Alibaba deepens push into enterprise services with cloud-enabled mini computer


  • Technology
  • Friday, 18 Sep 2020

Cloud computing was Alibaba’s second-biggest revenue contributor last quarter, with sales growing 59% to US$1.8bil. The computer packs enough power to cut the rendering time of one frame of high resolution animation from 90 minutes down to 10 minutes. — SCMP

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has unveiled a compact device that promises the power of a high performance desktop in a package that weighs only 60g.

The tiny Wuying computer packs enough power to cut the rendering time of one frame of high resolution animation from 90 minutes using a traditional personal computer down to 10 minutes, thanks to robust back-end cloud resources, the company said in a statement ahead of its annual Aspara computing conference on Sept 17.

“Wuying is not only designed for home-use but can also be used as a replacement for computers across government agencies and enterprises. All you have to do is connect it to a screen, then you can use it to do anything you would use a PC to do,” Alibaba Cloud president Jeff Zhang said during the online event.

“With the evolution of cloud technology, everyone will have a cloud computer. You can purchase resources anytime you want, scale the computing power as you need, and release the resources whenever you are done with them,” he said. “No more moving information around from one storage media to the next.”

Alibaba, which did not provide pricing for the device and related services, said all user data will be stored in a data centre-like security environment for full data protection. The computer is initially for enterprise customers only but will be available for individual consumers in the future.

Cloud computing was Alibaba’s second-biggest revenue contributor last quarter, with sales growing 59% to 12.3bil yuan (RM7.51bil). That growth was primarily driven by its “public cloud and hybrid cloud businesses, reflecting higher average revenue per customer”, the company said in a press release.

The surge in demand for notebook computers has benefited Google’s the most, according to market research firm TrendForce. Google Chromebook shipments for 2020 are forecast to grow 42.4% year on year to reach 24.3 million units.

However, Alibaba’s Wuying (meaning cast no shadow in Chinese) differs from Chromebook, which is a laptop with a RAM, CPU and limited storage on board. With the Wuying, there is no need for a CPU and all data is stored on Alibaba’s cloud servers.

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

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