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Alibaba Ramps Up Their Cloud Computing Efforts

While cloud computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services seem to be taking up the largest portion of the spotlight, at least within the United States, they may find some new competition from the Alibaba Group. While they’ve been providing cloud services throughout China for quite some time now, and they even have one datacenter located within the United States, they have to make their presence known outside of China. According to their latest announcement, however, as well as a recent round of capital funding, the team with Alibaba is looking to expand their presence around the globe.

Having recently poured $1 billion into their own cloud computing platform, known as Aliyun, the team with the Alibaba Group has their sights set on Europe, Japan, Singapore and the Middle East, Additionally, Alibaba plans on opening a second datacenter within the United States.

Daniel Zhang, CEO with the Alibaba Group, spoke about the latest investments while hinting toward future ones. He was quoted as saying: “Aliyun has become a world-class computing service platform that is the market leader in China, bearing the fruits of our investment over the past six years. As the physical and digital are becoming increasingly integrated, Aliyun will serve as an essential engine in this new economy. This $1 billion investment is just the beginning; our hope is for Aliyun to continually empower customers and partners with new capabilities, and help companies upgrade their basic infrastructure.”

Aliyun and Alibaba are taking other steps to try and attract new customers, as well. They’ve released details on their exclusive “Data Protection Pact,” which guarantees the safety and security of customer data. Moreover, the agreement guarantees that customers will be given absolute ownership of their data at all times. Essentially, this means that neither Aliyun or Alibaba will modify or manage any data that is uploaded to their cloud architecture.

Simon Hu, president of Aliyun, discussed plans to ramp up their cloud computing efforts in the near future by saying: “We aim to make cloud computing the engine of the Data Technology economy, and Big Data a driving force of economic development. Aliyun will continuously be committed to building a cloud-computing ecosystem to efficiently and securely serve global clients.” When asked about their market position, particularly in relation to Amazon Web Services, Hu continued by saying: “The cloud business will be a very important sector for Alibaba. It took Amazon 10 years to get where it is today. It took us six years, and we hope to match or even surpass Amazon in three to four years.”

While the plans of Alibaba and Aliyun are certainly viable, they have seen their share of failed ventures in the past. Furthermore, the Aliyun cloud computing platform only represents a small portion of Alibaba’s operations within the information technology. While their latest round of funding will certainly allow them to pursue future cloud developments and technology, it’s really anybody’s guess as to how their efforts will shape up in the future.


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