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China tech

Alibaba targets cloud market with China's answer to Chromebook

Palm-size device to offer powerful computing resources on subscription basis

Alibaba hopes its first cloud computer will help capture growing demand for cloud services amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Alibaba)

HONG KONG -- Chinese tech conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding unveiled its first cloud computer on Thursday, a move to expand its presence in the country's multibillion-dollar cloud services market as the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand.

Introduced at Alibaba's annual cloud conference, the palm-sized device is as light as an egg but is able to offer high-performance computing because it stores and process information entirely on the cloud, the company said. By simply connecting the device to a normal computer screen, users can access almost unlimited computing resources, which are paid for either on a subscription basis or based on actual usage.

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