What happened: Alibaba’s cloud services arm retained its leadership position as the top provider in Asia in 2018, according to Gartner, which helped narrow the gap with its two rivals in the global market. The Chinese e-commerce giant accounted for 19.6% in Asia markets for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Infrastructure Utility Services (IUS). Globally, Amazon still leads with more than 30% to Alibaba’s nearly 5% market share. However, Amazon’s regional market share weakened to 11%, while Alibaba’s share increased by nearly a third from 2017.
Why it’s important: Cloud services is becoming a driver for Alibaba’s global expansion and an important source of growth. Its cloud business has been generating triple-digit revenue growth over the past three years. Alibaba previously said that its public cloud platform and cloud computing technology now underpin the entire Alibaba ecosystem from e-commerce and payments to logistics and supply chain management. Global cloud service providers including Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple have been eyeing the Asia market. However, foreign service providers are largely hampered by regulations in China, a market that is set to be the largest by 2023.