Alibaba's cloud computing arm to offer services to Indian enterprises from January 2018

Alibaba Group Holding is set to expand its operations in India from e-commerce to cloud computing services with the launch next month of a new data centre in the country, Asia’s third-largest information technology market after Japan and China.

It marks an escalation of Alibaba Cloud’s international development initiatives as it seeks to unseat Amazon Web Services (AWS), a unit of US e-commerce firm Amazon, as the world’s top provider of cloud services.

Chinese conglomerate Alibaba Wednesday said it is setting up a new data center in Mumbai which will become operational next month. “…clients can start to sign up for services to be delivered in its new India data centre, which is set to open in January 2018,” Alibaba Cloud – the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group – said in a statement.

Located in Mumbai, the data centre will help meet the surging demand for cloud computing services among Indian small and medium businesses in the region, it added. The company, however, did not disclose the investment made for the centre.

“India is a key market in Alibaba Cloud’s globalisation strategy, and the firm sees tremendous business opportunity given the rapid growth of the Indian economy and the nature of the enterprises looking to expand from the country,” the statement said.

Alibaba Cloud’s suite of high-performance cloud products will include large-scale computing, storage resources, and Big Data processing capabilities. Alibaba Cloud now has 33 availability zones across 16 economic centres globally, with coverage extending across mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, India and the US (East and West Coast).

“As we build out the Alibaba Cloud network globally, India is another important piece that is now firmly in place,” Simon Hu, Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group and President of Alibaba Cloud said. Alibaba Cloud will establish a local team of dedicated professional consultants to provide service planning, implementation and after-sales support, the statement said.

Alibaba Cloud has partnered Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), a subsidiary of Reliance Communications that enables direct access to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect via GCX’s CLOUD X Fusion service, the statement said. As announced earlier, Alibaba Cloud has also partnered Tata Communications to provide direct access to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect via Tata Communications’ IZOTM Private Connect service, it added.