In China, The Cloud Covers Companies Great and Small [Video]

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In China, The Cloud Covers Companies Great and Small [Video]

At a developer conference hosted by Alibaba Group’s cloud-computing arm last week, several start-ups were on hand to discuss how companies with meager I.T. budgets can achieve scale through cloud-based services.

A month before Chen Xiaohong officially launched, a Shenzhen, China-based bus-ticket booking website, he realized there might be such as thing as too successful.

Having spent more than a year negotiating with bus companies to get them to offer online booking through, by late 2013 Chen was ready to start selling tickets for routes servingeight Southern Chinesecities. The problem: operated just two network servers. With the Lunar New Year holiday—when hundreds of millions of Chinese travel—approaching, Chen became worried his small business could easily be overwhelmed by demand, crashing his website—and its credibility with the public—right out of the gate.

“Last December, we were very concerned that our two severs could not handle huge traffic during the Spring Festival,” said Chen, the CEO of The answer: sign up for on-demand server capacity from Alibaba Cloud Computing, the network technology provider behind China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba Group.

Not only did launch on schedule in January without a glitch, Chen’s servicehas since expanded to 62 cities in 13 provinces.”We have gone through seven or eight high-traffic periods, including Dragon Boat Festival and Mid Autumn Festival,” Chen said.”AliCloud is very stable.” With just 39 employees, the website currently attracts some 100,000 visits and sells about 5,000 bus tickets on a daily basis.

Much of the buzz surrounding cloud-computing services surrounds how multinational companies, banks and government bureaucracies are outsourcing their networking and data-storage needs to tech companies like Alibaba Cloud Computing (AliCloud), which has more than 1.4 million clients.

But at the Aliyun Worldwide Developer Conference hosted by AliCloud last week, severalstart-ups like 12308 were on hand to discuss how companies with small I.T. budgets can also benefit from scalable distributed-computing solutions that cloud operators provide.

“Cloud computing puts small businesses on the same playing field as big corporations, providing them with the same access and capacity to build lasting and sustainable companies, said Alibaba Group’s Chief Technology Officer, Wang Jian, during his keynote address at the conference.

Wang noted that among AliCloud’s clients is a website about Uyghur music run by just two people. “Cloud computing allows traditional businesses the opportunity to be as creative and innovative as technology companies,” he said.

Officials for small companies attending the conference cited reduced capital and operational costs, and flexibility as two key reasons for running critical business processes in the Cloud.

Like many entrepreneurs, 23-year-old programmer Yu Jiawen struggled with cash shortages when he launched his scheduling app for college students, Myfriday, in 2012. Adopting cloud services allowed him to quickly scale with minimal capital investment, he said. In less than two years, the app has evolved into a social platform shared by more than 10 million students at 3,300 colleges and universities across China.

“As AliCloud supplies us with servers and maintenance, our whole technical team is able to devote themselves to developing our platform,” said Chen of “It is very cost-effective for small business like us to choose AliCloud’s servers. We can focus on our own business.”

“AliCloud is dedicated to acting as ‘public grid’ serving millions of innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises,” said AliCloud President Ben Wang.

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