Alibaba Cloud (AliCloud), the cloud-computing arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said on Monday it would double the capacity of its data center in Hong Kong, as it upped the ante with rivals Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp in the fast-growing cloud-computing market.
It also marks the company's latest expansion on top of a slew of data center openings in Germany, Australia, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, building a physical presence in 14 global economic hubs.
The expanded Hong Kong data center is designed to meet companies' soaring demand for high availability and disaster recovery, along with greater access to offerings including data storage and analytics, enterprise-level middleware and cloud security services, said Ethan Yu, vice-president of Alibaba and general manager of Alibaba Cloud Global.
Hong Kong leads Asia in terms of cloud adoption as more businesses tap into cloud computing for benefits such as operational efficiency and innovation. The city reached the top in the Asia Cloud Computing Association's Cloud Readiness Index 2016.
Since 2014, AliCloud's Hong Kong team has offered tailored solutions across sectors such as financial services, retail, hospitality and media. The expansion is expected to offer scalable computing services in the Asia-Pacific region and help grow a market share outside of the Chinese mainland.
Founded in 2009, AliCloud is the country's largest cloud infrastructure services provider, said market research firm IDC. The number of paying clients has doubled to 765,000 as of December, according to its earnings report in January.
But it is still a relatively smaller player in the global arena. Synergy Research Group put AliCloud in third place among the world's public cloud providers, following Amazon Web Services' predominance of a 40 percent market share, and a combined 23 percent shared by Microsoft, Google Inc and IBM Corp. AliCloud and other nine companies claimed a total of 13 percent.