Alibaba launches first UK data centres

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Alibaba Cloud, the data-centre business arm of Alibaba Group Holding, has opened its first data centres in the UK.

The Chinese giant has opened two sites in London, saying it based its decision on ‘rapidly growing customer demand’.  “The United Kingdom is one of the fastest-growing European markets for Alibaba Cloud,” the company’s spokesperson said.

Bloomberg claims that this ‘rapidly growing customer demand’ means mostly government institutions and organisations, with national authorities moving to the cloud quite fast.

Still, the law forces them to keep the data within its national borders, which is why Alibaba came to them.

In the past few months, Alibaba has been quite busy, and vocal, about its data centre business. It teamed up with Intel to produce better chips, powered by AI, to run in its data centres. It is currently, according to Synergy Research Group, the fourth biggest cloud infrastructure provider in the world, following in the footsteps of Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Alibaba’s first EU-based data centre sprung up in Frankfurt, Germany, where it had it built together with Vodafone. “Alibaba Cloud chose Germany as the home for our first data centre in Europe, for its highly developed technology infrastructure and location in the heart of Europe, to demonstrate our commitment to the highest standards in data security, and to reinforce our global expansion strategy,” Ethan Yu, Vice President of Alibaba Group and General Manager of Alibaba Cloud Global said back then.

The company has also been in talks with BT in a bid to challenge Amazon’s EU dominance.

Image Credit: Flickr / leighklotz