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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Alibaba's first Thailand data centre goes live

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing service arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has launched its first data centre in Thailand to capitalise on the country's cloud market and support the nation's 20-year strategic plan.

Alibaba Cloud (Thailand) has registered capital of 1.06 billion baht, according to the Business Development Department.

"Thailand is one of the strategic countries to provide our cloud services," Tyler Qiu, Thailand country manager for Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said via a virtual news conference.

Bangkok is one of 27 Alibaba Cloud Regions -- a geographic area where the company's data centres are deployed. The data centre in Bangkok went live last month.

Alibaba Cloud has a total of 84 availability zones for cloud services covering more than 200 countries. In Asean, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta and Manila also serve as Alibaba Cloud Regions.

The company has not disclosed the size of the investment for the data centre, while the outlay also covers equipment, technology, business partnership, and skill-building for workforces and localised solutions.

"We partner with local data centre providers to provide Alibaba cloud services," said Mr Qiu. The company did not disclose the location of its data centre in Bangkok or those of its partners, citing security concerns.

In 2020, the cloud market in Thailand was valued at US$620 million, including $430 million for platform- and software-as-a-service (PaaS and SaaS), with the remainder for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Mr Qiu said, citing a study by research company Gartner.

The market is expected to reach $2.4 billion by 2025, with projected growth of more than 40% every year from 2022. Of this sum, $1.1 billion is projected to be for IaaS, while the remaining $1.3 billion is for PaaS and SaaS.

The country's leading cloud customers include those in the digital media, finance, retail and manufacturing sectors.

"They are in line with Alibaba's targeted sectors," said Mr Qiu.

Alibaba Cloud sees the opportunity of offering cybersecurity services and talent empowerment in cloud and big data fields.

The company also aims to provide services related to environmental, social and governance issues, which is in line with the government's 20-year national strategic plan, which started in 2018, to enhance security, prosperity and sustainability for the country.

As Thailand's Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) is scheduled to be fully enforced next month, Alibaba's local data centre underscores the company's commitment to complying with the country's regulations, Mr Qiu said.

"Data security and protection remains our top priority as we continue to expand. With the establishment of our new data centre, we are committed to be compliant with Thailand's rules and regulations," said Mr Qiu.

The data centre has secured ISO 27001 and ISO 20000 certificates, and is compliant with Thailand's PDPA regulations, as well as the financial regulatory guidelines issued by the Bank of Thailand.

Alibaba Cloud has provided Paas, SaaS and IaaS for various industrial sectors, such as retail and logistics groups.

It aims to build cloud skills for 20,000 people, including professionals and students, by 2023, Mr Qiu said. The company is looking for digital transformation partnerships with various sectors, such as retail, fintech, media and gaming, government and multinational corporations.

In 2021, Alibaba Cloud was ranked the world's third-largest IaaS provider and the biggest in Asia-Pacific by revenue.

Mr Qiu says the data centre has secured ISO 27001 and ISO 20000 certificates, and is compliant with Thailand's PDPA regulations.
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