Alibaba’s cloud computing arm will close out the end of the year with four new data centers in a move that Alibaba Cloud is calling a “major milestone” in the Chinese company’s global expansion.
According to an announcement on Monday, the four data centers will open by the end of 2016 in the Middle East (Dubai), Europe, Australia and Japan, bringing its network to 14 locations around the world.
Alibaba Cloud started the rollout on Monday with the launch of its data center in Dubai. Alibaba said that with the launch, it will be the first major global public cloud services provider to offer cloud services from a local data center in the Middle East. According to Gartner, the public cloud services market in Middle East and North Africa region is projected to grow 18.3 percent in 2016 to $879.3 million, up from $743.1 million in 2015.
“Alibaba Cloud has contributed significantly to China’s technology advancement, establishing critical commerce infrastructure to enable cross-border businesses, online marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing and big data to work together seamlessly,” Simon Hu, President of Alibaba Cloud said in a statement. “We want to establish cloud computing as the digital foundation for the new global economy using the opportunities of cloud computing to empower businesses of all sizes across all markets.”
The new locations offer access to various services such as data storage and analytics, and cloud security, the company says.
In its most recent earnings, Alibaba’s cloud unit revenue jumped 130 percent to 1.5 billion yuan in the quarter. The division currently has 651,000 paying customers.
Alibaba Cloud’s first European data center will be launched in partnership with Vodafone Germany in a facility based in Frankfurt.
Expanding its footprint in Asia-Pacific, Alibaba Cloud is opening a data center in Sydney by the end of 2016. It will have a dedicated team based in Australia to help build partnerships with local technology companies.
Finally, its Japanese data center is hosted by SB Cloud Corporation, a joint venture between Softbank and Alibaba Group.
“The four new data centers will further expand Alibaba Cloud’s global ecosystem and footprint, allowing us to meet the increasing demand for secure and scalable cloud computing services from businesses and industries worldwide. The true potential of data-driven digital transformation will be seen through globalization and the opportunities brought by the new global economy will become a reality,” Sicheng Yu, Vice President of Alibaba Group and General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Global said.