AliCloud enters Seoul through partnerships

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AliCloud enters Seoul through partnerships

AliCloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, has launched its services in Korea.

The company is targeting Korean e-commerce and tech companies with operations in China, and seeks to manage their technology infrastructure and databases in a move that takes on global players such as Amazon, Microsoft and IBM.

But AliCloud refrained from directly entering the country, instead entering into a partnership with local IT services company Bankware Global.

AliCloud’s products and services in Korea will include network-based data storage systems and services related to data management, such as processing, analysis, computing, machine learning and data application.

Bankware Global, which already opened a Korean version of the AliCloud portal site on April 5, made it clear that its main customers are Korean companies operating in China.

“From gaming outlets to online shopping malls, Korean companies often find it tricky to have their IT infrastructure under new business circumstances and strict government regulations,” said Sean Bae, vice president of Bankware Global.

“But as one of the largest cloud service providers in China, AliCloud can help those companies navigate the situation better than any other competitor.”

The vice president added that other, more locally focused Korean companies can also use the service.

With the support of Alibaba Group, AliCloud is expanding its footprint beyond China, where it controls 29.7 percent of the cloud computing market as of the second quarter of 2015.

The company formed a partnership with Dubai-based Meraas Holding to establish a presence in the Middle East, and AliCloud also collaborated with Singaporean telecom Intel and Equinix to build its cloud centers.

In a separate deal, SK C&C, an IT services affiliate of SK Group, announced on Wednesday that it clinched a partnership with AliCloud.

The range of services, which will be offered beginning in the latter half of this year, are similar to that of Bankware Global.

AliCloud’s moves indicate that the cloud unit is more interested in scaling the business through multiple partnerships.

When asked if it would be problematic to operate two different partnerships in the same region, AliCloud officials declined to comment, saying that they are not authorized to discuss the issue.


BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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