Specifically, Aliyun – Alibaba’s cloud business – is opening the California headquarters of its first overseas outpost.
Aliyun’s U.S. data center will first serve Chinese enterprises based in America. However, Alibaba’s plan is to open up its business to international clients by the end of this year.
Aliyun already has data centers in the Chinese cities of Hangzhou, Alibaba’s hometown; Qingdao, Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. During China’s “Singles’ Day” shopping holiday, Aliyun’s data centers handled 80,000 orders per second during the peak of the shopping spree.
“Aliyun offers users top-notch cloud computing products and services at competitive prices,” Ethan Sicheng Yu, vice president at Aliyun, said in a statement. “Now Aliyun hopes to meet the needs of Chinese enterprises in the United States, and the ultimate objective of Aliyun is to bring cost-efficient and cutting-edge cloud computing services to benefit more clients outside China to boost their business development.”
Alibaba is using Silicon Valley – the exact location has not been specified – as an experiment in learning from and courting U.S. companies.
“For the time being, we are just testing the water,” Yu noted in Alibaba’s e-commerce blog, Alizila. “We know what Chinese clients need, now it’s time for us to learn what U.S. clients need.”
Aliyun also noted that it is planning to open similar centers in Europe and Southeast Asia by the end of the year.
The news comes after shares in Alibaba have been tanking less than six months since its record-breaking initial public offering last September.
Alibaba’s stock hit its lowest point Tuesday, trading just above $80. Since Wednesday’s announcement, shares have rallied to above $85, still below its $94 high point during its first week of trading.