Alibaba Cloud closes some key data centers as it pivots to different markets

(Image credit: Alibaba)

Alibaba has confirmed its cloud datacenter operations in Australia and India are set to close.

The company revealed that it would be closing some datacenters in order to boost investment in others, citing Southeast Asia and Mexico as key beneficiaries of the change - despite previously indicating that Australia’s operations would remain unaffected.

Once effective, data stored in the Sydney and Mumbai regions will no longer be accessible, with migration to other Alibaba Cloud datacenters such as Singapore suggested as an alternative.

Alibaba Cloud closing datacenters

The company confirmed in a statement: “As part of Alibaba Cloud’s infrastructure strategy update, following careful assessment, we have decided to cease operations at our data centers in Australia and India while enhancing our investment in the Southeast Asia and Mexico.”

Its India datacenter will cease operation after 24:00 (UTC+5:30) on July 15, with Australia following suit from 24:00 (UTC+10) on September 30.

Alibaba did not share a reason for its decision to pull out of the two nearby markets, but public sentiment towards China amid ongoing geopolitical tensions as well as the relative stronghold of AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and OVH in Australia could have played into Alibaba’s exit.

Earlier in May, Alibaba Cloud revealed its plans to build additional datacenters in “key markets,” including Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and South Korea, over the next three years. The Chinese company also confirmed plans to launch its first cloud region in Mexico.

Speaking at the Alibaba Cloud Global Summit in Paris, Selina Yuan, President of International Business at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, commented: “With the rapidly rising demand for AI across industries, we are reinforcing our commitment to expanding our AI infrastructure and enhancing our cloud capacities worldwide.”

However, with the company ditching two sizeable markets, customers have been left with another option besides migrating to another region – migrating to another provider altogether – highlighting the potentially severe implications of Alibaba’s decision.

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Craig Hale

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