China’s Alibaba Takes Blockchain Cloud Business to International Markets

The Asian corporate giant unveiled a global DLT strategy within hours of Oracle launching similar services.

Chinese conglomerate Alibaba Group has expanded its blockchain cloud business outside of its home country, according to a press release on Wednesday. The distributed ledger technology (DLT) services target the lucrative markets of South East Asia, North America, and Europe.

Alibaba’s blockchain is BaaS, which means it follows the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Clients can use DLT solutions to create applications for various business purposes, including management, automatic deployment, control and maintenance of daily activities, as well as the launch of Software Development Kit (SDK) apps. Some of those functions target the same business groups as the expanded blockchain cloud suite rolled out earlier this week by US-based Oracle.

The Alibaba BaaS incorporates two blockchain platforms - the DLT of Linux Foundation Hyperledger and that of Ant Financial Services Group, which is partly owned by the Chinese company.

“As stated in MIIT [China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology]’s recent whitepaper, 2018 is set to be another blockbuster year for the industry with record amount of capital to be injected into companies in the space, and Hyperledger is committed to the development of blockchain technologies in China,” Hyperledger executive director Brian Behlendorf said.

Alibaba launched its BaaS solution in 2017. So far, it has remained focused on the domestic market, which is among the fastest-growing worldwide. However, as global competition becomes more intense, Alibaba is looking for new markets. It is yet to transpire whether the group will offer some of the DLT solutions to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), to which Alibaba is the official cloud service partner.

Currently, the $16 billion cloud services market is dominated by Amazon’s AWS, followed by Microsoft, Google, and Alibaba, according to Synergy Research Group data for the second quarter of 2018.