your investment in our ADSs and you may even lose your entire investment in our ADSs.

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Our ADSs are subject to substantial dilution upon the conversion of our convertible bonds held by certain holders.

        We have outstanding convertible bonds in the aggregate principal amount of US$150.0 million due December 30, 2019. We may, at our option, require the original subscribers, STT GDC Pte Ltd, or STT GDC, to subscribe for an additional amount of these bonds as to US$50.0 million, and thereafter, a subsidiary of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd., or Ping An Insurance, to subscribe for an additional amount of these bonds as to US$50.0 million, at any time until September 30, 2016. In addition, following this offering, we may require the conversion of the bonds assuming the average per-Class A-ordinary-share-equivalent closing trading price of our ADSs in any period of ten (10) consecutive trading days following this offering is at least 125% of US$1.675262 and we exercise our right to cause STT GDC and Ping An Insurance to convert the bonds. If the bondholders elect to convert, or we cause the bondholders to convert, their bonds, approximately 93,231,684 Class A ordinary shares will be issued. The conversion of the bonds would result in substantial dilution of our ADSs and Class A ordinary shares and a decline in their market price.

Substantial future sales or perceived potential sales of our ADSs in the public market could cause the price of our ADSs to decline.

        Sales of our ADSs in the public market after this offering, or the perception that these sales could occur, could cause the market price of our ADSs to decline significantly. Upon completion of this offering, we will have 745,298,802 ordinary shares outstanding, comprising 677,708,466 Class A ordinary shares and 67,590,336 Class B ordinary shares, including 154,000,000 Class A ordinary shares represented by ADSs newly issued in connection with this offering, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs. All ADSs representing our Class A ordinary shares sold in this offering will be freely transferable by persons other than our "affiliates" without restriction or additional registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act. All of the other Class A ordinary shares outstanding after this offering will be available for sale, upon the expiration of the lock-up periods described elsewhere in this prospectus beginning from the date of this prospectus (if applicable to such holder), subject to volume and other restrictions as applicable under Rules 144 and 701 under the Securities Act. Any or all of these ordinary shares may be released prior to the expiration of the applicable lock-up period at the discretion of the designated representatives. To the extent shares are released before the expiration of the applicable lock-up period and sold into the market, the market price of our ADSs could decline significantly. See "Shares Eligible for Future Sale—Lock-Up Agreements."

        Certain major holders of our Class A ordinary shares after completion of this offering will have the right to cause us to register under the Securities Act the sale of their shares, subject to the applicable lock-up periods in connection with this offering. Registration of these shares under the Securities Act would result in ADSs representing these shares becoming freely tradable without restriction under the Securities Act immediately upon the effectiveness of the registration. Sales of these registered shares in the form of ADSs in the public market could cause the price of our ADSs to decline significantly.

        We have adopted share incentive plans, under which we have the discretion to grant a broad range of equity-based awards to eligible participants. See "Management—Share Incentive Plans." We intend to register all ordinary shares that we may issue under these share incentive plans. Once we register these ordinary shares, they can be freely sold in the public market in the form of ADSs upon issuance, subject to volume limitations applicable to affiliates and the lock-up agreements described in the "Underwriting" section of this prospectus. If a large number of our ordinary shares or securities convertible into our ordinary shares are sold in the public market in the form of ADSs after they become eligible for sale, the sales could reduce the trading price of our ADSs and impede our ability to raise future capital. In addition, any ordinary shares that we issue under our share incentive plans would dilute the percentage ownership held by the investors who purchase ADSs in this offering.

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You, as holders of ADSs, may have fewer rights than holders of our ordinary shares and must act through the depositary to exercise those rights.

        Holders of ADSs do not have the same rights of our shareholders and may only exercise the voting rights with respect to the underlying Class A ordinary shares in accordance with the provisions of the deposit agreement. Under our amended articles of association, the minimum notice period required to convene a general meeting will be 10 days. When a general meeting is convened, you may not receive sufficient notice of a shareholders' meeting to permit you to withdraw your Class A ordinary shares to allow you to cast your vote with respect to any specific matter. In addition, the depositary and its agents may not be able to send voting instructions to you or carry out your voting instructions in a timely manner. We will make all reasonable efforts to cause the depositary to extend voting rights to you in a timely manner, but there can be no assurance that you will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that you can instruct the depositary to vote your ADSs. Furthermore, the depositary and its agents will not be responsible for any failure to carry out any instructions to vote, for the manner in which any vote is cast or for the effect of any such vote. As a result, you may not be able to exercise your right to vote and you may lack recourse if your ADSs are not voted as you requested. In addition, in your capacity as an ADS holder, you will not be able to call a shareholders' meeting.

Your right to participate in any future rights offerings may be limited, which may cause dilution to your holdings.

        We may from time to time distribute rights to our shareholders, including rights to acquire our securities. However, we cannot make rights available to you in the United States unless we register both the rights and the securities to which the rights relate under the Securities Act or an exemption from the registration requirements is available. Under the deposit agreement, the depositary will not make rights available to you unless both the rights and the underlying securities to be distributed to ADS holders are either registered under the Securities Act or exempt from registration under the Securities Act. We are under no obligation to file a registration statement with respect to any such rights or securities or to endeavor to cause such a registration statement to be declared effective and we may not be able to establish a necessary exemption from registration under the Securities Act. Accordingly, you may be unable to participate in our rights offerings and may experience dilution in your holdings.

You may not receive cash dividends if the depositary decides it is impractical to make them available to you.

        The depositary will pay cash dividends on the ADSs only to the extent that we decide to distribute dividends on our ordinary shares or other deposited securities, and we do not have any present plan to pay any cash dividends in the foreseeable future other than the preference dividends to be paid to holders of our preferred shares. See "Dividend Policy." To the extent that there is a distribution, the depositary of our ADSs has agreed to pay to you the cash dividends or other distributions it or the custodian receives on our ordinary shares or other deposited securities after deducting its fees and expenses. You will receive these distributions in proportion to the number of Class A ordinary shares your ADSs represent. However, the depositary may, at its discretion, decide that it is inequitable or impractical to make a distribution available to any holders of ADSs. For example, the depositary may determine that it is not practicable to distribute certain property through the mail, or that the value of certain distributions may be less than the cost of mailing them. In these cases, the depositary may decide not to distribute such property to you.

You may be subject to limitations on transfer of your ADSs.

        Your ADSs are transferable on the books of the depositary. However, the depositary may close its transfer books at any time or from time to time when it deems expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. In addition, the depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of ADSs generally when our books or the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we or the

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depositary deems it advisable to do so because of any requirement of law or of any government or governmental body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason.

Certain judgments obtained against us by our shareholders may not be enforceable.

        We are a company incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands. We conduct our operations outside the United States and substantially all of our assets are located outside the United States. In addition, all of our directors and executive officers and the experts named in this prospectus reside outside the United States, and most of their assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult or impossible for you to bring an action against us or against them in the United States in the event that you believe that your rights have been infringed under the U.S. federal securities laws or otherwise. Even if you are successful in bringing an action of this kind, the laws of the Cayman Islands, the PRC or other relevant jurisdiction may render you unable to enforce a judgment against our assets or the assets of our directors and officers. For more information regarding the relevant laws of the Cayman Islands and China, see "Enforcement of Civil Liabilities."

You may face difficulties in protecting your interests, and your ability to protect your rights through U.S. courts may be limited, because we are incorporated under Cayman Islands law.

        We are an exempted company limited by shares incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum and articles of association, the Companies Law (2013 Revision) of the Cayman Islands and the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take action against the directors, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary duties of our directors to us under Cayman Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law of the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the Cayman Islands as well as from the common law of England, the decisions of whose courts are of persuasive authority, but are not binding, on a court in the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary duties of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedent in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws than the United States. Some U.S. states, such as Delaware, have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law than the Cayman Islands. In addition, Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to initiate a shareholder derivative action in a federal court of the United States.

        Shareholders of Cayman Islands exempted companies like us have no general rights under Cayman Islands law to inspect corporate records or to obtain copies of lists of shareholders of these companies. Our directors will have discretion under the post-offering memorandum and articles of association we expect to adopt, to determine whether or not, and under what conditions, our corporate records may be inspected by our shareholders, but are not obliged to make them available to our shareholders. This may make it more difficult for you to obtain the information needed to establish any facts necessary for a shareholder resolution or to solicit proxies from other shareholders in connection with a proxy contest.

        As a result of all of the above, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by management, members of the board of directors or controlling shareholders than they would as public shareholders of a company incorporated in the United States. For a discussion of significant differences between the provisions of the Companies Law (2013 Revision) of the Cayman Islands and the laws applicable to companies incorporated in the United States and their shareholders, see "Description of Share Capital—Differences in Corporate Law."

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Our articles of association contain anti-takeover provisions that could discourage a third party from acquiring us, which could limit our shareholders' opportunity to sell their shares, including Class A ordinary shares represented by our ADSs, at a premium.

        We have adopted amended and restated articles of association to be effective upon the completion of this offering that contain provisions to limit the ability of others to acquire control of our company or cause us to engage in change-of-control transactions. These provisions could have the effect of depriving our shareholders of an opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging third parties from seeking to obtain control of our company in a tender offer or similar transaction. For example, our board of directors has the authority, without further action by our shareholders, to issue preferred shares in one or more series and to fix their designations, powers, preferences, privileges, and relative participating, optional or special rights and the qualifications, limitations or restrictions, including dividend rights, conversion rights, voting rights, terms of redemption and liquidation preferences, any or all of which may be greater than the rights associated with our ordinary shares, in the form of ADS or otherwise. Preferred shares could be issued quickly with terms calculated to delay or prevent a change in control of our company or make removal of management more difficult. If our board of directors decides to issue preferred shares, the price of our ADSs may fall and the voting and other rights of the holders of our ordinary shares and ADSs may be materially and adversely affected. In addition, our amended articles of association contain other provisions that could limit the ability of third parties to acquire control of our company or cause us to engage in a transaction resulting in a change of control, as defined in our amended articles of association, including: a provision that entitles Class B ordinary shares to 20 votes per share at general meetings of our shareholders with respect to the election of a simple majority of our directors; a provision that entitles Class B shareholders to nominate one less than a simple majority, or five, of our directors; a provision that allows one of our principal shareholders to appoint up to three directors to our board of directors for so long as they beneficially own certain percentages of our issued share capital; and a classified board with staggered terms for our directors, which will prevent the replacement of a majority of directors at one time.

        These provisions could have the effect of depriving our shareholders of an opportunity to sell their shares at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging third parties from seeking to obtain control of our company in a tender offer or similar transaction.

We are an emerging growth company within the meaning of the Securities Act and may take advantage of certain reduced reporting requirements.

        We are an "emerging growth company," as defined in the JOBS Act, and we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various requirements applicable to other public companies that are not emerging growth companies including, most significantly, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 for so long as we are an emerging growth company. As a result, if we elect not to comply with such auditor attestation requirements, our investors will not have access to certain information they may deem important.

        The JOBS Act also provides that an emerging growth company does not need to comply with any new or revised financial accounting standards until such date that a private company is otherwise required to comply with such new or revised accounting standards. However, we have elected to "opt out" of this provision and, as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards as required when they are adopted for public companies. This decision to opt out of the extended transition period under the JOBS Act is irrevocable.

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We are a foreign private issuer within the meaning of the rules under the Exchange Act, and as such we are exempt from certain provisions applicable to U.S. domestic public companies.

        Because we qualify as a foreign private issuer under the Exchange Act, we are exempt from certain provisions of the securities rules and regulations in the United States that are applicable to U.S. domestic issuers, including:

    the rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K;

    the sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents, or authorizations in respect of a security registered under the Exchange Act;

    the sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and liability for insiders who profit from trades made in a short period of time; and

    the selective disclosure rules by issuers of material nonpublic information under Regulation FD.

        We are required to file an annual report on Form 20-F within four months of the end of each fiscal year. In addition, we intend to publish our results on a quarterly basis as press releases, distributed pursuant to the rules and regulations of the NASDAQ. Press releases relating to financial results and material events will also be furnished to the SEC on Form 6-K. However, the information we are required to file with or furnish to the SEC will be less extensive and less timely compared to that required to be filed with the SEC by U.S. domestic issuers. As a result, you may not be afforded the same protections or information that would be made available to you were you investing in a U.S. domestic issuer.

As a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands, we are permitted to adopt certain home country practices in relation to corporate governance matters that differ significantly from the NASDAQ corporate governance listing standards; these practices may afford less protection to shareholders than they would enjoy if we complied fully with the NASDAQ corporate governance listing standards.

        As a Cayman Islands company listed on the NASDAQ Global Market, we are subject to the NASDAQ corporate governance listing standards. However, NASDAQ Stock Market Rules permit a foreign private issuer like us to follow the corporate governance practices of its home country. Certain corporate governance practices in the Cayman Islands, which is our home country, may differ significantly from the NASDAQ corporate governance listing standards.

        For instance, we are not required to:

    have a majority of the board be independent (although all of the members of the audit committee must be independent under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act);

    have a compensation committee or a nominations or corporate governance committee consisting entirely of independent directors; or

    have regularly scheduled executive sessions with only independent directors each year.

        We have relied on and intend to continue to rely on some of these exemptions. As a result, you may not be provided with the benefits of certain corporate governance requirements of the NASDAQ.

We may become a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, which could result in adverse United States tax consequences to United States investors.

        Based on the past and projected composition of our income and assets, and the valuation of our assets, including goodwill, we do not believe we were a PFIC for our most recent taxable year and we do

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not expect to become one in the future, although there can be no assurance in this regard. The determination of whether or not we are a PFIC is made on an annual basis and will depend on the composition of our income and assets from time to time. Specifically, for any taxable year, we will be classified as a PFIC for United States federal income tax purposes if either (i) 75% or more of our gross income in that taxable year is passive income or (ii) the average percentage of our assets (which includes cash) by value in that taxable year which produce, or are held for the production of, passive income is at least 50%. The calculation of the value of our assets will be based, in part, on the quarterly market value of our ADSs, which is subject to change. See "Taxation—Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—Passive Foreign Investment Company."

        In addition, there is uncertainty as to the treatment of our corporate structure and ownership of our consolidated VIEs for United States federal income tax purposes. For United States federal income tax purposes, we consider ourselves to own the stock of our consolidated VIEs. If it is determined, contrary to our view, that we do not own the stock of our consolidated VIEs for United States federal income tax purposes (for instance, because the relevant PRC authorities do not respect these arrangements), we may be treated as a PFIC.

        If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which you hold our ADSs or Class A ordinary shares, our PFIC status could result in adverse United States federal income tax consequences to you if you are a United States Holder, as defined under "Taxation—Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations." For example, if we are or become a PFIC, you may become subject to increased tax liabilities under United States federal income tax laws and regulations, and will become subject to burdensome reporting requirements. See "Taxation—Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations—Passive Foreign Investment Company." There can be no assurance that we will not be a PFIC for 2016 or any future taxable year. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, our United States counsel, does not express any opinion about our status as a PFIC in any taxable year.

We will incur increased costs as a result of being a public company, particularly after we cease to qualify as an "emerging growth company."

        Upon completion of this offering, we will become a public company and expect to incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as well as rules subsequently implemented by the SEC and the NASDAQ, impose various requirements on the corporate governance practices of public companies. As a company with less than US$1.0 billion in net revenue for our last fiscal year, we qualify as an "emerging growth company" pursuant to the JOBS Act. An emerging growth company may take advantage of specified reduced reporting and other requirements that are otherwise applicable generally to public companies. These provisions include exemption from the auditor attestation requirement under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 in the assessment of the emerging growth company's internal control over financial reporting and permission to delay adopting new or revised accounting standards until such time as those standards apply to private companies. However, we have elected to "opt out" of the provision that allow us to delay adopting new or revised accounting standards and, as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards as required when they are adopted for public companies. This decision to opt out of the extended transition period under the JOBS Act is irrevocable.

        We expect these rules and regulations to increase our legal and financial compliance costs and to make some corporate activities more time-consuming and costly. After we are no longer an "emerging growth company," we expect to incur significant expenses and devote substantial management effort toward ensuring compliance with the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the other rules and regulations of the SEC. For example, as a result of becoming a public company, we will need to increase the number of independent directors and adopt policies regarding internal controls and disclosure controls and procedures. We also expect that operating as a public company will make it more difficult and more expensive for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be

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required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or incur substantially higher costs to obtain the same or similar coverage. In addition, we will incur additional costs associated with our public company reporting requirements. It may also be more difficult for us to find qualified persons to serve on our board of directors or as executive officers. We are currently evaluating and monitoring developments with respect to these rules and regulations, and we cannot predict or estimate with any degree of certainty the amount of additional costs we may incur or the timing of such costs.

        In the past, shareholders of a public company often brought securities class action suits against the company following periods of instability in the market price of that company's securities. If we were involved in a class action suit, it could divert a significant amount of our management's attention and other resources from our business and operations, which could harm our results of operations and require us to incur significant expenses to defend the suit. Any such class action suit, whether or not successful, could harm our reputation and restrict our ability to raise capital in the future. In addition, if a claim is successfully made against us, we may be required to pay significant damages, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

        This prospectus contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements based on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about us and our industry. The forward-looking statements are contained principally in the sections entitled "Prospectus Summary," "Risk Factors," "Use of Proceeds," "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," "Industry Overview" and "Business." These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. In some cases, these forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as "may," "will," "expect," "anticipate," "aim," "estimate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "potential," "continue," "is/are likely to" or other similar expressions. The forward-looking statements included in this prospectus relate to, among others:

    our goals and strategies;

    our expansion plans;

    our future business development, financial condition and results of operations;

    the expected growth of the data center and cloud services market;

    our expectations regarding demand for, and market acceptance of, our services;

    our expectations regarding keeping and strengthening our relationships with customers; and

    general economic and business conditions in the regions where we operate.

        This prospectus also contains market data relating to the data center and cloud services industry in China, including market position, market size, and growth rates of the markets in which we participate, that are based on industry publications and reports. This prospectus contains statistical data and estimates published by 451 Research, LLC, or 451 Research, including a report which we commissioned 451 Research to prepare and for which we paid a fee. We have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the data contained in these industry publications and reports. The data center and cloud services industry in China may not grow at the rates projected by market data, or at all. The failure of these markets to grow at the projected rates may have a material adverse effect on our business and the market price of our ADSs. If any one or more of the assumptions underlying the market data turns out to be incorrect, actual results may differ from the projections based on these assumptions. In addition, projections, assumptions and estimates of our future performance and the future performance of the industry in which we operate is necessarily subject to a high degree of uncertainty and risk due to a variety of factors, including those described in "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in this prospectus. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

        The forward-looking statements made in this prospectus relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this prospectus. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should read this prospectus and the documents that we have referred to in this prospectus and have filed as exhibits to the registration statement, of which this prospectus is a part, completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect.

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USE OF PROCEEDS

        We estimate that we will receive net proceeds from this offering of approximately US$226.7 million, or approximately US$261.6 million if the underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional ADSs in full, after deducting underwriting discounts and the estimated offering expenses payable by us and based upon an assumed initial offering price of US$13.00 per ADS (the mid-point of the estimated public offering price range shown on the front cover of this prospectus). A US$1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS would increase (decrease) the net proceeds to us from this offering by US$17.9 million, after deducting the estimated underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated aggregate offering expenses payable by us and assuming no change to the number of ADSs offered by us as set forth on the cover page of this prospectus.

        We plan to use the net proceeds of this offering as follows:

    approximately US$21.0 million for the repayment of a portion of our outstanding indebtedness as described below;

    approximately US$180.0 million for development and acquisition of new data centers;

    approximately US$11.4 million for the payment of preference dividends to holders of our preferred shares; and

    the balance of the net proceeds for general corporate purposes.

        On September 17, 2015, our subsidiary Shenzhen Yungang EDC Technology Co., Ltd., entered into a term loan facility agreement with United Overseas Bank (China) Limited, Shenzhen Branch and Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (China) Limited for a principal amount of RMB430.0 million (US$64.7 million) for the subsidiary's Shenzhen data centers SZ1 and SZ2 respectively, and an amendment agreement dated August 5, 2016 to extend an additional term loan facility with a principal loan amount of RMB100.0 million (US$15.0 million) for financing the borrower's Shenzhen data center SZ3. The interest rate agreed under the term loan facility agreements is 1.2x or 1.3x of PBOC's base rate for loans, as applicable. The effective interest rate on the loan as of the date of this prospectus was 6.18% per annum. The maturity date of the loan is September 18, 2020. The proceeds from the loan are being used for the construction, renovation and fitting-out of, as well as equipment for, the premises of data centers SZ1, SZ2 and SZ3.

        On October 28, 2015, our subsidiary Beijing Hengpu'an Data Technology Development Co., Ltd. entered into a term loan facility agreement with United Overseas Bank Limited for a principal amount of RMB120.0 million (US$18.1 million) for financing borrower's Beijing data center (BJ1). The interest rate agreed under said term loan facility agreement is a fixed rate of 6.5625% per annum or 1.25x of PBOC's base rate (as applicable based on the tranches of facilities utilized under the agreement). The effective interest rate on the loan as of the date of this prospectus was 6.56% per annum. The maturity date of the loan is December 21, 2020. The proceeds from the loan are being used for the construction, renovation and fitting-out of, as well as equipment for, the premises of data center BJ1.

        An aggregate RMB537.2 million (US$80.8 million) was outstanding on the foregoing two loan facilities as of the date of this prospectus, approximately RMB139.2 million (US$21.0 million) of which we are required to repay upon the completion of this offering. For other details concerning these loan facilities, see "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Contractual Obligations—Beijing and Shenzhen Loan Facilities."

        For information as to preference dividends to holders of our preferred shares, see "Dividend Policy."

        The foregoing represents our intentions as of the date of this prospectus with respect of the use and allocation of the net proceeds of this offering based upon our present plans and business conditions, but our management will have significant flexibility and discretion in applying the net proceeds of the offering.

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The occurrence of unforeseen events or changed business conditions may result in application of the proceeds of this offering in a manner other than as described in this prospectus.

        To the extent that the net proceeds we receive from this offering are not immediately applied for the above purposes, we intend to invest our net proceeds in short-term, interest bearing, debt instruments or bank deposits.

        In utilizing the proceeds of this offering, we, as an offshore holding company, are permitted under PRC laws and regulations to provide funding to our PRC subsidiaries only through loans or capital contributions and to our consolidated VIEs only through loans. Subject to satisfaction of applicable government registration and approval requirements, we may extend inter-company loans to our PRC subsidiaries or make additional capital contributions to our PRC subsidiaries to fund their capital expenditures or working capital. We cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain these government registrations or approvals on a timely basis, if at all.

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DIVIDEND POLICY

        Since our inception, we have not declared or paid any dividends on our shares. We do not have any present plan to pay any dividends on our Class A ordinary shares or ADSs in the foreseeable future. We intend to retain most, if not all, of our available funds and any future earnings to operate and expand our business.

        Holders of our preferred shares are entitled to receive preference dividends at an annual rate of 6% per annum of the respective preferred shares issue price, out of any funds legally available for this purpose, when, as and if declared by us. The right to receive dividends on the preferred shares are cumulative, and the right to such dividends shall accrue to holders of the preferred shares notwithstanding the fact that dividends on said shares are not declared or paid in any calendar year. Upon completion of this offering, we will pay a preference dividend in the amount of US$50.8 million to our preferred shareholders, of which US$11.4 million is to be paid in cash and US$39.4 million is to be paid in the form of Class A ordinary shares. Upon completion of this offering, the amount to be paid in cash will be paid from the proceeds of this offering. For the amount that is to be paid in the form of Class A ordinary shares, we will issue 24,223,203 Class A ordinary shares to holders of our preferred shares assuming an initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated public offering price range shown on the front cover of this prospectus.

        Any other future determination to pay dividends will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and may be based on a number of factors, including our future operations and earnings, capital requirements and surplus, general financial condition, contractual restrictions and other factors that the board of directors may deem relevant. If we pay any dividends, we will pay our ADS holders to the same extent as holders of our Class A ordinary shares, subject to the terms of the deposit agreement, including the fees and expenses payable thereunder. See "Description of American Depositary Shares." Cash dividends on our ordinary shares, if any, will be paid in U.S. dollars.

        We are an exempted company incorporated in the Cayman Islands. In order for us to distribute any dividends to our shareholders and ADS holders, we may rely on dividends distributed by our PRC subsidiaries. Certain payments from our PRC subsidiaries to us may be subject to PRC withholding income tax. In addition, regulations in the PRC currently permit payment of dividends of a PRC company only out of accumulated distributable after-tax profits as determined in accordance with its articles of association and the accounting standards and regulations in China. Each of our PRC subsidiaries is required to set aside at least 10% of its after-tax profit based on PRC accounting standards every year to a statutory common reserve fund until the aggregate amount of such reserve fund reaches 50% of the registered capital of such subsidiary. Such statutory reserves are not distributable as loans, advances or cash dividends.

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CAPITALIZATION

        The following table sets forth our capitalization as of June 30, 2016 presented on:

    an actual basis;

    a pro forma basis to reflect (i) the automatic conversion of all our outstanding preferred shares into 349,087,677 Class A ordinary shares immediately upon the completion of this offering, and (ii) the assumed payment of the preference dividend on our preferred shares of RMB294.3 million (US$44.3 million) assumed to have been declared and payable on June 30, 2016 and as if a qualified IPO, as defined in our members agreement, had occurred on June 30, 2016, RMB72.5 million (US$10.9 million) of which will be payable in cash and RMB221.8 million (US$33.4 million) of which will be payable in our Class A ordinary shares; and

    a pro forma as adjusted basis to reflect (i) the automatic conversion of all our outstanding preferred shares into 349,087,677 Class A ordinary shares immediately upon the completion of this offering, (ii) the assumed payment of the preference dividend on our preferred shares of RMB337.7 million (US$50.8 million) based upon, and settled through, the date of this offering, RMB76.1 million (US$11.4 million) of which will be paid in cash and RMB261.6 million (US$39.4 million) of which will be paid in 24,223,203 Class A ordinary shares of the Company, assuming an initial offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, (iii) the issuance and sale of the Class A ordinary shares in the form of ADSs offered hereby at an assumed initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated public offering price range shown on the front cover of this prospectus, after deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us and assuming no exercise of the underwriters' over-allotment option, and (iv) the repayment of approximately RMB139.2 million (US$21.0 million) of the outstanding indebtedness of certain of our subsidiaries using a portion of the proceeds to us from this offering.

        The pro forma and pro forma as adjusted information below is illustrative only and our capitalization following the completion of this offering is subject to adjustment based on the initial public offering price of our ADSs and other terms of this offering determined at pricing. You should read this table in conjunction with "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and our consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 
  As of June 30, 2016  
 
  Actual   Pro Forma   Pro Forma
as Adjusted(3)
 
 
  RMB   US$   RMB   US$   RMB   US$  
 
  (in thousands)
 

Long-term borrowings, excluding current portion(1)

    825,392     124,196     825,392     124,196     686,160     103,246  

Obligations under capital leases, non-current

    873,972     131,505     873,972     131,505     873,972     131,505  

Convertible bonds payable

    994,243     149,602     994,243     149,602     994,243     149,602  

Redeemable preferred shares

    2,499,117     376,039                  

Shareholders' (deficit) equity:

                                     

Ordinary shares

    76     11     189     28     248     37  

Additional paid-in capital(2)

    302,939     45,583     2,507,680     377,327     4,232,582     636,871  

Accumulated other comprehensive loss           

    (112,525 )   (16,931 )   (112,525 )   (16,931 )   (112,525 )   (16,931 )

Accumulated deficit

    (736,450 )   (110,812 )   (736,450 )   (110,812 )   (736,450 )   (110,812 )

Total (deficit) equity(2)

    (545,960 )   (82,149 )   1,658,894     249,612     3,383,855     509,165  

Total

    4,646,764     699,193     4,352,501     654,915     5,938,230     893,518  

(1)
Does not reflect borrowings drawn down under our Shenzhen, Shanghai and Weiteng Loan Facilities in the aggregate amount of RMB845.2 million (US$127.2 million) from July 1, 2016 to the date of this prospectus. These borrowings have a maturity date ranging from September 2017 to September 2021.

(2)
A US$1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS would increase (decrease) additional paid-in capital and total equity by US$17.9 million.

(3)
The Pro Forma As Adjusted column has assumed accrual of the preference dividend based upon, and settled through, the date of this offering. For each additional thirty-day period from July 1, 2016 through the date of this offering, an additional preference dividend amount of RMB10.3 million (US$1.6 million) will accrue, of which RMB0.8 million (US$0.1 million) will be settled in cash, and an additional RMB9.5 million (US$1.5 million) of which in the form of 880,183 Class A ordinary shares will be issued, assuming an initial offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus.

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DILUTION

        If you invest in our ADSs, your interest will be diluted to the extent of the difference between the initial public offering price per ADS and our net tangible book value per ADS after this offering. Dilution results from the fact that the initial public offering price per Class A ordinary share is substantially in excess of the book value per ordinary share attributable to the existing shareholders for our presently outstanding ordinary shares and holders of our preferred shares which will automatically convert into our Class A ordinary shares upon the completion of this offering.

        Our net tangible book value as of June 30, 2016 was approximately RMB511.0 million (US$76.9 million), or RMB2.3443 (US$0.3527) per ordinary share as of that date, and US$2.8220 per ADS. Net tangible book value represents the amount of our total consolidated assets, less the amount of our intangible assets, goodwill and total consolidated liabilities. Dilution is determined by subtracting net tangible book value per ordinary share, after giving effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding preferred shares into Class A ordinary shares immediately upon the completion of this offering, (ii) the issuance of 24,223,203 Class A ordinary shares immediately upon the completion of this offering and cash payout in connection with the preference dividends to be paid to the holders of our preferred shares at an assumed initial public offering price of US$ 13.00 per ADS (the mid-point of the estimated initial public offering price range shown on the front cover of this prospectus), and (iii) the issuance and sale by us of shares in the form of ADSs in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS (the mid-point of the estimated initial public offering price range shown on the front cover page of this prospectus) after deduction of the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us from the initial public offering price per Class A ordinary share.

        Without taking into account any other changes in net tangible book value after June 30, 2016, other than to give effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding preferred shares into Class A ordinary shares immediately upon the completion of this offering, (ii) the issuance of 24,223,203 Class A ordinary shares immediately upon the completion of this offering and cash payout in connection with the preference dividends to be paid to the holders of our preferred shares at an assumed initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS (the mid-point of the estimated initial public offering price range shown on the front cover of this prospectus), and (iii) the issuance and sale by us of Class A ordinary shares in the form of ADSs in this offering at an assumed initial public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS (the mid-point of the estimated initial public offering price range shown on the front cover page of this prospectus) after deduction of the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses payable by us, our pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value as of June 30, 2016 would have been US$292.2 million, or US$0.3920 per outstanding ordinary share and US$3.1361 per ADS. This represents an immediate increase in net tangible book value of US$0.0393 per ordinary share and US$0.3141 per ADS to the existing shareholders and an immediate dilution in net tangible book value of US$1.2330 per ordinary share and US$9.8639 per ADS to investors purchasing ADSs in this offering.

        The following table illustrates such dilution:

 
  Per
Ordinary
Share
  Per ADS  

Actual net tangible book value per share as of June 30, 2016

  US$ 0.3527     2.8220  

Pro forma net tangible book value per share after giving effect to the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding preferred shares into Class A ordinary shares

    0.1356     1.0848  

Pro forma as adjusted net tangible book value per share after giving effect to (i) the automatic conversion of all of our outstanding preferred shares into Class A ordinary shares, (ii) the issuance of Class A ordinary shares and cash payout in connection with the preference dividends to be paid to holders of our preferred shares, and (iii) this offering

    0.3920     3.1361  

Assumed initial public offering price

    1.6250     13.00  

Dilution in net tangible book value per share to new investors in the offering

    1.2330     9.8639  

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        The amount of dilution in net tangible book value to new investors in this offering set forth above is determined after giving effect to (i) the automatic conversion of our outstanding preferred shares, (ii) the issuance of ordinary shares in connection with the preference dividends to be paid to holders of our preferred shares, and (iii) this offering from the public offering price per ordinary share.

        A US$1.00 increase (decrease) in the assumed public offering price of US$13.00 per ADS (the mid-point of the estimated initial public offering price range shown on the front cover page of this prospectus) would increase (decrease) our pro forma net tangible book value after giving effect to the offering by US$17.9 million, the pro forma net tangible book value per ordinary share and per ADS after giving effect to this offering by US$0.0240 per ordinary share and US$0.1922 per ADS and the dilution in pro forma net tangible book value per ordinary share and per ADS to new investors in this offering by US$0.1010 per ordinary share and US$0.8078 per ADS, assuming no change to the number of ADS offered by us as set forth on the front cover page of this prospectus, and after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses.

        The following table summarizes, on a pro forma basis as of June 30, 2016, the differences between existing shareholders, including holders of our preferred shares, and the new investors with respect to the number of ordinary shares (in the form of ADSs or shares) purchased from us, the total consideration paid and the average price per ordinary share and per ADS paid before deducting the underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses. The total number of ordinary shares does not include ordinary shares underlying the ADSs issuable upon the exercise of the option to purchase additional ADSs granted to the underwriters.

 
  Ordinary Shares
Total
  Total
Consideration
   
   
 
 
  US$
Average Price per
Ordinary Share
Equivalent
   
 
 
  Average Price per
ADS Equivalent
 
 
  Number   Percent   Amount   Percent  

Existing shareholders

    567,075,599     78.6 % US$ 457.4 million     64.6 % US$ 0.81   US$ 6.45  

New investors

    154,000,000     21.4 % US$ 250.2 million     35.4 % US$ 1.63   US$ 13.0  

Total

    721,075,599     100.0 % US$ 707.6 million     100.0 %            

        If the underwriters were to fully exercise the over-allotment option to purchase 23,100,000 additional shares of our Class A ordinary shares from us, the percentage of shares of our ordinary shares held by existing shareholders would be 76.2%, and the percentage of shares of our common stock held by new investors would be 23.8%.

        The pro forma information discussed above is illustrative only. Our net tangible book value following the completion of this offering is subject to adjustment based on the actual initial public offering price of our ADSs and other terms of this offering determined at pricing.

        The discussion and tables above take into consideration the automatic conversions of our redeemable preferred shares upon the completion of this offering, and they do not take into consideration of (i) the conversion into Class A ordinary shares of our convertible bonds due 2019 or (ii) any outstanding share options or vested but not yet issued restricted shares. Following this offering, we may require the conversion of the convertible bonds due 2019 assuming the average per-ordinary-share-equivalent closing trading price of our ADSs in any period of ten (10) consecutive trading days following this offering is at least 125% of US$1.675262 and we exercise our right to cause STT GDC and Ping An Insurance to convert the bonds. If the bondholders elect to convert, or we cause the bondholders to convert, their bonds (including interests accrued), at least 91,681,348 Class A ordinary shares will be issued. In addition, as of the date of this prospectus, there are also (i) 29,189,800 ordinary shares issuable upon exercise of outstanding share options at an exercise price of US$0.7792 per share; (ii) 877,400 vested but not yet issued restricted shares; and (iii) 55,880,360 ordinary shares reserved for future issuance under our share incentive plans. To the extent that the convertible bonds due 2019 are converted after our IPO or if any of these options are exercised, there will be further dilution to new investors.

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EXCHANGE RATE INFORMATION

        Substantially all of our operations are conducted in China and substantially all of our net revenue is denominated in Renminbi. This prospectus contains translations of Renminbi amounts into U.S. dollars at specific rates solely for the convenience of the reader. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from Renminbi to U.S. dollars and from U.S. dollars to Renminbi in this prospectus were made at a rate of RMB6.6459 to US$1.00, the exchange rate set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board on June 30, 2016. We make no representation that the Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts referred to in this prospectus could have been or could be converted into U.S. dollars or Renminbi, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all. The PRC government imposes control over its foreign currency reserves in part through direct regulation of the conversion of Renminbi into foreign exchange and through restrictions on foreign trade. On October 21, 2016, the noon buying rate for Renminbi was RMB6.7654 to US$1.00.

        The following table sets forth information concerning exchange rates between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar for the periods indicated. These rates are provided solely for your convenience and are not necessarily the exchange rates that we used in this prospectus or will use in the preparation of our periodic reports or any other information to be provided to you. For all dates and periods, the exchange rate refers to the exchange rate as set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board.

 
  Noon Buying Rate  
Period
  Period End   Average(1)   Low   High  
 
  (RMB per US$1.00)
 

2011

    6.2939     6.4475     6.6364     6.2939  

2012

    6.2301     6.2990     6.3879     6.2221  

2013

    6.0537     6.1412     6.2438     6.0537  

2014

    6.2046     6.1704     6.2591     6.0402  

2015

    6.4778     6.2869     6.4896     6.1870  

2016

                         

April

    6.4738     6.4754     6.5004     6.4571  

May

    6.5798     6.5259     6.5798     6.4738  

June

    6.6459     6.5892     6.6481     6.5590  

July

    6.6371     6.6771     6.7013     6.6371  

August

    6.6776     6.6466     6.6778     6.6239  

September

    6.6685     6.6702     6.6790     6.6600  

October (through October 21, 2016)

    6.7654     6.7110     6.7654     6.6685  

Source: Federal Reserve Statistical Release

(1)
Annual averages are calculated using the average of the rates on the last business day of each month during the relevant year. Monthly averages are calculated using the average of the daily rates during the relevant month.

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ENFORCEMENT OF CIVIL LIABILITIES

        We are incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands as an exempted company with limited liability. We are incorporated in the Cayman Islands because of certain benefits associated with being a Cayman Islands corporation, such as political and economic stability, an effective judicial system, a favorable tax system, the absence of foreign exchange control or currency restrictions and the availability of professional and support services. However, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws as compared to the United States and provides protections for investors to a lesser extent. In addition, Cayman Islands companies may not have standing to sue before the federal courts of the United States.

        Substantially all of our operations are conducted in China, and substantially all of our assets are located in China. In addition, most of our directors and officers are residents of jurisdictions other than the United States and all or a substantial portion of their assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for investors to effect service of process within the United States upon us or these persons, or to enforce against us or them judgments obtained in United States courts, including judgments predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States. It may also be difficult for you to enforce in United States courts judgments obtained in United States courts based on the civil liability provisions of the United States federal securities laws against us and our officers and directors.

        We have appointed Law Debenture Corporate Services Inc. as our agent to receive service of process with respect to any action brought against us in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under the federal securities laws of the United States or of any state in the United States or any action brought against us in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in the County of New York under the securities laws of the State of New York.

        Conyers Dill & Pearman, our counsel as to Cayman Islands law, and King & Wood Mallesons, our counsel as to PRC law, have advised us that there is uncertainty as to whether the courts of the Cayman Islands or the PRC would, respectively, (1) recognize or enforce judgments of United States courts obtained against us or our directors or officers predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States and (2) entertain original actions brought in the Cayman Islands or the PRC against us or our directors or officers predicated upon the securities laws of the United States or any state in the United States.

        Conyers Dill & Pearman has informed us that the uncertainty with regard to Cayman Islands law relates to whether a judgment obtained from the United States courts under the civil liability provisions of the securities laws will be determined by the courts of the Cayman Islands as penal or punitive in nature. If such a determination is made, the courts of the Cayman Islands will not recognize or enforce the judgment against a Cayman company. Because the courts of the Cayman Islands have yet to rule on whether such judgments are penal or punitive in nature, it is uncertain whether they would be enforceable in the Cayman Islands. Conyers Dill & Pearman has further advised us that a final and conclusive judgment in the federal or state courts of the United States under which a sum of money is payable, other than a sum payable in respect of taxes, fines, penalties or similar charges, may be subject to enforcement proceedings as a debt in the courts of the Cayman Islands under the common law doctrine of obligation.

        In addition, Conyers Dill & Pearman has advised us that there is no statutory recognition in the Cayman Islands of judgments obtained in the United States, although the Cayman Islands will generally recognize as a valid judgment, a final and conclusive judgment in personam obtained in the federal or state courts in the United States under which a sum of money is payable (other than a sum of money payable in respect of multiple damages, taxes or other charges of a like nature or in respect of a fine or other penalty) and would give a judgment based thereon provided that (i) such courts had proper jurisdiction over the parties subject to such judgment; (ii) such courts did not contravene the rules of natural justice of the Cayman Islands; (iii) such judgment was not obtained by fraud; (iv) the enforcement of the judgment would not be contrary to the public policy of the Cayman Islands; (v) no new admissible evidence relevant

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to the action is submitted prior to the rendering of the judgment by the courts of the Cayman Islands; and (vi) there is due compliance with the correct procedures under the laws of the Cayman Islands.

        King & Wood Mallesons has advised us that the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments are provided for under the PRC Civil Procedure Law. PRC courts may recognize and enforce foreign judgments in accordance with the requirements of the PRC Civil Procedure Law based either on treaties between China and the country where the judgment is made or on principles of reciprocity between jurisdictions. King & Wood Mallesons has advised us further that under PRC law, a foreign judgment, which does not otherwise violate basic legal principles, state sovereignty, safety or social public interest, may be recognized and enforced by a PRC court, based either on treaties between China and the country where the judgment is made or on principles of reciprocity between jurisdictions. As there existed no treaty or other form of reciprocity between China and the United States governing the recognition and enforcement of judgments as of the date of this prospectus, including those predicated upon the liability provisions of the United States federal securities laws, there is uncertainty whether and on what basis a PRC court would enforce judgments rendered by United States courts.

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OUR HISTORY AND CORPORATE STRUCTURE

        We are an exempted company and were incorporated in the Cayman Islands in 2006. We own 100% of the shares in EDC Holding, an exempted company also incorporated in the Cayman Islands, through which we indirectly hold 100% of the equity interests in holding companies in Hong Kong, many of which own our data centers through one or more data center companies. Through EDC Holding we also indirectly hold 100% of the equity interests in GDS Management Company.

        Due to PRC regulations that limit foreign equity ownership of entities providing VATS at 50%, and the inclusion of IDC services within the scope of VATS, we conduct a substantial part of our operations in China through contractual arrangements among GDS Management Company, our data center companies and two VIEs that hold licenses required to operate our business, GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai, and their shareholders. As a result of these contractual arrangements, we control GDS Shanghai, GDS Beijing and its subsidiaries, including EDC Shanghai Waigaoqiao, GDS Suzhou, Kunshan Wanyu, Guangzhou Weiteng and Beijing Yixin and have consolidated the financial information of these VIEs in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP. MIIT has approved GDS Beijing's application to expand its IDC license coverage to include GDS Suzhou and Kunshan Wanyu so that they are now authorized to provide IDC services. See "—2016 Variable Interest Entity Restructuring." As part of the VIE restructuring, we have converted and changed the shareholding of EDC Shanghai Waigaoqiao in the same way as GDS Suzhou, and we will apply for the expansion of GDS Beijing's IDC license so that EDC Shanghai Waigaoqiao will also be authorized to provide IDC services. In addition, with regard to the other WFOEs that have not contributed substantial revenue, we are deliberating different measures to ensure that any business activity that may have to be conducted by IDC license holders will be conducted by our IDC license holders, which are consolidated VIEs. See "Regulations—Regulations Related to Value-Added Telecommunications Business" for additional details.

        Historically, in 2014 and 2015 prior to our VIE restructuring, our consolidated VIEs, GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai, contributed 2.0% and 4.3% of our total net revenue, and we conducted the substantial majority of our operations through GDS Suzhou when it was a WFOE under PRC law. See "—2016 Variable Interest Entity Restructuring" and "Risk Factors—Risks Related to Doing Business in the People's Republic of China—We may be regarded as existing, in a state of historical non-compliance with the regulations on foreign investment restriction and value added telecommunications services, for which penalties may be assessed that may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, growth strategies and prospects and may require us to obtain regulatory approval for this offering." As a result of our internal restructuring, GDS Suzhou became a domestic-owned enterprise under PRC law and an operating subsidiary of GDS Beijing. GDS Suzhou has received approval from the MIIT for providing IDC services with authorization from GDS Beijing under its IDC license. As of the date of this prospectus, we conducted the substantial majority of our operations in China through GDS Suzhou. Accordingly, going forward we expect that substantially all of our net revenue will be generated through our consolidated VIEs, GDS Shanghai, GDS Beijing and its subsidiaries.

        In 2003, some of our principal shareholders, including our founder, Mr. William Wei Huang, established Global Data Solutions Limited, a Cayman Islands exempted company. In 2001, FSL acquired GDS Suzhou, which was established by third parties in 2000. In 2006, GDS Beijing and GDS Holdings were established under the laws of the PRC and Cayman Islands, respectively. In 2009, we underwent restructuring with respect to GDS Beijing, which became a consolidated VIE. In 2010, GDS Suzhou was relocated from Shenzhen to Suzhou. In 2014, GDS Shanghai, which was established in 2011, also became a consolidated VIE.

Acquisition of EDC Holding

        EDC Holding was established in 2008 and is principally engaged in data center infrastructure services in the PRC. We held approximately 7% equity interests in EDC Holding on a fully diluted basis prior to the acquisition. In June 2014, in an effort to enhance our service offerings and to increase business synergy, we acquired all the equity interests in EDC Holding (preferred and ordinary shares) we did not already own by issuing 199,163,164 shares to the then-shareholders of EDC Holding.

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        We were identified as the accounting acquirer for the following reasons: (i) we were the entity that issued the new equity interests; (ii) a shareholder of ours held the largest minority voting interest in the combined entity; (iii) our shareholders have the ability to elect, appoint or remove a majority of the members of the governing body of the combined entity; (iv) our management dominates the management of the combined entity after the acquisition; and (v) we have a significantly larger relative size in terms of net revenue and operations than that of EDC Holding.

Acquisition of Guangzhou Weiteng

        In May 2016, we, through GDS Beijing, acquired all the equity interest in Guangzhou Weiteng from a third party for an aggregate purchase price of RMB129.5 million (US$19.5 million), subject to adjustment, if any, pursuant to the terms and conditions of the equity purchase agreement. Guangzhou Weiteng is a limited liability company organized and existing under the PRC law and operates a data center project in Guangzhou, and has now obtained its own IDC license.

2016 VIE Restructuring

        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.

        On May 6, 2013, the Q&A was published on the website of China Academy of Telecom Research, an affiliate of the MIIT. The Q&A was issued together with the draft revised Telecom Catalogue of the 2013 version, which although not an official law or regulation, reflected the evolving attitude of the MIIT towards the legal requirements as to applications for VATS licenses, especially with regards to IDC services. A national consulting body and certain Designated Numbers are provided in the Q&A to answer any questions arising from the application of IDC licenses. Since then, even though the definition of IDC services under the Q&A is identical to that under the Telecom Catalogue, whether a business model should be deemed to be an IDC service is subject to the unified clarifications under the Q&A and replies obtained from such Designated Numbers, rather than different replies which may be obtained from different officials from the MIIT or its local branches. The draft revised Telecom Catalogue did not come into effect until March 2016, when it was further revised to adapt to developments in the telecommunications industry. During this period, we closely followed legislative developments and conducted feasibility studies for restructuring our business. 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. As part of the VIE restructuring, we have converted and changed the shareholding of EDC Shanghai Waigaoqiao in the same way as GDS Suzhou, and we will apply for the expansion of GDS Beijing's IDC license so that EDC Shanghai Waigaoqiao will also be authorized to provide IDC services. In addition, with regard to the other WFOEs that have not contributed substantial revenue, we are considering measures to ensure that any services that may have to be provided by IDC license holders will be conducted by our IDC license holders, which are our consolidated VIEs. See "Regulations—Regulations Related to Value-Added Telecommunications Business" for additional details.

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Our Corporate Structure

        The following diagrams illustrate our corporate structure as of the date of this prospectus. They omit certain entities that are immaterial to our results of operations, business and financial condition. Equity interests depicted in this diagram are held as to 100%. The relationships between each of GDS Shanghai and GDS Beijing and GDS Management Company as illustrated in this diagram are governed by contractual arrangements and do not constitute equity ownership.

GRAPHIC


(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.

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(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.

        Guangzhou Weiteng and EDC Shanghai Waigaoqiao operate the GZ1 and SH1 data centers, respectively. Other data centers are operated by the data center companies indicated in the diagram above, which in turn are held by data center holding companies indicated in the diagram above. The following diagram illustrates the structure of these data center holding companies and their data center companies:

GRAPHIC

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        The following table sets forth the full legal names of the data center holding companies and corresponding project companies:

Data center holding company
  Data center company   Data center

EDS (HK) Limited

 

Shenzhen Yungang EDC Technology Co., Ltd., or EDC Shenzhen

 

Shenzhen data centers SZ1, SZ2 and SZ3

EDB (HK) Limited

 

Beijing Wanguo Shu'an Science & Technology Development Co., Ltd., or EDC Beijing Wanguo Shu'an

 

Site in Beijing for future development

EDB II (HK) Limited

 

Beijing Hengpu'an Data Technology Development Co., Ltd., or EDC Beijing Heng Pu An

 

Beijing data centers BJ1 and BJ2

FEP (HK) Limited

 

Guojin Technology (Kunshan) Co., Ltd., or EDC Guojin

 

Site in Kunshan for future development

EDE I (HK) Limited

 

Shanghai Yungang EDC Technology Co., Ltd., or EDC Shanghai Yungang

 

Shanghai data centers SH2, SH3 and SH4

EDKS (HK) Limited

 

Shenzhen Pingshan New Area Global Data Science & Technology Development Co., Ltd., or EDC Shenzhen Pingshan

 

Shenzhen data center SZ4

EDC China Holdings Limited

 

EDC Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., or EDC Suzhou

 

 

EDC (Chengdu) Industry Co., Ltd., or EDC Chengdu

 

Chengdu data center CD1

 

EDC Technology (Kunshan) Co., Ltd., or EDC Kunshan

 

Kunshan data center KS1

VIE Contractual Arrangements

Contractual Arrangements among GDS Management Company, GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai

        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. These contractual arrangements allow us to:

    exercise effective control over our consolidated VIEs, namely GDS Shanghai, GDS Beijing and GDS Beijing's subsidiaries, namely EDC Shanghai Waigaoqiao, GDS Suzhou, Kunshan Wanyu, Guangzhou Weiteng and Beijing Yixin;

    receive substantially all of the economic benefits of our variable interest entities; and

    have an exclusive option to purchase all or part of the equity interests in GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai when and to the extent permitted by PRC law.

        As a result of these contractual arrangements, we are the primary beneficiary of GDS Beijing, GDS Shanghai, and their subsidiaries. We have consolidated their financial results in our consolidated financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

        The following is a summary of the currently effective contractual arrangements by and among our wholly-owned subsidiary, GDS Management Company, our consolidated VIEs, GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai, and the shareholders of each of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai.

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Agreements that Provide us with Effective Control over our Consolidated VIEs

        Equity Interest Pledge Agreements.    Pursuant to the equity interest pledge agreements, each shareholder of each of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai has pledged all of his or her equity interest in GDS Beijing or GDS Shanghai as a continuing first priority security interest, as applicable, to respectively guarantee GDS Beijing's and its shareholders' performance of their obligations under the relevant contractual arrangement, which include the exclusive technology license and service agreement, loan agreement, exclusive call option agreement, and shareholder voting rights proxy agreement, as well as GDS Shanghai's and its shareholders' performance of their obligations under the other relevant contractual arrangement, which include the exclusive technology license and service agreement, loan agreement, exclusive call option agreement, and shareholder voting rights proxy agreement, and intellectual property rights license agreement. If GDS Beijing or GDS Shanghai or any of its shareholders breaches their contractual obligations under these agreements, GDS Management Company, as pledgee, will be entitled to certain rights regarding the pledged equity interests, including receiving proceeds from the auction or sale of all or part of the pledged equity interests of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai in accordance with PRC law. Each of the shareholders of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai agrees that, during the term of the equity interest pledge agreements, he or she will not dispose of the pledged equity interests or create or allow creation of any encumbrance on the pledged equity interests without the prior written consent of GDS Management Company. The equity interest pledge agreements remain effective until GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai and its shareholders discharge all their obligations under the contractual arrangements. We have registered the equity pledge by both GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai in favor of GDS Management Company with the relevant office of the Administration for Industry and Commerce in accordance with the PRC Property Rights Law.

        Shareholder Voting Rights Proxy Agreement.    Pursuant to the shareholder voting rights proxy agreements, each shareholder of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai has irrevocably appointed the PRC citizen(s) as designated by GDS Management Company to act as such shareholder's exclusive attorney-in-fact to exercise all shareholder rights, including, but not limited to, voting on all matters of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai requiring shareholder approval, and appointing directors and executive officers. GDS Management Company is also entitled to change the appointment by designating another PRC citizen(s) to act as exclusive attorney-in-fact of the shareholders of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai with prior notice to such shareholders. Each shareholder voting rights proxy agreement will remain in force for so long as the shareholder remains a shareholder of GDS Beijing or GDS Shanghai, as applicable.

Agreements that Allow us to Receive Economic Benefits from our Consolidated VIEs

        Exclusive Technology License and Service Agreements.    Under the exclusive technology license and service agreements, GDS Management Company licenses certain technology to each of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai and GDS Management Company has the exclusive right to provide GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai with technical support, consulting services and other services. Without GDS Management Company's prior written consent, each of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai agrees not to accept the same or any similar services provided by any third party. Each of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai agrees to pay service fees on a yearly basis and at an amount equivalent to all of its net profits as confirmed by GDS Management Company. GDS Management Company owns the intellectual property rights arising out of its performance of these agreements. In addition, each of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai has granted GDS Management Company an exclusive right to purchase or to be licensed with any or all of the intellectual property rights of either GDS Beijing or GDS Shanghai at the lowest price permitted under PRC law. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, these agreements will continue remaining effective.

        Intellectual Property Rights License Agreement.    Pursuant to an intellectual property rights license agreement between GDS Management Company and GDS Shanghai, dated April 13, 2016, GDS Shanghai has granted GDS Management Company an exclusive license to use for free any or all of the intellectual property rights owned by GDS Shanghai from time to time, and without the parties' prior written consent,

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GDS Shanghai cannot take any actions, including without limitation to, transferring or licensing outside its ordinary course of business any intellectual property rights to any third parties, which may affect or undermine GDS Management Company's use of the licensed intellectual property rights from GDS Shanghai. The parties have also agreed under the agreement that GDS Management Company should own the new intellectual property rights developed by it regardless whether such development is dependent on any of the intellectual property rights owned by GDS Shanghai. This agreement can only be early terminated by prior mutual consent of the parties and need to be renewed upon GDS Management Company's unilateral request.

Agreements that Provide Us with the Option to Purchase the Equity Interest in GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai

        Exclusive Call Option Agreements.    Pursuant to the exclusive call option agreements, each shareholder of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai has irrevocably granted GDS Management Company an exclusive option to purchase, or have its designated person or persons to purchase, at its discretion, to the extent permitted under PRC law, all or part of such shareholder's equity interests in GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai. The purchase price should equal to the minimum price required by PRC law or such other price as may be agreed by the parties in writing. Without GDS Management Company's prior written consent, the shareholders of each of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai have agreed that each of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai shall not amend its articles of association, increase or decrease the registered capital, sell or otherwise dispose of its assets or beneficial interest, create or allow any encumbrance on its assets or other beneficial interests, provide any loans, distribute dividends to the shareholders and etc. These agreements will remain effective until all equity interests of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai held by their shareholders have been transferred or assigned to GDS Management Company or its designated person(s).

        Loan Agreements.    Pursuant to the loan agreements between GDS Management and the shareholders of each of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai, GDS Management has agreed to extend loans in an aggregate amount of RMB310.1 million to the shareholders of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai solely for the capitalization of GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai. Pursuant to the loan agreements, GDS Management Company has the right to require repayment of the loans upon delivery of thirty-day's prior notice to the shareholders, and the shareholders can repay the loans by either sale of their equity interests in GDS Beijing and GDS Shanghai to GDS Management Company or its designated person(s) pursuant to their respective exclusive call option agreements, or other methods as determined by GDS Management Company pursuant to its articles of association and the applicable PRC laws and regulations.

        In the opinion of King & Wood Mallesons, our PRC counsel:

    the ownership structures of GDS Management Company, GDS Shanghai and GDS Beijing, currently do not, and immediately after giving effect to this offering, will not result in any violation of the applicable PRC laws or regulations currently in effect; and

    the contractual arrangements among GDS Management Company, GDS Shanghai, GDS Beijing, and the shareholders of GDS Shanghai and GDS Beijing, are governed by PRC law, and are currently valid, binding and enforceable in accordance with the applicable PRC laws or regulations currently in effect, and do not result in any violation of the applicable PRC laws or regulations currently in effect.

        However, there are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current and future PRC laws, regulations and rules. In particular, in January 2015, the Ministry of Commerce, or the MOC, published a discussion draft of the proposed Foreign Investment Law for public review and comments. Among other things, the draft Foreign Investment Law expands the definition of foreign investment and introduces the principle of "actual control" in determining whether a company is considered a foreign-invested enterprise, or an FIE. Under the draft Foreign Investment Law, VIEs would also be deemed as FIEs, if they are ultimately "controlled" by foreign investors, and be subject to restrictions on

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foreign investments. However, the draft law has not arrived at a position on what actions will be taken with respect to the existing companies with the "variable interest entity" structure, whether or not these companies are controlled by Chinese parties. It is uncertain when the draft may be signed into law, if at all, and whether any final version would have substantial changes from the draft. Accordingly, the PRC regulatory authorities may in the future take a view that is contrary to the above opinion of our PRC counsel. If the PRC government finds that the agreements that establish the structure for providing our IDC services do not comply with PRC government restrictions on foreign investment in IDC services, we could be subject to severe penalties, including being prohibited from continuing operations.

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SELECTED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL AND OPERATING DATA

        The following consolidated statements of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2014 and 2015 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2014 and 2015 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. Our consolidated financial statements are prepared and presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, or U.S. GAAP. The following selected consolidated statement of operations data for the six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2016 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of June 30, 2016 have been derived from our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus. The unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements have been prepared on the same basis as our audited consolidated financial statements and include all adjustments, consisting only of normal and recurring adjustments, that we consider necessary for a fair presentation of our financial position and operating result for the periods presented.

        On June 30, 2014, we acquired EDC Holding from its shareholders whereby we issued shares to EDC Holding's shareholders in exchange for their shares in EDC Holding. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, we issued 199,163,164 shares in exchange for approximately 93% of the shares in EDC Holding which we did not already own. Since the date of the acquisition, EDC Holding has been our wholly-owned subsidiary and has been consolidated with our results of operations. See note 8 of our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this prospectus.

        Our historical results are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for any future period. The following summary consolidated financial data for the periods and as of the dates indicated are qualified by reference to, and should be read in conjunction with, our consolidated financial statements and related notes and the information under "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," both of which are included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 
  Year Ended December 31,   Six Months Ended June 30,  
 
  2014   2015   2015   2016  
 
  RMB   RMB   US$   RMB   RMB   US$  
 
  (in thousands, except share data and
per share data)

 

Consolidated Statements of Operations Data:

                                     

Net revenue

    468,337     703,636     105,875     304,794     447,135     67,280  

Cost of revenue

    (388,171 )   (514,997 )   (77,491 )   (221,519 )   (332,034 )   (49,961 )

Gross profit

    80,166     188,639     28,384     83,275     115,101     17,319  

Operating expenses:

                                     

Selling and marketing expenses

    (40,556 )   (57,588 )   (8,665 )   (23,494 )   (34,563 )   (5,201 )

General and administrative expenses

    (113,711 )   (128,714 )   (19,367 )   (58,837 )   (131,452 )   (19,779 )

Research and development expenses

    (1,597 )   (3,554 )   (535 )   (1,257 )   (4,765 )   (717 )

Loss from operations

    (75,698 )   (1,217 )   (183 )   (313 )   (55,679 )   (8,378 )

Net interest expense

    (124,973 )   (125,546 )   (18,891 )   (60,440 )   (110,292 )   (16,595 )

Foreign currency exchange (loss) gain, net

    (875 )   11,107     1,671     4,456     4,101     617  

Government grants

    4,870     3,915     589     1,030     1,030     155  

Gain on remeasurement of equity investment

    62,506                      

Others, net

    (412 )   1,174     177     1,362     179     27  

Loss before income taxes

    (134,582 )   (110,567 )   (16,637 )   (53,905 )   (160,661 )   (24,174 )

Income tax benefits

    4,583     11,983     1,803     6,641     6,464     973  

Net loss

    (129,999 )   (98,584 )   (14,834 )   (47,264 )   (154,197 )   (23,201 )

Net loss available to ordinary shareholders

    (309,139 )   (216,637 )   (32,597 )   (106,290 )   (215,791 )   (32,468 )

Net loss per ordinary share—basic and diluted

    (1.91 )   (0.99 )   (0.15 )   (0.49 )   (0.99 )   (0.15 )

Weighted average number of ordinary shares outstanding—basic and diluted

    162,070,745     217,987,922     217,987,922     217,987,922     217,987,922     217,987,922  

Pro forma net loss per ordinary share—basic and diluted(1)

          (0.17 )   (0.03 )         (0.26 )   (0.04 )

Pro forma weighted average number of ordinary share outstanding—basic and diluted(1)

          587,615,180     587,615,180           587,615,180     587,615,180  

(1)
Pro forma loss per share available to ordinary shareholders is calculated assuming (i) 349,087,677 preferred shares had been converted into the equivalent number of ordinary shares at the beginning of the period and (ii) assuming an initial offering price of US$13.00 per ADS, the mid-point of the estimated price range set forth on the cover of this prospectus, 20,539,581 ordinary shares were issued to pay the preference dividends at the beginning of the period. The pro forma effect of the number of ordinary shares whose proceeds were necessary to pay the cash portion of the preference dividends was not material. See "Prospectus Summary—The Offering—Preference Dividend" and "Dividend Policy" for more information on the preference dividends that are to be issued upon completion of this offering.

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        The following table presents a summary of our consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2014 and 2015 and as of June 30, 2016.

 
  As of December 31,   As of June 30,  
 
  2014   2015   2016  
 
  Actual   Actual   Actual   Actual   Actual  
 
  RMB   RMB   US$   RMB   US$  
 
  (in thousands)
 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

                               

Cash

    606,758     924,498     139,108     834,477     125,563  

Accounts receivable, net

    73,366     111,013     16,704     170,149     25,602  

Total current assets

    745,831     1,186,699     178,561     1,183,231     178,039  

Property and equipment, net

    1,694,944     2,512,687     378,081     3,591,456     540,402  

Goodwill and intangible assets

    1,350,524     1,341,599     201,869     1,442,125     216,995  

Total assets

    3,854,074     5,128,272     771,645     6,334,066     953,079  

Short-term borrowings and current portion of long-term borrowings

    426,709     428,218     64,433     699,394     105,237  

Obligations under capital leases, current

    39,621     48,745     7,335     71,919     10,822  

Total current liabilities

    897,630     925,049     139,191     1,478,315     222,440  

Long-term borrowings, excluding current portion

    492,123     958,264     144,189     825,392     124,196  

Convertible bonds payable

        648,515     97,581     994,243     149,602  

Obligations under capital leases, non-current

    246,996     424,939     63,940     873,972     131,505  

Total liabilities

    1,706,600     3,073,463     462,460     4,380,909     659,189  

Redeemable preferred shares

    2,164,039     2,395,314     360,420     2,499,117     376,039  

Total shareholders' deficit

    (16,565 )   (340,505 )   (51,235 )   (545,960 )   (82,149 )

Key Financial Metrics

        We monitor the following key financial metrics to help us evaluate growth trends, establish budgets, measure the effectiveness of our business strategies and assess operational efficiencies:

 
  Year Ended
December 31,
  Six Months
Ended June 30,
 
 
  2014   2015   2015   2016  

Other Consolidated Financial Data:

                         

Gross margin(1)

    17.1 %   26.8 %   27.3 %   25.7 %

Operating margin(2)

    (16.2 )%   (0.2 )%   (0.1 )%   (12.5 )%

Net margin(3)

    (27.8 )%   (14.0 )%   (15.5 )%   (34.5 )%

(1)
Gross profit as a percentage of net revenue.

(2)
Income (loss) from operations as a percentage of net revenue.

(3)
Net income (loss) as a percentage of net revenue.

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        In evaluating our business, we consider and use the following measures, including certain non-GAAP measures, as supplemental measures to review and assess our operating performance:

 
  Year Ended December 31,   Six Months Ended June 30,  
 
  2014   2015   2015   2016  
 
  RMB   RMB   US$   RMB   RMB   US$  
 
  (in thousands, except percentages)
 

Other Consolidated Financial Data:

                                     

Adjusted EBITDA(1)

    38,044     164,701     24,782     73,755     100,557     15,131  

Adjusted EBITDA margin(2)

    8.1 %   23.4 %   23.4 %   24.2 %   22.5 %   22.5 %

(1)
Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income or net loss excluding net interest expenses, income tax benefits, depreciation and amortization, accretion expenses for asset retirement costs, share-based compensation expenses, and gain on remeasurement of equity investment.

(2)
Adjusted EBITDA margin is defined as adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of net revenue.

Non-GAAP Measures

        Our management and board of directors use adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA margin, which are non-GAAP financial measures, to evaluate our operating performance, establish budgets and develop operational goals for managing our business. In particular, we believe that the exclusion of the expenses eliminated in calculating adjusted EBITDA can provide a useful measure of our core operating performance.

        We also present these non-GAAP measures because we believe these non-GAAP measures are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties as measures of the financial performance of companies in our industry.

        These non-GAAP financial measures are not defined under U.S. GAAP and are not presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. These non-GAAP financial measures have limitations as analytical tools, and when assessing our operating performance, cash flows or our liquidity, investors should not consider them in isolation, or as a substitute for net income (loss), cash flows provided by operating activities or other consolidated statements of operation and cash flow data prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

        We mitigate these limitations by reconciling the non-GAAP financial measure to the most comparable U.S. GAAP performance measure, all of which should be considered when evaluating our performance.

        The following table reconciles our adjusted EBITDA in the years presented to the most directly comparable financial measure calculated and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP, which is net income or net loss:

 
  Year Ended December 31,   Six Months Ended June 30,  
 
  2014   2015   2015   2016  
 
  RMB   RMB   US$   RMB   RMB   US$  
 
  (in thousands)
 

Net loss

    (129,999 )   (98,584 )   (14,834 )   (47,264 )   (154,197 )   (23,201 )

Net interest expenses

    124,973     125,546     18,891     60,440     110,292     16,595  

Income tax benefits

    (4,583 )   (11,983 )   (1,803 )   (6,641 )   (6,464 )   (973 )

Depreciation and amortization

    82,753     145,406     21,879     63,968     93,469     14,064  

Accretion expenses for asset retirement costs

    73     255     38     86     270     41  

Share-based compensation expenses

    27,333     4,061     611     3,166     57,187     8,605  

Gain on remeasurement of equity investment

    (62,506 )                    

Adjusted EBITDA

    38,044     164,701     24,782     73,755     100,557     15,131  

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MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL
CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

        You should read the following discussion and analysis of our financial position and results of operations in conjunction with the section entitled "Selected Consolidated Financial and Operating Data" and our consolidated financial statements and the related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results and the timing of selected events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those set forth under "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in this prospectus.

Overview

        We are a leading developer and operator of high-performance data centers in China. Our facilities are strategically located in China's primary economic hubs where demand for high-performance data center services is concentrated. Our data centers have large net floor area, high power capacity, density and efficiency, and multiple redundancy across all critical systems. We are carrier and cloud neutral, which enables our customers to connect to all major PRC telecommunications carriers, and to access a number of the largest PRC cloud service providers, whom we host in our facilities. We offer colocation and managed services, including a unique and innovative managed cloud value proposition. We have a 15-year track record of service delivery, successfully fulfilling the requirements of some of the largest and most demanding customers for outsourced data center services in China. As of September 30, 2016, we had an aggregate net floor area of 48,822 sqm in service, 93.8% of which was committed, and an aggregate net floor area of 37,194 sqm under construction. According to 451 Research, we are the largest service provider in the high-performance carrier-neutral data center services market in China, with 24.9% market share as measured by area committed as of September 30, 2016.

        Our portfolio of data centers and secured expansion capacity are strategically located to address this growing demand. We operate our data centers to service our customers predominantly in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Chengdu, the primary financial, commercial, industrial and communications hubs in each region of China. We have also established a presence in Hong Kong which we believe is another important market for our customers.

        We currently serve approximately 370 customers, including large Internet companies, a diverse community of approximately 160 financial institutions, telecommunications and IT service providers and large domestic private sector and multinational corporations, many of which are leaders in their respective industries. Within our customer base, we host a number of major cloud service providers, including Aliyun, the cloud computing unit of Alibaba, which is present in several of our data centers. Contracts with our large Internet customers have terms of three to eight years, while contracts with our enterprise customers typically have terms of one to five years. We achieved an average retention rate of over 95% per annum among our Internet and financial institution customers for colocation services in our current data centers over the past two years.

        As of September 30, 2016, we operated eight self-developed data centers with an aggregate net floor area of 39,781 sqm in service. We also operated capacity at approximately ten third-party data centers with an aggregate net floor area of 9,041 sqm in service, which we lease on a wholesale basis and use to provide colocation and managed services to our customers. As of the same date, we had a further five new self-developed data centers and two phases of an existing data center with an aggregate net floor area of 37,194 sqm under construction. In addition, we had an estimated aggregate developable net floor area of approximately 20,000 sqm held for future development and entered into a memorandum of understanding for a lease of three data center shell buildings that we expect to provide us with additional net floor area of approximately 30,000 sqm.

        As part of our business strategy, we held a minority interest in EDC Holding, a data center provider, prior to June 30, 2014. On June 30, 2014, we acquired the remaining equity interest of EDC Holding and

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the results of operations of EDC Holding have been consolidated into our results of operations. Prior to the acquisition, EDC Holding's net revenue was primarily derived from GDS Holdings.

        We derive net revenue primarily from colocation services and, to a lesser extent, managed services, which include managed hosting services and managed cloud services. We also derive some revenues from (1) consulting services that we provide in connection with our managed services where requested by customers, and (2) the sale of IT equipment that we make to colocation customers who request such equipment in connection with our colocation services.

        Our net revenue grew from RMB468.3 million in 2014 to RMB703.6 million (US$105.9 million) in 2015, representing an increase of 50.2%, and increased from RMB304.8 million in the six months ended June 30, 2015 to RMB447.1 million (US$67.3 million) in the same period in 2016, representing an increase of 46.7%. Revenues from colocation services grew from RMB342.5 million in 2014 to RMB500.9 million (US$75.4 million) in 2015, representing 73.1% and 71.2% of total net revenue, respectively, and grew from RMB219.7 million in the six months ending June 30, 2015 to RMB330.8 million (US$49.8 million) in the same period in 2016, representing 72.1% and 74.0% of total net revenue, respectively. Revenue from managed services grew from RMB100.4 million in 2014 to RMB142.6 million (US$21.5 million) in 2015, representing 21.5% and 20.3% of total net revenue, respectively, and grew from RMB67.3 million in the six months ending June 30, 2015 to RMB102.1 million (US$15.4 million) in the same period in 2016, representing 22.0% and 22.8% of total net revenue, respectively. Revenue from consulting services grew from RMB8.0 million in 2014 to RMB 10.1 million (US$1.5 million) in 2015, representing 1.7% and 1.4% of total net revenue, respectively, and decreased from RMB4.8 million in the six months ending June 30, 2015 to RMB3.5 million (US$0.5 million) in the same period in 2016, representing 1.6% and 0.8% of total net revenue, respectively. Revenue from IT equipment sales grew from RMB 17.4 million in 2014 to RMB50.0 million (US$7.5 million) in 2015, representing 3.7% and 7.1% of total net revenue, respectively, and decreased from RMB13.0 million in the six months ending June 30, 2015 to RMB10.7 million (US$1.6 million) in the same period in June 30, 2016, representing 4.3% and 2.4% of total net revenue, respectively. Our adjusted EBITDA increased from RMB38.0 million in 2014 to RMB164.7 million (US$24.8 million) in 2015, and increased from RMB73.8 million in the six months ended June 30, 2015 to RMB100.6 million (US$15.1 million) in the same period in 2016. Our net loss decreased from RMB130.0 million in 2014 to RMB98.6 million (US$14.8 million) in 2015. Our net loss increased from RMB47.3 million in the six months ended June 30, 2015 to RMB154.2 million (US$23.2 million) in the same period in 2016. As of December 31, 2015 and June 30, 2016, our accumulated deficit was RMB582.3 million (US$87.6 million) and RMB736.5 million (US$110.8 million), respectively.

Key Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations

        Our business and results of operations are generally affected by the development of China's data center services market. We have benefited from rapid growth in this market during recent years and any adverse changes in the data center services market in China may harm our business and results of operations. In addition, we believe that our results of operations are directly affected by the following key factors.

Ability to Source and Develop Data Centers

        Our revenue growth depends on our ability to source and develop additional data centers. As it typically takes a minimum of twelve to eighteen months to develop a data center together with racks and equipment installed, we must commit to development in advance of realizing a benefit from our investment. We endeavor to ensure continuous availability of data center capacity to satisfy customer demand by maintaining a supply of high-performance data centers in various stages of development—from identified sites, to data centers under construction to available net floor areas in existing data centers. We expand our sourcing of new data center area by (1) acquiring or leasing property which we develop for use as data center facilities, whether through constructing on greenfield sites or converting existing industrial buildings, (2) leasing existing data center capacity from third-party wholesale providers, and (3) acquiring

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high-performance data centers from other companies. Our ability to maintain a growing supply of data center assets directly affects our revenue growth potential.

        If we are unable to identify suitable land or facilities for new data centers or to do so at an acceptable cost to us or experience delays or increased costs during the data center design and construction development process, our ability to grow our revenue and improve our results of operations would be negatively affected. Additionally, if demand slows unexpectedly or we source and develop data centers too rapidly, the resulting overcapacity would adversely affect our results of operations.

Ability to Secure Commitments for Data Center Services from Our Customers and Minimize Move-in Periods

        Due to the lengthy time period required to build data centers and the long-term nature of these investments, if we overestimate market demand for data center resources, our utilization rates, which is the ratio of area utilized to area in service would be reduced, which would adversely affect our results of operations. Our revenue growth depends on our ability to secure commitments for our data center services. We focus on obtaining these commitments during the construction phase by entering into pre-commitment agreements with customers and endeavor to maximize total area committed. While providing flexibility to customers, we also aim to minimize move-in period so as to provide billable services and to start generating revenue. Accordingly, our results of operations are highly influenced by our ability to maintain a high utilization rate. Our total area committed increased from 20,985 sqm as of December 31, 2014 to 35,918 sqm as of December 31, 2015, and to 58,627 sqm as of September 30, 2016, while area utilized increased from 15,862 sqm to 22,365 sqm and to 34,369 sqm over the same period. Move-in periods, and minimum commitments over the move-in period, vary significantly from customer to customer. We strive to optimize our customer mix to achieve high commitment rates and utilization rates and a high proportion of long-term relationships.

Pricing Structure and Power Costs

        Our results of operations will be affected by our ability to operate our data centers efficiently in terms of power consumption. Our data centers require significant levels of power supply to support their operations. Depending on the contract, we agree with our customer to either charge them for actual power consumed or we factor it into a fixed price. The majority of our customers select pricing for a fixed amount over the contracts' service period. Accordingly, the customer's actual power usage during the life of the contract will affect its profitability to us. Optimal configuration of customers and power usage within each data center will affect our results of operations.

Utilization of Existing Capacity

        Our ability to maximize profitability depends on attaining high utilization of data center net floor area and power capacity. A substantial majority of our cost of revenue and operating expenses are fixed in nature. Such costs increase with each new data center and entail additional power commitment costs, depreciation from new property plant and equipment, rental costs on leased facilities, personnel costs and start-up costs. By adopting a modular development approach, we aim to optimize resource utilization and maximize capital efficiency to improve profitability.

Cost Structure Depending on Data Center Tenure and Location

        We hold our data centers through a mix of those that we own or lease. The leases typically range from three years for third-party data centers to twenty years for self-developed data centers, all with different renewal periods. The tenure of the leases and the periods during which the amount are fixed or capped under the leases will affect our cost structure in the future. In addition, if many of our data centers continue to be located close to central business districts, where rental costs are generally higher, our cost structure will also be affected.

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Data Center Development and Financing Costs

        Our revenue growth depends on our ability to develop data centers at commercially acceptable terms. We have historically funded data center development through additional equity or debt financing. We expect to continue to fund future developments through debt financing or through the issuance of additional equity securities if necessary and when market conditions permit. Such additional financing may not be available, may not be on commercially acceptable terms or may result in an increase to our financing costs. In addition, we may encounter development delays, excess development costs, or challenges in attracting or retaining customers to use our data center services. We also may not be able to identify suitable land or facilities for new data centers or at a cost or terms acceptable to us.

Key Performance Indicators

        Our net revenue and results of operations are largely determined by the amount of data center area in service, the degree to which data center space is committed or pre-committed as well as its utilization. Accordingly, our management uses the following key performance indicators as measures to evaluate our performance:

    Area in service:  the net floor area of data centers in service for which one or more modules have been equipped and fitted out ready for utilization by customers.

    Area under construction:  the net floor area of data centers which are under construction and are not yet ready for service.

    Area committed:  the net floor area of data centers in service for which agreements from customers remain in effect.

    Area pre-committed:  the net floor area of data centers under construction for which agreements from customers remain in effect.

    Total area committed:  the sum of area committed and area pre-committed.

    Commitment rate:  the ratio of area committed to area in service.

    Pre-commitment rate:  the ratio of area pre-committed to area under construction.

    Area utilized:  the net floor area of data centers in service that is also revenue generating pursuant to customer agreements in effect.

    Utilization rate:  the ratio of area utilized to area in service.

        The following table sets forth our key performance indicators as of December 31, 2014 and 2015 and September 30, 2016.

 
  As of December 31,   As of
September 30,
 
(Sqm, %)
  2014   2015   2016  

Area in service

    27,512     37,869     48,822  

Area under construction

    10,056     35,525     37,194  

Area committed

    20,985     33,140     45,782 (1)

Area pre-committed

    0     2,778     12,845 (1)

Total area committed

    20,985     35,918     58,627 (1)

Commitment rate

    76.3 %   87.5 %   93.8 %

Pre-commitment rate

    0 %   7.8 %   34.5 %

Area utilized

    15,862     22,365     34,369  

Utilization rate

    57.7 %   59.1 %   70.4 %

(1)
Includes data center area for which we have entered into non-binding agreements or letters of intent with, or have received other confirmations from, certain customers.

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Description of Selected Statement of Operations Items

        The following table sets forth our net revenue, cost of revenue and gross profit, both in an absolute amount and as a percentage of net revenue, for the periods indicated.

 
  Year Ended December 31,   Six Months Ended June 30,  
 
  2014   2015   2015   2016  
 
  RMB   % of Net
Revenue
  RMB   US$   % of Net
Revenue
  RMB   % of Net
Revenue
  RMB   US$   % of Net
Revenue
 
 
  (in thousands, except for percentages)
 

Net revenue

                                                             

Service revenue

    450,940     96.3     653,591     98,345     92.9     291,777     95.7     436,394     65,664     97.6  

IT equipment sales

    17,397     3.7     50,045     7,530     7.1     13,017     4.3     10,741     1,616     2.4  

Total

    468,337     100.0     703,636     105,875     100.0     304,794     100.0     447,135     67,280     100.0  

Cost of revenue

    (388,171 )   (82.9 )   (514,997 )   (77,491 )   (73.2 )   (221,519 )   (72.7 )   (332,034 )   (49,961 )   (74.3 )

Gross profit

    80,166     17.1     188,639     28,384     26.8     83,275     27.3     115,101     17,319     25.7  

Net Revenue

        We derive net revenue primarily from colocation services and, to a lesser extent, managed services, including managed hosting services and managed cloud services. In addition, from time to time, we also sell IT equipment on a stand-alone basis or bundled in a managed hosting service contract arrangement to customers and provide consulting services. Substantially all of our service revenue is recognized on a recurring basis.

        Our colocation services primarily comprise the provision of space, power and cooling to our customers for housing servers and related IT equipment. Our customers have several choices for hosting their networking, server and storage equipment. They can place the equipment in a shared or private space that can be customized to their requirements. We offer power options customized to a customer's individual power requirement. Colocation services are provided to customers for a fixed amount over the contract service period. Revenue from colocation services is recognized ratably over the term of the contractual service period.

        Our managed services include managed hosting services and managed cloud services. Our managed hosting services offering comprises a broad range of value-added services, covering each layer of the data center IT value chain. Our suite of managed hosting services include technical services, network management services, data storage services, system security services, database services and server middleware services. The majority of our managed hosting services revenue is provided to customers for a fixed amount over the contract service period and billed on a monthly or quarterly basis. Revenue from managed hosting services is recognized ratably over the term of the contractual service period. Our managed cloud services deliver virtual computing and storage services to customers. We also offer solutions to assist our customers in managing their hybrid clouds.

        We are subject to VAT at a rate of 6% on the IDC services we provide less any deductible VAT we have already paid or borne. We are also subject to surcharges on VAT payments in accordance with PRC law. During the periods presented, we were not subject to business tax on the services we provide.

        We consider our customer to be the end user of our data center services. We may enter into contracts directly with the end user customer or through an intermediate contracting party. We have in the past derived, and believe that we will continue to derive, a significant portion of our total net revenue from a limited number of customers. We had one end user customer that generated 26.8% of our total net revenue in 2014 and two end user customers that generated 20.1% and 10.3% of our total net revenue, respectively, in 2015, and 17.1% and 15.7% of our total net revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2016, respectively. No other end user customer accounted for 10% or more of our total net revenue during the periods. We expect our total net revenue will continue to be highly dependent on a limited number of

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end user customers who account for a large percentage of our total area committed. As of September 30, 2016, we had two end user customers who accounted for 26.1% and 20.8%, respectively, of our total area committed. No other end user customer accounted for 10% or more of the total area committed.

Cost of Revenue

        Our cost of revenue consists primarily of utility costs, depreciation of property and equipment, rental costs, labor costs and others. Utility costs refer primarily to the cost of power needed to carry out our data center services. Depreciation of property and equipment primarily relates to depreciation of data center property and equipment, such as assets acquired under capital leases, leasehold improvements to data centers and other long-lived assets. Rental costs relate to the data center space we lease and use in providing services to our customers. Labor costs refer to compensation and benefit expenses for our engineering and operations personnel. These costs are largely fixed costs other than utility costs, for which there is a portion that varies proportionally to each customer's power and utility consumption and a fixed portion consisting of a monthly power commitment fee. When a new data center comes into service, we mainly incur a level of fixed utility costs that are not directly correlated with net revenue.

        We expect that our cost of revenue will continue to increase as our business expands and we expect that utility costs, depreciation and amortization and rental costs will continue to comprise the largest portion of our cost of revenue. In addition, in any given period, the increase in our cost of revenue may also outpace the growth of our net revenue depending on the timing of the development of our data centers, our ability to secure customer contracts and the utilization rate of our data centers during the period. While we strive to both secure customer commitments to our data center services so that the most data center space will be utilized as possible and also to minimize the time as to when our data center area becomes operational and the customer occupies that area, these timing differences may result in fluctuation of our cost of revenue as a percentage of our net revenue between periods.

Operating Expenses

        Our operating expenses consist of selling and marketing expenses, general and administrative expenses, and research and development expenses. The following sets forth our selling and marketing expenses, general and administrative expenses and research and development expenses, both in an absolute amount and as a percentage of net revenue, for the periods indicated.

 
  Year Ended December 31,   Six Months Ended June 30,  
 
  2014   2015   2015   2016  
 
  RMB   % of Net
Revenue
  RMB   US$   % of Net
Revenue
  RMB   % of Net
Revenue
  RMB   US$   % of Net
Revenue
 
 
  (in thousands, except for percentages)
 

Selling and marketing expenses

    40,556     8.7     57,588     8,665     8.2     23,494     7.7     34,563     5,201     7.7  

General and administrative expenses

    113,711     24.3     128,714     19,367     18.3     58,837     19.3     131,452     19,779     29.4  

Research and development expenses

    1,597     0.3     3,554     535     0.5     1,257     0.4     4,765     717     1.1  

Total operating expenses

    155,864     33.3     189,856     28,567     27.0     83,588     27.4     170,780     25,697     38.2