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Alibaba eager to scale its cloud operations beyond China

Based on the theme 'In Asia, for Asia', the company looks to go deeper in regions like Singapore, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Malaysia, etc

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Alibaba, a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company specialising in e-commerce, retail, payments, internet, and technology, has set its roadmap to accelerate its growth outside China market. The company has been eager to scale its operations beyond China. The company has announced a slew of initiatives taken for Asia Pacific markets at the recently held Alibaba Cloud Summit in Singapore. The new initiatives will help grow its cloud ecosystem and allow entrepreneurs in the APAC region access to the China market.

Interestingly, it was a first-of-its-kind regional summit, which Alibaba organised to showcase its commitment for the Asia Pacific markets. Based on the theme ‘In Asia, for Asia’, the company looks to go deeper in regions like Singapore, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Malaysia, etc. It has been investing in technology capabilities like AI, business analytics and building local data centres for penetrating into newer markets. Besides the launch of the latest product and solutions portfolio, the launch of China Gateway and Saas Accelerator programs for its partners and customers ecosystem were among the two big announcement by the Alibaba Cloud Intelligence international team.

In Asia, for Asia
Alibaba Cloud has the largest infrastructure footprint in the Asia Pacific region, with 15 availability zones outside mainland China, covering Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and Japan markets. It is also the only global cloud provider with local data centres in Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as launching the first cloud-based Anti-DDoS Scrubbing Centre in Malaysia last year as an additional layer of protection for customers.

Started its journey from Singapore, Alibaba Cloud launched a landmark China Gateway Program with eight local partners. The program leverages the accumulated technological knowledge and experience of Alibaba Cloud, which has powered Alibaba Group’s growth to help local businesses capture and capitalise on growth opportunities in Asia and China. Through local partners in Singapore and around the region, Alibaba Cloud will provide firms of all sizes with an in-depth immersion program on doing business in China, connecting them to Chinese companies and consumers via the Alibaba ecosystem.

In her first public appearance, Selina Yuan, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence – International, says, “We are fulfilling Jack Ma’s mission to make business easier everywhere. Alibaba Cloud has been paving the way for a digital era across Asia Pacific by building cloud infrastructure. Together with our partners, we are confident of helping local businesses of all sizes and from all backgrounds to grow in the region. We will be collaborating with local partners and leverage the digital transformation and smart cities initiatives. Alibaba Cloud continues to empower its partners to thrive in the ecosystem by better capturing and capitalising on growth opportunities in the Asia Pacific. Selina highlighted that there is 700 enterprises including SMEs to have the benefits from this year. We will have more customers and SMEs to extend their business in China market.”

SaaS Accelerator for local partners
A platform where technology partners can easily build and launch SaaS applications and leverage proven business and technology know-how in the Alibaba Economy. The accelerator helps SaaS providers quickly deploy and test their applications on the cloud, shorten the implementation lifecycle, and accelerate time-to-market. It enables ecosystem partners, such as enterprises in the e-commerce, lodging, and travel industries, to quickly reach their customers on Alibaba platforms. It also defines three centers for the SaaS ecosystem: the commercial centre, the capability centre, and the technology centre.

Ma Jin, General Manager of Product and Solution Management Department, Alibaba cloud Intelligence says, “We had officially announced first for the Chinese market. Now we are bringing it for the first time outside China for our international partners and application developers. Our SaaS accelerator takes less than five days to develop an app and back into ecosystems. We have also developed mini-programs to connect with the local partners.”

Alibaba-WeWork partnership
Under the China Gateway program, Alibaba Cloud made its strategic partnership with WeWork. Christian Lee, Vice Chairman, WeWork Asia says, “When we began our journey in China back in 2016, and we had to adopt a localised approach to navigate in this very unique business environment. We are grateful that we have developed a successful strategy and built the largest workplace platform in China. WeWork plays a critical role in the China Gateway program as WeWork’s workspace is standardised and localised at the same time; there is no learning curve nor preparation in using the space, just the same as bringing their laptops to WeWork spaces in other parts of the world. This is especially important for the program participants because they can focus their attention on growing their businesses rather than worrying about real estate and the upfront office setting costs.”

India is a key cloud market
Alibaba Cloud has been the most active business in the India market, with growth in terms of investments and talent had aggressively backed Indian startups including Paytm, Zomato, BigBasket, DLF Shopping Malls,Snapdeal, etc. In 2018, Alibaba Cloud launched two availability zones in India with product offerings such as elastic computing, storage, database, network, application services, and big data analytics to cater to the requirements of local governments and enterprises.

Speaking for the Indian market, she says, “India is an important market and we have a dedicated local team and customers like Paytm and other local customers are using Alibaba Cloud. The company is looking to work with startups and enhancing products and services localisation capabilities.”

Henry Zhang, Chief Product Officer, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International, informs, “We have a dedicated localisation team which strives and delivers localised messaging and enhances the end-user experience. Localisation testing, language, and communication interface have been the core focus for the Indian market. Indian customers are very much on cutting edge, in a way some of the fastest startups who can be next-gen enterprises like Paytm and Big Basket are leading a charge. We have learned a lot from working with these Indian customers. We will continue to work with some of these start-ups and on the continuum. We will ensure that we will build products and features that will benefit India’s customers.”

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