Alibaba is funnelling $15bn into overseas research and development

Alibaba is funnelling $15bn into overseas research and development

Alibaba is funnelling $15bn into overseas research and development

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA), China's largest online retail group, is launching a massive US$15bn research and development programme looking at new bleeding edge technologies. An advisory board, consisting of researchers and educators from various top universities such as MIT will guide the program.

The e-commerce giant said the global research program is called Alibaba DAMO Academy, which stands for "Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook". Research areas for the academy are expected to include data intelligence, the "internet of things" (IoT), fintech, quantum computing and human-machine interaction.

Alibaba's objective is to create new and disruptive technologies to "benefit small businesses and narrow the technology gap to make our world a more inclusive place", chief technology officer Jeff Zhang said in prepared statements. The initial pool of 100 researchers and scientists will be recruited from all over the world. The labs will also focus on machine learning, network security, visual computing and natural language processing.

Alibaba outlined the program will help it to meet its long-term commitment to create 100 million jobs and serve 2 billion customers in 20 years.

Zhang in an interview said, "Over the past 18 years, we have developed a robust technology infrastructure that supports the rapid growth of our business".

The Alibaba "Damo" academy is planning to establish eight research centers in different countries including China, Russia, USA, Israel, and Singapore.

DAMO Academy has already merged with the University of California, Berkeley, which will witness the entities explore areas such as secured real-time computing through RISE lab. "It will also be at the forefront of developing next-generation technology".

The Chinese giant and its affiliates have undergone a rapid expansion in the past year, bringing it into direct competition with United States e-retailer Inc., as well as global payments, cloud and logistics firms.

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