Alibaba Cloud has launched an e-commerce live streaming solution for merchants to reach shoppers digitally. The solution guarantees image quality while reducing bit rates, enabling a high-resolution live streaming experience with low bandwidth costs. Users can enjoy live streams with a latency of around two seconds, essential to the experience of flash sales.
Unveiled during the half-day virtual summit Alibaba Cloud Summit 2021, held by Alibaba Cloud International operations. The Project forms part of the cloud provider’s strategy to invest in infrastructure, technological innovation and talent development to contribute to local economic growth through digital transformation as the trusted cloud leader in the Asia pacific region.
The livestreaming solution comes as retailers post record sales during China’s second-largest shopping festival, 6.18. Sales generated from Taobao Live in just the opening hour of the event surpassed that of the entire first day of the same event last year.
Livestreaming e-commerce solutions are quickly evolving as a response to increasing demand during the Covid-19 pandemic. Retailers globally have flocked to China, where the economy rebounded relatively quickly from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and adopted digital tools to reach shoppers.
“Innovative technology is critical to the recovery from Covid-19,” said Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
Built upon Alibaba Cloud’s extensive content delivery networks with over 2,800 nodes in more than 70 countries and regions, the live-streaming solution leverages the cloud real-time video processing technology to ensure an uninterrupted signal transfer between sellers, buyers and the nearest distribution centre.
Alibaba Cloud grew out of the group’s need to operate at scale and address the core commerce business’s complexity, including payments and logistics. In 2009, the group founded Alibaba Cloud to make these technologies available to third-party customers. It offers cloud services to customers worldwide, including elastic computing, database, big data analytics, a machine learning platform and IoT services.
During China’s largest shopping festival, 11.11, Alibaba Cloud provided a highly scalable, reliable and secure public cloud infrastructure, which at its peak processed 583,000 orders per second. In the March 2021 quarter alone, cloud computing revenue grew 37 per cent year-over-year to $2,558 million. Alibaba Cloud turned profitable during the December quarter.
“We are committed to bettering the region’s cloud ecosystem and enhancing its digital infrastructure,” Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence said in a statement.
During the half-year virtual summit, the group also pledged to invest an initial US$1 billion supporting talent and start-ups across the Asia Pacific region over the next three years. The funding will empower 100,000 developers and foster the growth of 100,000 tech startups in the region.
The chunky investment is the largest by Alibaba Group this financial year, underscoring the Hangzhou-headquartered e-commerce player’s confidence in the region’s digital transformation.
Alibaba Cloud also said it would launch its first data centre in the Philippines by the end of this year, build an innovation center in Malaysia, and officially launched its third data centre in Indonesia.
Looking ahead, Alibaba is targeting another big project for Alibaba Cloud to digitally upgrade the Olympic Games in Tokyo later this year, part of making the games widely accessible during the pandemic. The cloud operator is a worldwide partner for the International Olympic Committee until 2028.