What happened: Alibaba’s cloud computing subsidiary has decided to wind down the expansion efforts in the US. Alibaba Cloud reportedly came to the decision after its US operation struggled to meet sales expectations. The company also feared that, with the rising hostility against Chinese business in the US, ambitious expansion efforts might draw unwanted attention.
Why it’s important: Founded in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is by far the largest cloud computing provider in China, beating local competitors like Tencent and China Telecom as well as top international cloud service providers. The US, however, is a different battleground. The market is still dominated by US-based cloud services developed by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. The adverse political climate and increasing regulatory scrutiny have also made it more difficult for Chinese companies to expand their operations in the US.