Alibaba Cloud is set to invest $1 billion to develop digital talent, support 100,000 developers and back 100,000 technology start-ups in Asia Pacific over the next three years. This initiative will be made through Project AsiaForward, which is part of the cloud provider’s strategy to invest in infrastructure, technological innovation and talent development to supercharge the region’s growth through digital transformation.
The initiative follows Alibaba’s announcement in May that it will invest all incremental profits into technology and e-commerce after a $2.8 billion fine from antitrust regulators. As part of the program, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, will launch its first data centre in the Philippines by the end of this year, marking its growing commitment to the country.
Jeff Zhang, President, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said innovative technology is critical to recovery from COVID-19 while a strong pipeline of talent well versed in digital applications is needed to support the sustainable development of today’s digital economy.
“We are seeing a strong demand for cloud-native technologies in emerging verticals across the region, from e-commerce and logistics platforms to FinTech and online entertainment. As the leading cloud service provider and trusted partner in APAC, we are committed to bettering the region’s cloud ecosystem and enhancing its digital infrastructure,” he said.
Selina Yuan, General Manager of International Business Unit at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said their strategic roadmap for APAC includes targeted investments to facilitate the digital transformation of local businesses. “We see these investments as all the more timely given the impact of the pandemic and the sharp rise in demand for digital business tools.”
The company will focus on banking, fintech, retail, logistics and education in the Philippines. It will build its first international innovation centre in Malaysis, where various cloud technology and business leadership trainings will be offered through the platform, as well as the nurturing of an ecosystem for venture capital networking. And in Indonesia, the company has officially launched the third datacenter, starting to serve customers with offerings across database, security, network, machine learning and data analytics services.