Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of the China-based Alibaba Group, on Wednesday announced to open a new data centre in India that will help nearly 51 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to begin their Cloud journey.
The Alibaba data centre, set to open in Mumbai in January, will begin a new competition for the existing players like Microsoft and Google in the country.
Microsoft sees Alibaba as the third competitor in the Cloud business in India, apart from Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
“We are excited to be officially opening our new Mumbai data centre in early 2018, enabling us to work closely with more Indian enterprises,” Simon Hu, Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group and President of Alibaba Cloud, said in a statement.
“These local enterprises are innovative and operating in growth sectors, and we look forward to empowering them through our Cloud computing and data technologies,” Hu added.
As a key market in the company’s cloud’s globalisation strategy, India offers a business opportunity for rapid economic growth and scope for enterprises to expand beyond the country.
“Our vision to empower enterprises to go global is extended to our Indian clients with cloud products, including computing, storage and big data processing capabilities,” the company said.
The data centre will also enable Indian businesses to run their applications on the company’s Cloud platform.
The data centre’s service offerings include computing, database, storage and content delivery, networking, analytics and big data.
Alibaba Cloud has tied up with Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), a subsidiary of Reliance Communications, that enables direct access to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect through GCX’s “Cloud X Fusion” service.
The company had earlier also announced a partnership with Tata Communications to provide direct access to Alibaba Cloud Express Connect through Tata Communications’ IZOTM Private Connect Service.
Alibaba Cloud has 33 zones in 16 economic centres worldwide, with coverage extending across China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, West Asia, Europe, India and the US.
“As we build the cloud network globally, India is another important piece that is firmly in place.
“This continues our commitment to India, helping it to develop trade opportunities with other markets in the region and beyond,” added Hu.
Alibaba Cloud would have a local team of consultants to provide service planning, implementation and after-sales support, helping Indian companies move to the cloud.
“This will extend what Alibaba Cloud is already doing to service thousands of customers from India globally,” the company said.
Set up in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is among the largest providers of public cloud services in China and one of the largest Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers in the world. IANS
Google’s offices in the US, UK, Canada, India, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark witnessed renewed protests by human rights groups over its plan to re-enter China through a censored search application code-named “Project Dragonfly”.
The demonstrations were organised by coalition of Chinese, Tibetan, Uighur, and human rights groups outside the tech giant’s offices. The Tibetan advocacy groups that were protesting included Free Tibet and the International Tibet Network.
“They fear that a censored search engine would lead to further oppression of the Tibetans, as filtered searches would erase terms such as ‘Tibet’ and ‘Tiananmen Square’ in line with the official narrative of the Chinese Communist Party,” the Business Insider reported late on Friday.
The same concerns apply to the Chinese citizens, including other oppressed minorities such as Uighur Muslims and Southern Mongolian people, the report added.
The Internet giant designed a censored version for China search engine to blacklist information about human rights, democracy, peaceful protest, and religion in accordance with strict rules on censorship in the country that are enforced by its Communist Party government.
The dispute began in August 2018 when reports surfaced that Google staffers working on “Project Dragonfly” had been using a Beijing-based website to help develop blacklists for the censored search engine, which was designed to block out broad categories of information related to democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest, according to The Intercept.
Several Google employees, including former Senior Scientist Jack Poulson, resigned in September, citing lack of corporate transparency in the wake of the censored search engine project.
In December, Google was forced to shut down a data analysis system that it was using to develop the search engine and the teams working on “Project Dragonfly” stopped gathering search queries from mainland China. (IANS)