Alibaba announced today that it acquired Kanbox, a leading domestic cloud storage service, to expand business in personal cloud storage industry. Gu Zhicheng, CEO of Kanbox and former founder of video player Storm Codec, will join Alibaba Group together with his team.
Launched in 2010, Kanbox currently recorded 15 million users, of which, more than 3 million are mobile users. The company has shifted its focus to mobile devices since 2012 in the wake of booming development of mobile Internet.
The account systems of Kanbox and other businesses under Alibaba Group will be merged to provide more convenient cloud services to customers. Kanbox, which provides free picture storage to users, will not only offer cloud storage services to individuals but also provide safer picture storage space to Taobao sellers.
Kanbox targets to become a cloud center for documents and data on mobile devices, providing backup, sharing and management services for pictures, contacts, messages and apps.
Leading cloud storage companies waged a cloud storage war this August, vying to provide free cloud storage spaces to customers so as to gain bigger user base. Kanbox did not took part in the battle back then, because all of the companies involved in this battle are deep-pocked Internet giants, such as Kingsoft, Qihoo 360, Baidu, Tencent and Huawei. It is difficult for a startup company to compete with them while the competition is reaching a feverish pitch. After this acquisition, Alibaba will increase investments in cloud storage business, setting Kanbox on the same level with peers in terms of capital support.
On the other hand, this purchase will also strengthen the user stickiness and competitiveness of Alibaba Group in mobile division. Personal cloud storage is a basic service to connect mobile users and also a pivotal platform to link different apps in the wireless market. In addition, Kanbox is complementary to the business ecosystem of Alibaba group, according to the company.