TOKYO -- Alibaba Group Holding is bringing its cloud service to Japan, where the company aims to reach annual sales of 100 billion yen ($944 million) in two years, Alibaba Cloud CEO Simon Hu told The Nikkei.
The Chinese e-commerce giant has formed a joint venture with SoftBank Group to expand its cloud business to Japan. The service, to launch later this year, seeks to become the biggest provider in the public cloud space in the country within two years of its arrival, Hu said. With the Japanese market for these services forecast to be worth some 500 billion yen in 2018, reaching the sales target would give the venture an impressive 20% share.
Data storage and analysis, artificial intelligence and various other services will be offered to appeal to companies big and small.
Alibaba Cloud already provides services in six markets including China, Singapore and the U.S. In Japan, the company will try to beat Amazon.com, Microsoft and other competitors on price while taking advantage of local partner SoftBank's marketing resources.
The venture plans to establish several secure, earthquake-resilient data centers in Tokyo and other parts of the country to build its Japanese cloud. Customer data will be kept safe, Hu said.