Alibaba Group co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma will step down from his role on Sept. 10, 2019 to pursue philanthropic ventures, particularly in education. Current Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang will succeed Ma as chairman of the board. Zhang took over as CEO of the Chinese company from Ma in 2013. Alibaba Group is the parent company to Alibaba Cloud.
Alibaba Cloud has continued to gain market share from the other public cloud providers this year. In Alibaba Group’s last earnings call with investors, company executives said its cloud business, alongside its mainstay e-commerce business, led revenue growth. Alibaba’s revenue grew 61 percent year over year, and Alibaba Cloud revenue grew 93 percent year over year to $710 million.
This growth is due in part to its aggressive strategy as Alibaba pushes outside of its stronghold in China to new markets. This past week it confirmed that it is expanding to the UK, opening a data center in London. This is only the second region in Europe for the company. The first is located in Frankfurt, Germany.
The London data center will have high availability of 99.99 percent, a cooling system with N+1 redundancy, and dual availability zones for stronger disaster recovery capabilities. Customers in the region will have access to an array of Alibaba Cloud’s products including elastic computing, storage and content delivery network (CDN), container services, its hybrid cloud stack, IoT tools, and more.
Aside from the expansion into Europe, Alibaba Cloud has most recently been expanding into Southeast Asia. In August, it launched nine products and partnerships to boost its global market presence. This included a hybrid cloud product partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), which certifies Alibaba’s hybrid cloud stack Apsara on HPE’s platforms.
Alibaba has focused a lot of its growth in the Asia Pacific region in Malaysia. In July, Alibaba Cloud launched its second availability region in Malaysia and Alibaba Group opened an office in the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur in June.
While the company gains market share in the Asia Pacific region — Synergy Research ranked it as No. 2 in the region behind Amazon Web Services — it has taken a step back on expansion into the U.S., according to a report from The Information. Alibaba put the brakes on cloud growth in the region due to growing regulatory concerns between the U.S. and China.
Alibaba Cloud has two regions in the U.S. In this region it will now focus primarily on U.S. companies looking for cloud services in China, the report noted.
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