Alibaba is Going All Out on Cloud Computing Technology
It looks like there’s no stopping Alibaba from expanding its footprint in the Indian market. After investing $300 million in online grocery store Big Basket, the Chinese e-commerce giant has partnered with mobile payment firm Paytm to launch an artificial intelligence (AI) cloud computing platform, Paytm AI Cloud for India for developers, start-ups and enterprises in the subcontinent.
The made-in-India AI-powered platform offers a suite of business-centric apps for organizations that need high-quality solutions for cloud computing, ready-to-use services to automate their workflow, easy to integrate payments, messaging and customer engagement without the hassle of managing hardware and software. It aims to enable the future-of-work with cloud computing, AI and mobility-driven innovation. Alibaba Cloud will compete with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
The partnership didn’t come as a surprise because Alibaba holds 25 per cent stake in One97, the parent of mobile wallet Paytm, as part of a strategic agreement. Outside of the status as the largest cloud computing company in China, Alibaba Cloud operates 49 availability zones in 18 regions around the globe.
Decoding Alibaba’s Love for Cloud Computing
This is not the first time Alibaba founder and billionaire Jack Ma has shown interest in the cloud computing technology.
Alibaba launched its cloud computing business in 2009, just a few years after Amazon launched its cloud division, AWS, intensifying competition in the cloud computing space. Alibaba Cloud provides a comprehensive suite of global cloud computing services to power both their international customers’ online businesses and Alibaba Group’s own e-commerce ecosystem.
In December, Alibaba Cloud, the cloud-computing arm of Alibaba Group, opened its first India data centre in Mumbai. The company has partnered with Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), a subsidiary of Reliance Communications which will give direct access to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect via GCX's Cloud X Fusion service. The company has reached several milestones globally in this space.
A 2018 report by consulting firm Synergy Research Group says in the first quarter, Alibaba surpassed IBM to become the world's fourth-biggest provider of cloud infrastructure and related services (Microsoft, Amazon and Google make the top three). The report shows that Alibaba’s revenue doubled for the quarter year-over-year, rising to $699 million, while the firm’s total cloud revenue also increased 100 per cent throughout 2017, up to $2.14 billion. The tech giant, however, still trails behind big names like Amazon, Microsoft and Google.