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Alibaba Cloud makes deeper inroads into Malaysia

The Chinese cloud supplier’s second availability zone and upcoming DDoS scrubbing centre in Malaysia comes on the heels of growing investments in the Southeast Asian nation

Alibaba Cloud has opened its second availability zone in Malaysia on the back of its growing investments in the Southeast Asian country.

The Chinese cloud supplier said the zone was added amid growing concerns over cyber security and the need to ensure business continuity through a resilient cloud infrastructure.

To that end, Alibaba Cloud will also set up its first cloud-based scrubbing centre, which filters out distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack traffic, in Malaysia later this month.

Kenny Tan, its country manager for Malaysia, said the centre will mitigate cyber security risks and offer protection against stronger DDoS attacks.

Alibaba Cloud opened its first availability zone in Malaysia in 2017, alongside other initiatives aimed at driving the use of its cloud services.

These include the Malaysia City Brain, a smart city platform that will harness Alibaba Cloud’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to analyse massive amounts of real-time data generated by camera feeds and traffic light junctions in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

The cloud supplier also established an electronic trading platform and datacentre in Malaysia in 2017, and worked with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to set up a digital free trade zone near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

In welcoming Alibaba Cloud’s efforts to support Malaysia’s growing digital economy, Gobind Singh Deo, Malaysia’s minister of communications and multimedia, said: “The world moves ever closer towards e-commerce and we see a considerable surge in demand by local industries to participate in this new economy on a global platform.

“Malaysia is now pushing ahead with efforts to strengthen its infrastructure with a view towards making access to the internet a basic human right and categorising facilities which enhance access to broadband as a public utility.

“The success of our trade on a global platform with assistance of companies like Alibaba Cloud depends on an efficient Internet environment. The advanced technology afforded by Alibaba Cloud opens new opportunities, which I believe will quite substantially benefit Malaysia in its efforts to raise competition and efficiency in this new industry.”

Despite Alibaba Cloud’s belated foray into Southeast Asia – it established its regional headquarters in Singapore in 2015, years behind rival Amazon Web Services (AWS) – it has picked up several notable customers in the region, including Malaysia’s low-cost carrier AirAsia and hospitality group Genting.

Although Alibaba Cloud does not reveal growth figures in specific markets, recent market reports suggest that the company has been climbing up the ranks.

It now trails AWS in the Asia-Pacific public cloud market, according to Synergy Research, largely thanks to its dominance in China, which accounts for a third of the region’s public cloud spending.

As a sign of its global ambitions, Alibaba Cloud plans to gradually increase the number of services offered to customers outside China by the end of 2018 to cater to those that want to be on top of the curve in cloud adoption.

“Right now, our domestic cloud portal has over 170 products, while the international portal has about 70 products,” Derek Wang, Alibaba’s global chief cloud architect, told Computer Weekly.

“We have an internal initiative to globalise all our products, so from April this year we’ve started launching new products simultaneously in China and globally.”

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