Alibaba Eyes Global Expansion With E-Commerce And Cloud

Jack Ma wants to sell $1 trillion of marketplace goods by 2020, with new Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang aiming for absolute globalisation

Following the announcement that Alibaba’s cloud division, Aliyun, is eyeing up Middle Eastern expansion, the e-commerce player’s new CEO has set the firm’s sites on global domination.

In Daniel Zhang’s first speech as Alibaba boss, the 43-year-old said: “We must absolutely globalise. “We will organise a global team and adopt global thinking to manage the business, and achieve the goal of ‘global buy and global sell.”

alibabaJack Ma, Alibaba’s current chairman, has set a determined goal of reaching $1 trillion (£634bn) of merchandise sales on Alibaba’s marketplaces by 2020. Last week, Alibaba reported $394 billion in GMV (gross merchandise volume) for the year ending March 31.

“Today, you can say Alibaba is in the process of achieving globalisation,” Zhang said. “Over the next five, 10 years, 30 years, this is the journey. We must absolutely globalise and it must be a successful effort—if not Alibaba won’t be able to last.”


Zhang also highlighted Alibaba’s cloud business as one for growth in the imminent future. Aliyun has a reported 1.4 million cloud customers in China, and serves as the Chinese government’s cloud computing provider, a task which is deemed too sensitive to let competitors such as AWS and Microsoft Azure handle. As of 2014, Aliyun held 22.8 percent of the cloud market share in China, according to IDC. This week, it was announced Aliyun had struck up its first cloud deal in the Middle East, partnering with Dubai-based consulting firm Meraas.

alibabaZhang said: “This year, I think it’s very important that cloud computing keeps growing its number of customers, the quality, efficiency.

“Cloud computing is taking off, I have confidence that (it) can become as important as e-commerce and finance because big data is our basic, fundamental, important platform.”

In March, Aliyun opened its first ever data centre on US soil. Located in Silicon Valley, the build makes no secret of Alibaba’s global aims against cloud competitors.

Sicheng Yu, Aliyun’s VP, said in a press release: “Aliyun offers users top-notch cloud computing products and services at competitive prices. Now Aliyun hopes to meet the needs of Chinese enterprises in the United States, and the ultimate objective of Aliyun is to bring cost-efficient and cutting-edge cloud computing services to benefit more clients outside China to boost their business development.”

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