Alibaba’s kingdom seems in big doubt: It is rumored to buy back Yahoo; Jack Ma got criticized for his controversially transferring Alipay to his own company; and TMall, the B2C eCommerce platform is suffered from very serious protest and complaints from small merchants; even worse, Jack Ma who was considered the hero helping thousands of small merchants is now suddenly the evil of killing the chance to them.
We would not know the future of Alibaba’s eCommerce. But as least, with reported ~3000 staff and the fund of rmb 1billion to build the ecosystem, Alibaba’s cloud computing, so called Aliyun looks exciting.
- Cloud Storage – as Dr. Wang Jian, the CEO of Aliyun said at its Mobile Internet Summit last week. “You may feel OK when lost your phone, but you never want to lost your data.” With the Cloud Storage, Aliyun is to enable everyone to seamlessly backup/sync his data on mobile devices via cloud;
- Cloud Computing – Amazon is playing a very important role in the startup ecosystem in silicon valley as its AWS service leaves thousands of startups with no worry about the server’s capability. But for a very long time there is no Amazon in China, and Aliyun wants become the one. Developers and startups can now use it at different price.
- Cloud OS – which is going to dominate the mobile OS market, iOS, Android or WM 7? Aliyun’s answer is the Cloud OS, a highly customized Android system which can help you easily access the (HTML5-based) cloud service as well as the normal Android-based apps. Aliyun even prepares rmb 1million to run a Cloud OS application development competition.
- Cloud-OS Phone – this is the most aggressive part. Aliyun partners with K-Touch, a famous local phone brand and have launched their first Cloud-OS phone, W700. With this phone, you can easily access hundreds of HTML5-based cloud service, including Alibaba Group’s Taobao, Koubei, Group-buying service, Cloud Storage etc.
So, Alibaba is to make the change, from an eCommerce-focus to a more technology-focus company. When you think about its entire cloud computing strategy, especially on the mobile part, does makes a lot of sense. Mobile payment gateway (Alipay) and mobile eCommerce (Taobao, Yitao search, TMall etc) are the most important services on mobile and they are what Alibaba is strong with on the web. Aliyun cloud service platform looks like giving an all-in-one package for third-parties.