Alibaba has continued its rapid public cloud expansion, with sales rising by two thirds in its recent second quarter.
The overall Alibaba business saw revenue rocket 42 per cent to 114.9bn yen during the three-month period ending 30 June 2019, driven by its traditional consumer and e-commerce businesses.
Alibaba Cloud's sales grew 66 per cent, up to 7.8bn yen, which it attributed to an increase in average revenue per customer.
The cloud business now accounts for six per cent of Alibaba's total income.
On an earnings call, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang said the cloud unit is continuing to see "robust" growth.
"We are focusing on delivering high value-added services while rationalising our offerings of commodity products and services," he said.
"We will continue to execute our strategy of expanding our market leadership, increasing investment in talent and technology infrastructure, and developing new value-added products."
Zhang also singled out Alibaba's private cloud business for particular praise on the investor call, revealing it grew 250 per cent in the second quarter.
"We are capturing strong secular demand for private cloud, primarily driven by digital transformation of big enterprise clients in various industries," he added.
Chris Bunch, general manager at Cloudreach EMEA, said that Zhang will have been referring to Alibaba's Apsara Stack, which is essentially the Chinese vendor's equivalent of Azure Stack.
"It offers some of the features and orchestration from the public cloud offering as a service that can be run private or hybrid," he explained.
"Growth of 250 per cent is not to be sniffed at, but I'll wager the actual numbers underneath are relatively small - as they are for all vendors in this area.
"It's still interesting, but hard to get specifics from people on how much this contributes to their number."
Bunch added that Alibaba's cloud growth is particularly impressive given that it comes predominantly from an APAC base.
"The growth is higher than the other vendors', but from a smaller base, which is to be expected," he said.
"At around $1.1bn per quarter for cloud, they're a similar size to Google Cloud Platform as an order of magnitude.
"That is impressive given much of their revenues are tied to APAC, rather than the 'West', where cloud is typically regarded as more advanced - North America and the UK being the biggest markets."
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