What happened: Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is putting plans to build a second data center in Middle East on hold as it re-evaluates its business in the region. The first Alibaba data center in the Middle East was set up in Dubai in November 2016. The company previously indicated that it would open a second facility in the UAE in 2018, but demand for its cloud services doesn’t support it, according to The National.
Why it’s important: Alibaba’s decision to put its second data center on hold defies current market trends. The Middle East is seeing rising demand for cloud services as more companies migrate their data, applications, and servers to web-based cloud providers. Regional demand has attracted global players including Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP. Alibaba Cloud has the third largest share of the cloud database market behind Amazon and Microsoft, according to a recent report by US research firm Gartner.