Aliyun, the cloud computing division of Chinese e-retail giant Alibaba, announced Sunday the creation of a new Marketplace Alliance Program (MAP), aimed at allowing company to localize its public cloud offering around the world through partnerships with regional enterprises.
By teaming up to offer services from local data centers, Aliyun will be able to overcome customer concerns about data residency, and will be able to pursue contracts with businesses with data sovereignty requirements. As an added benefit, the company will forgo large infrastructure costs by avoiding building its own data centers.
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MAP “is designed to bring our customers the best cloud computing solutions by partnering some of the most respected technology brands in the world,” said Aliyun Vice President Ethan Yu in an official statement. “We will continue to bring more partners online to grow our cloud computing ecosystem.”
The program launched with several notable partners already on board, including American tech company Intel, Singapore telecom provider Singtel, Dubai-based holding company Meraas Holdings, French cloud service provider LINKBYNET, US data center provider Equinix, and more.
While Alibaba seeks to expand to foreign markets quickly through local partnerships, many of its partners may see an opportunity to grow business in China and Asia through Aliyun.
This move comes just one month after Aliyun’s expansion to the Middle East and two months after Aliyun opened its first overseas data center in Silicon Valley, and shows a clear trend towards expansion into new regions and industries for the Alibaba Group.
With the continued push towards a global reach, we could see Aliyun emerging as a major global competitor in the public cloud market. As of June 1st, Aliyun already boasts some 1.4 million customers, prompting some analysts and pundits to speculate that the company is larger than Amazon Web Services.
According to research from IDC, global spending on public cloud infrastructure will grow 25% to $21 billion and this year, while Gartner predicts a 32% annual grown on cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) spending.
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