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TikTok owner ByteDance drops Alibaba Cloud outside China

Decision causes major setback for global expansion of rising Alibaba unit

Alibaba's global cloud presence was slowed by the defection, according to the company's latest earnings.   © Reuters

Social media sensation ByteDance has dropped Alibaba's cloud services for its businesses outside China, two sources told Caixin, dealing a major setback to the e-commerce giant's global aspirations for a unit that is becoming a major source of revenue.

Alibaba Group Holding alluded to the setback in its latest earnings report on Thursday, saying that the loss of "a top cloud customer in the internet industry" was responsible for sharply slower growth for its cloud services division in the three months through March. It did not name the customer.

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