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Cloud busting: Alibaba pumps $1bn into Aliyun, hopes it will rain cash

Chinese tat bazaar ramps up anti-Amazon efforts in global cloud domination fight

Chinese Amazon equivalent Alibaba is pumping $1bn (£637m) into its cloudy arm Aliyun, thereby injecting cold, hard cash into its global domination plans.

The investment is intended to further its international presence, as the firm intends to cosy up with more local partners.

Part of the investment pot will be used to set up a global network of Aliyun cloud computing centres, including in the Middle East, Singapore, Japan and Europe, the company said.

In June, the Hangzhou outfit signed up a raft of international partners to flog its cloud services abroad. They included Intel and Equinix, with more to follow.

Aliyun has data centres in Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Silicon Valley, with a data centre in Dubai currently under construction. It told El Reg in May that it also has plans to open a data centre in Europe.

Alibaba's overall growth rate is soaring at 45 per cent. While the cloud unit is still relatively small – comprising $63m (£41m) in sales for the year out of overall revenue of $2.6bn (£1.8bn) – the company expects Aliyun's growth rate to outpace the rest of the biz.

“This additional $1bn investment is just the beginning," said Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba Group.

"We want to enable businesses to connect directly with consumers and drive productivity using data. Ultimately, our goal is to help businesses successfully transition from an era of information technology to data technology,” he added. ®

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