Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has opened a data center hub in Silicon Valley, adding yet another gigantic player to a growing, but already hotly-contested cloud computing market.
Aliyun, Alibaba’s cloud computing arm, has been likened to Amazon.com’s Amazon Web Services unit and you can bet that [company]Amazon[/company], as well as [company]Google[/company] and [company]Microsoft[/company], are watching this development closely. Those American cloud giants are focused on boosting business and operations outside the U.S. — Microsoft and Amazon have presence in China, for example, and now Aliyun will return the favor with its first US-based data center.
The initial plan is for the Aliyun data center, the exact location of which was not disclosed, to target Chinese companies based in the U.S. and to expand from that base. In a statement Aliyun VP Ethan Sicheng Yu said:
… 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.
The U.S. expansion comes at an interesting time politically as well — relations are tense between the Chinese and U.S. governments and both sides have accused the other of spying on each other and using native tech companies to help in this effort.
Aliyun’s current data centers are in Hangzhou, Qingdao, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.