Alibaba Kickstarts $15 Billion Overseas R&D Program

By Mei Manuel, October 12, 2017 01:10 AM

Alibaba Group(Wired)

One of China's top e-commerce firms is now gearing up to introduce its $15 billion program that would open overseas research hubs across the globe to assist in its efforts to stand at par with current leaders in e-commerce, logistics and cloud technology.

On Wednesday, Alibaba announced that they will be launching the Alibaba 'Damo' academy in 5 countries - namely China, Russia, Singapore, Israel and the United States - and are now opening hiring for 100 researchers to work on artificial intelligence, fintech and quantum computing.

According to Alibaba's Chief Technology Officer Jeff Zhang, "The Alibaba DAMO Academy will be at the forefront of developing next-generation technology that would spur the growth of Alibaba and our partners."

For the past couple of months, Alibaba and its affiliates have been undergoing rapid expansion to enable it to compete side by side with US's Amazon and as well as leaders in payments, cloud and logistics firms in the industry. Just last year, Alibaba has released $2 billion to get a majority stake in of Singapore which opened new doors for the company in Southeast Asia and opened a partnership with Ant Financial. It also went to bid for a stake at US money transfer service MoneyGram; however, this deal has been ridden with scrutiny from critics as they believe such a deal would pose national security concerns.

Alibaba currently has an overseas data science research lab in California, however, it has continously opened several data centers in Europe, America, Middle East, Australia, India, Indonesia and Japan last year as a way to expand its cloud business.

The newest investment of Alibaba comes after Beijing's declaration of providing state funding for developing quantum computing, AI and big data technology as a means to improve China's developing advanced technology.

At the present time, Alibaba currently has 25,000 engineers in its roster and it is expected that their research project would allow them to reach out to 2 billion customers in the next two decades.


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