Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Alibaba to double research and development spending

Alibaba to double research and development spending

This is the beginning of its global research program, now known as Alibaba DAMO Academy - "DAMO" an acronym for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook.

Over the next three years, the company plans to spend $15 billion on research and development, a significant increase over its current rate of spending.

CTO Jeff Zhang will be head of the academy, which will seek to recruit 100 researchers and scientists to join the program. In each area, researchers will focus on real-world applications such as machine learning, network security and natural language processing. "With our technology and capital and responsibility, we can build a world-class research institute and if done correctly, it could help 100 billion companies create opportunities and help solve problems for billions of people around the world".

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The Alibaba "Damo" academy is planning to establish eight research centers in different countries including China, Russia, USA, Israel, and Singapore.

One year ago, Alibaba invested in Singapore based e-commerce hub Lazada.com and also partnered with Ant Financial.

AliPay, the company's online payment platform, has more than 520 million users globally, while the cloud computing division, AliCloud, has been growing strongly as the company ratcheted up its worldwide presence by investing in e-commerce companies in South Asia and India.

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The Chinese company looked to carry out a similar strategy 10 years ago, but Ma stated Alibaba wasn't in the same position as it is today and not ready to take on the challenges.

The company said the programme was geared towards advancing the development of cutting-edge technology, but was also an effort to "make the world more inclusive by narrowing the technology gap".

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.

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