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Alibaba Cloud - Introduction


Alibaba is one of such online retail giants which has shown massive growth in cloud computing business over past few years. Alibaba is a leading public cloud service provider in China and 5th largest in the world. Alibaba Cloud also is known as Aliyun, provides a vast range of cloud computing services both for international customers and Alibaba group’s own e-commerce ecosystem.  

Alibaba Cloud provides high-performance elastic computing power in the cloud and services like data storage, relational databases, big-data processing, anti-DDoS protection and content delivery networks. It is also in the research and development of large database systems and advanced big data technologies. Aliyun has 765,000 paying customers and 2,300,000+ customers all over the world at present time.

Benefits of Alibaba Cloud

1. Cloud Security

It safeguards your web applications with Alibaba Cloud’s Anti-DDoS technology, including Anti-DDoS protection integrated into all ECS instances.

2. No Boundaries for Cloud

It cut downs the waiting time and deploy globally on Alibaba Cloud’s international network of 14 data centers and manage all regions through a single global account.

3. Protection of Data

Aliyun has high-level international certificates for providing data security to its customers which includes Gold certificate of cloud security from the British Standards Institute.

4. Fast Computing Power

It saves the time with Alibaba Cloud's advanced big data-backed technology, and very fast data sorting speed.

Must Read: Choosing the right cloud provider - AWS vs Azure vs GCP

Alibaba Cloud Vs AWS

Alibaba started the cloud computing business just after three years of Amazon launching its cloud segment - AWS. Alibaba Cloud has grown at a faster pace than Amazon’s AWS due to the fact that Alibaba Cloud is the dominator in the China which is a very promising and fast-growing market. While Alibaba is a principal e-commerce company in China, AWS is the biggest in U.S. Their dominance have been proved by NASDAQ that listed Amazon’s market exceeds $400 billion and Alibaba was valued at $250 billion according to its NYSE share price.

Alibaba’s cloud unit is growing at a fast speed with triple digit over year growth from its last seven quarters. Based on this growth, Alibaba Cloud will reach its profits in probably one or two quarters. Alibaba Cloud has already achieved $1 billion run rate in its recent quarter which is not close to AWS which achieved $3.53 billion but yet not too bad. It is likely that Alibaba Cloud could become profitable for the company over the next couple of years.   

alibaba vs AWS.jpg

Like AWS, Alibaba also started with small customers. But, the company says that it has already proven that it can handle the workload from larger customers based on the abilities it has to handle its own massive e-commerce and financial services businesses.

Moreover, the cloud computing market in China could grow at a CAGR of about 45% over the next few years, according to an estimate by Bain & Company. Also, it is forecasted that AWS revenues could grow to almost 30% over the next few years, while Alibaba Cloud revenues could grow at 40% in the same period.

Must Read: The 5 Benefits & Role of Cloud Computing in Digital Transformation

How Alibaba is getting over International Markets ?

Alibaba is moving to International markets at an exceptionally fast pace. Alibaba is trying to grow more in emerging markets, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region as compared to developed markets. In an attempt to consolidate its presence in the region, Alibaba recently signed an agreement with Japanese telecommunications and Internet provider Softbank to expand its cloud computing operations in Japan.

Also, now it has been announced by Alibaba and the International Olympic Committee that Alibaba will become the official Cloud Services and Cloud Infrastructure provider for the Olympics. Alibaba will help the Olympic Games to operate more efficiently, effectively and securely, including supporting big data analytics.

Alibaba Cloud has also signed contracts with European businesses which include multinational firms like Schneider and Philips. In Europe, the company is currently working with two types of clients. One set is "European clients who want to go to China, or go to Asia" and the other is Chinese companies that are expanding their operations in the opposite direction.


The Alibaba Cloud, being the dominant cloud provider in China, Alibaba is positioned to benefit from the growth of China’s cloud computing market which is still at early stages. Aliyun’s global operations have just begun but it has proven it has the hardware, the software and the engineering talent to compete on a global scale.

It can have a competitive advantage in the longer term as it is getting demands from Chinese companies going global and demand from overseas clients seeking a presence in China. For its full financial year 2016, Aliyun showed a 138% growth in revenues and revenues increased 130% in the quarter ended September 30 when compared with the same period last year marking.

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