Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, is investing $1 billion to develop one million digital talent, support 100,000 developers, and back 100,000 technology startups in Asia Pacific over the next three years.
The initiative will be made through Project AsiaForward, which is part of the cloud provider’s strategy to invest in infrastructure, technological innovation, and talent development to supercharge the region’s growth through digital transformation, according to a statement.
Three core programs – DigiTalents, AI Forward, DigiEntrepreneurs – have been created as part of its talent development ambitions and will respectively focus on digital upskilling, enabling developers, and fulfilling promising business ideas with real-life opportunities.
According to Alibaba Cloud Intelligence president Jeff Zhang, innovative technology is critical to the recovery from COVID-19 while a strong pipeline of talent well versed in digital applications is needed to support the sustainable development of today’s digital economy.
“We are seeing strong demand for cloud-native technologies in emerging verticals across the region, from e-commerce and logistics platforms to FinTech and online entertainment. As the leading cloud service provider and trusted partner in APAC, we are committed to bettering the region’s cloud ecosystem and enhancing its digital infrastructure,” he added.
In the Philippines, the company is to launch its first data center by the end of this year. This investment is the latest in Alibaba Cloud’s growing commitment in the country, focusing on the banking, fintech, retail, logistics, and education sectors, among others.
In Malaysia, Alibaba Cloud is to build its first international innovation center. Various cloud technology and business leadership trainings will be offered through the platform, as well as the nurturing of an ecosystem for venture capital networking.
In Indonesia, Alibaba Cloud has officially launched the third datacenter, starting to serve customers with offerings across database, security, network, machine learning, and data analytics services.
“Our strategic roadmap for APAC includes targeted investments to facilitate the digital transformation of local businesses. We see these investments as all the more timely given the impact of the pandemic and the sharp rise in demand for digital business tools,” said Selina Yuan, general manager of International Business Unit at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.