As one of the largest cloud technology providers in the world, Alibaba executives see cloud computing a core strategy in its global expansion.
“What cloud computing is to the Internet is what water and electricity to the real world. Cloud computing is infrastructure,” said Yu Sicheng, Vice President of Alibaba.
Yu spoke on Tuesday at the Computing Conference Beijing Summit about the opportunities that the globalization of cloud computing will bring.
Besides being the VP of Alibaba, Yu is the General Manager of overseas business at Alibaba Cloud, a cloud computing company that is a subsidiary of Alibaba Group.
Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is the fifth largest provider in the world in the public cloud market, according to a 2015 IDC report. As of March, it had attracted more than 2.3 million customers, according to Alibaba Cloud.
What is fundamental for a global cloud computing company?
“In order to build a global cloud computing platform, we need to decide where we will develop data center, teams, and partners. These are three fundamental factors,” said Yu.
Yu believes that no single cloud can extend to formal a single global cloud system; a global cloud system should be formed by many clouds and data centers. Alibaba Cloud has and will build data centers around the world in countries such as China, the United States, and Singapore.
Headquartered in Singapore, Alibaba Cloud’s overseas business operations are managed from their offices in the Southeast Asian city-state.
The shift in global Internet
30 years ago, Silicon Valley dominated global IT innovation. But over the past three decades, the hub of IT is gradually shifting from the United States to America and China, which has the largest population of Internet users, according to Yu.
According to the China Internet Network Information Center, China has 710 million Internet users as of June, 2016. The US has approximately 287 million. India, with its users numbering approximately 371 million, will possibly become the third pole in the global Internet industry.
China, as well as India, has risen to take an important role in the global Internet.
Alibaba Cloud’s two-year-old overseas business
Two years ago, Alibaba Cloud started its overseas business, which immediately started an ambitious program of overseas expansion.
Last month, Alibaba Group announced its cooperation with SoftBank to launch cloud computing services in Japan.
“The partnership with SoftBank helped Alibaba Cloud to operate its overseas business in an efficient and localized way in serving local customers and obtain local partners,” said Yu.
By the end of this year, it will launch four overseas data centers to support its global cloud.
At the same time, it is planning to enter the Australian market, further completing the global data center landscape of Alibaba Cloud.
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