Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) on Wednesday announced a bold new spending plan that will see its research arm expand to several new countries in coming years.
The Chinese e-commerce behemoth said it would spend $15 billion establishing research facilities to better compete in fast-growing areas like retail, cloud technology, and logistics. Reuters has more details on the plan:
The Alibaba ‘Damo’ academy would launch eight research bases in China, Israel, the United States, Russia and Singapore and was hiring 100 researchers to work on artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and fintech, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
“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.
BABA and its growing number of affiliates have expanded substantially in recent years, growing well beyond the parent company’s roots as an e-commerce platform. The company now has a significant presence in online payments, cloud computing, and even a growing interest in brick-and-mortar retail stores, including new-age supermarkets.
Its geographic expansion has been just as robust. The Chinese firm now has a research lab in California, along with data centers in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, India and Indonesia.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd shares fell $0.17 (-0.09%) in premarket trading Wednesday. Year-to-date, BABA has gained 108.29%, versus a 15.42% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.