After launching new data centers in Japan, Germany, the Middle East and Australia last year, Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said today it has more than doubled the capacity of its data center in Hong Kong to address increasing demand for cloud services in the Asia Pacific region.
The Hong Kong expansion is part of Alibaba Cloud’s strategy to expand its global network coverage, according to the company. Research firm Gartner estimated the global public cloud services market—which includes cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure—reached $204 billion in 2016, up more than 16% from the previous year.
Additional capacity in the regional financial hub of Hong Kong is expected to boost Alibaba Cloud’s ability to meet demand for high availability and disaster recovery cloud services, as well as data storage and analytics, enterprise-level middleware, and cloud security services.
“Since our entry into Hong Kong in 2014, Alibaba Cloud has become one of the largest public cloud providers in the market in less than two years,” said Ethan Yu, vice president of Alibaba Group and general manager of Alibaba Cloud Global. “More companies have come to realize the importance of changing their traditional IT mind-set to embrace the new data technology,” Yu said in a statement.
The Hong Kong data center offers solutions to industries including financial services, retail, hospitality and media. In August, Alibaba Cloud launched cloud-based Anti-DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) security products together with PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider.
“We are confident that the expanded data center facility, together with our scalable and secure cloud offering, will better meet the needs of the digital transformation in key local sectors such as hospitality and financial services,” Yu said.
Currently China’s largest cloud computing service provider, Alibaba Cloud posted revenue of $254 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, up 115 percent compared with the same period in 2015. The results were driven by an increase in the number of paying customers to 765,000, representing a year-over-year increase of 100 percent, and also by an increase in usage of more complex cloud-computing services such as content delivery networks and database services.
Alibaba Cloud has operations in 14 global economic centers including mainland China, Singapore and the U.S.