Chinese conglomerate Alibaba has launched 9 new products for its cloud customers. With these, Alibaba Cloud will compete with Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.

In relation to data technology and AI, Alibaba Cloud is launching two key products — Data Lake Analytics, which will run analytics on a large amount of information stored in a data lakePAI is Alibaba Cloud’s proprietary machine learning platform for customers who are not well-versed with AI. IoT Platform, a platform and toolkit will also be introduced to the global market.

Infrastructure and security products were also announced. The Anti-Bot Service is built to ward off online scalpers and crawlers. Hybrid Backup Recovery, a backup tool for critical business data, was also released. Dedicated Host was announced for companies that need to comply with data localisation norms and/or have a high amount of traffic to deal with. The company announced a few more tools like Apsara Stack and Elasticsearch.

Alibaba Cloud in India

In India, Alibaba Cloud has a datacenter in Mumbai in partnership with Tata Communications and its subsidiary GCX. Alibaba Cloud provides cloud solutions like virtual computing, CDNs, database services, and cloud security applications. The company said it will focus on SMEs throughout India, allowing businesses to host their applications, software, and raw data on the cloud.

The data centre business is only one of Alibaba’s strategy to tap the growing Internet base in India which is expected to touch 800 million by 2021. In January, the Alibaba Group said that it would invest close to Rs 200 crore over the next 2 years into its India and Indonesia operations, especially in its content and media businesses. At that time, the company unveiled a blogging platform that paid users for generating content. It set aside Rs 5 crore for the platform.

Apart from its core B2B e-commerce unit, Alibaba runs its web portal UCWeb which provides news aggregation under the UCNews brand, as well as its mobile browser named UCBrowser in India. UC News, which was launched in June 2016, claimed to have over 100 Million users in India as of February 2017, while UCBrowser claimed 130 million monthly active users as of February this year.

Competition

Microsoft: In July, we reported that Microsoft’s Cloud group revenue for Q4FY18 was $9.6 billion, up 23% year on year comfortably beating a FactSet analyst consensus of $9.09 billion. Revenue grew in all three segments: product revenue, cloud revenue, and Enterprise Services. Azure revenue, although grew sharply at 89% YoY, it fell from the 93% growth recorded in the previous quarter.

Amazon: By comparison, AWS net sales came to $5.44 billion for Q1FY18 and delivered operating income of $1.4 billion. AWS accounted for 73% of Amazon’s operating income during the quarter.

Check out our coverage of the #NAMACloud (regulation, attacks, security etc.) event which took place last July.