2018 marks 'cloud banner year'

Source:Xinhua-Global Times Published: 2018/1/28 16:48:39

China will be at forefront of world’s digital transformation: Alibaba’s Simon Hu


An engineer checks power at a cloud computing center in Xiangyang, Central China's Hubei Province, in November. Photo: VCG

As in the past two years, cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence, together with technological innovation, application and governance, all featured among the most hotly discussed topics at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting held in Davos, Switzerland.

With the levels of cloud adoption rising globally over the years, there is consensus that cloud computing will play a fundamental role in propelling the next stage of technological advancement, Alibaba Cloud President Simon Hu said in an interview with Xinhua over the weekend on the sidelines of the WEF meeting.

As head of Alibaba Cloud, one of the top global cloud providers, Hu predicts that 2018 will mark the year when cloud computing becomes deeply incorporated into every industry sector.

Global focus on cloud

"In 2018, infrastructural development around the world will be more integrated with cloud computing. We will see more manufacturers and financial institutions choosing to adopt it. In particular, cloud computing has an important role of increasing efficiency within the Fintech [financial technology] space," Hu believes.

China will be at the forefront of the world's digital transformation, benefiting from the efficient unity of the government, enterprises, research institutions and consumers, experts noted.

And Chinese consumers are more willing to adopt new technologies, according to Hu.

"We are seeing universities and research institutes work closely with different sectors, while enterprises are actively engaged in the digital transformation of the economy and society, and this is all underpinned by the support of the government's initiatives," Hu continued.

With these drivers, experts said that cloud computing enterprises in China have emerged at the perfect moment, when technology is rapidly being translated into production capacity.

According to Hu's observations of the Davos forum, it is not only the manufacturing capabilities of Chinese enterprises that have intrigued, but also the way in which these enterprises apply and manage technology.

"Foreign entrepreneurs are increasingly interested in the digital transformation of Chinese enterprises in the search for new and emerging ideas. China's experience in digitization and innovation is attracting worldwide attention," he said.

Advantages

China's enormous population, its reform and opening-up policy, as well as its progressive perspectives on global trends, have given rise to a massive young consumer market, in addition to a large number of world-leading internet companies.

As a result, the country has accumulated a wealth of practical experience in digital technology.

"In the past, China's economy was based on exporting resources," Hu said. "But now, the country has become not only an exporter of manufactured products but also a technological pioneer. The economy now has a balance between exports and imports that is gradually improving."

"This fundamental shift has invigorated the market exponentially," he added.

China today is a testing ground for global digital transformation. It provides the world with the capacity, solutions and expertise needed for research and development, which is ultimately mutually beneficial and will contribute substantially to realizing the world's aspirations for shared prosperity and progress, experts noted.

Growing overseas

The globalization of Chinese enterprises and the further opening-up of the Chinese market have both presented enormous opportunities, Hu said, which Alibaba Cloud has managed to tap.

With the firm's overseas data centers now spanning Japan, the US, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Australia and more, this global network has allowed the firm to help Chinese enterprises venture abroad, said Hu, as well as introduce foreign enterprises to the Chinese market.

It has helped overseas Chinese enterprises embark on or advance their digital transformation initiatives.

But experts noted that data protection is a major concern.

However, Hu believes that there are always more solutions than problems.

"There is a balance to be found. We should, on the one hand, strive to achieve data security, while on the other be striving to achieve enduring, data-driven economic and social progress."

"The pace of globalization is unstoppable," experts noted, citing the globalization of information, the integration of data intelligence and industries, together with the acceleration of trade flows, as trends to watch.

"Entrepreneurs should learn from the pattern of development seen in the past few years and assume responsibility for promoting social progress," Hu said.



Posted in: ECONOMY,COMPANIES,BIZ FOCUS

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