Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing division of the Alibaba Group, announced a $1bn investment plan to support start-ups in the Asia Pacific region.
The investment will be the initial funding for Project AsiaForward, which aims to empower 100,000 developers and technology start-ups. The funding will be issued over the next three years, Alibaba Cloud said in a statement.
“We are seeing a strong demand for cloud-native technologies emerging in verticals across the region, from e-commerce and logistics platforms to fintech and online entertainment,” said Jeff Zhang, president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
Selina Yuan, general manager of Alibaba Cloud’s international business unit, added: “Our strategic roadmap for Asia Pacific includes targeted investments to facilitate the digital transformation of local businesses. We see these investments as all the more timely given the impact of the pandemic and the sharp rise in demand for digital business tools.”
Data and innovation centres coming
The investment will see Alibaba Cloud open data centres across the region. The company will launch its first data centre in the Philippines by the end of the year. In Malaysia, the company will build its first international innovation centre.
The company also announced the launch of its third data centre in Indonesia. “The additional centre allows Alibaba Cloud to better support local businesses interested in adopting cloud technology and advance Indonesia’s push for a digital society,” said Alibaba Cloud.