Alibaba Introduces Aggressive Cloud Service Price Cuts in Battle for AI Dominance

Alibaba Cloud Services Prices Cuts Up to 55% to Dominate AI Market | CIO Women Magazine

In a strategic move to regain its competitive edge in the Alibaba cloud services domain, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has announced its second major price reduction in years. The Chinese tech giant is aiming to attract users away from competitors like Tencent Holdings Ltd. by offering significant discounts on a wide range of internet-based services, particularly those crucial for artificial intelligence (AI) development.

Starting Thursday, Alibaba will implement price cuts of up to 55% on over 100 products, including data storage and elastic computing options. The average reduction across services will be 20%. This initiative follows the cancellation of Alibaba’s spinoff and initial public offering for its cloud unit, a surprising decision that affected investor expectations and caused a 2.3% dip in Alibaba’s shares in Hong Kong.

Focused Efforts on Public Cloud Amidst Challenges

Amidst challenges such as US sanctions limiting the supply of advanced chips to Chinese companies, Alibaba is directing its attention towards growing its public cloud business. CEO Eddie Wu has taken direct control of the unit and initiated significant changes to key aspects. The latest price reduction campaign aims to make Alibaba cloud services more accessible, lowering the entry barrier for enterprises and developers. Liu Weiguang, president of the public cloud segment, stated, “to lower the threshold of cloud services for more enterprises and developers to reap the technological dividends and accelerate the adoption of advanced public cloud services across various industries.”

Despite facing intense competition and navigating regulatory scrutiny over the past year, Alibaba remains focused on revamping its operations. The cloud business, originating over a decade ago to support its massive e-commerce operations, stands out as a crucial element of Alibaba’s ongoing transformation strategy.

Long-Term Benefits and Focus on Smaller Firms

The price cuts announced on Thursday are not just about immediate gains; they also include special discounts for five-year plans, encouraging longer-term commitments from clients. The move is retroactive, applying to clients renewing their orders within the next three months. Additionally, clients opting for five-year plans will benefit from specific incentives. The free-usage amount for consumer storage is set to double, increasing from 10GB to 20GB.

Alibaba executives emphasized that these discounts are designed to create opportunities, particularly for smaller firms. By supporting startups involved in generative AI platforms like Zhipu and Moonshot AI, Alibaba aims to strengthen its position in the AI sector. Meanwhile, competitors like Baidu face challenges, reporting disappointing results due, in part, to the escalating costs associated with AI development.

Alibaba’s aggressive stance through these price cuts demonstrates its commitment to maintaining leadership in Alibaba cloud services, particularly in the evolving landscape of AI technologies. The battle for supremacy in the cloud business among Chinese tech giants continues, with Alibaba making bold moves to stay at the forefront of this rapidly advancing sector.



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