Alibaba’s cloud division has received a boost in order to compete with ecommerce rival Amazon’s AWS.
Alibaba has said it will invest all of its incremental profits into areas into its technological ecommerce arms after a record $2.8 billion fine meant the company suffered its first quarterly loss in nine years.
“We are seeing a strong demand for cloud-native technologies in emerging verticals across the region, from e-commerce and logistics platforms to fintech and online entertainment,” Alibaba cloud intelligence president Jeff Zhang said in a statement.
“Our focus on innovation and data center investments, as well as talent development is in anticipation of a digital-first future.”
Alibaba’s cloud services arm, which is modelled on Amazon Web Services (AWS), was started as a result of the company’s need to serve its massive online shopping operation.
However, its cloud service revenue rose at a disappointing rate following competition from Tencent and Huawei Technologies, rising just 37 per cent in March’s quarter, incidentally the slowest pace since 2014 after a major client pulled out.
Alibaba is seeking to renew faith in its cloud based services after ByteDance, which owns video streaming platform TikTok, made the decision to drop Alibaba as its cloud provider and instead rely on services from in-house servers and AWSm, according to Bloomberg.
The ecommerce giant is opening data centres in Philippines and Malaysia by the end of this year after announcing the launch of one in Indonesia recently.
Alibaba was ranked third in the Infrastructure-as-a-service or IaaS cloud provider in 2020, ranked behind rivals Amazon and Microsoft, according to Gartner.
The company also announced it was investing $1 billion in its “AsiaForward” project which looks to nurture 100,000 developers tech startups in the next three years.
Meanwhile, Alibaba’s Tmall, the largest cross-border ecommerce platform in China, announced it was launching “Go Global 11.11 Pitch Fest” in the UK and Ireland which is essentially a virtual event structured to help businesses grow their brands globally.
The event will provide an opportunity for small UK businesses to be fast-tracked into Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival which generated over $74 billion last year.
$494 million worth of goods from UK businesses were sold during the 11 day festival last year, showing continued strong demand for UK products among Chinese consumers.
Selected brands will be fast-tracked onto Tmall Global where they will be pitched to famous Chinese influencers with the chance to be included in one of the 11.11 livestreams, which are viewed by hundreds of millions of shoppers and potentially generating millions in revenues.
Selected entrants will be fast-tracked and launched on Tmall Global via one of two routes: Tmall Global Flagship store or Tmall’s Overseas Fulfilment programme.
Brands that are selected to participate will receive hands-on advice from Tmall Global, and their products will be featured on the marketplace during the shopping festival.
Welsh beauty tech brand SmoothSkin broadcast a livestream which was viewed by more than 103 million Chinese consumers.