Wednesday , November 22 2017

Alibaba to double R&D spending to $15bn over 3 years

epa05473376 (FILE) A file photo dated 22 October 2007 shows a man walking past an Alibaba.com Ltd. advertising billboard in Hong Kong, China. Alibaba Group Holding Limited on 11 August 2016 announced its  financial results for the quarter ended 30 June 2016, saying 'Alibaba Group had an outstanding quarter with a 59 per cent revenue growth for the company overall and a 49 per cent revenue growth of their China retail marketplaces'.  EPA/YM

Bloomberg

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will more than double research and development spending to
$15 billion over the next three years to develop next-generation technology, drive its sprawling business and explore moonshot projects that could upend industries.
The e-commerce giant plans to set up seven research labs and hire 100 scientists around the world to delve into artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and quantum computing, the company said in an emailed statement. Specific fields include machine learning, visual computing and network security.
The programme marks a significant ramp-up in its R&D outlay and is intended to help the $469 billion behemoth keep pace with Amazon.com Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. in potentially industry-changing advancements. It’s in line with ambitions voiced by top policy makers who want China to become a global leader in artificial intelligence.
“The labs will help solve issues that Alibaba is currently facing across its business lines,” Jeff Zhang, Alibaba’s chief technology officer, said.
“It will also be at the forefront of developing next-generation technology.”
The planned investment compares to the $6.4 billion the company spent on R&D over the past three fiscal years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
It’s calling its global research programme the Alibaba DAMO Academy—short for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook. It will set up labs across China, the US, Russia, Israel and Singapore and fund collaborations with universities, including the University of California at Berkeley.
And it’s enlisted professors from institutions such as Princeton and Harvard to sit on n advisory board.

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