Alibaba injects $15bn into IoT, FinTech & Quantum Computing


Alibaba's initiative to invest in the research and development program would help the retail industry giant accomplish its long-term goal of serving 2 billion customers and generating 100 million new jobs in the coming 20 years.

"The labs will help solve issues that Alibaba is now facing across its business lines", Jeff Zhang, Alibaba's chief technology officer, said in a telephone interview.

The Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, announced today about the company's plan to plow in more than $15 billion over the next 3 years into a global program called Alibaba DAMO Academy.

DAMO, which stands for "Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook", will open seven labs: Two will be in China (in Beijing and Hangzhou, Alibaba's hometown), while the others will be in Singapore, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Bellevue (in the Seattle area), and San Mateo (in Silicon Valley). Over 100 scientists worldwide who specialize in different aspects of AI, quantum computing, and the IoT will also be hired.

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

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The planned investment compares to the Dollars 6.4 billion the company spent on R&D over the past three fiscal years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The new offices will be tasked with exploring and developing technologies related to data intelligence, Internet of Things, financial technology, quantum computing and human-machine interaction including machine learning and language processing, CNBC added. An advisory board, consisting of researchers and educators from various top universities such as MIT will guide the program.

The labs will also collaborate with universities, for example the Academy will work with the University of California, Berkeley on areas such as secured real-time computing.

At the present time, Alibaba now has 25,000 engineers in its roster and it is expected that their research project would allow them to reach out to 2 billion customers in the next two decades. With our global expansion, we have grown and refined our technology manifold.