Alibaba's cloud computing business, Aliyun, has set up its new international headquarters and data centre in Singapore.
Ethan Yu, Aliyun's vice president, told CNBC he hoped Singapore's data centre will help the company "catch up" with top players.
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That competition comes in the form of U.S. cloud players Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft. Amazon already set up its data centre on the island back in 2010, and Microsoft expanded its Azure cloud with a new data centre here in 2014.
Alibaba has five data centres in China and Hong Kong, and added another in Silicon Valley in March.
The big push into Southeast Asia, starting with its new Singapore home, is part of a $1 billion plan for Aliyun to capture Chinese businesses expanding globally.
According to ZDNet, Aliyun has 1.8 million customers, including Chinese government agencies. In China, Aliyun reportedly has 23% of the cloud infrastructure market.
Globally, Amazon has 28% and Microsoft has 10% of the market, says Synergy Research Group.