Chinese tech giant Alibaba expands into UK by opening London data centres

China’s Alibaba has opened two data centres in London, bringing its business into the UK for the first time.

The e-commerce giant has been working to expand its cloud-computing arm in Europe in recent months, and has also opened centres in Frankfurt this year.

The London operations will offer 24/7 on-site support, including security and engineering, the group said.

The Chinese group is competing with Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM to become the world’s biggest cloud computing business – it currently ranks fifth. 

Alibaba Cloud’s EMEA general manager, Yeming Wang, said: “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.

“Using AI-powered and data-driven technology, our latest data centres will offer customers complete access to our wide range of cloud services from machine learning capabilities to predictive data analytics ensuring that we continue to offer an unparalleled level of service. We are incredibly proud to take this latest step in our continued investment in EMEA.”

Last month, Alibaba founder Jack Ma announced that he was retiring.

He said at the time: “There’s a lot of things I can learn from Bill Gates. I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier.

“I think some day, and soon, I’ll go back to teaching. This is something I think I can do much better than being CEO of Alibaba.”

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