Online services now available for foreign companies with Saudi-based regional HQs

RIYADH: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding plans to strengthen ties with the Gulf region by partnering with local firms in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

During a panel session at Dubai’s World Governments Summit, Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group, highlighted the company’s successful partnerships within the Gulf Cooperation Council and expressed plans to replicate this strategy in the UAE, noting recent accomplishments in the Kingdom.

“One of the things we’ve chosen to do, which is a little unusual for a Chinese company, is we partner,” Evans said, as reported by Bloomberg.

He added: “Partnering in a local market, we’ve done it here in the GCC. We’re going to do it in the UAE. We’ve just finished doing something very interesting in Saudi.” 

Alibaba is attempting a resurgence following years of regulatory penalties and strategic errors that have cost the e-commerce giant its position as the front-runner in the country’s tech sector, the Bloomberg report added. 

However, in November, Co-founder Jack Ma urged the company to correct its course. 

“A local partner is basically an opportunity to keep you very tightly integrated in the dialogue about what’s happening,” Evans said. 

Last year, the UAE and Saudi Arabia were among the few countries invited to join the BRICS bloc in a push for expansion largely driven by China. 

Saudi Arabia has undergone enormous socioeconomic development with the launch of Vision 2030. The Kingdom has opened its doors to foreign investors, enabling them to capitalize on opportunities in all areas. 

Alibaba Cloud, the world’s largest cloud computing provider, has entered the Saudi market through a joint venture, Saudi Cloud Computing Co. The JV aims to offer top-notch services to public and private sector institutions, supporting the Kingdom in achieving its Vision 2030 goals.  

The IT giant has selected King Abdullah Financial District as the preferred location to launch its Saudi operations. 

The choice of KAFD also underscores its increasing significance as a world-class financial hub, attracting both local and international enterprises seeking a conducive growth environment. 

In an August interview with Arab News, Selina Yuan, president of International Business for Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said, “Our choice to host the joint venture within KAFD came from an understanding of the global recognition the district has earned as a prominent financial center.” 

As Alibaba Cloud Intelligence solidifies its presence in Saudi Arabia, the region can anticipate increased collaboration, innovative solutions, and sustainable growth opportunities. This contribution aligns with the realization of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, propelling the Middle East’s digital transformation journey forward. 

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