In order to compete with the heavy dominance of Silicon Valley in high technology, Alibaba—China’s e-commerce company—is planning to invest a total of $15 billion into research labs with a global network. According to the Company, this massive investment would put to use in establishing research facilities in the United States, Russia, Singapore, Israel and China over the next three years.
According to many Analysts, Alibaba and other companies need to innovate themselves in order to keep up with other companies.
According to Kitty Fok, an Analyst with research firm IDC based in Beijing, it is highly essential for Alibaba to create newer technology at a faster pace. Chinese companies, in general, should raise their game with respect to investment.
Amazon, Alibaba’s huge global e-commerce competitor, spent almost $16 billion in promoting technology research and development.
Run by Chief Technology Officer Jeff Zhang, “Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook”—a new group—will actively lead the Alibaba program. In a statement, Zhang expressed that they were now looking for driven and talented researchers to join them in the quest for new disruptive technologies.
Also, Alibaba has planned to employ 100 researchers to manage the new labs. Jack Ma, like many popular tech founders, likes to study the future and make predictions. He thinks that artificial intelligence has the power to change the world completely, and he prophesies that robots may substitute for few of the world’s biggest CEOs.
Considering Alibaba’s foray of high tech businesses, and Jack Ma’s futuristic stances, it makes a lot of sense to invest in highly advanced technology.
Just like Amazon, Alibaba too has diversified beyond just online shopping. It has majorly expanded to include fields and activities such as cloud services, grocery stores and online payment forums. It has also branched out with investments in start-ups like the bike-sharing company “Ofo” and ride-sharing company called “DidiChuxing.”