Alibaba app. Source: Shutterstock

Alibaba Cloud to hire 5000 workers as COVID-19 drives IaaS demand

  • Alibaba Cloud is planning to hire up to 5,000 new staff as it looks to fulfill its cloud infrastructure commitment
  • The firm’s cloud & data analytics business is a key component of China’s sweeping digital transformation plan
  • Microsoft & Google have also been advertising to fill “hundreds” of vacant positions in their cloud operations

Some of the side effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been the increase in data usage and storage, along with the consumer-driven uptakes in the likes of video streaming and teleconferencing.

To meet some of this demand in China, Alibaba Group is looking to hire up to 5,000 new people for positions in its cloud computing division. Alibaba Cloud is the third biggest public cloud provider in the world and the biggest in Asia, according to data from the latest Gartner report, with Alibaba’s share in the global Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) market up to 28.2 percent last year, up two percent from 2018.

The new employment opportunities will be spread around sectors such as networking, databases, servers, and artificial intelligence (AI), Alibaba revealed in a statement.

The announcement follows the recent revelation by the Chinese government that China will be embarking on a nationwide digital transformation plan, with US$1.4 trillion expected to be invested in a variety of digital and urban transformation projects as the mainland looks towards local technology heavyweights including Alibaba, Huawei, and Tencent in conscious efforts to wean itself off foreign tech dependence.

Cloud computing and data-driven initiatives from Alibaba will play a major part in this new plan, and the 5,000 new hires will help speed up digital recovery efforts for companies and organizations in China. “The digital transformation journey for businesses in China, which was previously expected to take three to five years, is now likely to be accelerated to be completed within one year,” Alibaba Cloud Intelligence president Jeff Zhang was quoted as saying in the statement.

Unemployment has been on the rise throughout the coronavirus saga, but companies have been shifting focus to meet the changes in customer demand, and large tech firms are still looking to fill talent gaps for many of their newer or demanding enterprises.

Google Cloud apparently has hundreds of job openings in cloud-related services, and likewise for Microsoft, with advertisements for hundreds of job postings at its Azure cloud operations.

Alibaba Cloud’s jobs announcement comes a couple of months after it committed to invest 200 billion yuan (US$28 billion) into its cloud infrastructure over the next three years. Alibaba Cloud Intelligence president Zhang said at the time, “The pandemic has posed additional stress on the overall economy across sectors, but it also steers us to put more focus on the digital economy.”