Alibaba Grows Data Centre Portfolio With New Facility

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Alibaba is to open another data centre just outside Hong Kong, as it grows its AliCloud service offering

Alibaba is to open a fifth data centre in mainland China, as the Chinese e-commerce giant continues to grow its cloud computing businesses, AliCloud.

The new data centre facility will open in Shenzhen, a major city in the south of Southern China’s Guangdong Province.

New Facility

Alibaba’s cloud business, AliCloud, was founded in September 2009 and, according to Reuters, it pulled in $38m (£23m) in revenue during the quarter ending in June. AliCloud began as an in-house service, but has since expanded to cater for small to medium-sized Chinese businesses.

The new data centre will serve “large and small companies, financial institutions and other third parties in southern China,” Alibaba was quoted as saying in a statement on Friday. The new facility will join a recently opened data centre in Hong Kong, as well as three other Alibaba facilities in China, namely in Beijing, Hangzhou, and Qingdao.

data centre server speed storage fast © Spectral-Design ShutterstockInformation about the new facility remains sketchy, although some media reports state that it will house 10,000 servers and will provide a number of cloud services, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), load balancing, a relational database service, and an open storage service among others.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to enhance our services to better serve the cloud computing needs of users, we have chosen to open a data centre in Shenzhen to provide customers with more options for network nodes and further enhance the reliability of user application services and response speed,” Ben Wang, president of AliCloud, was quoted as saying by Business Cloud News.

“For users in Southern China and the Pearl River Delta region, using Shenzhen nodes will lower network latency, reduce data transmission time, and greatly enhance the user experience,” Wang reportedly said.

Alibaba’s cloud ambitions mirror that of its American e-commerce rival Amazon. Its AWS cloud is proving to be a popular growth driver at Amazon, and is providing a growing revenue stream for the American company.

Alibaba IPO

Its Chinese rival, however, is currently locked into what could be a potential record-breaking IPO in America.

Alibaba filed its IPO paperwork in May for a flotation, in which Alibaba expects to raise $1 billion (£589m). Earlier predictions, though, suggested that the online retailer could actually raise as much as $15bn (£8.8bn) in its floatation.

What makes Alibaba attractive to foreign investors is the fact that the company holds an 80 percent share in the promising Chinese e-commerce market. Its Taobao and Tmall websites and Alipay payment system give it access to China’s 618 million web surfers.

Yahoo meanwhile holds 22.6 percent of the Chinese company, after Alibaba recently splashed out $7.1bn (£4.1bn) to buy back some of Yahoo’s stake,

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