Alibaba unit plans to set up more data cen­ters in US, Europe and Asia

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHI­NADAILY

Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd’s cloud com­put­ing unit said onWed­nes­day it will soon open a sec­ond data cen­ter in theUnited States, high­light­ing the com­pany’s ef­forts to ex­pand abroad.

Li Jin, se­nior prod­uct di­rec­tor of AliyunCloud Com­put­ing, said at a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing that the com­pany will launch the new US cen­ter within sev­eral months, as part of the com­pany’s broad plan to be a global cloud ser­vice provider.

Li did not give de­tails of the new­cen­ter, but added that the com­pany will set up more data cen­ters in Sin­ga­pore, Europe and Ja­pan within a year.

Es­tab­lished in 2009, Aliyun ac­counts for only a small por­tion of Alibaba’s busi­ness, but it has been see­ing steady growth both at home and abroad.

In May, the com­pany en­tered the Mid­dle East mar­ket by set­ting up a joint ven­ture with­Mer­aasHold­ing LLC to pro­vide cloud ser­vices in the re­gion. That fol­lowed the open­ing in March of its first over­seas data cen­ter in Sil­i­con Val­ley in the US.

Ac­cord­ing to In­ter­na­tional Data Corp, public cloud ser­vices could grow into a $100 bil­lion in­dus­try by 2017.

Gene Cao, a se­nior an­a­lyst at In­ter­net con­sul­tancy For­rester Re­search Inc, said: “Aliyun is not com­pe­tent enough to take clients from in­ter­na­tional play­ers such as Ama­zon.com Inc and Mi­crosoft Corp. Its tar­get cus­tomers are Chi­nese com­pa­nies that are ex­pand­ing over­seas.”

But Aliyun has the po­ten­tial to be­come a big ser­vice provider in the in­ter­na­tional arena of cloud com­put­ing, Cao said.

Aliyun said it will build an in­ter­na­tional con­tent de­liv­ery net­work by co­op­er­at­ing with lo­cal part­ners. The net­work, once es­tab­lished, will shorten the time needed to de­liver Web con­tent from for­eign coun­tries to con­sumers inChina and vice versa.

“We op­er­ate the largest con­tent de­liv­ery net­work in China,” Li said.

“But it is not enough. Go­ing global is one of the key strate­gies of Alibaba. Aliyun will help re­al­ize the goal with an over­seas con­tent de­liv­ery net­work.”

Aliyun is the largest provider of public cloud ser­vices in China where its ma­jor ri­val Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd is also eye­ing a piece of the lu­cra­tive busi­ness. Aliyun said it now serves more than 1.4 mil­lion cus­tomers.

Ma Si con­trib­uted to this story.

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