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Alibaba opens data center in Dubai

Reporter: Nawied Jabarkhyl 丨 CCTV.com

11-24-2016 01:11 BJT

China’s Alibaba Group has opened a data centre in Dubai, marking its major physical entry into the Middle East market.

A year after signing a joint venture with Dubai-based holding group Meraas, Alibaba has launched its first data centre in the region.

Situated in Dubai, it’s hoping to offer cloud storage services to governments and businesses across the Middle East and North Africa.

“I think for Alibaba, internationalisation is number one priority for us in terms of a strategy in the coming decade going forward," said Yu Sicheng, Vice President, Alibaba Group.

"So, for us to expand our capability to service local clients in each of those emerging regions especially, I think is a very, very important piece of our global strategy.”

The data centre is one of four international hubs that Alibaba Group is opening by the end of this year – to try and gain a bigger slice of the global market for cloud computing – which research firm Canalys thinks will be worth $135 billion by 2020.

Although known around the world as an e-commerce company, Alibaba Group is determined to expand its cloud and data unit worldwide, in order to compete with the likes of IBM, Microsoft and Amazon.

That makes developing regions like this one – the Middle East and North Africa – crucial for the companies looking to get ahead in the market.”

Similar centres are being opened in Germany, Japan and Australia within the next month.

But the one here in Dubai will be the region’s only dedicated public cloud server.
Alibaba says there should be no concerns though, about the safety of confidential data.

“I think security is really a very important piece of any cloud offering and we actually try our very, very best to put priority on that," Yu Sicheng said.

"As a matter of fact, we’ve gained lots of certifications, including for example ISO, including the MTCS to give our customers comfort so that their data is very secure.”

The new centres are part of the Chinese firm’s $1 billion infrastructure investment drive

It says there are currently no concrete plans for a second centre in the MENA region but that options are open.

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