Alibaba Cloud faces a steep challenge outside China

Alibaba has shown that it can win on its own turf, but there it is largely protected from real competition by the Chinese government. To be a true global competitor, and not just a tiger confined to China, Alibaba needs to significantly upgrade its cloud services and attack AWS in Western markets. Outside of China, Alibaba won’t have any government protectors as it competes against AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, IBM, Oracle, and others.

Getting Western companies to use Alibaba’s cloud in China could be the way to introduce itself as an option outside China, too. After all, Alibaba offers the same large-scale operational experience as AWS. The trick will be for Alibaba to put this expertise to use for Western companies that feel threatened by AWS’s dominance but aren’t scared off by Alibaba’s connections to the Chinese government.

It’s very much worth keeping an eye on Alibaba and perhaps testing its cloud services both in China and outside China. Still, based on current market trends, Alibaba doesn’t look like it will reach its goal of supplanting AWS goal anytime soon, if ever.



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