Alibaba passes one million paying cloud customers as CEO calls it ‘merely a starting point’

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

Alibaba has broken the one million mark for paying customers of its cloud computing business with revenues increasing 96% year over year, according to the company’s latest financial statement.

Revenues from cloud computing totalled RMB 2,431 million (£278m) in the quarter ending June 30, while the total number of customers was 1,011,000, up 15.7% from 874,000 in the previous quarter.

Alibaba clearly defines its cloud computing revenue in its reporting – something of a change to many other cloud providers, as regular readers of this publication will know – and puts its paying cloud customers alongside its active commerce customers. Overall revenue for the company in the latest quarter was RMB 50,184m (£5.7bn), up 56% from this time last year.

Speaking to analysts, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha, Daniel Zhang, Alibaba chief executive officer, said the firm’s cloud business “continues to enjoy high growth at scale” and that the one million milestone is “merely a starting point.” Maggie Wu, chief financial officer, added: “Our cloud computing business enjoys first mover advantage and we’ll keep expanding our market leadership by continuously providing value-added services.

“Our technology advantage and the team’s strong execution have strengthened our market position as reflected in expanding customer reach spanning many industries, deepening existing customer relationships, and increasing adoption of innovative and value added products by customers,” said Wu.

The company’s cloud push has been long-documented. In 2015, Alibaba announced an additional $1 billion investment in Aliyun – now known as Alibaba Cloud – to expand its international presence. Alibaba has since been busy building out global data centres, announcing plans for Frankfurt, Dubai, Sydney and Tokyo towards the end of last year, and further plans for India and Indonesia in June.

You can read the full Alibaba statement here (pdf).

Read more: How companies can boost their website in China’s clouded market

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