Alibaba to open 4 data cloud cen­ters

Firm aims to take on dom­i­nant role of Mi­crosoft, Ama­zon

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By MENGJING mengjing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Alibaba Cloud said on Mon­day it would open four new­data cen­ters out­sideChina by the end of this month, its lat­est ef­fort to make in­roads in a global cloud com­put­ing mar­ket dom­i­nated by Mi­crosoft Corp and Ama­zon.com Inc.

The four new fa­cil­i­ties — lo­cated in Europe, theMid­dle East, Ja­pan and Aus­tralia — will bring the com­pany’s to­tal data cen­ters world­wide to 14, in­clud­ing two in the United States, the cloud com­put­ing arm of e-com­merce con­glom­er­ate Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd an­nounced in Dubai.

“As the in­fras­truc­ture of the newe­con­omy, cloud com­put­ing is used by more and more in­dus­tries in re­gions across the world,” said Hu Xiaom­ing, pres­i­dent of Alibaba Cloud in a state­ment.

He added that with the ex­pan­sion of its global foot­print, Alibaba Cloud will be able to em­power busi­nesses, big or small, in the world with com­put­ing ca­pac­ity, big data and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence tech­nolo­gies.

The open­ing of the four new cen­ters will make Alibaba Cloud the first Chi­nese com­pany that is able to pro­vide cloud com­put­ing ser­vices in ma­jor in­ter­net­mar­kets inthe world.

An­a­lysts said that Alibaba Cloud’s grow­ing mo­men­tum in global ex­pan­sion is in line with Alibaba Group’s busi­ness am­bi­tion in re­gions out­side China. The e-com­merce gi­ant has made glob­al­iza­tion one of its top pri­or­i­ties with spe­cific goals to serve 2 bil­lion con­sumers and tens of mil­lions of en­ter­prises world­wide in the com­ing 10 years.

“Alibaba Cloud is a crit­i­cal back­bone to sup­port its (Alibaba Group’s) busi­ness strat­egy, and Alibaba Cloud it­self is be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant busi­ness for Alibaba, as what AWS (Ama­zon Web Ser­vices) is for Ama­zon,” said Char­lie Dai, prin­ci­pal an­a­lyst at For­rester Re­search.

As the e-com­merce gi­ant’s fastest-grow­ing divi­sion, AlibabaCloud has been grow­ing at triple-digit rates due to the ris­ing de­mand of en­ter­prises, which see cloud com­put­ing as the foun­da­tion in mod­ern com­merce.

Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates com­piled by Bloomberg, Alibaba Cloud prob­a­bly helped power 53 per­cent growth in Alibaba Group rev­enue to 33.9 bil­lion yuan ($5 bil­lion) last quar­ter.

It ranked the top in China’s pub­lic cloud mar­ket with 31 per­cent of the mar­ket share in 2015. But in the world, it rankedthe­fifth, with­Mi­crosoft and Ama­zon, the top two play­ers, tak­ing the lion’s share of the­mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to IDC.

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