Alibaba Sizes Up Facebook, Amazon With R&D Funding Surge

A Chinese tech behemoth just announced a new $15 billion initiative

That amount represents a near doubling of the $2.5 billion the company spent in "product development" during the fiscal year ended in March 2017. In the meantime, it will start the process to recruit 100 researchers from around the world.

The research programme will be headed by Alibaba's Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Zhan, and has been named DAMO Academy, or the Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook.

Under the program, the labs will opt for projects in areas such as Internet of Things, data intelligence, and financial technologies.

The DAMO Academy aims to attract world-class talent in such areas as quantum computing, machine learning, basic algorithms and network security.

"Labs will help solve the problems Alibaba is now facing in its business processes", said Jeff Zhang, chief technology officer at Alibaba.

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One of China's top e-commerce firms is now gearing up to introduce its $15 billion program that would open overseas research hubs across the globe to assist in its efforts to stand at par with current leaders in e-commerce, logistics and cloud technology. The new announcement will almost triple Alibaba's investment, but even so, these companies will continue to have an edge in recruiting and maintaining global talent, the Journal indicates.

Alibaba's plans for the academy reflect a push for greater technological collaboration globally. With our global expansion, we have grown and refined our technology manifold. "We are now looking for talented and driven researchers to join us in the quest for new disruptive technologies that would advance our every-day lives, benefit small businesses and narrow the technology gap to make our world a more inclusive place".

Alibaba said it will be doubling its R&D spend over the coming three years to Dollars 15 billion in order to develop next-generation technology and explore moonshot projects aimed at upending industries, Bloomberg reported.

Ma added that Alibaba will by example of IBM and Microsoft's research labs to effectively carry out the program, but work their way to society on their "own path".

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