The new California data centre marks the Chinese company’s latest expansion onto an US market dominated by Amazon, Microsoft and Google.
Alibaba’s Aliyun cloud division intends the new data centre to cater initially to Chinese companies with operations in the United States. Later it will target US businesses seeking a presence in both countries.
Ethan Yu, a vice president at Alibaba who runs the international cloud business said that it was all part of Alibaba’s international expansion plans. The next stage would be a cloud on the East Coast, or somewhere in the middle of the US.
Aliyun is similar to Amazon Web Services and was part of the company’s in-house technical infrastructure. It has since expanded to lease processing and storage space for small and medium Internet businesses in China.
Aliyun, also known as Alibaba Cloud Computing, holds about a 23 percent market share in the Chinese market. It faces both Chinese and foreign competitors, from carriers like China Telecom to Microsoft and Amazon. Its existing data centers span the Chinese cities of Hangzhou, Qingdao, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.