Behind Alibaba’s Massive Job Creation Plan



Alibaba to spend over $15 billion on R&D

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) announced on Wednesday, October 11, that it plans to increase its expenditure on R&D (research and development) to an eye-popping $15 billion over the next three years. The initiative has been nicknamed the Alibaba DAMO (discovery, adventure, momentum, and outlook) Academy.

Alibaba said that the academy will help serve as many as two billion customers and help create 100 million jobs globally over the next two decades.

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Alibaba has been increasing its spending on R&D

The Chinese behemoth has already spent over $2.6 billion on research and development for in the 12-month period ending June 2017, according to the company’s filings, and the company’s spending on R&D has surged over the past few years. The company hopes to keep pace with the likes of Amazon.com (AMZN), which spent a whopping $16 billion on R&D during the same period, according to Amazon’s quarterly filings.

Alibaba is likely to spend the $15 billion in a wide range of industries, including machine learning, AI (artificial intelligence), Internet of Things, and quantum computing.

Alibaba will not be the first company to set up new labs in Silicon Valley. Chinese rival Baidu (BIDU) already has research labs in the US, focusing on AI. Baidu recruits top talent from American research universities. Other Chinese companies with research labs in the US include smartphone-maker Huawei and Tencent Holdings (TCEHY).


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