In fiscal year 2021, Alibaba’s cloud computing revenue grew 50% year-over-year, to US$9,176 million (RMB60,120 million), primarily driven by growth in revenue from customers in the Internet, public sector and finance industries.
In the March 2021 quarter, cloud computing revenue grew 37% year-over-year to US$2,558 million (RMB16,761 million). The slower revenue growth during the quarter was primarily due to revenue decline from a top cloud customer in the Internet industry. This customer, which has a sizeable presence outside of China that used our overseas cloud services in the past, has decided to terminate the relationship with respect to their international business due to non-product related requirements.
Excluding this customer, Alibaba Cloud’s top ten non-affiliated customers together accounted for no more than eight percent of Alibaba Cloud’s total revenue in fiscal year 2021. Going forward, the company believes that their cloud computing revenue will be further diversified across customers and industries.
Proprietary Technologies Alibaba
Alibaba Cloud claims its advantages to be their proprietary technology and the company’s continued commitment to invest in research & development for new product offerings and industry-specific solutions. Highlights of their proprietary technologies in fiscal year 2021 include:
- Elastic Computing – In February 2021, Alibaba Cloud launched the 7th generation ECS public cloud server that would increase overall computing power by 40%. Built on top of their proprietary X-Dragon architecture, this new generation server would offer mission critical security enhancements. According to Alibaba, this is especially important for customers in the Internet and finance industries that require fail-safe continuous operations and highly secured cloud infrastructure.
- Database – Alibaba’s proprietary technologies have consistently won recognition from leading research and advisory organizations, so the company stated. For example, in December 2020, PolarDB, one of their key database products, won the first prize of the Science and Technology Progress Award of the Chinese Institute of Electronics.
- Serverless – In the first quarter of 2021, Forrester recognized Alibaba Function Compute, Alibaba’s suite of serverless products, as a leader in the Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) market given their technological advancements and comprehensive product offerings.