On Tuesday, Alibaba launched a host of cloud products as it is expanding its network across Asia. They announced the opening of a new data center by the end of 2021 and a third center in Indonesia. In addition, they debuted a live stream shopping online feature which has gained immense popularity in China. It is the largest cloud market vendor in the Asia-Pacific region and is looking to expand its reach.
In the past few years Alibaba has been promoting cloud computing outside China to expand its reach and compete with rivals Microsoft and Amazon. According to IDC, it had a 19.2 percent share in the Asia-Pacific market, while Amazon was at second place with a share of 10.5 percent.
Globally, Amazon’s AWS had a 50 percent growth with 13.5 billion in revenue for Q1 2021, followed by Microsoft’s Azure under Intelligent Cloud with a growth of 23 percent and a revenue of $15.1 billion. Google Cloud reported a revenue of 4.0 billion for the same quarter while Alibaba mentioned a slower growth and revenue of $2.6 billion.
The expansion of Alibaba Cloud Services outside China and the setting up of two data centers in the near future will increase its cloud services revenues in the Asia-Pacific region as these centers will boost the e-commerce giant’s cloud capacities in these regions.
The live stream shopping feature on Alibaba website or apps will allow e-commerce companies to broadcast their product live. These live streams would feature live hosts who talk about the products to online customers who can directly buy the advertised products through the live broadcast.
Live streaming has been a popular way to sell e-commerce products and it has been popular and successful method of shopping in China, increasing sales. Alibaba wants to bank on these increased sales outside China and hopes to make an impact on shoppers and lure customers away from rivals including Microsoft and Amazon.
Alibaba’s cloud services are seeing increasing competition from home grown tech giants including Tencent and Huawei. It needs to step up its cloud services to compete both locally and globally.