Alibaba's cloud service launches global programme for start-ups

Mr Pang Heng Soon, General Manager of Infocomm Investments, Mr Yu Sicheng, vice president of Alibaba Cloud (centre) and Dr Sun Wenting, chief technology officer of digital marketing start-up Adplus Platform were at the launch of Alibaba Cloud's first global start-up programme. PHOTO: ALIBABA CLOUD

SINGAPORE - Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, launched its global start-up programme "Create@Alibaba Cloud" on Monday (Apr 11).

The programme will give start-ups access to Alibaba Cloud's cloud infrastructure services, with programme participants to receive US$10,000 (S$13,400) for products or services purchased on Alibaba Cloud.

In addition, participants will receive one-on-one post-sales support every six weeks from Alibaba Cloud's architects to build their IT infrastructure. Alibaba Cloud will also help participants in their marketing efforts through the e-commerce giant's online and offline channels, the company said.

Other perks for participants include being able to tap on Alibaba's expertise on China, including connecting with investors, incubators in the e-commerce giant's networks, as well as training on Chinese laws, finance and tax regulations.

The start-up programme is part of Alibaba Cloud's push into South-east Asia, as it tries to get companies to sign up for its cloud computing services.

Mr Yu Sicheng, vice-president of Alibaba Cloud, highlighted the company's differentiating factors in offering its cloud infrastructure services.

"Alibaba Cloud is the only cloud that can allow you to deploy resources across the world... with data connectivity in one account."

He emphasised Alibaba's ability to process huge volumes of transactions, citing Alibaba Cloud's ability to handle 300 million transactions in 24 hours during the November Singles' Day sales, adding that the volume was more than that of Visa and Mastercard combined.

Mr Yu also added that Singapore was chosen for the launch of the programme because of its "good culture and reputation for the start-up ecosystem".

Singtel is one of Alibaba Cloud's local partners in Singapore, after the two entered into a cloud computing alliance in June.

Alibaba Cloud has been operating since 2009, reportedly serving more than 1.8 million customers. While it is still an underdog in the global cloud computing industry, it has its eyes on international expansion, and looks set to challenge market leader Amazon for a slice of the pie in global cloud infrastructure, valued by US market researcher IDC at US$32 billion in 2015.

It opened its first overseas data centre in Silicon Valley in March last year.

Amazon led the global cloud infrastructure market with a 28 per cent share in 2014, trailed by Microsoft, IBM and Google Inc at 10, 7 and 5 per cent, respectively, according to Synergy Research Group.

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