Alibaba's Core Growth: Cloud computing key for Alibaba Group
In addition to its robust e-commerce business, Alibaba's cloud computing service has emerged as one of the key players for building smart societies. That's as more cities upgrade and digitize their infrastructure. CGTN's Wu Lei found out more about its opportunities and challenges ahead.
Long lines and stressful waiting times can be the worst things about doctor visits. But they're memories for people in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, thanks to digital technologies. Wang Juan is one of many happy patients.
WANG JUAN HANGZHOU RESIDENT "You can register for doctor services on your smartphone at any time, without lining up and waiting. You can see the doctors first, and pay medical costs and check examination results after leaving the hospitals."
And patients no longer have to go to different departments for various documents and payment procedures. Hospitals are working with Alibaba Cloud to improve their efficiency. This kind of data and AI-driven system is part of Alibaba's City Brain network, which was first launched in 2016. Its new, improved 3rd version is expected later this year.
ZENG ZHENYU, VICE PRESIDENT ALIBABA CLOUD INTELLIGENCE, ALIBABA GROUP "Our City Brain system started operation in Hangzhou and has expanded to dozens of domestic and global cities like Shanghai, Macao and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia."
Besides medical services, Alibaba Cloud is also partnering with public and private sectors to upgrade services like transportation, parking and tourism. All these are believed to be urban pain-points which require more data collecting and analyzing to improve their services.
WU LEI HANGZHOU "Big data and cloud computing have become the new norms for building smart societies. With more cities digitizing their services, cloud computing has become one of the fastest growth businesses for Alibaba."
According to Alibaba's latest earnings report, its cloud computing revenue in the fiscal first-quarter grew 66% year-on-year to 7.79 billion yuan. That's over 1.1 billion US dollars. While in the process of quickly expanding, there are still many challenges ahead.
ZENG ZHENYU, VICE PRESIDENT ALIBABA CLOUD INTELLIGENCE, ALIBABA GROUP "Generally data comes from different departments. How to collect this data is one of the major challenges for us. It needs coordination among various sectors in each city."
Statistics show that Alibaba Cloud is the largest public cloud service provider in China, or ranks the third largest globally behind Amazon and Microsoft. The e-commerce and cloud businesses continue to be big moneymakers for the internet giant. WL, CGTN, HZ.