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Alibaba will use Singapore to expand its cloud business overseas

As the “Amazon of China,” it’s only natural that Alibaba wants to expand its cloud division to better compete with the likes of Amazon Web Services. Ethan Yu, the vice president of the company’s cloud division, announced last night that Alibaba has chosen Singapore as the location of its next data center, as well as the headquarters of its overseas cloud business. This data center will be the company’s seventh overall and is expected to launch early next month. 

Alibaba, China’s ecommerce titan, seems to really like Singapore. Just over a month after Alibaba made a follow-up investment in SingPost (the two injections total US$456 million), the company today announced a major new cloud data center and a “headquarters of international business” in Singapore. Ethan Yu, VP of Aliyun, Alibaba’s cloud computing division, tells Tech in Asia that Alibaba already had a base and some staff in Singapore following earlier moves into the country, such as the launch of a Southeast Asia spin-off of its Taobao marketplace in 2013. Now, with the new data center which comes online in early September, Alibaba didn’t have enough office space – and “not enough people to support the Aliyun expansion,” he explains. Yu isn’t sure of the headcount in Singapore, but the number is up as Alibaba renews its interest in the country.

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