Alibaba Cloud breaks $1.5bn in revenues amid hope of eCommerce migration encouragement

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Alibaba Cloud hit more than RMB10 billion (£1.18bn) in revenue in its most recent quarter, with revenues up 62% year over year.

Total revenues for Alibaba were at RMB161.4bn (£17.7bn) for Q419, at a yearly growth of 38%, meaning Alibaba Cloud comprises 6.7% of the China-based retail giant’s overall revenues. Cloud revenues for Q2 and Q3 were at $1.13bn (£867m) and $1.3bn (£997m) respectively.

On a wider scale, major focus was placed on the emerging coronavirus epidemic, with chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang admitting that it will ‘present near-term challenges’ to Alibaba, already having a ‘significant impact’ on China’s economy. “At the same time, we will see opportunities created by the forces of change,” Zhang told analysts.

Perhaps the best showcase for Alibaba’s cloud infrastructure is the 11.11 one day shopping festival. Alibaba noted that its infrastructure was ‘scalable, reliable and secure’, handling almost $40 billion in transactions at more than 544,000 orders per second at its peak without disruption. Alongside this, Alibaba migrated its core eCommerce system to its public cloud. Zhang noted that the move should help ‘encourage others’ to adopt Alibaba Cloud for their infrastructure.

Among recent highlights for the company was the launch of its Alink machine learning algorithm to GitHub in November, as well as joining the Confidential Computing Consortium, a Linux Foundation cloud and edge security initiative, in August. Other inaugural members include Google Cloud, IBM, and Microsoft.

The company appears to be targeting media as an industry of interest. Last month, Alibaba Cloud was certified with the Trusted Partner Network (TPN) certification, an initiative between the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), touted as the first cloud provider to get such an award.

According to the most recent figures from Synergy Research, Alibaba holds 5% of the cloud infrastructure market globally, in fifth position behind AWS (33%), Microsoft (18%), Google (8%) and IBM (6%). Not surprisingly, Alibaba continues to dominate the Chinese market, yet its focus on the wider Asia Pacific (APAC) region appears to be paying off.

Figures from Synergy in May found that due to China’s growing spend, Alibaba was the entrenched #2 player across APAC, behind only AWS. Alibaba Cloud issued what the PR industry calls a ‘momentum’ release – read: showing off – in December saying APAC client base growth had been ‘exceptional’ in 2019. Media was cited as a key industry, alongside fintech, retail, gaming, and agriculture.

You can read Alibaba’s full Q4 financial report here.

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2 comments on “Alibaba Cloud breaks $1.5bn in revenues amid hope of eCommerce migration encouragement

  1. Jason Moore on

    Great article! The very idea of workspace will get altered in this crisis, and more companies will realize the cost benefits of letting maximum employees work from their homes. Companies now have the responsibility to make these systems resilient and powerful enough to support economies. Remote implementation a number of security measures, including data encryption, malware scans, and wiping data on stolen devices need to be included.

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  2. Jason Moore on

    Very interesting article. The cloud giants have been among the handful of businesses to perform well during these challenging times. Cloud computing has become the backbone of the economy, and is likely to remain that way, as this situation is unlikely to ease soon even though economies are gradually reopening.

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