Alibaba Invests $1B into its Cloud Business

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When cloud enthusiasts first heard of Alibaba’s global push to become a player in the cloud market, some critics voiced their skepticism. Alibaba, who is the operator of the cloud network Aliyun, has pledged to invest $1B into its cloud platform in order to become more on par with Amazon, Azure and other major players in the IaaS arena.
According a press release, Alibaba’s Aliyun says that it will use the $1B investment to build what it calls an alliance based ecosystem. With this new ecosystem, Aliyun looks to offer businesses lower prices on services offered in the cloud. Aliyun is looking to gain a stronghold on underserved cloud markets such as Japan, Europe and the Middle East. New data centers will be constructed in these regions which will help Aliyun get clientele and recognition within these parts of the world.
It should be noted that Aliyun recently launched its first US datacenter several months ago. Aliyun publically says that it wants to become a provider on par with the largest IaaS providers in the market today.
“Our goal is to overtake Amazon in four years, whether that’s in customers, technology, or worldwide scale,” says Simon Hu, President of Aliyun.
“Amazon, Microsoft and others have already laid the groundwork for us by educating the markets about cloud in the U.S. and Europe, so we have an even better opportunity to join in the competition,” mentions Hu.
Aliyun says that it has 1.4M customers, who mainly reside within China. Aliyun was able to procure these customers through Alibaba’s popular ecommerce platform. When these sellers setup stores on Alibaba, they are technically using a cloud platform to do so.
Alibaba will likely look at its existing customer base and try to branch out from there in order to achieve its goal of “Overtaking Amazon” as stated by their executive staff.