Alibaba Cloud has launched in the UK as the Chinese giant takes the fight for cloud supremacy to a new level.
The company opened its first European data centre in Frankfurt in 2016 in partnership with Vodafone, and has been rumoured to be in similar talks with BT for today's launch.
Alibaba Cloud now operates 52 availability zones in 19 regions around the world with more global regions set to follow.
Alibaba Cloud UK launch
To coincide with the launch, TechRadar Pro spoke to Yeming Wang, Alibaba Cloud general manager EMEA, about what the news could mean for the company's growing ambitions.
Why is Alibaba Cloud choosing to launch its first UK data centre now?
As part of our commitment to continue expanding into Europe and across EMEA, we are launching two UK availability zones in addition to Frankfurt and Dubai. This is also driven by the rapidly increasing customer demand we’ve seen from the UK.
Do you have any UK customers signed up?
We have received many interests from both existing and prospective customers enquiring about our new UK data centres since they’ve gone live a few weeks ago. We will share more customer success stories in coming months.
How will your new data centre benefit companies based in the UK?
We aim to provide our customers in the UK (and everywhere) with the best-in-class solutions and services, and our latest UK data centres allow our customer to have more flexibility, scalability and lower latency for companies who require fast access to their data.
What benefits does Alibaba Cloud offer that its competitors don't?
In the era of multi-cloud and digital transformation, our unique offering lies with our capability in helping global companies expanding into China and the rest of Asia, whilst assisting Chinese organisations to expand globally.
In addition, it’s been our ongoing strategy to work closely with customers as innovation partners to co-create the best, tailored solutions to tackle specific challenges to achieve business goals.
Lastly, our eco-system to offer end-to-end technology solutions from cloud infrastructure to payment and e-commerce is a welcoming addition to our proven experience and expertise in using Artificial Intelligence to analyse an extremely high volume of anonymous data.
Are you planning further UK/EU launches in the future?
We are continuing to expand rapidly into the rest of Europe and will always try our best to meet customer demand for both Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Digital Transformation initiatives.
With the tenth anniversary of Alibaba Cloud coming next year, what are your priorities going forward?
EMEA continues to be an important market for us, and our priority remains to delight customers and empower them to use technologies to achieve business goals. We will also leverage our vertical expertise in Retail, Finance, Media, Manufacturing and Logistics to build robust vertical clouds to cater for specific needs in these key sectors.
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.