Cloud wars: China’s deep-pocketed Alibaba takes on AWS

China’s Alibaba Group Holding last week said it would invest $ 1 billion into its Aliyun cloud computing arm to challenge Amazon Web Services. This move kicks off what could become a global battle between the two e-commerce giants. Also, it could change the dynamics in the cloud market now dominated by AWS, Google, IBM, and Microsoft.

A billon dollars is not chump change, but it’s not a game-changing amount, either. For example, last year IBM invested $ 1.2 billion to significantly expand its global cloud footprint. IBM already had a good head start in the cloud when it tossed in that $ 1.2 billion, yet that investment is unlikely to catch IBM up to AWS.

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