Alibaba to almost triple R&D spending to $15 billion over three years

Alibaba to almost triple R&D spending to $15 billion over three years

Alibaba to almost triple R&D spending to $15 billion over three years

China's top e-commerce firm, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, is launching a $15 billion drive to build overseas research hubs as the deep-pocketed firm looks to compete with global leaders in e-commerce, logistics and cloud technology. All of the facilities will be overseen by an advisory board consisting of some of the best researchers and professors at leading universities, including MIT. With special talent recruited for the objective across several labs spread around the world, including at home in China and in countries like the United States, Singapore, Russia and Israel.

"The labs will help solve issues that Alibaba is now facing across its business lines", Jeff Zhang, Alibaba's chief technology officer, said in a telephone interview.

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They will be led out of a new initiative dubbed by Alibaba as the DAMO Academy - with the acronym standing for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook. The program will focus on innovative technology including data intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), fintech, quantum computing and human-machine interaction. Moreover, it will employ 100 researchers to recruit staff into those labs. For example, Alibaba will work with the University of California, Berkeley's Real-Time Intelligent Secure Execution lab (RISELab) on its work into secure computing.

The Chinese giant and its affiliates have undergone a rapid expansion in the past year, bringing it into direct competition with USA e-retailer Amazon.com Inc., as well as global payments, cloud and logistics firms. "It will also be at the forefront of developing next-generation technology". "We aim to discover breakthrough technologies that will enable greater efficiency, network security and ecosystem synergy for end-users and businesses everywhere", Jeff Zhang said in a statement. This project has a goal of serving two billion customers and creating 100 million jobs by 2036 and also to increase technological collaboration worldwide.

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