Alibaba Cloud to hire 5,000 people after global cloud spending hits record high in first quarter

  • Alibaba
  • Wednesday, 10 Jun 2020

Cloud computing has become one of Alibaba’s fastest-growing sectors beyond its core e-commerce business. — South China Morning Post

Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, plans to recruit 5,000 people worldwide in its current financial year after global cloud spending hit a record high in the first quarter of 2020 amid surging demand brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

The openings will be for technical talent in areas including networks, databases, servers, chips and artificial intelligence, according to a company statement on June 9.

In April the company announced it would invest 200 billion yuan (RM120.7bil) over the next three years on its cloud infrastructure to help speed up the digital transformation of businesses in China following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The digital transformation journey for businesses in China, which was previously expected to take three to five years, is now likely to be accelerated and completed within one year," said Jeff Zhang, president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.

“In light of the fast-growing demand of the digital shift from global clients in all sectors... we are not only building trusted cloud technologies and services, but also investing in worldwide IT talent who are pioneering the development of cutting-edge cloud and data intelligence technologies.”

Global cloud infrastructure services spending grew 34% year on year to a record US$31bil in the first quarter, driven by organisations around the world moving to remote working amid lockdowns imposed to limit the spread of Covid-19, according to an April report from research firm Canalys.

A surge in demand for online collaboration tools, e-commerce and consumer cloud services drove sharp increases in cloud infrastructure consumption.

“This is uncharted territory for cloud service providers, giving a boost to consumption but creating new and often challenging customer dynamics," Alastair Edwards, chief analyst at Canalys, said in the report. “Cloud has become an essential tool to support business continuity in these difficult times. Many organisations have turned to the public cloud for its burst capabilities to meet a sudden spike in use.”

However, not all sectors grew amid the pandemic, with cloud investment in the worst-affected industries such as hospitality, aviation, construction, tourism and manufacturing seeing slowdowns or delays, according to Canalys.

Cloud computing has become one of Alibaba’s fastest-growing sectors beyond its core e-commerce business. Revenue from Alibaba Cloud grew 58% in the March quarter to 12.2 billion yuan (RM7.36bil) and 62% in the 12 months ended March to 40 billion yuan (RM24bil).

After Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud is the world’s fourth-largest cloud service provider with a 6% global market share in the first quarter, according to Canalys.

Alibaba is the parent company of the South China Morning Post. – South China Morning Post

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