Alibaba Group’s cloud computing unit, called Aliyun (or AliCloud), said today that its first data center in Hong Kong will launch on May 12. This is significant because it marks Aliyun’s first step toward international expansion. The announcement comes less than a week after Alibaba filed for its U.S. public offering, which is expected to be one of the largest tech IPOs ever.
It is important to note, however, that Aliyun does not look like it plans to expand into the U.S. Instead, the subsidiary is targeting Chinese businesses operating in the Greater China region and Southeast Asia.
As Alibaba explained in its announcement, Chinese companies that want to set up business outside mainland China usually need to add Web servers in local markets to handle additional traffic. This means that they have to deal with a new set of Internet regulations in each country. Renting Aliyun servers means that…
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