Alibaba dedicates $15 billion to ‘Moonshots’
Chinese Ecommerce giant Alibaba will “more than double” the research and development budget it uses to create next-gen technology. This means that, over the next three years, the company plans to spend $15 billion exploring ‘moonshot’ projects (to borrow a term from Google) with the goal of disrupting existing industries and drive growth.
Directly in its sights are Artificial Intelligence (AI) the Internet of Things (IoT) and quantum computing. Examples of more targeted technologies within these broad categories are machine learning, visual computing, and network security. Alibaba says it will set up seven research laboratories and employ 100 scientists around the world to fill them.
Alibaba’s share price has soared +109% so far this year!
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
The $15 billion Alibaba is planning to spend over the next three years compares to “just” $6.4 billion on R&D over the last three. There are signs that Alibaba’s research budget had slowed down: in a statement, the company claimed that it spends $3 billion a year on average. This budget is split between Alibaba’s currently 25,000 engineers and scientists.
Not only will it add money and researchers, but Alibaba will aim to bring in top-quality partners through its “DAMO” Academy (Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook). These will include professors from institutions like Princeton, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley.
Jeff Zhang, the company’s chief technology officer, says that the increased focus and resources directed at research will let Alibaba be “at the forefront of developing next-generation technology”. This is the point: the company has no shortage of competitors, including Amazon, Tencent, and Google, who are jostling for lead position.
Dominion holds Alibaba, Amazon, Tencent, and Alphabet (the parent company of Google) in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.
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