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Alibaba launches localized cloud alliance with Intel and Equinix

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Alibaba partnerships will save it money on data center builds

Alibaba Group’s cloud-computing unit Aliyun is launching a partnership with Intel and other major telcos and internet companies, aimed at localizing cloud services.

The Marketplace Alliance Program will use partners to see that cloud services ‘meet the regional needs of global developers.’ Other alliance members include PCCW, PCWLF of Hong Kong, Equinix, Singtel of Singapore, Meraas Holdings of Dubai and Linkbynet of France.

The statement also quoted Intel cloud-service general manager Raejeanne Skillern as saying: “For years Intel and Alibaba have collaborated on optimizing hardware and software technology across the data center for Alibaba’s unique workloads. As a partner in Aliyun’s Marketplace Alliance Program, Intel looks forward to continuing our collaboration to promoting joint technology solutions that are based on Intel Architecture specifically tailored to the rapidly growing market of international public cloud consumers.”

These partnerships put it in direct competition with Amazon, Google and Microsoft. The deals – including one with Intel – will see Aliyun, Alibaba’s cloud division, use existing data centers built by the partner companies to promote its own services.

We want to be the enabler of other businesses. We want to change the industry

Simon Hu

 By not building new data centers Alibaba will save money and through the partnership be able to localize its cloud offering and tap potentially new markets.

“There are more and more storage problems and more and more clients are in need for bigger storage capabilities,” Simon Hu, President of Aliyun, told CNBC by phone. “We want to be the enabler of other businesses. We want to change the industry,” Hu said.

Success will breed success claims Hu

Hu is not worried by the competition and said that the success of Aliyun’s U.S. rivals will only help the company.

“They are great role models for Aliyun we want to learn from their strengths. At Aliyun we want to benefit from technology profits and help society create a better balance and increase efficiency,” Hu told news network CNBC.

Aliyun did not unveil what the pricing would look like but Hu said it would depend on the locality.

Alibaba's founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma.

Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma.

This is not Aliyun’s first foray out of China however. Earlier this year, Alibaba opened a data center in Silicon Valley, its first on U.S. turf. But the latest partnerships signal Alibaba’s intent to

While Aliyun seeks to gain traction more quickly in foreign markets through partnerships, its partners in turn are looking to Aliyun for more business China and Asia.

As a MAP partner, Intel plans to promote joint Aliyun/Intel technology solutions “based on Intel architecture specifically tailored to the rapidly growing market of international public cloud consumers,” said Raejeanne Skillern, general manager of Intel’s cloud service provider business, in a statement. Skillern noted Intel’s longstanding work with Aliyun in “optimizing hardware and software technology across the datacenter for Alibaba’s unique workloads.”

Lim Seng Kong, managing director for Singtel’s global enterprise business, said MAP would allow the company to offer more choices in cloud infrastructure platforms to customers in China and globally. Through the parnership, “…we can also provide the springboard for Aliyun to grow its footprint in the Asia-Pacific, which is one of the fastest growing markets for cloud services.”

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