[ACC 2018] Group Interview with Simon Hu (President of Alibaba Cloud)

Published : Saturday, November 24, 2018, 10:00 pm
ACROFAN=Yong-Man Kwon | | SNS
Alibaba Group held 'The Computing Conference 2018' from September 19 to 22 at Cloud Town located in Hangzhou, China. The Computing Conference 2018, now in its ninth year, is the annual flagship event of Alibaba Group, and cutting-edge technologies and applications of the group under the theme of ‘Empower Digital China’ were presented.

This Computing Conference was held in Cloud Town, a special industrial zone in Hangzhou, China, with more than 60,000 people attending from China and abroad. This year, Alibaba Group's latest technological capabilities in cloud computing, big data, AI, IoT, etc., which have recently attracted a great deal of attention, were introduced. At the same time, Alibaba Group made clear its commitment to contribute to the transformation of society into a digital society by releasing various partnerships.

At the Computing Conference, Simon Hu, president of Alibaba Cloud, stated that Alibaba Cloud is now one of the top three global services. Also, Alibaba Cloud is not just about technology and services, but the significant infrastructure supporting businesses of Alibaba Group and customers. In terms of global strategy, the company aims to increase its overseas expansion and make the half of sales generated overseas. In order to achieve this goal, he pointed out that the company should be able to give ‘faith’ regarding technologies to the entering countries and the global market.

▲ Simon Hu, President of Alibaba Cloud

Currently, Alibaba Cloud is serviced through 49 available zones in 18 of world's economic centers and has established a data center in Mumbai, India in January 2018. The data center in India was established to respond to the rapid growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and the rapid increase in customer demand. And Alibaba Cloud aims to deliver computing, big data and AI technology to the Indian market. He explained that India is one of the fastest markets to prepare for revolutionary change, so there will be opportunity to localize the technologies that were successfully adopted in China and deliver to the Indian market.

As for the smart city section, besides Hangzhou, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia was announced as the first example for the adoption of traffic management in January 2018. In this regard, Alibaba proved that Hangzhou, as a concept of ‘pilot’ smart city, generates and consumes data and manage the city through the data. And it is stated that ‘City Brain’ of Hangzhou is a system that can help not only traffic but also fire. Moreover, he added that cities have a lot of problems to solve, and data and technology can be used to increase the efficiency of city management. As in the case of Hangzhou, not only Kuala Lumpur but also more cities can benefit from the utilization of the Alibaba cloud.

In addition, Alibaba Cloud has become one of the top three global cloud service providers in the world. It is China's largest cloud service provider and the largest provider of e-commerce services. Alibaba Cloud stated that it is providing APIs for infrastructure and capacity for more convenient life such as e-commerce and mobile payments in China's Internet environment. Also outside of China, Alibaba Cloud is a big presence in the United States, and is also at an important position to share its experience in China with the rest of the world.

In the Alibaba Group, since the Cloud is the basis of group service infrastructure and provides global operations, e-commerce, logistics and other services, the Group is increasing its investments and there is no burden on sales. And for the five new growth drivers announced in 2016, the key point was the efficiency enhancement through data and the combination of online and offline. Here, Alibaba Cloud stressed that it is lowering costs and providing serviceable capabilities.

As for the new manufacturing, he explained that the consumer market is changing rapidly, so the production requires flexible response to changes of demand, and IT technology will be needed in connecting online and offline retailers and consumers. Therefore, he emphasized that new retail and new manufacturing are all about connecting everything and finding new possibilities, and manufacturing is changing rapidly, so the company should ensure that current competencies can efficiently respond based on data. In addition, the industry platform provides a model that allows users to connect directly to factories and logistics.

▲ Collaboration between the Alibaba Group and SAP is expected to help both broaden the market.

The collaboration with SAP, announced through this event, was introduced as the second stage after the successful first stage. Through this collaboration, Alibaba Cloud will provide cloud technology and infrastructure as a service provider for SAP products, delivering SAP products in the Alibaba Cloud environment. Hereupon, it will be possible to use the products of SAP through Alibaba Cloud, and they are trying to approach the market jointly through partnership.

Currently, Alibaba Cloud tries to place a greater emphasis on the global ecosystem, but unlike e-commerce, ‘faith’ in the technology beyond the technical side will be needed in areas such as logistics and finance. However, ultimately, he stressed that Alibaba Cloud aims to make the percentage of overseas half the sales and China could become a test board of digital transformation. At the same time, in terms of credibility, he added that Alibaba Cloud has been complied with various relevant regulations and passed certifications in the areas where the service was provided.

In addition, Alibaba Cloud mentioned a strategy of 'localization' that is different from its competitors, such as establishing a local data center and responding to regulations on data movement. In terms of data security, Alibaba is a Chinese company that needs greater faith than just complying with regulations. On the other hand, as for the future of the cloud, he stated that more data will come out, more and more companies will make digital conversions, and AI and cyber security will become important. And Alibaba will enter the global with the strengths of its products as a weapon. Lastly, in aspect of security, Alibaba Cloud will provide safer and more reliable products until the customer can understand.

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