Alibaba has faced growth challenges amid regulatory tightening on China’s domestic technology sector and a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. But analysts think the e-commerce giant’s growth could pick up through the rest of 2022.
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Alibaba said it will invest $1 billion over the next three fiscal years to support its cloud computing customers as the Chinese e-commerce giant looks to reignite growth after a historical slowdown.
The investment consists of “financial and non-financial incentives, such as funding, rebates and go-to-market initiatives,” Alibaba said in a press release on Thursday.
The company said it is also setting up a program to help its customers localize their cloud computing business needs depending on the market.
Alibaba is the world’s third-largest cloud computing player behind Microsoft and Amazon, according to Gartner. While cloud computing is a small part of Alibaba’s overall business currently, the company’s management sees it as a critical component to future growth and profitability.
However, Alibaba has seen an unprecedented slowdown in growth amid Chinese economic malaise due to the resurgence of Covid in the world’s second-largest economy and a stricter domestic regulatory environment. In the April to June quarter, Alibaba reported its first flat revenue growth on record.
Revenue growth in its cloud computing business also slowed down from the previous quarter.
Alibaba’s investment announcement is also part of a broader push by the Hangzhou, China-headquartered company to expand its cloud computing business overseas.
Over the past few years, Alibaba has opened new data centers outside of China to win customers in other markets such as Singapore and Thailand.