Date
20 October 2017
Alibaba will open new research labs to focus on technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Photo: Bloomberg
Alibaba will open new research labs to focus on technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Photo: Bloomberg

Alibaba to invest US$15 bln under global R&D program

Alibaba Group announced plans to invest US$15 billion on research and development over the next three years, an initiative that will pave way for establishment of several overseas research hubs.

The Chinese e-commerce giant said on Wednesday that it will launch eight research facilities that will focus on areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and FinTech.

The centers will be opened in China, Israel, the United States, Russia and Singapore under an initiative dubbed the Alibaba DAMO Academy, it said in a statement, Reuters reports.

The company intends to hire 100 researchers worldwide initially as part of the program to work on new technologies.

“The Alibaba DAMO Academy will be at the forefront of developing next-generation technology that will spur the growth of Alibaba and our partners,” Chief Technology Officer Jeff Zhang said.

The investment comes as Beijing prioritizes quantum computing, AI and big data, urging public and private firms to play a bigger role in developing advanced technologies in areas where China lags, Reuters noted.

Alibaba and its affiliates have undergone rapid expansion in the past year, bringing the group into direct competition with US e-commerce titan Amazon Inc., as well as global payments, cloud and logistics firms.

Along with an existing data science research lab in California, Alibaba has opened new data centers in Europe, the US, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, India and Indonesia since 2016, in a bid to boost its cloud business.

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