Alibaba on cloud nine… and it is winning


(China Daily) From e-commerce and deliveries to online finance, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has so many facets that one word cannot encapsulate everything the tech giant has to offer.


A deep dive into its annual reports over the past two years, however, indicates the resilience of one particular business pillar-cloud computing.


Not only has it enjoyed triple-digit growth over the consecutive quarters, but cloud computing is essentially turbocharging all of the Zhejiang-province-based enterprises’ units-big data recommends products based on people’s predilections and facilitates sales, while the cloud gathers and analyzes the latest traffic data in real time to guarantee purchases are delivered to doorsteps in 30 minutes.


To kick the premium experience up a notch, Alibaba has just unveiled the first of its kind cloud computer-a supercomputer that exists in the cloud to make it much more accessible and adaptable to serving various business scenarios.


“We hope our cloud computer can help people access resilient computing power whenever they need to so they can conduct complex tasks that usually require sophisticated and powerful personal computers-such as video editing, animation rendering, software development and online customer services-via tiny handheld devices,” said Alibaba Vice-President Liu Song.


A palm-sized personal computer, which despite being as light as an egg, offers high-performance computing, thanks to robust back-end cloud resources.


Liu said that by simply connecting the cloud computer with a normal computer screen, a user can access almost unlimited computing resources anytime, anywhere, while paying on a subscription model or for the actual cloud consumption.


Subsequently, Alibaba Cloud has also been upgraded to version 2.0, providing a mobile, data-driven, intelligent platform for application development.


“The original cloud was like one on a DOS system, which requires the know-how of dealing with a complex application interface. However, the new native digital system works like a Windows-like system that makes new application development much simpler,” he said.


That is encouraging news for industries from traditional commerce and finance to manufacturing. Physical malls will get immersive online-to-offline solutions at a lower cost, and manufacturers stand to enjoy a digital twin for simultaneous, remote monitoring of production bases with much lower human costs and higher efficiency.


It’s also conducive to individuals. Keeping all your personal data in the cloud eliminates the need to spend time migrating. It also maintains a high level of security because it essentially doesn’t have an external interface.


“As working from home becomes the new normal during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe our innovation can also help users more easily enjoy the benefits of cloud computing anytime, anywhere, in a cost-effective yet secure way,” Liu added.


Cloud-based technology is used to give traditional industries a digital makeover. For instance, Alibaba has just announced the acquisition of Sun Art Retail, pledging to empower the brick-and-mortar commerce house with data analytics able to track customer behavior, provide consumer insights and drive sales.


With the aid of Alibaba Cloud, local governments across China have also accelerated their digitalization push and simplified civic affairs procedures to cut red tape and better serve the citizenry.


In emergency cases such as the outbreak of COVID-19, Alibaba’s cloud solutions have played a pivotal part in realms like symptom detection, new case tracing and enabling distant working.


According to the latest report by the China Academy of Social Sciences, new infrastructure projects represented by cloud computing can fuel GDP growth 1.2 times that of traditional infrastructure drivers, such as the construction of railways and ports.


Liu cited research which pointed out that the doubling of enterprises operating on the cloud could expand productivity by 1.4 times.


“As the core link of new infrastructure investment, cloud computing is set to become the new momentum to push for China’s high-quality development,” Liu said.


Source:  By He Wei in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2020-10-20 09:26 

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