Alibaba Invests $1 Billion in Cloud Service, Aims to 'Overtake Amazon in 5 Years'
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Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba has announced it will pump $1 billion into the global expansion of Aliyun, its cloud-computing business. Alibaba on Wednesday said Aliyun is positioning itself as a challenger to established players in the cloud market, namely Amazon, which has grown 80 percent year-over-year.

“Big Data and cloud computing are at the heart of Alibaba Group’s strategy for the future,” said Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang, who added that the $1 billion investment is “a reflection of our continued confidence and commitment.”

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Aliyun opened its first U.S. data center earlier this year in Silicon Valley and said on Wednesday that it plans to open new centers across the Middle East, Singapore, Japan and Europe.

In an interview with Reuters, Aliyn president Simon Hu said that after spending its first six years focusing on China, the company is ready to go global and compete with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

"Our goal is to overtake Amazon in four years, whether that's in customers, technology, or worldwide scale," Hu said. "Amazon, Microsoft and others have already laid the groundwork for us by educating the markets about cloud in the U.S. and Europe, so we have an even better opportunity to join in the competition."