China’s dominant cloud force, Alibaba Group Holding, has promised to invest $28 billion in cloud infrastructure over the next three years, as it looks to meet the growing demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Reuters, the company said it would spend the money on building new data centres, developing semiconductors and working on new operating systems.
Mandatory quarantines imposed due to the spread of the coronavirus have seen many white-collar workers turn to cloud-based applications. This increase in demand was felt most acutely by DingTalk, Alibaba's workplace chat app for businesses and schools.
Alibaba Cloud Intelligence President Jeff Zhang explained the pandemic “has posed additional stress on the overall economy across sectors”, and said he hopes the investment will “speed up the recovery process”.
Covid-19 aside, Alibaba’s cloud division has reported remarkable results in recent months. It is one of the company’s fastest-growing businesses, with revenue for Q4 rising 62 percent.
In China, Alibaba holds almost half (46.6 per cent) of the cloud market, with Tencent Cloud and Baidu Cloud its two main competitors.