Alibaba Cloud’s European expansion is continuing, with the company launching two availability zones – each located in a separate physical data center – in London.
The UK is the largest public cloud market in Europe, according to Yeming Wang, GM of Alibaba Cloud EMEA, making it the perfect location for the company’s third availability zone in the EMEA region, after Dubai and Frankfurt.
Wang said Alibaba’s cloud offering consists of a “vertical” approach: “Alibaba Cloud is the enablement for all of the internal business, providing customers with infrastructure as well as a full software stack, using its dominance in e-commerce to offer its own sales, financial, payment, logistics and media platforms."
“Using AI-powered and data-driven technology, our latest data centers will offer customers complete access to our wide range of cloud services from machine learning capabilities to predictive data analytics – ensuring that we continue to offer an unparalleled level of service," Wang said. "We are incredibly proud to take this latest step in our continued investment in EMEA.”
Alibaba Cloud began its global expansion three years ago, having been a dominant force on the Chinese public cloud market for the past five years – where its still holds close to half of all market share.
The company has since built data centers in the APAC region, where Wang says it has “many more data centers than any other company.” These include facilities in Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, India and Malaysia. The company has also opened data centers in the US, as well as in Europe. In total, Alibaba Cloud now operates in 19 regions worldwide.
The company's facilities in Dubai were developed in partnership with local property investor Meeras Holdings, while its data centers in Frankfurt are colocation facilities. Alibaba kept quiet about whether the data centers in London were its own, but Wang stressed that the distinctly Chinese company's global ambitions often relied on establishing local partnerships.
When Alibaba announced that it would continue building out its European footprint, it named Sweden and the UK as potential locations. London was confirmed last month, though the company didn’t publicize the move - merely updating its website to offer early bird plans and free services to prospective customers.
When asked whether it still had plans to launch a region in the Nordics, Wang said that while the company is considering future locations in either Sweden or France, it is still too early to confirm either.