Alibaba To Expand Cloud Computing Business As Demands Keep Rising

Alibaba Cloud
Alibaba Cloud ads shown along the Causeway Bay Hennessy Road tram station (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

At the recently held Cloud Summit in Beijing, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd unveiled a slew of new cloud computing products, which are aimed at further expanding the company's services in the specific industry.

Chinese technology billionaire Jack Ma's company and its cloud unit, Alibaba Cloud, hopes to redefine its cloud strategy through its new products and its expansion in both China and overseas.

Some of the suites of products that were unveiled during the event included its new super-computing bare-metal server instance, its new accelerator for easy testing and deployment of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, and its new cloud-native relational database service. These products are meant for different commercial use such as enterprise-grade database applications.

The Chinese firm has been keen on focusing most of its development efforts into cloud computing, given the growing demand for such services. The new business also works in conjunction with the company's retail arm, which has 70 percent of its data on Alibaba's cloud platform. The company's e-commerce sites currently account for more than 80 percent of online spending in the country, which means that it has to be state-of-the-art and stable around the clock.

According to Alibaba Group chief technology officer and Alibaba Cloud president Jeff Zhang, the new products are meant to further empower the company's thriving e-commerce ecosystem. The products are also meant to empower their other partners and potential customers, who should also benefit from the advanced services.

Zhang also boasted that the 10-year-old company now has more than 1 million paying customers in over 56 countries around the globe. It is also currently the largest provider of cloud services in China, with a larger share than most of its competitors combined.

Alibaba's cloud computing business is currently experiencing a massive amount of growth, making it a formidable rival to its global competitors. According to the 2018 report by the Synergy Research Group, Alibaba Cloud is currently ranked fourth in the list of the world's largest cloud service providers, just behind companies such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. However, if the company wants to climb up the rank, it would still have to deal with a lot of political and business-related hurdles.

The company has already successfully penetrated countries such as Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, but its expansion in Europe and North America is still somewhat a work in progress. The slow expansion in those areas has been exacerbated by recent political events and global scandals such as the recent allegation against other Chinese tech giants such as ZTE and Huawei. 

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