Alibaba to bring its cloud computing arm to UK

Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has delivered cloud computing capabilities for some years in its native country but it now appears to be branching out elsewhere, as it prepares for a UK launch. Its international plan follows a successful deployment in Australia, as Alibaba Cloud plans to open two new sites in London.

With operational centres also based in Frankfurt, Germany, and Dubai, there is a rapid expansion program underway as Alibaba looks to compete with other tech giants, Amazon and Microsoft. The company aims to target a new client-base with its new geographical advantages. Their general EMEA cloud manager, Yeming Wang, described their expansion process as “in direct response to the rapidly increasing demands we have seen for local facilities within the region.”

Alibaba Cloud now operates in 19 different locations, with plans to branch out further. Describing their aims of “using AI-powered and data-driven technology, our latest data centres will offer customers complete access to our wide range of cloud services,” which Wang said would include “services from machine learning capabilities to predictive data analytics.”

While Alibaba Cloud may be the largest of its kind in China, it faces competition from tech giants, such as Amazon, whose Amazon Web Services (AWS) output is also expanding in the UK. This comes following the recent announcement of three different regional tech hubs in the UK set to boost its offering. When added up with AWS’ research and corporate divisions, it already employs 6,500 people, showing the kind of challenge Alibaba faces to break into the UK cloud market.