Alibaba Cloud has notched up a new milestone during the three months ending June, with the business surging past the one million paying customer mark.
The milestone represents an increase of 137,000 customers over the previous quarter, and contributed to 96 per cent year-on-year growth for the company’s cloud computing revenue, compared to the same quarter the year prior, to RMB2,431 million (US$359 million).
It should be noted, however, that the cloud business’s adjusted pre-tax earnings (EBITDA) in the quarter came in at a loss of RMB103 million (US$15 million), compared to a loss of RMB158 million in the same quarter of 2016.
It is likely that Alibaba’s continued re-investment in its cloud business has something to do with the earnings figures.
In late July 2015, the company revealed plans to pump US$1 billion into the Alibaba Cloud business in a bid to accelerate the global rollout of its cloud computing footprint.
Regardless, much of the revenue growth for the cloud computing business in the past quarter has been driven by customer growth and an improved revenue mix of higher valued-added services, which is reflected in ongoing increases in average revenue per user.
“Market expansion remains our top priority, and we will continue to invest to acquire customers by developing innovative solutions and deploying efficient and cost effective products and services,” the company said in a statement.
During the quarter, Alibaba Cloud launched several new offerings aimed lowering the barrier of migrating large-scale data to cloud services for traditional companies.
Additionally, as of mid-August 2017, Alibaba Cloud claims 19 types of Elastic Computing Service offerings that can be applied to 173 application scenarios, such as artificial intelligence, healthcare, video streaming, finance, e-commerce and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Meanwhile, Alibaba Cloud continues to expand its global footprint and customer base. During the quarter, the company announced plans to build two new data centres in Malaysia and Indonesia, adding to its presence in over 14 countries and regions, including Australia.
The company’s Sydney data centre opened up in November last year, effectively launching the company's cloud services in the local market and, along with it, a tentative local channel approach.
“We recognise that only if we work with local partners here, we will see success,” Alibaba Group managing director of A/NZ, Maggie Zhou, said late last year.