Economy

Alibaba launches US$15b global R&D programme, to open lab in Singapore

Alibaba launches US$15b global R&D programme, to open lab in Singapore”

They will focus on "foundational and disruptive technology research" in areas such as data intelligence, natural-language processing, quantum computing, and machine learning.

China's technology conglomerate, Alibaba Group Holding, will increase more than twice its research and development spending (up to United States dollars 15 billion) over the next three years to develop the next generation of technology, boost its growing business and explore ambitious projects, which could change the industries.

The program is to be called Alibaba DAMO Academy, which stands for discovery, adventure, momentum, and outlook. In addition, the Chinese ecommerce and technology titan will open labs in San Mateo, California; Seattle, Washington; Moscow, Russia; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Singapore.

"The Academy is the first major global initiative to focus on developing the global technological capabilities and infrastructure that will enable Alibaba to fulfill its commitment to serve two billion customers and create 100 million job opportunities in 20 years", according to the company.

In the previous three years, its spending on research and development was about $6 billion-a fraction of what major US tech companies spend.

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. "With our global expansion, we have grown and refined our technology manifold", Zhang said in a statement.

The new academy, which will be headed by Alibaba Group's chief technology officer Jeff Zhang, is looking to "increase technological collaboration worldwide, advance the development of cutting-edge technology and strive to make the world more inclusive by narrowing the technology gap", Alibaba said in a statement.

The academy has also named a 10-member advisory board, which include professors from top universities in China and the United States.

Alibaba now has around 25,000 engineers and scientists on its staff across its multiple businesses of ecommerce, cloud infrastructure, payment and financial services, logistics, marketing services, and digital media.



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