A visitor looks at Alibaba Cloud's display booth during the Singles' Day event. (Photo : Getty Images)
Australian small to midsize enterprises (SMEs) looking to do business in China will now have easier access as Alibaba Cloud, also known as Aliyun, opened its new data center in Sydney, the fourth data center opened this month, following launches in Japan, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
An article by zdnet.com said that the move is part of Aliyun's efforts to expand its global presence against other market players that include Amazon, Microsoft and Google. It now has a physical presence in 14 locations around the world that includes mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the U.S.
Aliyun also plans to expand its local team which is based in Sydney and Melbourne, to help build the local cloud ecosystem, the article said.
Alibaba Group announced on Nov. 21 that Sydney was chosen to be one of the four locations for its data center, as part efforts to enhance its cloud computing unit, with $1 billion worth of investment.
As China's largest trading partner, it was easy for Alibaba Group to pick Australia as the location for its data center.
Sicheng Yu, VP of Alibaba Group said in a press conference on Monday, Nov. 28, that Aliyun can help Australian small to mid-size enterprises (SMEs) to do business in China, considering its strength and scale in the local market.
Yu added that customers of Alibaba Cloud were able to manage their organizations in different regions with one global account.
"We are a real global cloud [platform] in terms of having a global infrastructure covering both the west side and east side," Yu said.
"If an Australian enterprise is looking to set up an e-commerce portal serving their global customer needs, including the Australian local market, the Middle East, and China, what you would typically do is acquire a virtual machine from a cloud vendor, plus the connectivity in those locations, plus the data center," Yu added. "We would be the perfect vendor to provide this because we have facilities in all these locations."
According to the company, it can both connect technologically and commercially the east-west gap for businesses through its program called AliLaunch. The program, which was launched in August, can help partners pass the hurdles that international companies meet when expanding into China.
However, compared to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Alibaba Cloud has limited presence as it has 35 availability zones and 13 regions globally. Some of the new regions in China, Canada, Ohio, and the United Kingdom are still in the process of going online.
Beginning in 2009 as a separate entity, Alibaba Cloud was able to acquire more than 2.3 million users worldwide, with more than 650,000 customers that included developers, SMEs and big global organizations.
During the 11.11 online shopping festival, Alibaba Cloud used its super computational engine Aspara to process 175,000 transactions per second on its ecommerce platforms during peak traffic.
In Australia, the company said that its initial focus will be to help small businesses move to the cloud as Alibaba Cloud president Simon Hu believes that Australia is a strong market for its cloud unit. He also expects that the general adoption of cloud will be faster than in other regions outside China.
Yu named Accenture as its only partner in Australia.
In the third quarter this year, Alibaba Group had posted a total revenue of $5.14 billion. About 83 percent of Alibaba's revenue may be attributed to e-commerce while Alibaba Cloud total sales rose from 3 percent in 2015 to 4 percent this year. Its cloud revenue surged 130 percent from last year to $244 million.