Alibaba’s cloud is coming to India.
The Chinese tech giant said Wednesday that it is expanding its cloud service into India with its first datacenter set to come online in January 2018, giving the company a foothold in an emerging IT market worth tens of billions of dollars where competitors are already entrenched.
Alibaba called India a key part of its global expansion strategy as it tries to catch up to competitors in the cloud such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google. For it’s part, Google opened its first datacenter in India last month.
“We are excited to be officially opening our new Mumbai, India data center in early 2018, enabling us to work closely with more Indian enterprises,” Simon Hu, president of Alibaba Cloud, said in a statement. “These local enterprises are innovative and operating in growth sectors, and we look forward to empowering them through our cloud computing and data technologies.”
Indian businesses have already had access to Alibaba cloud platform through a series of partnerships, with Global Cloud Xchange and Tata Communications, both of which provided direct connections to the Alibaba cloud, though this move provides improved services and access.
But Alibaba said Indian business will now be able to run applications on the company’s cloud that offers “elastic computing, database, storage and content delivery, networking, analytics and big data, containers, middleware, and security.” The company is also putting a team on the ground to provide planning, implementation and after-sales support.
Given the country’s rapid economic growth, Alibaba sees a major opportunity in India, where the country’s digital transformation could create a $100 billion market opportunity for IT firms. India is also a key focus for Alibaba generally.
Alibaba has also announced plans to open a datacenter in Indonesia in 2018, and could potentially open a new cloud region in the Middle East next year, too. Alibaba’s first datacenter in Malaysia went online earlier this year.
The new datacenter will give Alibaba Cloud 33 availability zones, which covers regions including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S.