Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, announced that it aims to build an IoT network with 10 billion connected devices within the next five years. The announcement was made at this year’s Cloud Computing Conference held in Shenzhen on 28 March 2018.

At the conference, Alibaba’s operating system AliOS also announced a major partnership with NXP Semiconductors N.V., the world’s largest supplier of automotive semiconductors to jointly install automotive infotainment solution in millions of vehicles in China by 2020.

Alibaba’s internet car is one of the main focus of its IoT initiative. AliOS joined hands with SAIC Motor, Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën Automobile, and Ford Motor to develop internet automobiles. As of today, 500,000 AliOS-powered internet cars have been rolled out. Apart from connected cars, Alibaba Cloud’s IoT solutions have also covered the household, manufacturing, smart city, leveraging its cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and computing,

Alibaba’s IoT initiative for household started in June last year with Alibaba Cloud Link, an open platform for smart living. For example, individual appliance manufacturers like Midea can link their own products to those of others through this Alibaba Cloud platform, and use Alibaba’s connectivity, device management, and data analytics solutions. On January 2018, Alibaba’s A.I. lab partnered with MediaTek, a Taiwan-based global semiconductor company for to provide a smarter home solution.

It’s been almost one year Alibaba Cloud established its Internet of Things (IoT) business unit. Since April 2017, it partnered with over 200 industry players on its IoT Connectivity Alliance (ICA) to create AliOS Things, an open-source operating system for IoTs with more than 14,000 developers involved. They will also develop edge computing using Alibaba Cloud’s advantages in security, storage, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at

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