(Yicai Global) Oct. 23 -- Alibaba Group Holding’s cloud unit has opened two data centers in the United Kingdom as it looks to ramp up operations in Europe.
Alibaba Cloud will use center to offer its cloud computing services, such as elastic computing, online storage, security, to clients in the UK, it said in a statement yesterday. The firm built its first European data center in Germany in 2016.
“Our expansion into the United Kingdom, and by extension into Europe, is in direct response to the rapidly increasing demands we have seen for local facilities within the region,” said Yeming Wang, general manager of Alibaba Cloud’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“The arrival of Alibaba Cloud into Europe is an important milestone, not only for the company, but for the market by providing another significant world-wide cloud option for businesses in the EMEA region,” added Tony Lock, an analyst at information technology researcher Freeform Dynamics.
Reports earlier this year suggested that Alibaba was teaming up with British Telecom to build a cloud service that would rival Amazon Web Services in Europe, but Alibaba has stayed tight-lipped about who it is working with on the new data centers. It partnered with Vodafone when it built its data center in Frankfurt, allowing the telco to resell its cloud services.
Alibaba Cloud now has 52 availability zones in 19 regions around the world, including the five largest cloud computing markets: the United States, the UK, Germany, Japan and China. Established in 2009, the firm ranks third among the world’s infrastructure-as-a-service providers, behind Amazon and Microsoft, Gartner data shows.
IDC forecasts the UK market will be worth USD7.9 billion this year, with the German sector following closely behind at USD7.4 billion.
Editor: James Boynton