This Tuesday, by launching new products, Alibaba just reminded people of their cloud computing presence in Europe. These cloud products are based on Alibaba artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. Similar products have already been released by the Chinese company in China and other markets. It seems they are finally ready to challenge Microsoft and Amazon.
One of these products has an exclusive feature that lets the user bring up any product on an eCommerce website just by taking a photo of it with Alibaba AI. There’s another product that is capable of finding security vulnerabilities in a network.
It has been 2 years since Alibaba Cloud was introduced in Europe in 2016. In 2017, an AI and data-focused product was brought into the market with the purpose of serving Chinese customers operating in Europe. But with this latest range of products, Alibaba looks all geared up to directly participate in the European businesses.
We believe we need to service local clients leveraging our computers on the AI and big data. – Yeming Wang, general manager of Alibaba Cloud Europe
As of now, Alibaba’s sole data center in Europe resides in Frankfurt, Germany. It serves that entire region. Though Yeming hinted that Alibaba could open new data centers in the continent, he failed to provide any further details.
Boasting a revenue growing 104% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 3.6 billion yuan ($570.6 million) & with more than 1 million paying customers, the cloud business is Alibaba’s fastest-growing unit, for sure. It accounts for 4% of Alibaba’s total revenues.
Alibaba has a long way to go before it can even think about catching Microsoft and Amazon in the global market. Yeming made it clear that they are very much aware of the fact that their European cloud business “is still like a baby”. He said the opportunity of prospects in the market interests them.