Aliyun, the cloud computing business of the Chinese internet giant Alibaba, is planning to establish data centers in Europe and the Middle East as part of a $1 billion global expansion initiative announced today. Other new cloud data center locations will be in Singapore and Japan, the company said in a statement.
Aliyn currently has five data centers in China and Hong Kong. It launched its first US data center in Silicon Valley earlier this year. A company executive said in a press conference in Beijing earlier this month that another Aliyun cloud data center would come online in the US within several months.
As common in the world of cloud service providers, Aliyun’s cloud strategy relies to a great extent on partnerships with other providers, including its data center strategy. The Chinese cloud company has used data center service providers to expand its footprint outside of mainland China.
It used the Hong Kong utility and telco Towngas’ data center services to expand to Hong Kong last year, which was its first foray outside of mainland China. Aliyun hasn’t said much about its US data center strategy, but industry insiders have told us it is leasing its data center space in Silicon Valley from one of the biggest providers there.
Aliyun has partnerships with Singtel, a Singapore telco which also happens to be the biggest data center provider on the island. It has a technology-services joint venture with Meraas, a government-owned Dubai company that’s building a tech-oriented master-planned community in Dubai that will include a data center where the joint venture will be an anchor tenant.
The Chinese company has partnerships with Intel, the global data center provider Equinix, French managed services provider Linkbynet, and PCCW, a Hong Kong ICT company.
Also today, Aliyun announced a partnership with Yonyou Software, the biggest enterprise software vendor in China. The collaboration will focus on cloud computing, Big Data, digital marketing, and e-commerce.