Alibaba to invest $40.2 billion in cloud computing services

SHANGHAI – Alibaba Group Holding will invest 200 billion yuan (S$40.2 billion) on cloud infrastructure such as data centres over the next three years, a major effort to extend one of its fastest-growing business segments to more countries.

The coronavirus pandemic has also increased demand for cloud and data centres.

The Chinese e-commerce giant plans to build more data centres to complement an existing network covering 21 regions around the world, the company said in a statement on Monday (April 20). It will continue to develop its own technologies in areas such as AI-inference chips to support that expansion in cloud services, it added.

Cloud has been one of the fastest-growing initiatives for Alibaba as it expands beyond its traditional e-commerce focus. The sector’s revenue rose 62 per cent to 10.7 billion yuan in the December quarter, driven by contributions from the company’s public cloud and hybrid cloud operations.

Alibaba warned in February that the coronavirus outbreak would have a broad impact on the Chinese economy and its business. While certain operations like grocery delivery and online entertainment benefited, others were hurt by complications with delivery and quarantine.

Alibaba shares fell earlier this year, but have recovered in recent weeks and are now little changed for the year.

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