Australia is one of four countries next in line to play host to Alibaba Cloud’s growing network of data centres, with the Chinese internet giant set to open a new data centre in Sydney by the end of the year.
Alibaba Cloud – also known as Aliyun, was established in 2009, and is the cloud business unit of Chinese e-commerce leviathan Alibaba.
The company revealed plans on 21 November to open up four new data centres by the close of 2016, as part of its $1 billion investment drive to boost its cloud computing unit.
The new data centres will open in Australia, Japan, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates - with the Dubai-based data centre already starting initial operations.
The latest additions will bring Alibaba Cloud’s worldwide data centre total to 14, including two in the United States.
It is hoped the new sites will help the company take on the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure in a bid to compete for a larger share of the cloud computing market outside China.
According to Alibaba Group vice president and general manager of Alibaba Cloud Global, Ethan Yu, the new data centres will further expand the company’s global ecosystem and footprint, “allowing us to meet the increasing demand for secure and scalable cloud computing services from businesses and industries worldwide".
With Australia and the other new regions set to receive new Alibaba Cloud data centres by 2016, the company claims to have a presence on every continent except Africa, South America, and Antarctica.
“We will [open] more data centres around the world, based on markets and customer response, that’s for sure,” said Yu.
It is understood that, while Alibaba Cloud usually works closely with local industry partners when setting up data centres in new markets to help reduce capital investment risk, the company will have a dedicated team in Australia.
However, the Alibaba Cloud plans to build up a cloud ecosystem with local technology partners to drive cloud and big-data business in the region.
The move follows an earlier announcement by Alibaba that it will open an office in Melbourne, also by the end of 2016.
At the same time, the company will bring its most popular cloud services in data storage and processing services, enterprise-level middleware, and cloud security services to the Australian market.
At present, Alibaba Cloud claims to have more than 2.3 million customers worldwide, including 651,000 paying clients, and it is no secret that the company has set its sights on tackling the world’s largest cloud provider, AWS, in terms of market share.
According to Alibaba, the company’s cloud business has been growing its top line at triple-digit rates, with revenues jumping 130 percent to RMB 1.49 billion ($292.4 million) in the September quarter.