Alibaba setting up cloud datacentre, international HQ in Singapore

Chinese internet giant also chooses Singapore as the international headquarters for its cloud business unit, Aliyun, as part of its recent US$1 billion investment to expand this segment.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Alibaba's cloud business, Aliyun, has announced plans to set up its international headquarters in Singapore as part of efforts to drive its global expansion.

It also confirmed a new datacentre will be established in the city-state slated to launch next month, the company said. With its opening, the site will be the seventh such facility worldwide and second outside of China, after it launched its Silicon Valley site in March. The Singapore facility will provide a range of cloud offerings including relational database, open storage, and security services.

The move is part of Alibaba's US$1 billion investment, unveiled last month, to drive its Aliyun business and edge out US rival, Amazon Web Services. It said the funds would go toward expanding its datacentre footprint, including new sites in Singapore, Japan, the Middle East, and Europe; growing its partner ecosystem as well as developing new cloud offerings.

Aliyun's vice president Yu Sicheng described Singapore as "a natural destination" to base its headquarters for overseas expansion, noting that the country was a "springboard" into the Asia-Pacific region for the Chinese company as well as its target audience.

Yu added: "The cloud datacentre in Singapore is a key milestone in our strategy to help businesses of all sizes innovate and scale, wherever they are based, and however they choose to grow."

"We are seeing healthy demand for cloud-related data management services in Singapore because of the ease of doing business, comprehensive transport and telecommunications connections, and robust intellectual property regime," Yu said. "The stable geo-political climate and abundance of highly skilled talent are advantages too."

The local facility will have direct links to Aliyun's global network comprising datacentres in Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Silicon Valley, and will support businesses--specifically Chinese organizations--investing in Southeast Asia.

Aliyun said its revenue from cloud and internet infrastructure climbed 106 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, and up from 82 percent in the previous quarter. It noted that it was the first cloud security provider in China to be awarded ISO27001 Information Security Management System Certification as well as the Cloud Security Alliance Star certification.

It currently has 1.8 million customers including Chinese government agencies and state-owned public service providers.

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