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July 22, 2015

Cloud data pact reveals Alibaba’s global ambition

Company hopes to build trust in the U.S. market.

By James Nunns

Alibaba’s cloud arm has issued a "Data Protection Pact" as it looks to expand into global markets like the U.S.

Aliyum, the cloud computing unit of the e-commerce giant, is promising that customers on its platform would have "absolute ownership" over all their data, giving users the choice to do whatever they wished with their data.

The company appears to be taking the approach of stepping back from any control over the data, which may create some interesting future scenarios when security organisations come calling to access data.

As part of the pact, it is promised that customers from developers to government agencies will not have data altered or transferred in any way by the company.

Stressing its security focus, the company has said that it is responsible for establishing management and internal audit systems to protect against threats, to strengthen this it says that it analyses more than 100 terabytes of information each day to detect security threats.

The company, which hopes to build a second data centre in the U.S., has been growing its Cloud business, increasingly working with government agencies to migrate data onto the cloud.

Despite the company’s hopes to expand into the U.S. market, Simon Hu, Aliyun, president said it faces challenges: "Chinese companies providing software services in the U.S. still face problems of culture and trust. I think it takes a certain amount of time for more clients to accept and observe Aliyun’s services."

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